CERENA's mission is to develop research at the highest level of excellence related to the sustainable use of natural resources, including energy, as well as their impact on the environment. CERENA uses an approach that is simultaneously integrative, multidisciplinary and multi-scale, from the molecular level to the planetary scale, where researchers from different scientific fields - earth, chemical and material engineering - converge towards the same objectives.
The multidisciplinary nature of CERENA’s research team warrants the synergies to tackle the most demanding present societal challenges and contribute to achieve the sustainable development goals, namely to ensure affordable and clean energy (SDG7), to promote economic growth (SDG8), industrialization, innovations and infrastructure (SDG9), to strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage (SDG11), to ensure responsible consumption and production (SDG12), to combat climate change and its impacts (SDG13), to promote sustainable use of land resources (SDG15).
Advanced training and initiation to research, internationalization, collaboration with the industry in search of more sustainable, eco-innovative and competitive engineering solutions from a circular economy perspective, and promotion of scientific culture are our objectives.
CERENA-Centro de Recursos Naturais e Ambiente was created in 2006, from the merging of three experienced research centres and groups of IST that were developing separately their activities in the areas of natural resources and the environment. The motivation to merge these complementary groups was related to the strong affinity in their research domains and to join synergies that lead to relevant improvements in the research conditions and on the increase of their relative performance. In 2013, CERENA decided to focus its strategy on the enlargement of the group in order to become a reference center in the three main areas of Energy, Raw Materials and Environment.
Hence, CERENA experienced a new expansion that resulted from the affinity and complementary competences of other Centers and groups of researchers, namely: CEPGIST (Centro de Petrologia e Geoquímica, IST/ULisboa), CPQ (Centro de Processos Químicos, IST/ULisboa), IBB (Instituto de Biolotecnologia e Bioengenharia, IST/ULisboa) and CIGAR (Centro de Geo-Ambiente e Recursos, FEUP) and also a Seismology Group of ICIST (Instituto de Engenharia de Estruturas, Território e Construção, IST/ULisboa).
The former configuration of CERENA was composed by three groups: GMPG - Modelling and Processing of Georesources Group, CMRP - Modeling of Petroleum Reservoirs Group, CEGEO - Geotechnics Group. Research carried on by these groups was specially focused on sciences and technologies for the characterization, evaluation and beneficiation of environmental and natural resources through the articulated and original use of specific methodologies (geophysics and geochemistry, geostatistics and multivariate data analysis, image analysis and pattern recognition, remote sensing and GIS, operations research, beneficiation processes), mineral resources exploitation, underground engineering works and the recovery of environmental systems. Lately, research efforts have included methodologies to characterize and mitigate Natural and Technological Hazards.