Rosário Oliveira was born in Lisbon in the 19th of February 1952. She graduated in Chemical Engineering at the University of Luanda, Angola in 1975, where she lived. She returned to Portugal and started her scientific and academic carrier at the University of Minho in 1982 as an Invited Assistant Lecturer. Under the mentorship of Professor Luis Melo, Rosário pursued her doctoral studies at the University, receiving her PhD in 1991 with the thesis entitled “Fouling in aqueous suspensions: superficial interactions”. In 2003, Rosário Oliveira was promoted full Professor of the Department of Biological Engineering at the University of Minho.
Rosário made a profound contribution to the genesis of the Department of Biological Engineering (DEB) that came into being in 1993: She was the Director from 2004 to 2008. Rosário was involved in the genesis of the Master Courses in Biological Engineering and Environmental Management, being the director of these courses in 1994-1996 and 2010-2012, respectively. More recently, she was the main responsible for the creation of the PhD Program on Waste Management and Treatment. She also made highly significant contributions to the destiny of the University, being involved in important institutional functions such as the Vice Presidency of the School of Engineering.
Rosário developed her scientific research activity in the Biofilm Science and Engineering section, and was the Head of the UMinho Biofilm Group from 2001. This was focused on fundamental studies on the formation and composition of microbial biofilms and on more applied studies concerning biofilm reactors and the control of biofilms on indwelling medical devices. She developed research on solid waste treatment, with studies on waste recovery, especially by (a) aerobic biological degradation (composting) and vermicomposting and (b) anaerobic digestion for biogas and compost production, in collaboration with “Centro de Valorização de Resíduos – CVR”, an interface of the University of Minho. To her great credit, Rosário published 157 peer reviewed papers in international journals, 20 book chapters and 2 books.
Rosário taught several subjects as a lecturer in various undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Minho. Her extensive and up-to-date knowledge, friendliness, and cheerfulness marked her career as a teacher. In her lectures, Rosário was always able to keep audiences extremely interested. She had a most helpful and close relation with her students, always knowing them by their full names (and they were over 100 each year!).
As a mentor, Rosário trained over 10 graduate students and 5 postdoctoral fellows. She always encouraged her students and researcher to think for themselves, to be creative and to work independently, whilst being available when required. She was very rigorous in the interpretation of data and the scientific discussions that she had with her students and post-doctoral fellows were always very stimulating, creative, enthusiastic and motivating. Besides she had an enormous heart, always having time to listen and give comfort and precious advices to her students and colleagues.
These attributes of Rosário were also constantly available to everyone: she had an enormous empathy, always having time to listen and give comfort to her students and colleagues if needed. She was not only teacher and a scientific mentor, but also a worthy and unforgettable friend…
She left, but not from our hearts!
Her teaching, example, legacy, patience, wisdom, kindness and smile will guide us all as we move forward!
Sugestão do prof. Dr. Edson Holanda Teixeira