The beauty of nanotechnology is that computational simulation can predict very well the experimental results” these were the words of Prof. Solange Binotto Fagan, Vice-Dean of the Franciscan University (UFN) from Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and Vice-Coordinator of the National Institute of Science and Technology (INCT) in Carbon Nanomaterials. 

The INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory team had the pleasure of welcoming Prof. Solange Binotto Fagan during a visit last Friday, March 3, with the aim of establishing new collaborations between INL, UFN and INCT.   Prof. Solange gave a scientific talk on carbon nanomaterial simulations, with several examples on ab initio, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics, while comparing these to experimental results.  Among several interesting topics discussed during her visit, she spoke about INCT, the large network of Brazilian institutions that work in the area of carbon nanomaterials and expressed her interest in understanding, functionalising and utilising nanomaterials while always keeping the fate of the material in mind.

Additionally, given her experience in teaching and developing virtual learning objects, she explained during INL’s informal Friday Chats the work she does towards science and technology dissemination. Early in her career, she received the L’oreal Prize for Women in Science in the field of Physics.  This recognition enabled her to fulfil her goal of encouraging other women to pursue their scientific research.  Addressing researchers from all walks of life, she encourages women to believe in themselves, stating that “you don’t need to work at large research institutions to do great science”.