20 years of Science and Innovation


Carlos Costa was the founder of LEPAE (now LEPABE) and its Director from 1997 to 2001. The number of researchers increased from 20 to 58 in that period.


LEPAE was formed to develop fundamental and applied knowledge in complex systems by using methodologies both from the systems engineering and social sciences areas, like case study based research, and from meso scale chemical engineering Carlos Costa


In 1997 LEPAE – Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment and Energy was created by Prof. Carlos Costa and a group of 6 PhD researchers (Conceição Alvim-Ferraz, Manuel Fonseca e Almeida, Adélio Mendes, Nídia Caetano, Luísa Hora de Carvalho and Manuel Coelho). It was recognized by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) in 1998. It was structured in two main areas of research: i) Application of Process Systems Engineering tools to Chemical, Environmental and Energy Processes; and ii) Development of Complex Chemical and Environmental Processes.

Luís Melo was the Director of LEPAE (now LEPABE) from 2001 to 2013. During this period LEPAE significantly increased up to 136 researchers, from which 56 were doctorates.


From science to innovation" was the motto adopted by Luís Melo

From 2001 to 2013 the Director of LEPAE was Luís Melo and besides holding the mark of Excellent in all the external evaluations, LEPAE was structured in 6 areas of competence (complex systems based on adsorption-membrane processes, process systems engineering, forest products transformation, biotechnology and interfaces, chemistry of natural products, environment and health) supporting 3 target areas (Environment and Health; Energy, Processes and Products; Biotechnology and Interfaces). During this period, strong interactions between all research activities were encouraged.

Arminda Alves is actual Director of LEPABE since 2013. LEPABE accounts in 2016 to 200 researchers, from which 68 with PhD.


“Our efforts were directed to guarantee a solid team, respecting differences and improving quality” Arminda Alves

Arminda Alves is the Director of LEPABE since 2013. LEPABE is now structured into 5 research groups that are our research priorities: (1) Processes, Products and Energy; (2) Process Systems Engineering; (3) Biotechnology; (4) Supramolecular Assemblies and (5) Environmental Sciences and Technologies.

First LEPAE logo used 1997 until 2002

FEUP's library skylight, inspired our logo as a "window to the world".

In 2014, LEPAE changed its designation to LEPABE to the Biotechnology area of competence.



© 2016 LEPABE - Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy