Paulo Ferrão was born in Lisboa in 1962, graduated in Mechanical Engineering in 1985 at IST-Instituto Superior Tecnico of the Technical University of Lisbon, where he obtained the prize for the best student of the year in his field. He obtained a Master in Heat Transfer and Conversion in 1998 and a PhD and "agregação" in Mechanical Engineering at IST in 1993 and 2004, respectively. He concluded a graduation in Strategic Management in the Context of Innovation at ISCTE in 1988.
He was the National Director of the MIT-Portugal Program, the major international partnership on Science and Technology in Portugal, in the field of Engineering Systems, and he is also the focus area lead for Sustainable Energy Systems. He is Full Professor at IST. He is co-founder of IN+, Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research and he was coordinator of the area of Sustainable Technologies and Environmental Systems at the Institute for Systems and Robotics- associated laboratory (ISR).
His scientific career has evolved within the areas of "Laser diagnostics for turbulent combustion systems", "Analysis of Energy Systems" and "Industrial Ecology", where the principles of Thermodynamics have been complemented with social and economic fundamentals in order to promote the analysis of the complex systems that characterize the major issues that are relevant for sustainable development of modern societies.
He has been active on the area of "Sustainable Cities", where he is publishing a book at MIT-Press on "Sustainable Urban Systems" co-authored with John Fernandez from MIT. He is author of three books and co-author of two other in the area of Industrial Ecology, its principles, tools and different case studies.
He is author of more than seventy papers published in journals and book chapters and over eighty papers presented in conferences and invited talks in different domains. He has co-organized more than a dozen international conferences and leaded more than thirty scientific projects in the areas of Energy Efficiency and Industrial Ecology.