Paula Ferreira concluded her Analytical Chemistry degree at the University of Aveiro in 1996. In 1997, she got a Master of Philosofy (M.Phil) degree in Pure and Applied Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow (UK). She obtained her PhD from the University of Aveiro in 2000 on the topic “Novel microporous silicates and mesoporous MCM materials derivatised with inorganic and organometallic complexes” and worked as post-doctoral Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Technical University of Munich from November 2000 to October 2001.
From November 2001 until May 2004, Paula took a temporary position as Assistant Professor at the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department Faculty of Science, University of Lisbon, Portugal.
In December 2004, Paula Ferreira started a position as Research Assistant scientist at the Centre for Research in Ceramics and Composite Materials (CICECO). In 2014, she was promoted to Principal Researcher and in 2017, she got her present position as coordinator researcher.
Paula Ferreira was Invited Professor at the IC2MP (Institut de Chimie des Milieux et Matériaux de Poitiers), Université de Poitiers, France ( 2 months - from the 16th of September to 15th of November 2013).
Paula Ferreira has been awarded so far over 600 k€ in career income for engineering research; she has been Principal and Co- Investigator on, respectively, 5 and 4 FCT research project awards. During the last 16 years, she is(has) supervising(ed) or co-supervising(ed) 8 Post-doctoral fellows, 8 PhD, 16 MSc and 16 last year project students and more that 12 initial research fellows. She published over 100 scientific papers , with more than 1400 citations (h-index 25). She participated in over 100 international conferences delivering more than 50 oral presentations. She is/was involved in 4 FCT-CNRS bilateral cooperation agreements and 6 COST actions (4 as participant of the working groups and 2 as member of the management committee). She participated in the European Network of Functionalised Advanced Materials and Engineering of Hybrids and Ceramics (FAME) (2004-2008) and spent two months (June and July 2008) in a short term scientific mission at the Laboratorie de Chimie de la Matière Condensée, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris VI, France, working in collaboration with the group of Professor Clément Sanchez. She has been collaborating with several Portuguese Researchers and foreigner Researchers within Europe. She participated on the organizing committee of 6 International Scientific Meetings on Materials Science topics. She is currently coordinator of the M-era.net European project called BIOFOODPACK.
The research interests of Paula involve the synthesis, structural and physical characterization and processing of nanofunctional and nanoporous materials for microelectronics and energy applications. Paula has interests on developing chemical based bottom-up approaches for low cost and sustainable synthesis of functional materials, pursuing to understand the relation between morphologies, dimensionality and architecture on the physical properties. She has been exploiting hydro-/solvo- thermal and sol-gel synthesis for the preparation of nanoparticles, nanoporous and porous thin films of functional materials. Electrochemical and electrophoretic deposition techniques have been used for the preparation of composite materials starting from the porous matrices. The development of novel Periodic Mesoporous Organosilicas containing functional groups interesting for acid or basic catalysis, CO2 capture or selective adsorption, enhancement of the protonic conduction under low relative humidity and temperature above 100 °C conditions has been one of the main areas of research. Another topic is the searching for green methodologies for low temperature, low cost fabrication and assembly of functional materials based on nanoporous and nanostructured metal oxide ferroelectrics and ferromagnetics as powder or thin films. It should be emphasized that Paula Ferreira has a long experience on the synthesis and characterization of porous materials and is currently focused on the functionalization of the pores of porous matrices towards multifunctional composites for advanced applications. She is also interested in functional bionanocomposites for emerging applications.