FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Ciências da Terra e do Espaço

Unidade de I&D

CERENA - Centro de Recursos Naturais e Ambiente [EASP-LVT-Lisboa-4028] visitada em 03/02/2009

Classificação: Very Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
Overview
CERENA is a unit with a wide range of interests ranging from environmental assessment and monitoring to waste processing, geostatistics, geotechnics, planetary geology and petroleum geology. The Unit has a creditable publication record in international journals. The relevance of their research is evidenced by the high levels of funding secured from a range of sources, their participation in international networks, their collaboration with many international partners both academic and industrial and the organisation of seminars. The Unit has clear, funded plans for future research. The training element is extremely good and highly productive. The research students made a very good impression. They are pleased with the level of supervision they receive and enjoy a synergistic environment.

Management
The Unit has a clear management structure. Whilst the Groups benchmark themselves internationally, they do not have an external advisory board. The Unit also balances the requirements of pure research against applied research which often supplies a significant amount of funding but produces few ISI publications.

Facilities
The available laboratory space visited was not up to international standards.

Recommendations to the Unit
As viewed from an international perspective the Assessors do not see the logic of separate Units existing within IST that have a significant overlap in areas of research. We very strongly recommend that all Units consider amalgamation or a strategic alliance with a view to enhancing their international status. We advise that the Unit focuses their energy and efforts on their strengths and that they approach the University with a view to bringing the laboratory facilities up to state of the art.

Commendations
We would like to commend the productivity, especially publications, in some areas. All groups are very successful at raising funds from a variety of sources.

Conclusions
This is, by in large, a focused and well organised unit with a wide range of activities. Two of the three groups are at the cutting edge of international science and its applications. We advise, however, that some reorganisation of research groups within IST is advisable. We currently rate this Unit as Very Good. We find that the Unit has the potential to become excellent. This is a Unit in which most groups did high quality international research which lead to some contributions to the field and the remaining did good, solid research at international level leading to incremental contributions to their fields.

Sobre os grupos de investigação
CGEO - Centro de Geotecnia [RG-EASP-LVT-Lisboa-4028-244]
Introduction
This is a moderate-sized group of staff, PhD and non PhD researchers. It is noted that, whilst the Group was recently established, members have been active since 2003 and have raised considerable funding from a range of sources.

Focus, Relevance and Feasibility of the Research Aims
The specific research focus is on geomechanics, soil mechanics, environmental geotechnics, and engineering geology. These are topical research areas in the Earth Science which would be expected to lead to significant contributions to knowledge and understanding at the national and international levels. The group has carried out research in Portugal and in different foreign countries.

Productivity (including evidence of international levels of attainment)
For its size, the group has achieved a high level of productivity in terms of publications. However, in general these are not in peer-reviewed international journals. The Group has also been active in the organisation of specialist workshops and seminars.

Training
17 MSc projects, completed in the review period, evidence the group provide a very good research training environment.

Overall Perspective
The group’s overall achievements have exceeded expectations with significant indications of the impact and relevance of its work at international level. Future plans and objectives are well developed and realistic and may lead to outcome of international relevance and importance.
CMRP- Centro de Modelização de Reservatórios Petrolíferos [RG-EASP-LVT-Lisboa-4028-242]
Introduction
This is a large, well funded, active, multidisciplinary group, relatively new and targeting the environment and petroleum geology. It is noted that this members of this Group have raised external funding since 2003.

Focus, Relevance and Feasibility of the Research Aims
This unit includes an active environmental geology group that has targeted some important problems regarding extreme environmental change and its consequences. Main achievements for this phase by the Environment Group include investigations into: the initiation of drought and desert conditions in the Western Mediterranean, water balance in oak forests, air pollution and forests, and vulnerability of aquifers. The Petroleum Group has targeted GSI models applied to Middle East oil fields. The next phase involves a focus on environment and health, continued research on droughts and deserts and air quality, pollutants and health; petroleum geology will continue with seismic modelling, fractured reservoirs and will model sand bodies.

Productivity (including evidence of international levels of attainment)
The group has demonstrated good productivity with eight papers in international journals (with a few citations) together with two books and ten book chapters and shorter contributions, eight conferences, two major contracts with industry and a patent. Continued and expanding cooperation with the petroleum companies PETROBAS and PARTEX is commended.

Training
This group has, through its student production, 3PhD and 5MSc and projects, together with trans-unit seminars and PhD student mobility demonstrated an active research training environment. The group’s rising numbers of PhD and MSc students are commended.

Overall Perspective
The group’s overall achievements have met expectations with some indications of the impact and relevance of this work at international level. Future plans and objectives are reasonable and realistic.
GMPG - Grupo de Modelação e Processamento de Georrecursos [RG-EASP-LVT-Lisboa-4028-243]
Introduction
This is a very large, very-well funded and very active group forming the recently established CVRM Geosystem centre. It is noted that members of this Group have raised considerable funds, mostly from FCT, since 2002.

Focus, Relevance and Feasibility of the Research Aims
This is a very dynamic applied and environmental group tackling a range of timely and relevant problems. Main achievements in the current cycle include pollution assessment and risk analysis at two mines, retrieval of plastic from waste, relationships between the environment and health, development of models for species distribution and participation in the Mars Express mission. The next phase will involve continued assessment of pollution, environmental hazards, biodiversity informatics, enhanced image analysis and remote sensing together with extraction of plastics from waste and mineral liberation models. The range of in-house software developed by the group and its application to a wide range of problems is commended.

Productivity (including evidence of international levels of attainment)
The group has demonstrated very good productivity with 15 (30 in total) papers in international journals noted (with some 25 citations) together with nine books and many shorter contributions, four conferences, four contracts with industry and patents and good international networks.

Training
The group’s high levels of student production, 5PhD and 19MSc together with trans-unit seminars and PhD student mobility demonstrate an active research training environment.

Overall Perspective
The group’s overall achievements have met expectations with many indications of the impact and relevance of this work at international level. Future plans and objectives are entirely reasonable and realistic.