UAlg Alumni Career Award

The aim is to honour and distinguish each year a graduate of one of the study cycles offered at the University of the Algarve (UAlg), whose activity has had a proven positive impact on the progress of society and recognition of the quality of teaching at UAlg.


  • Hold an academic degree awarded by the UAlg for more than 20 years
  • Have a professional career that is a reference for their peers and for civil society in their area of training.
  • Have no contractual relationship with UAlg and, at the time of the award, is not a member of any UAlg body.
  • In the case of already had a contractual relationship with UAlg of any kind, the graduate's professional career must be mainly external to UAlg.
  • Never received the UAlg Alumni Career Award


The process consists of two phases:

1) it consists of nominating personalities who have graduated from UAlg. At this stage, the entire community (students, teachers, staff, alumni) is invited to participate by suggesting a person or persons using the form on the Alumni and Professional Opportunities website. Self-proposals are not accepted;

2) the jury selects the winner from among the eligible nominees.

Assessment criteria: 

  • Career revealing competences in the development of society in economic, social, cultural terms. Recognised value creation in the field of social welfare
  • Career that demonstrates skills in influencing public policy, with an outstanding contribution to civil society
  • Exceptional achievements in their area of activity, particularly their contribution to its development
  • Contribution to the recognition of teaching excellence at UAlg

General criteria for assessing candidates: 

  • The prize is not awarded posthumously
  • The prize is only awarded once to the same personality
  • Alumni who are members of the jury are not eligible


The jury is composed by the Alumni Council. The jury's decisions are its sole responsibility and there will be no appeal.

Prize Awarding

The award has a symbolic character and is delivered in a specific ceremony according to the calendar of the initiative.

Alumni Awarded

Premiada Sofia Figueiredo

Sofia Figueiredo

Born in Lisbon.

She completed her degree in Systems and Computer Engineering in 1999 at the University of Algarve.

She holds a Master's degree in Bioinformatics from the University of Lisbon and a PhD in Theoretical Biophysics from the Humbolt-Universität zu Berlin.

She is a researcher in the field of computational biology in the pharmaceutical industry and has over 18 years' experience in developing mathematical models of biological processes and analysing data.

She is passionate about applying mathematical methods to solve complex problems in medicine or biology.

More than ten scientific publications, with +650 citations in total (h-index 9) and more than 30 oral communications, also as a keynote speaker (invited) at international conferences (e.g. FELASA) and at the European Parliament.

Successfully establishes international collaborations in academia and industry. Mentors young scientists. Active in voluntary work as executive president of ASPPA, e.V. (Portuguese Association of Researchers in Germany) in 2019-2020.

Winner of the 2015 Nature Competition, "Publishing Better Science Through Better Data".

She has three children and lives in Germany with her family.


Iris Silva Awarded

Iris Silva - Prémio Alumni 2022

Born in Tavira.

He completed his degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2009, at UAlg, where he also completed his master's and doctorate, both in Biomedical Sciences. The doctorate was carried out in collaboration with the University Hospital Center of Laval, in Quebec.

She emphasizes that “the decision to continue her academic career at UAlg was strongly linked to the recognition that the academy had the ideal conditions for her path as a researcher”.

She considers that the knowledge she acquired in Biomedicine at UAlg was decisive for her work as a researcher at the BioISI research centre, at the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon, in the area of ​​personalized medicine in Cystic Fibrosis. It works in a very close relationship with the largest hospitals in the country, contributing to the forecast of personalized clinical improvement and analysis of the most effective and indicated therapy - for each patient.

In recent years, he has established several international collaborations, namely with doctors from the Czech Republic and Brazil, and research groups in Holland and Germany, which allowed him to participate in a European project financed by H2020.

In addition to other awards and recognitions of excellence, she was distinguished twice (2019 and 2021) by the prestigious “Young Investigator Award”, awarded annually by the ECFS - European Cystic Fibrosis Society to young researchers (<35 years old) who distinguish themselves by quality of their work in the area of ​​Cystic Fibrosis.


Paulo Almeida Awarded

Paulo Almeida - Prémio Alumni 2022

Born in Caldas da Rainha.

He finished his degree in Hotel Management at the Escola Superior de Gestão, Hotelaria e Turismo, in 1999.

He began his activity in 2000 as a trainer and in 2001 as a Higher Education teacher.

He recently took his aggregation tests in Tourism at the Faculty of Economics at UAlg.

He is a Coordinating Professor with Aggregation at the Polytechnic of Leiria, at the Escola Superior de Turismo e Tecnologia do Mar, having held the position of director of this School, between January 2014 and January 2022, preceded by a period as Deputy Director, between January 2010 to January 2014.

He was also Executive Coordinator of RIPTUR – Network of Public Institutions of Polytechnic Higher Education with Tourism courses, between December 2018 and March 2021.

He integrates different research groups, scientific and pedagogical commissions and quality and evaluation commissions, namely as Coordinator of RUN-EU, Regional Network University, of Work Package 4 – European Mobility Innovation, representing the Polytechnic of Leiria, from August 2021 to October from 2022.

He was a member of the Strategic Council for Intermunicipal Development, of OESTECim – Comunidade Intermunicipal do Oeste, representing the PLeiria, since April 22, 2016. He is currently the national director of CiTUR, “having as a major objective the consolidation of this Research Center , promoting more research in tourism, more international publications and projects, and more sharing of knowledge with society by fostering innovation and sustainability”.

In September 2022, he received the Best Teaching Career Award in Higher Education, by the Tourism Forum, Hospitality Education Awards..


Jorge Dias Awarded

Jorge Dias

Jorge Dias has a degree in Marine Biology at the University of Algarve, having obtained a master's degree in Food Technology from the University of Bordeaux, in France.  

He specialized in Fish Nutrition through a PhD at the University of Porto and Bordeaux, in close collaboration with the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) and the Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER).  

He is the founder and managing partner of SPAROS Lda, which is dedicated to providing services and research in nutrition for Aquaculture. 

Luís Loures Awarded

Luís Loures

Luis Loures graduated in Landscape Architecture (2006) and Agronomy (2016) and completed his PhD in Environmental Sciences and Technologies, specializing in Urban Planning in 2011, at the University of Algarve. 

He has a Post-doc in Sustainable Development applied to Agricultural Production by the University of Extremadura (2017), and aggregated in Agricultural and Forestry Sciences-Landscape Recovery, by the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (2021).  

He is currently the president of the Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre.

Sílvia Marques Socorro Awarded

Sílvia Socorro

Sílvia has completed a degree in Marine Biology and Fisheries in 1994 at the Ualg. She has a master's degree in Aquaculture (1997) and a PhD in Biology, specializing in Molecular Biology in 2001 at the same university. 

She carried out a post-doctorate in Molecular Biology at the Ottawa Health Research Institute of the Ottawa Hospital, in Canada, between 2000 and 2001, and between 2001 and 2002 she completed a post-doctorate in Molecular Biology carried out at the Centro de Ciências do Mar, Universidade do Algarve (CCMAR).  

In 2013 she obtained the Aggregation in Biomedicine at the University of Beira Interior. She is the director of the PhD course in Biomedicine and full professor at the Department of Medical Sciences at the University of Beira Interior, and Scientific Coordinator of the Center for Research in Health Sciences.  

She leads a research group whose interests are primarily focused on the study of hormonal and metabolic changes associated with male infertility and cancer. Over the years, her research activity has contributed to the characterization of the physiological actions of sex steroid hormones on reproductive tissues, namely testis and prostate. New proteins were identified with a relevant role in the control of cell survival and death, and with an impact on male gamete production and tumor development. The work of her research team has also been demonstrating the action of steroids in the control of energy metabolism, and how these changes are related to the aggressiveness of prostate cancer. A set of molecular targets with potential therapeutic applications based on hormonal activity or metabolism regulation were identified.


Paulo Serra (Honorable Mention)

Paulo Serra

He is graduated in Modern Languages ​​and Literature - Portuguese Studies (2002).  

He finished his Master’s degree in Literature, specialization in Comparative Literature in 2006 and in 2013 he completed his PhD in Literature, specialization in Comparative Literature.  

His activities abroad have been motivated specially by teaching and spreading the Portuguese language. Currently, he works as a Cooperation Agent, as an expert in Timor-Leste, in the FOCO.UNTL Project (with a cooperation protocol between Camões – Institute for Cooperation and Language, IP, through the Portuguese Language Center in Dili, with the University of Timor-Leste (UNTL).  

His international career began in 2013, by teaching Portuguese in Poland, and later took over the direction of the Portuguese department at the University of Botswana, in Gaborone. In 2017, he took over the coordination of Camões – Centro Cultural Português, Pólo da Beira, where in addition to teaching, he promoted and organized cultural events.

Isabel de Noronha Awarded

Isabel de Noronha

Isabel graduated in Marine Biology (1995/1996) and has a PhD in Marine Policy.  

She specialized in ocean governance and integrated policy, public policy analysis and sustainable development at the University of Delaware in the United States of America.  

She develops her activity through the interface between science and politics, aiming at the consolidation of strategic and environmental policies for the ocean. She is a director of the consulting firm InventAr, Lda, which leads the areas of sustainable development, ocean and environmental issues and cumulative impacts, to produce multidisciplinary knowledge and policy advice. 


Pedro Bastos (Honorable Mention)

Pedro Bastos

He graduated in Biochemistry in the academic year 2006/2007.  

He created the company Nutrifresco even before finishing the course, specializing in the commercialization of very high-quality fish for the hotels and top restaurants. Pedro started very young going to the Sagres auction with his father, a fact that would be decisive for his academic career. As he says, he studied biochemistry to understand the fish from the inside, both in gastronomic terms and in terms of food.  

His deep knowledge of the Portuguese sea and the varieties of fish and shellfish that exist in it, allows him to have a unique approach to the market, ensuring authentic lectures about not very well-known species.

Pedro Lima Awarded

Pedro Lima

Pedro graduated in Marine Biology and Fisheries at the UAlg in 1995, and finished his PhD in Neurophysiology (2001) at the University of Sheffield / Plymouth Marine Biological Association, United Kingdom.  

He is the founder of the Sea4us Company ( His main activities are dedicated to creating a library of compounds, drug discovery and pre-clinical development. Due to its nature, the Sea4Us Drug Discovery and Development Platform allows the discovery of new drugs for the treatment of several clinical conditions that still lack therapeutic solutions. His research is focused on neurosciences, electrophysiology, pharmacology and marine biology.  

He is the main researcher in the department of physiology at Nova Medical School, and visiting professor at the Faculty of Science at the University of Lisbon. He has led a group on the pharmacology and biophysics of ion channels since 2007


Jorge Luz (Honorable Mention)

Jorge Luz

He graduated in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 1998.  

Jorge Luz founded ITELMATIS (, shortly after finishing the course, being today a reference company in the area of automation and process control, very well established in the Algarve, competing with large renowned international companies in this field.  

Technology and entrepreneurship have always been part of his DNA and throughout his career he has developed innovative technologies for numerous sectors ranging from agriculture, fish farming, hotels, water management and golf, where he has stood out for offering technology at its very best for these areas.  

He has developed projects with UAlg and continues to encourage applications for new projects in partnership with the institution; employs several UAlg graduates and has internship protocols with several courses. In addition to regularly participating in lectures, he also collaborates in the “mentoring program.”


Élio Vicente Awarded

Élio Vicente

Élio Vicente is a graduate in Marine Biology and Fisheries at the University of Algarve (1996).  

He started his career in July 1991 in Zoomarine, where he is the director of external relations since 2013 and the director of Porto d’Abrigo- Rehabilitation Center for Marine Species (since 2002). He has been working intensively in favor of education, environmental protection, culture and science at Zoomarine. He is the chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Order of Biologists (since 2017).  

Marine Biologist with 30 years of experience and cross-funcional skills in environmental education, rehabilitation of stranded marine/aquatic specimens, managment of scientific projects, public speaking, communication and media relations, projects development, teaching, organization of international (scientific and cooperative) events, and team management. 

He is the representative of Mundo Aquático SA in several national and international organizations, and is a member of the governing bodies of various entities, in a personal capacity and on behalf of Zoomarine. He has been coordinating, since 2016, “Operação Montanha Verde” (Operation Green Mountain- which has already planted 79,400 trees) and, since 2017, “Operação Praia Limpa” (Operation Clean Beach). 


Ignácio Correia (Honorable Mention)

Ignácio Correia

Ignácio Correia is graduated in Communication Design (2007) at the University of Algarve. 

He started his career in the design field at the age of 16, developing website and online platform design. He recognizes that, at the time, any creative solution was unthinkable and very expensive, and his academic training allowed him to raise his knowledge of graphic communication, giving him the possibility to differentiate himself in the labor market. 

He followed a self-taught path in programming, data analysis and marketing, focusing on studying after work, an effort that allowed him to specialize in online platforms. Mastering the entire spectrum of knowledge in the area allowed him to create a team of former university students and implement a working method he created, which is recognized through awards and honorable mentions in the area of online platform design. He received a nomination for the Portugal Digital Awards in 2017, by creating an online digital marketing platform used by the largest companies in the world, for which he is in charge. 

He is the coordinator and co-founder of UnykTV (, a platform developed from scratch by his team which is used by major brands such as WALLMART, BENFICA and others. 


Jaime Albino Ramos Awarded

Jaime Ramos

He is a biologist with an exceptional academic background, which illustrates and exemplifies how much the willpower, the ability to work and face challenges, well framed by higher education, can bear fabulous results. He embodies the commitment, work and practical spirit in solving problems, combined with beautiful social and human, intellectual and pedagogical skills.  

He graduated in 1989 at the University of the Algarve with a final work on the Sultana Chicken or caiman, at the time in danger of extinction. He holds a Master’s degree at the University of Durham, UK (1990), and a PhD at the University of Oxford (1994).  

Currently, Jaime Albino is a professor at the University of Coimbra, where he develops many works with students he supervises, in the research related to birds in the Ria Formosa. He has several projects in the area of ​​marine biology and ecology, all over the world (Seychelles, Cape Verde, etc.), mainland Portugal and the Azores Islands, where he studied Priolo (a bird), having contributed with his study to the preservation of the laurel forest in the northeast of São Miguel Island, and consequently to the natural preservation of that bird. In his honor, the bird was named by SPEA (Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds) the priolo Jaime. He has published around 150 articles in indexed journals and an h-index 23, obtained from SCOPUS.


Paulo Condado (Honorable Mention)

Paulo Condado

His intelligence and very strong character allowed him not only to show his value, but also to win in a competitive environment, despite the adversities and social misunderstanding he faces in a daily basis.  

He graduated in Computer Engineering, Management, at the University of Algarve (2002) and, later, he got a PhD in Electronics and Computer Engineering at the same University (2009). He has dedicated his research to the accessibility solutions and the technological support in various disabilities and digital/social integration.  

With a long list of publications and projects, he developed the “Easy Voice”  a revolutionary computer system, which allows people with speech disabilities to make telephone calls using a computer generated artificial voice. 



Regulamento Prémio Carreira Alumni UAlg