The origins of the COPPE/UFRJ’s Energy Planning Program (PPE) date back to 1979, when the Interdisciplinary Area of Energy (IEA) was created, based on a joint initiative of three Postgraduate Programs: Systems Engineering, Production Engineering and Nuclear Engineering.
The COPPE/UFRJ’s Energy Planning Program (PPE) aims at teaching, researching and developing extension activities related to Energy Planning (Energy Technology, Energy Economics, Energy Models and Energy and the Environment) and Environmental Planning (Environmental Economics, Normative Instruments of Environmental Management, Energy and the Environment and Environmental Models).
It is interesting to note the PPE’s pioneering role in the interdisciplinary area of Energy and Environment in Brazil. This can be verified through the very formation of researchers who started to work in units of the UFRJ itself or in other Brazilian and foreign universities, in addition to the creation of new centers of academic research. Recently, the PPE has contributed to the creation and implementation of undergraduate courses in Environmental Engineering at the Polytechnic School, postgraduate courses in History and Epistemology of Science and postgraduate lato sensu courses in Oil and Gas at UFRJ.
Furthermore, the PPE’s similar vocation as a nucleus that generates new research centers remains strong. In the last decade, the Program has participated in the constitution of the International Virtual Institute of Global Change (IVIG). The Program has also implemented the Interdisciplinary Environmental Laboratory (LIMA), the Center for Integrated Studies on Environment and Climate Change (Centro Clima) and the Interdisciplinary Environmental Conflict Laboratory (LINCA) in 2004, the Center for Energy and Environmental Economics (CENERGIA) in 2002, the Renewable Energies and Environmental Studies Laboratory (LEREA) and the Advanced Optimization Laboratory (LOA), both in 2007. These research centers are recent and significant examples of the PPE’s strong vocation for the development of research and extension activities in the field of energy and environmental engineering.
The Program is an institution whose creation, development and proposal involve the consolidation of engineering sciences applied to the areas of Energy Planning and Environmental Planning. In the PPE’s faculty and student bodies, engineers from different fields (civil, electrical, chemical, metallurgical, mechanical, production, etc.) interact with economists, biologists, chemists, geologists, architects, mathematicians and physicists. The PPE is the combination of different qualifications within the same space and objective of applied engineering. Thus, a complete vertical integration is constituted from its proposal to the extension activities carried out and the disciplines taught. Moreover, the horizontal integration of knowledge is guaranteed, through the exercise of different fields of engineering, inherent to the purposes of the Program.
In addition, such a dynamic of activities (teaching and research) leads to the strong integration between theory/university and practice/market-government, exposing the student body of the Program to an environment of rich and mutually fertile academic-professional experiences. This dynamic also explains the high demand of market and government institutions for professors and students of the Program. For example, in this interaction with the external environment (market, government and society), the Program has contributed directly, through the assignment of professors and students, to regulatory agencies, government agencies and state secretariats in the areas of Energy and/or Environment.
The PPE has provided professors for the positions of President of Eletrobras, Director of the National Water Agency, Director of the National Electric Energy Agency, Superintendent of the National Petroleum Agency, Director-General of the Energy Research Company (EPE), Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Energy and Acting Minister of the Ministry of Mines and Energy. It should also be noted that PPE professors have contributed to the formulation of the current institutional model of the Brazilian power sector and were important for the development of the industrial policy model of the country.
Moreover, former PPE alumni currently stand out in public and private institutions, both national and international. For example, the PPE graduate, Dr. Izabella Mônica Viera Teixeira, is a former State Minister for the Environment. Still at the student level, and considering only students who graduated in the 2010-2012 triennium, due to the defense of Theses or Dissertations (TD), it was verified that more than 50% were hired by companies or agencies of the energy sector in Brazil (Energy Research Company, Petrobras, MPX Energia, National Petroleum Agency, Natural Gas and Biofuels).
The comprehensive set of studies developed by the PPE in partnership with international and national agencies, bodies and institutes also stands out, which demonstrates the quality of the research developed in the Program. The following partnerships should be highlighted: World Bank, OECD International Energy Agency, International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), ECLAC, UNESCO, GNESD, IPCC (UN), Institut d’Économie et de Politique de l’Énergie - IEPE, Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRED / EHESS (France), Ente per le Nuove Tecnologie l'Energie et l'Environnement - ENEA (Italy), University of Padova (Italy), Universitŕ degli Studi di Roma (Italy), Instituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale di Roma (Italy), Hamburg University of Technology (Germany), Technical University of Dresden, UBA (Federal Agency for the Environment of Germany), Science and Policy Research Unit (United Kingdom), Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (United States), Pew Center on Climate Change (United States), Hydro Quebec (Canada), International Hydropower Association (IHA), the Ministries of Mines and Energy, Science and Technology, Environment, the National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP), and the state governments of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, among others.
The Program also collaborates with other teaching and research institutions in the country, and even in other Latin American countries, in consolidating the training of its researchers. In this sense, it is worth mentioning the agreement that was negotiated in 2011, and signed in 2012, with the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Rio Grande do Norte (IFRN), through which the Interinstitutional Doctorate (DINTER) to be offered by the PPE to the IFRN was created. This ratifies the Program’s leading position in strengthening ties and training human resources in the Northeast and North regions of Brazil. Another example of this is the fact that in recent years the PPE has accepted researchers and professors from institutions such as CEFET, the Federal University of Ceará, the Federal University of Amazonas and the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA). In addition, in its recent history, the Program has received researchers from Latin American countries such as Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Chile.
The PPE is, thus, a Postgraduate Program in Applied Engineering. It belongs to the Coordination of Postgraduate Programs in Engineering (COPPE); and is currently inserted in the Evaluation Area of Engineering III of CAPES, where it is evaluated with grade 6 (six) in the concept of excellence.
Throughout its existence, the dissemination of knowledge by defenses of Theses and Dissertations is expressive, as well as by publications in national and international journals, books and congresses. Between 1979 and 2017, some 450 masters dissertations and 170 doctoral theses were defended, and more than 500 articles were published in scientific journals, in addition to some 700 articles in national and international congresses; and some 400 book chapters or books.
Therefore, the contribution that the PPE has provided to society over its 37 years of existence is significant. It is a research and development center which is not the sum of different qualifications, but rather the synergy within the same applied research environment. An example of this is the fact that in its faculty and student bodies, engineers from different areas (civil, electrical, chemical, metallurgical, mechanical, production, etc.) interact with economists, biologists, chemists, geologists, architects, mathematicians and physicists. Thus, the Program is the combination of different qualifications within the same space and objective of applied engineering. Hence, a complete vertical integration is constituted from its proposal to the extension activities carried out and the disciplines taught. Moreover, the horizontal integration of knowledge is guaranteed, through the exercise of different fields of engineering, inherent to the purposes of the Program.