He was born in Lisbon in Portugal in 1940 and expressed an early interest in science, going on to take a degree in physics and chemistry in 1961, which was followed by a DPhil at Oxford in plasma physics in 1969. He became a nuclear physicist working in a research institution in Britain that maintained close links with Russian research into new reactors. He returned to Portugal later to work in a new nuclear research establishment. His general engagement in energy issues led him to see the significance of the pioneering studies of Peak Oil by M.K.Hubbert, which contributed to his decision to accept a professorship at Evora University in physics, establishing a special unit to research natural resources and the environment. He began to appreciate the significance of energy in a wider, social, political and historical context. He joined the ASPO organisation and formed a branch in Portugal, which held a major international conference in 2005. He retired in 2010 but remains active and interested in this critical subject.
If society goes on as it is, without a dramatic change in how it sources its energy, then calculations show that the world will almost certainly hit its recoverable resource oil limit fairly soon.