Habilitation in Chemistry (Molecular Spectroscopy)

University of Coimbra
Finished 2004

Ph.D. in Sciences (Chemistry - Molecular Structure)

Faculty for Sciences and Technology - University of Coimbra
Finished 1988

Graduation in Chemistry

Department of Chemistry

Faculty for Sciences and Technology - University of Coimbra
Finished 1984
Final averaged mark: 19 / 20

Project: 20 / 20
Seminar: 20 / 20


High School Diploma

Malange, Carregal do Sal and Marinha Grande
Finished 1978
Final averaged mark: 18 / 20



View of the historic center and buildings of the University of Coimbra (2008).



Rui Fausto was born in Coimbra, the 7th January 1961, son of António Armando da Silva Lourenço (b. 1933, Coimbra) and Maria da Conceição Lourenço (b. 1937, Coimbra). He moved to the industrial village of Marinha Grande just after his birth, where he studied the first two years at the primary school. In 1968, at the age of seven, he moved with his parents and brother (Paulo Renato, b. 1962) to the former portuguese colony, Angola, where he finished the primary school and first half of the high school. He studied successively in Luanda, Henrique de Carvalho, Caluquembe and Malange, till his return to Portugal, in 1975, after the portuguese revolution (25th April). After one year living in the village of Carregal do Sal, Rui Fausto moved again to Marinha Grande, where he finished his high school, and then to Coimbra, to study Physics at the University. After one year studying Physics, he choose to continue studying Chemistry. He finished his graduation in Chemistry, in1984, and later on his Ph.D. in Sciences (specialization: Chemistry),  in 1988. 




View of the town of Coimbra and the University in the begining of the XX Century (litography).


The University of Coimbra is one of the oldest universities in continuous operation in the world, the oldest university of Portugal, and one of its largest higher education and research institutions. It is organized into eight different faculties according to a wide range of fields, granting all the highest academic degrees in architecture, education, engineering, humanities, law, mathematics, medicine, natural sciences, psychology, social sciences and sports. It is a founding member of the Coimbra Group, a group of leading European research universities, whose inaugural meeting it hosted.
The university was founded, or ratified, in 1290 by King Dinis. Scientiae thesaurus mirabilis, the royal charter announcing the institution of the University was dated 1st March of that year. The Papal confirmation was also given in 1290, during the Papacy of the Pope Nicholas IV. In accordance with the Papal Bull, all the "licit" Faculties, with the exception of that of Theology, could be established. Thus the Faculties of Arts, Law, Canon Law and Medicine were the first to be created.
In 1537, during the reign of João III, the university was installed in the Alcáçova Palace. In the 18th century, the Marquis of Pombal, Minister of the kingdom, made radical reforms in the University, especially regarding the teaching of sciences, in accordance to his Enlightenment and anticlerical creed.

During many decades it was the only university in Portugal. The long history and past predominance of the University of Coimbra made it an important focus of influence in the country, not only educational, but also political and social. University of Coimbra's reputation in teaching and research is testified by independent external rankings and reports. According to The Times Higher Education Supplement (2010 QS World University Rankings, by QS - Quacquarelli Symonds), the University of Coimbra is ranked number 1 university in Portugal, and ranked 396 in the overall world rank. In addition, it has students from about 100 different nationalities; almost 10% of its students are foreigners, being Portugal's most international university.


Many historical figures and renowned personalities noted for their activity in fields ranging from politics to culture to the sciences, attended the University of Coimbra as students or lecturers. The long list of personalities includes the  Portuguese Nobel Prize in Medicine Egas Moniz, portuguese statesman António de Oliveira Salazar who was the founder and leader of the regime that presided over the last period of the Portuguese Empire from 1933 to 1974, or famous 16th century mathematicians like Pedro Nunes, who is considered one of the greatest portuguese mathematicians ever, and the German Christopher Clavius, who was the main architect of the modern Gregorian calendar.

Memories of the youth


Left: High School (Liceu Adriano Moreira) in Malange, where Rui Fausto was studying at the time the portuguese revolution of 25th April 1974 took place. Right: Buildings of the primary school in Caluquembe, a little village lost in the mid planalt of Southwest Angola, which was also Rui Fausto's home in 1973.