After its approval by CAPES, the inaugural meeting of the PPG-EQ/UERJ took place in March 2004, when the first selection notice was approved.
Academic activities began at the master's level with the enrollment of the first class in August 2004. Later, in March 2012, the PPG-EQ/UERJ also offered the doctoral course. By the end of 2020, 225 masters and 30 doctors had been certified, a number that should increase significantly in the short term, considering that 57 qualifying exams have already been carried out.
Since its creation, the PPG-EQ/UERJ’s trajectory analysis shows a strong growth curve. At the inauguration of the PPG-EQ, when there was only the master's course in 2004, 25 students were admitted. In 2020, 43 candidates were selected, divided into 30 candidates for the master and 13 for the doctorate courses. At the inauguration of the course, the faculty consisted of 17 professors, only one of whom was a CNPq productivity fellowship. In 2020, we had 15 professors, 8 of which were CNPq productivity fellowships, 2 Scientists from Our State Program (FAPERJ), and 2 Young Scientists from Our State Program (FAPERJ).
The increase of about 90% in the number of selected candidates, including part of them to the doctoral course, for a faculty of the same dimension is clear evidence of the successful trajectory of the PPG-EQ/UERJ. At the end of the 2017-2020 quadrennium, the PPG-EQ/UERJ student body was composed of 108 students, with 54 master's degrees and 54 doctoral students. The practically equivalent distribution between master's and doctoral students shows the maturity of the PPG-EQ from the point of view of training researchers.
From an evaluation point of view, a positive evolution can also be observed. Having been initially approved with a grade of 3 only at the master's level, today, the assessment of the PPG-EQ/UERJ corresponds to grade 5 with an authorized offer by CAPES of master's and doctoral courses. A sign of maturity in this process can be evidenced considering that, even though they received their first DSc only in 2016, PPG-EQ/UERJ graduates already work or have acted as higher-level professors in several public institutions (UFU, UERJ, and IFRJ ) and private (SENAI/CETIQT, UCP, FAACZ, and UNIGRANRIO).
As already shown, despite the size of the faculty during this period being, in numerical terms, similar to that at the time of its inauguration, the commitment to quality by the PPG-EQ/UERJ implies that only half of the faculty members initial is still in the current collegiate. This evolution was fundamentally due to a clear and transparent assessment process, where accreditation and de-accreditation rules were defined through quantitative criteria. In parallel, an attempt was made to avoid an excessive seniorization of the faculty, allowing for the absorption of new professors in an organized manner.
Structurally, three lines of research were initially established at the beginning of the PPG-EQ/UERJ: (a) Catalytic Processes; (b) Bioprocesses and Environmental Technology; and (c) Process Engineering. As a function of the evolution of the body teaching and the specialization of research activities, there were three essential changes in this portfolio. The first change involved the Process Engineering research line, renamed Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering and Process Engineering. This change was necessary due to the consolidation of several research projects related to the fundamentals of chemical engineering, particularly thermodynamics and surface phenomena. In parallel, the fourth line of research was created, called New Materials, basically grouping research projects in corrosion and polymer technology. Finally, the Bioprocesses and Environmental Technology line was renamed Bioprocesses and Chemical Technology, reflecting more precisely the research activities carried out under the PPG-EQ/UERJ.
A final analysis of this entire process can be included in the evolution of UERJ. Traditionally, from its creation, UERJ was limited to the training of graduates. However, since the '90s, there has been an accelerated growth of its research activities, with emphasis initially on works in the biomedical area. Research in the engineering area only started more strongly in the early 2000s. This institutional panorama, still in progress from the point of view of R&D, was the challenge to be overcome in 2004 by the founding professors of the PPG-EQ/UERJ. However, the indicators' evolution shows that this effort has yielded encouraging results.