Our History
Institute of Physics Logo
Burroughs Datatron B-205, the “Electronic Brain”
Photo from the Science and Technology Center Research Archive
A flyer from the 60’s announces the Graduation School of Science and Engineering Program of the Center of Science and Technology

The history of the Center of Science and Technology of PUC-Rio (CTC/PUC-Rio) begins in 1947, with the foundation of the Polytechnic School of PUC (EPPUC), when the University recognized the necessity to train qualified personnel to meet the growing needs of national Engineering.

Even if it started with the purpose of training engineers, soon research activities began to be developed, primarily in the field of Physics. Thus, the Polytechnic School started, in a pioneering way, to integrate teaching and research activities.

It was the beginning of a new PUC, which relocated to the famous Gávea Campus in 1955 and soon, in the 1960s, the beginning of the country's first postgraduate programs, including Electrical, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, placed the Polytechnic School among Brazil's academic elite.

The excellence and pioneering nature of the activities carried out within the scope of the CTC can also be attested in several examples from the history of Education in the country: in 1960, a Burroughs 205 computer was installed in the Campus, being the first to installed in a university in Latin America and the first in Brazil. It was a valve computer, processing information from perforated tapes. In this way, CTC was also a pioneer in being the first center to introduce Informatics in its courses and the first to have its own nucleus of computer science.

In 1961, the inauguration of Institute of Physics was marked with the opening of Laboratory for Radiochemical Research, later renamed Instituto Costa Ribeiro, in honour of a notable Brazilian physicist. In 1963, the Institute of Chemistry and the Van de Graaff Particle Accelerator edifices were built. In the same year, the first stricto sensu postgraduate programme in Brazil was initiated: Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering. The first Master of Science in the country, however, was in the field of Mechanical Engineering: the student Guilherme M. de La Penha was awarded his degree in 1965.

According to the 1965/66 yearbook, “the organization of the Graduate School of Science and Engineering of the Center of Science and Technology aimed to develop a center for advanced studies, with a view to improving the technical and academic training of engineers and scientists, the development of teachers’ competences, and the encouragement of research”.

In 1966, a work group formed by PUC-Rio and other Institutions committed to the excellence in the education of their students, produced a new Statute, accompanied by a General Regulation for the of Higher Education in the country. A year later, the commission appointed by the then Rector, Father Laércio Dias de Moura, began to put into practice the changes that had been defined. Pioneering and innovative, the credit system was devised, in use until today and copied by other universities throughout Brazil.

At the same time, a more flexible structure allowed the formation of the existing departments and that led to the creation of the Centers, including the Center of Science and Technology of PUC-Rio.

In the 70s and 80s, postgraduate programmes were extended to Doctorate throughout the departments of the CTC, consolidating PUC-Rio as one of the most promising universities in the country, with its quality training being recognized in Brazil and abroad.

Today, CTC/PUC-Rio offers ten courses in Engineering (Chemical, Civil, Computer, Control & Automation, Electrical, Environmental, Materials and Nanotechnology, Mechanical, Petrol and Production), one in Computer Science and, also, bachelor's degrees in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics.

All undergraduate courses offer stricto sensu postgraduate programmes (Masters and Doctorate), as well as the exclusive Masters in Metrology, Professional Masters in Logistics and Urban and Environmental Engineering degrees are also available.

In the areas of Engineering, Informatics, Mathematics and Chemistry, the Center, through the Extension Central Coordination (CCE), also offers lato sensu postgraduate degrees and extension courses.