Academic and Institutional Leadership
The coordinator of Fluid Dynamical Systems is Rui A. P. Perdigão, Chair Professor in Physics of Complex Systems, Chair of the Meteoceanics Interdisciplinary Centre for Complex System Science and Dean of the associated Doctoral School on Complexity.
He also serves as Editor in international journals including the EGU journal Earth System Dynamics and sits at the scientific council of Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (CE3C) from the University of Lisbon, where he coordinates the Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Modelling group (CCIAM).
For several years, Rui Perdigão has been designing, coordinating and delivering various university courses along with international courses, seminars and workshops. Some of his most relevant courses are listed here. Moreover, he collaborates with the Doctoral Program on Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies, an interdisciplinary doctorate promoted by the University of Lisbon, the New University of Lisbon and the University of East Anglia. There, he delivers some of his courses on Complex System Dynamics and on Interdisciplinary Data Analytics and Model Design, which he tailored to a broad audience beyond the natural and exact science frontiers, being deployed not only to engineering and natural science students but also to those coming from social sciences, economics and management.
Across the Earth System sciences, Rui Perdigão has taken part in various initiatives, most notably at the core team of the “Flood Change” consortium, headquartered at TU Wien, Vienna, Austria, and funded by the European Research Council. There, he has served as the Earth System Dynamics representative, responsible for the development of mathematical physics methods for deciphering coevolutionary hydro-climate dynamics and river flood changes in the light of complex Earth System interactions. The collaborative effort resulted in the development of decision support products and in high-impact team publications, including in Science and in Nature.
Rui has also begun to collaborate with the Physics of Information and Quantum Technologies group from the Institute of Telecommunications at IST Lisbon. There, he pursues theoretical studies on the physical nature of information, the informational nature of physics, along with conceiving quantum information systems for addressing complex mathematical challenges beyond the realms of traditional quantum theory. At a methodological level, he develops novel techniques for data exploration and model design of complex systems, and at a practical level he investigates new techniques for quantum technological sensing of environmental phenomena.
Scientific Background and Flow
Rui Perdigão holds a Doctorate in Physics with the highest honours. He has since then conducted independent and collaborative research on mathematical physics, predictability and uncertainty dynamics, from conceptual and methodological research to applications to information physics and fluid dynamical problems in natural sciences and engineering. He has also conducted R&D for large-scale international consortia, including the EU/ESA Copernicus Programme and the North Atlantic Alliance.
At a fundamental level, the research conducted by Rui Perdigão focuses on theoretical and methodological developments towards a novel theoretical physics paradigm bringing fundamental physical understanding to nonlinear dynamics and information theory. One of the core efforts in this regard has been the establishment of a nonlinear synergistic dynamic theory of complex coevolutionary systems, unveiling fundamental physical principles and canonic forms bringing complexity to its simplest yet fully generative form.
Rui’s theoretical advances are now being implemented in generalised fluid dynamical systems to address fundamental physics problems ranging across scales from quantum gravitation to coevolutionary earth system dynamics and thermodynamic cosmology. His research monograph and courses share the most recent progress in these efforts and provide a unified framework bridging across the quantum-classical divide.
With fluid dynamical system applications in mind relevant e.g. to the emergence of extreme events in climate dynamics, Rui Perdigão has developed a mathematical physics theory linking interaction information signatures in multiscale geophysical fluid dynamics with underlying mechanisms grounded on nonlinear scale interactions and synergistic emergence in wave mechanics and fluid flow.
In doing so, Rui Perdigão’s advances have brought out novel atmospheric insights on triadic wave resonance among planetary, synoptic and mesoscale waves in fundamental fluid dynamic terms, explaining observed information-theoretical and nonlinear signatures of emergence, and shedding further light on elusive emergent behaviours in multiscale atmospheric flow, e.g. behind far from equilibrium transient dynamics behind “extreme” meteorological phenomena.
More recently, Rui has introduced a non-ergodic coevolutionary theory of information physics, generalising information theory to the realm of far-from-equilibrium statistical mechanics, where there is event codependence and the traditional information theoretical measures do not hold. His novel measures unveil and quantify elusive sources of synergistic and coevolutionary predictability beyond post-critical spatiotemporal memory loss, long after nonlinear multi-information fades away. The collapse of dynamic regimes and nonlinear memory in far-from-equilibrium non-ergodic dynamics is thus no longer an obstacle for system understanding and prediction.
Most of Rui’s advances in Nonlinear Dynamics and Analytics have remained proprietary in Meteoceanics, securing a leading edge in providing decision support to institutions dealing with critical security challenges protecting the society and the environment. Even so, some of his work is publicly available through publications and courses, and an already contracted comprehensive research monograph will provide a first-hand overview of Rui’s most recent work.
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