Main research activities

The summary below assembles some examples of on-going research projects and academic partnerships related to Brazil at Imperial. For more information, please contact directly their respective representatives at the College. This list is subjected to occasional updates. 


Joint USP-ICL PhD programme. A joint four-year PhD programme exists between the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial College London and the Department of Mechanical Engineering of "Escola Politécnica" at the University of São Paulo (USP). Research topics cover all areas of research of interest to these Departments. This programme is part of a formal Memorandum of Understanding signed by both institutions. Contact: Prof Spencer Sherwin, Department of Aeronautics.

In addition to this joint PhD programme, the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial works in collaboration with some other Brazilian institutions, such as: Department of Civil Engineering at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ/COPPE); School of Mechanical Engineering at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp); Department of Civil Engineering at the Federal University of Ouro Preto (UFOP); Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES); Department of Civil Engineering at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RJ). Contact: Prof Ferri Aliabadi, Department of Aeronautics.

Dynamical Systems (Mathematics) 

Collaborations with the University of São Paulo (USP), University of Campinas (Unicamp), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Fluminense Federal University (UFF), São Paulo State University (UNESP) and the National Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IMPA). Current support by European Union IRSES grants DynEurBraz (2009-2012) and BREUDS (2013-2016). Contact: Prof Jeroen S. W. Lamb, Department of Mathematics.

Networks and Complexity

Partnerships on networks and complexity with São Paulo State University (UNESP), University of São Paulo (USP) and the Brazilian Centre for Physics Research (CBPF). Contact: Prof Kim Christensen, Department of Physics.

Theoretical Physics

Academic partnership with São Paulo State University (UNESP) and other Brazilian institutions regarding theoretical physics. Contact: Prof Christopher Hull, Department of Physics.

Applied Modelling and Computation

New collaboration on multi-scale modelling in Computational and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, in collaboration with the University of São Paulo (USP). Contact: Dr Gerard J. Gorman, Department of Earth Science and Engineering.

Public Health (Medicine)

  • Project in North Wales to translate the Lay Community Health Worker model of the Brazilian Family Health Programme. Partners include Bangor University, Betsi Cadwaldr Local Health Board, and GP Locality Leads;
  • Department of Health's Brazil-UK bilateral health relationship. Coordination and collation of the activities in a number of health areas, including Informatics, Primary Care, Regulation, Olympics and Mass Events, and Health Protection. Imperial works closely with MoH partners, engage with Arms Length bodies in the UK such as the HPA, MHRA and NICE;
  • Organization of sporadic placements or shadowing opportunities for Brazilian doctors in the UK NHS;
  • Prospective research collaboration with FIOCRUZ-PE around diabetes care in primary care.

Contact: Dr Matthew Harris, School of Public Health.

Cancer and Molecular Biology (Medicine)

Academic collaboration with Professor Dr Raquel Maia, Head of Molecular Hemato-Oncology Program, National Cancer Institute, Rio de Janeiro, on breast cancer, drug resistance and forkhead transcription factors. Related publications. Contact: Prof Eric W Lam, Department of Surgery and Cancer.


There are several partnerships on bioenergy with Brazil, involving academic staff from different departments at Imperial and many Brazilian institutions, such as: University of São Paulo (USP); University of Campinas (Unicamp); and Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE). The Centre for Environmental Policy (CEP) at Imperial is involved in a project on the international expansion of sugarcane ethanol in Latin America, Caribbean and Africa (LACAf project), in collaboration with Unicamp, CTBE and FAPESP. Porter Institute is also working with CTBE. The main research areas of interest are: sugarcane-based ethanol, biodiesel, bio-chemicals, land use change, GHG balances, LCA of biofuels, and international development. Contact: Dr Jeremy Woods, Centre for Environmental Policy.

Natural Gas

Research initiatives regarding natural gas use and technologies in collaboration with the University of São Paulo (USP). Contact: Dr Adam Hawkes, Centre for Environmental Policy.


Collaboration with various researchers from Brazil on tropical community ecology, landscape ecology and conservation biology. Supervision of post-grad students through the Division of Ecology and Evolution (IC) or Department of Ecology at University of São Paulo (USP). Contact: Dr Cristina Banks-Leite, Division of Ecology and Evolution.

Innovative mosquito control

A collaboration with the University of São Paulo experts, started throu gh the TDR-funded project,MosqGuide, for developing guidance for decision making about deployment of GM mosquitoes for control of malaria or dengue. Contact: Prof John D Mumford, Centre for Environmental Policy 


Academic collaborations with the University of São Paulo (USP) on biotechnology. Contact: Prof Gad Frankel, Division of Cell and Molecular Biology.

Chemical Engineering

Research collaborations in Chemical Engineering with the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), in partnership with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA). Contact: Dr Paul S. Fennell, Department of Chemical Engineering.