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Associado da ABES-PE ganha Prêmio Fundação Bunge 2015

O engenheiro civil associado da ABES-PE, José Fernando Thomé Jucá, foi um dos contemplados pelo Prêmio Fundação Bunge 2015. Jucá recebeu a honraria na categoria Saneamento Básico e Manejo de Água.

Em 2015, o Prêmio Fundação Bunge, em sua 60ª edição, contempla profissionais envolvidos com a Recuperação de Solos Degradados para a Agricultura, na área de Ciências Agrárias, e Saneamento Básico e Manejo de Água, na área de Ciências Biológicas, Ecológicas e da Saúde.

Histórico

Os anos 1990 foram um período de institucionalização da questão ambiental no Brasil, tendo como marco a Rio-92, que reuniu representantes de 108 países para debater o desenvolvimento sustentável do planeta. Esse foi o cenário que atraiu Jucá para o tema que viria a ocupar a maior parte de sua vida acadêmica e profissional. “Meu interesse chegou com esses grandes eventos ocorridos durante minha formação de pós-graduação”, diz o recifense, nascido em 1954.

Formado pela Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE), em 1977, Jucá concluiu seu mestrado em Engenharia Civil, em 1981, pela Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Nesse ano, tornou-se professor da UFPE, onde ainda leciona. Em 1990, concluiu doutorado pela Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, mesma instituição onde, seis anos antes, especializara-se em Geotecnia. A Espanha havia atraído o professor por suas condições climáticas e socioeconômicas semelhantes às do Nordeste brasileiro e pela experiência no enfrentamento da seca e das deficiências em infraestrutura. Interessava-lhe descobrir como os espanhóis resolviam tais questões, para aplicar em sua região. “Nessa época, a questão ambiental ainda não era tratada nos cursos de Engenharia com a importância que tem hoje.”

Mas a preocupação já estava enraizada na mente de Jucá. Em 1994, veio nova especialização, em Impacto Ambiental, pelo antigo Departamento Nacional de Estradas de Rodagem (DNER). No mesmo ano, fundou o Grupo de Resíduos Sólidos – Geotecnia Ambiental (GRS-UFPE), do qual é coordenador. Ele havia constatado diretamente a disparidade entre as gestões dos resíduos sólidos na Europa e no Brasil – situação que, infelizmente, perdura até hoje –, e o tema tornou-se central em seu trabalho. “Estamos atrás dos países desenvolvidos umas quatro ou cinco décadas.” Desde então busca combater o atraso: contando com a colaboração de universidades do Brasil e do exterior, o GRS desenvolve projetos na área de gestão e tratamento dos resíduos sólidos urbanos, incluindo novas tecnologias de tratamento de lixiviados (chorume), bioenergia, aproveitamento energético de biogás e de novos materiais para reciclagem.

Sua autoridade é reconhecida no mundo: em 2012, integrou o Comitê de Avaliação Estratégica da International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) e, em 2014, presidiu seu Comitê Científico em congresso mundial. Atualmente, pertence a comitês editoriais e é revisor de vários periódicos internacionais. Mas a preocupação maior do pernambucano é sobre como o tema é tratado em seu próprio País.

“Somos o quinto maior gerador de resíduos do mundo. São 76 milhões de toneladas por ano. [Esse número] começa a assumir proporções dramáticas, com consequências alarmantes.” A má gestão conduz à proliferação de lixões, maior fonte de contaminação dos nossos recursos hídricos, que recebem o lixiviado, o chamado “chorume”, de grande carga poluidora. No Brasil, 42% dos resíduos sólidos urbanos ainda são destinados a lixões e aterros.

Coordenando uma rede que envolve nove universidades e instituições de ensino brasileiras, Jucá esteve à frente de um estudo dos contaminantes produzidos em lixões. “Um dos resultados que obtivemos foi uma barreira bioquímica para contenção [do lixiviado] e, de forma simultânea, a fitorremediação (uso de plantas para remover substâncias, imobilizá-las ou torná-las inofensivas) de alguns contaminantes.”

Para Jucá, faltam especialistas no assunto na academia brasileira. “Temos apenas 1,7% dos doutores formados no Brasil na área de resíduos sólidos, poucas publicações e um número insignificante de patentes de tecnologias do setor. São 17 no Brasil, contra 26.881 no mundo.” Como consequência, diz o professor, o País depende de equipamentos e processos importados, inadequados à nossa realidade. Daí seu empenho na formação de pesquisadores da área, tendo orientado 38 mestres e doutores, além de sua participação em 103 bancas de avaliação. Atualmente é coordenador adjunto do comitê de avaliação das Engenharias I da Capes (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior).

Daí, também, seu envolvimento em diversos projetos e redes de pesquisas, nas quais colaboram alguns dos melhores cientistas, universidades e entidades na área de resíduos sólidos urbanos, do Brasil e do mundo. É o caso de um projeto que, sob sua orientação, mobilizou uma equipe de pesquisadores brasileiros para montar um diagnóstico do tratamento de resíduos sólidos no território nacional, enquanto uma equipe internacional estudou as soluções aplicadas na Europa, nos Estados Unidos e no Japão. A partir dos dados, foram analisadas as políticas, tecnologias e modelo de gestão mais adequados à nossa realidade. Além de livros e documentários, essa iniciativa permitiu ao Brasil ter estudos de referência para diferentes condições sociais, econômicas e ambientais, além de um sistema on-line de apoio aos gestores municipais sobre as tecnologias apropriadas às suas localidades.

Publicou 253 artigos em periódicos e congressos nacionais e internacionais e participou da elaboração de 19 livros. Foi presidente do Instituto Tecnológico do Estado de Pernambuco (Itep) e diretor do Centro de Tecnologias Estratégicas do Nordeste (Cetene), vinculado ao Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação. Por suas contribuições científicas e técnicas para o desenvolvimento científico do Brasil, Jucá recebeu em 2009 o título de Comendador da Ordem Nacional do Mérito Científico da Academia Brasileira de Ciências.

A militância – não só pelo desenvolvimento sustentável, mas pela pesquisa científica brasileira – mostra como, mesmo preocupado, Jucá se mantém confiante na resposta da universidade aos desafios do meio ambiente. Sua visão de futuro passa pela integração de ideias, pessoas e instituições como forma de reduzir as assimetrias e as distâncias existentes entre o Brasil e os países desenvolvidos, unindo o conhecimento e ações dos setores públicos e privados. “Muitos cursos de graduação e pós-graduação já incorporam a questão ambiental, o que é um privilégio da sociedade atual, com grandes benefícios para as futuras gerações”, comemora.
(Fonte: www.fundacaobunge.org.br)

116 Comentários em Associado da ABES-PE ganha Prêmio Fundação Bunge 2015

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