FEMS awards European Materials Gold Medal to Prof José Manuel Torralba

July 12, 2021

Prof José Manuel Torralba has received the FEMS European Materials Gold Medal (Courtesy IMDEA Materials Institute)

The Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS), a not-for-profit association of twenty-eight European materials societies and associations covering a variety of science & engineering fields, has announced its 2021 award winners. The FEMS European Materials Gold Medal, awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of Materials Science and Engineering, was presented to Professor José Manuel Torralba of Universidad Carlos III Madrid, Spain.

“I am very honoured to be awarded with the FEMS Gold Metal, but also overwhelmed. All previous winners are a reference in my academic career,” stated Torralba. “To belong to the same list is to me much more than a prize. It is another reason to still work hard in this exciting field.”

Prof Torralba completed studies as a Metallurgical Engineer at the Technical University of Madrid –UPM and Armament and Materials Engineer at Escuela Politécnica Superior del Ejército, EPSE. He has also earned two PhD degrees: Dr. Eng. Metallurgy (UPM) and Dr. Eng. Armament (EPSE).

Torralba has been Head of the Materials Science and Engineering Department, vice-rector for Academics Infrastructures and vice-rector for Research and Innovation at MSE at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). As well as Deputy Director of Institute IMDEA Materials, Director-General for Universities and Research of Madrid Regional Government and Higher Artistic Arts Studies. He is currently a Professor of MSE at UC3M.

This year’s awards were judged by Eric Le Bourhis, president of FEMS; Dr Anna Zervaki, vice president of FEMS; Paloma Fernández-Sánchez, past president; and FEMS Executive Committee members, Paula Vilarinho and Dr Gerhard Hackl.

Elvira Fortunato, professor at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and the director of scientific research centre Cenimat|i3n won the FEMS Materials Innovation Prize. This prize celebrates innovations that have had a favourable impact on both individual quality of life and the general welfare, sustainability, and environmental impact of the economy.

“It was with great joy and surprise to win the FEMS Materials Innovation Prize award, and, in particular, because I had been awarded an area related to functional and sustainable materials, such as electronics based on metal oxides,” Fortunato stated. “Scientists in the field of materials science play a fundamental role in the choice of materials and technologies for the emerging solutions that the planet is facing.”

The FEMS Materials Science and Technology prize is awarded to young European materials scientists or engineers in recognition of a significant contribution to their field. This year’s winner was Dr Idalina José Monteiro Gonçalves, researcher at University of Aveiro.

Judge Eric Le Bourhis commented, “It was a great pleasure to judge this year’s awards. I should thank the societies for the excellent nominations received. It reveals very active materials research within our federation. I congratulate the awardees and look forward to their presentations at FEMS EUROMAT next September.”


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