The organizational structure of the PPE consists of a faculty of 12 permanent professors, all with a doctorate degree, supported by 24 researchers, in addition to having a technical-administrative staff of 14 employees, mostly graduates, distributed in the areas of documentation, computing, secretarial and administration.
The PPE’s teaching and research infrastructure includes an auditorium, with 55 seats, and three classrooms designed for classes, conferences, seminars and courses, one with 45 and two with 25 seats, as well as rooms for professors (one for each permanent professor), researchers, students and secretariats (academic and financial). Furthermore, aiming to broaden the teaching and research structure of the Program, the site which was once destined for the library was redesigned. To optimize the internal area of the Program, as the COPPE/UFRJ’s library is located about 500 meters from the PPE, the collection was transferred to the library. Thus, it was possible to reformulate the internal space, allowing with this the construction of the following improvements: a) classroom, with 25 seats; b) meeting and conference room for masters and doctoral grant; and c) room for new doctoral researchers, with 8 office bays.
In addition to the internal space of PPE, the Program is responsible for the Interdisciplinary Environmental Laboratory (LIMA) of COPPE/UFRJ, whose operation began in 1997; the Center for Energy and Environmental Economics (CENERGIA), implemented in December 2002; the Advanced Optimization Laboratory (LOA), created in 2007; and the Renewable Energies and Environmental Studies Laboratory (LEREA), which began its operations in 2008. Moreover, the Program also implemented the Center for Integrated Studies on Environment and Climate Change (Centro Clima) and the Interdisciplinary Environmental Conflict Laboratory (LINCA), as well as participated in the constitution of the Virtual Institute of Global Change (IVIG). Such research centers are recent and significant examples of the Program’s vocation for the development of research and extension activities in the field of energy and environmental engineering.
LIMA aims to strengthen the performance of professors and students of the Alberto Luís Coimbra Institute for Engineering Research and Postgraduate Studies (COPPE) in Environmental Engineering, and, specifically, PPE students of Environmental Planning, allowing the realization of studies and joint projects and the consolidation of interdisciplinary lines of research in this area. The laboratory was created in December 1997 with the assistance of the Environmental Sciences area of the Scientific and Technological Development Support Program (PADCT/CIAMB), using resources from the World Bank and the Ministry of Science and Technology. This is one of the results of the integrated research program conducted in 1995/97, which involved the research of Environmental Audit methodologies and the consolidation of masters and doctoral courses in an Interdisciplinary Area of Environmental Engineering at COPPE/UFRJ, with emphasis in the sub-areas of Environmental Planning, Environmental Geotechnics, Environmental Production Management, Environmental Technology, Environmental Modeling, Coastal and Watershed Management, Environmental Acoustics, Transport and the Environment. The LIMA’s main lines of research include Energy and the Environment (Evaluation of Environmental Impacts of the Energy System, Electric Energy, Alternative Sources of Energy and Energy Efficiency, Oil and Natural Gas), Corporate and Public Environmental Management, Planning and Environmental Management Instruments (Strategic Environmental Assessment, Environmental Audit, Environmental Indicators), Socio-environmental Responsibility and Climate Change.
LIMA is under the administrative responsibility of the COPPE/UFRJ’s Energy Planning Program (PPE), to which its coordinator, Prof. Emilio Lèbre La Rovere, and support staff belong. LIMA is connected by a fiber optic network to the COPPE/UFRJ’s Cray supercomputer, currently having: a) 23 workstations (18 for researchers, 2 for secretariats, 2 for computer technicians and 1 for designers), b) 1 room for coordination, c) meeting room, with events and classes in its own space and capacity for 25 people, d) documentation center (CARIBE database) for keeping/consulting of various publications and research reports of the projects developed there, in the area of Environmental Sciences, and e) equipment and software, including 3 servers, 23 desktops, 4 notebooks, 3 printers, 1 projector and 1 ARC GIS software (geoprocessing).
The facilities of LIMA are also used by researchers of the Centro Clima, which is linked as well to the Energy Planning Program, with emphasis in scientific research in Environment and Climate Change. Centro Clima was the result of the joint efforts of the Secretariat of Environmental Quality in Human Settlements (SQA) of the Ministry of Environment (MMA), which holds the vice-presidency of the Interministerial Commission on Global Climate Change, with COPPE/UFRJ, an institution that since 1990 was carrying out a series of studies on the subject. At the international level, COPPE/UFRJ participated in the preparation of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports and in studies for the Climate Convention Secretariat; at the national level, it supported the Climate Change Unit of the Ministry of Science and Technology, elaborating the national inventory of greenhouse gases of the energy sector and, at the municipal level, the inventory of greenhouse gases of the city of Rio de Janeiro through the Interdisciplinary Environmental Laboratory LIMA/COPPE. Centro Clima was created in 2000 with the objective of intensifying the work of the MMA in the field of climate change and to promote the national training of public and non-governmental institutions at the state and municipal levels.
The laboratory is coordinated by Prof. Luiz Pinguelli Rosa, and among its two main lines of research, namely “Mitigation of Climate Change” and “Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation to Climate Change”, aims to: a) subsidize the development of public policies, b) strengthen the national and international capacities of various social actors in mitigation and adaptation actions regarding climate change, c) elaborate inventories of greenhouse gases and create prospective scenarios to reduce emissions, d) develop innovative projects of clean development mechanism and energy generation studies.
Centro Clima shares the physical and computer infrastructure of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Laboratory - LIMA/COPPE/UFRJ, a laboratory for the development of studies and projects on various environmental issues, also linked to the COPPE/UFRJ’s Energy Planning Program. The physical structure of the laboratory provides servers connected to the UFRJ’s network, with state-of-the-art networked computers, monitors, printers, scanner and plotter, installed in five work rooms. In addition, there are also notebooks for use by researchers in case of business trips and meetings outside the laboratory.
Between 1997 and 2012, LIMA was responsible for the execution of about 160 research projects, many of them for international institutions. Throughout this period, covenants, partnerships, cooperation agreements and contracts were signed with public agencies of the federal, state and municipal administration, as well as with non-governmental companies and organizations. These research activities led to the publication of approximately 300 scientific papers, being 68 articles in national and international journals, 68 books or book chapters, 140 communications in congress annals and 25 articles in magazines and newspapers. In addition, they provided material for the preparation of 49 masters dissertations and 26 doctoral theses defended in the PPE/COPPE/UFRJ by LIMA researchers.
In 2012, the LIMA and Centro Clima team was composed of: a) 9 researchers, mostly PPE graduates; b) 23 collaborating (external) researchers; c) 3 masters students and 9 doctoral students from PPE, d) 5 scientific initiation scholarship holders, e) 3 professors collaborating in the PPE research, and f) 3 technical and administrative support staff.
In turn, CENERGIA is notable for the performance of technical-economic studies in the areas of energy production and use, as well as for the research on the regulation of the infrastructure sector, since these are central elements in the definition and implementation of energy strategies that are environmentally sustainable and attractive from the economic and social point of view for the country. CENERGIA’s projects and studies are divided into five lines of research: a) energy supply, b) energy demand, c) regulation of infrastructure sectors, d) economic valuation of the environment, and e) environmental impacts and indicators of sustainability with emphasis on climate change.
Located in Block I, room I-034, of the COPPE/UFRJ’s Technology Center, the laboratory has 12 workstations, a meeting room fully equipped with multimedia facilities, a documentation and publication center, as well as computer equipment such as computers, printers, wireless network, among others.
With this structure, twelve researchers, including three masters and nine doctoral students currently participate in CENERGIA, in addition to one scientific initiation scholarship holder, which together with professors Alexandre Szklo and Roberto Schaeffer, respectively, coordinator and vice-coordinator of the laboratory, participate actively in the elaboration of research, extension and development reports and projects. In the period 2007-2012, we can mention among other projects developed by professors and researchers: 1) Energy Matrix of Minas Gerais 2030, 2) Economics of Climate Change in Brazil, 3) Climate Change and Energy Security in Brazil, 4) Analysis of the Carbon Risk of Selected Oil Companies, 5) Impacts of Incident Taxes on Automotive Fuels in Brazil, 6) Studies on Threats and Opportunities Concerning the Global Climate Change Problem on the Oil and Gas Sector and Proposition of Actions By Petrobras to Deal With the Carbon Risk, 7) Green Energy and Economy - Future scenarios and public policies, 8) Impacts of the Adoption of Targets to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Energy-intensive Sectors of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Alternatives and Mitigation Costs, 9) Potential for mitigation of wind energy in Brazil, 10) Study on the potential impacts of the adoption of market mechanisms in order to mitigate the emissions of maritime transport, 11) Encouraging distributed generation in Brazil: Evaluation of scenarios of DG expansion, among others.
The Renewable Energies and Environmental Studies Laboratory (LEREA) was created with the objective of carrying out research in the fields of solar energy and studies of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in hydroelectric reservoirs. In a broad sense, the LEREA takes the form of a hybrid laboratory, where there is the development of research in the areas of renewable energy and the environment. It has sufficient technology to initiate several lines of research in the environmental area, such as: a) analysis of atomic absorption for studies with metals in general, b) gas chromatography for gas detection, c) automated system for the analysis of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and d) UV-Visible spectrophotometry for water quality analysis.
Furthermore, another purpose of the laboratory is to give academic support to undergraduate and postgraduate classes with practical themes about the environment. Under the guidance of professors Marco Aurélio dos Santos, 4 student researchers (2 doctoral and 2 masters) participate in the laboratory, using the equipment to conduct experiments, and, therefore, to develop their research for the preparation of theses/dissertations and research and extension projects. These occupy a space located next to the room I-211, at the COPPE’s Technology Center, where there are four workstations, modeling software, 4 computers, 2 printers, among others.
The Interdisciplinary Environmental Conflict Laboratory (LINCA), in turn, is a reference center in the study of issues related to Environmental Management. The objective is to analyze the institutional and legal aspects of the environment, with emphasis on watershed management, solid waste management, control and monitoring norms and standards, environmental impact assessment and licensing, industrial processes life cycle analysis, and other environmental policy and management instruments. Other areas of activity to be highlighted are: a) industrial ecology and development of eco-industrial parks, b) decision support techniques, c) multicriteria analysis, and d) management of environmental conflicts.
LINCA is linked to the research lines of Environmental Management and Environmental Economics, which is why it is coordinated by Professor Alessandra Magrini. The laboratory uses the PPE’s own facilities, thus having access to the PPE’s administrative structure. It has its own room for researchers, with 4 workstations, 4 computers and 1 printer, in which one postdoctoral student (Program’s graduate) and three doctoral students develop their research.
Finally, the PPE still participates in the Virtual Institute for Global Change (IVIG). Created in 1999, the laboratory works in the development of studies and research in strategic areas to meet demands of local, regional and national interest in the areas of energy and environment, in partnership with other universities, government institutions and national and international companies.
IVIG acts in several areas of technological and scientific knowledge, in the creation and development of technologies for production and efficient use of energy with low environmental impact, contributing both to alleviate environmental problems arising from energy crises and technological risks and to increase, directly or indirectly, actions that result in the sustainability of the country's development. The laboratory houses the executive secretariat of the Brazilian Forum on Climate Change (FBMC) and is in line with the great theme of Global Change.
Among its research topics, the following stand out: a) transport and climate change, b) historical emissions and international agreements, c) hydroelectric emissions, d) biodiesel technology, e) technological and environmental risk, f) renewable energies, g) waste and biomass energy use, h) water management and regulation, and i) sustainability of buildings.
In addition to having a biodiesel pilot plant with a capacity to produce 25 thousand liters of biodiesel per day, IVIG has the Sustainable Energy and Technology Center (CETS), which is an eco-sustainable experimental construction of 500 m2 that, compared to similar projects using traditional materials and methods, reduce atmospheric carbon emissions by about 250 percent and energy consumption by 90 percent.
IVIG offers more than 70 fixed workstations distributed in the CETS’ facilities at the building I-129, located at the COPPE’s Technology Center, and 30 mobile stations (notebooks) interconnected by more than 15 HP servers of the latest generation. IVIG also provides: a) Intranet portal for use by employees and researchers, b) auditorium with capacity for 50 people, c) meeting room with capacity for 10 people, and d) large administrative structure, with secretariat, technical and cleaning staff, among others.
Marcos A. V. Freitas is the coordinator of the laboratory, as well as 26 doctoral students, 22 masters students and 2 postdoctoral students of the PPE. In addition, the IVIG has 31 scientific initiation students and contracted researchers, among them graduates of the Program. All this team, in addition to developing research related to completion/theses/dissertation work at the laboratory facilities, especially in the experimental stations (biodiesel plant and CETS), works alongside extension research projects.
Additional information about some laboratories can be obtained on their websites, which are:
a) Centro Clima (http://www.centroclima.coppe.ufrj.br)
b) LIMA (http://www.lima.coppe.ufrj.br)
c) IVIG (http://www.ivig.coppe.ufrj.br/)