R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Engenharia Mecânica

Unidade de I&D

Centro Lusíada de Investigação e Desenvolvimento em Engenharia e Gestão Industrial [MECH-LVT-Lisboa-4005] visitada em 06/03/2008

Classificação: Very Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
This is a young (created in July 2005) and enthusiastic research unit established at a relatively young Centre (ILID); a private school that trains undergraduate and Master's level students. The school successfully competes for undergraduate and Master's level students with large, established public universities, while mainly relying on tuition (tuition levels are comparable to those at state universities). Other sources of funding are industrial collaboration and donations of equipment from industry. They are housed in a modern building with state of the art facilities and teaching equipment. Local industry relies on ILID and its students to solve complex engineering and process management problems and ties to local industry are very strong.
The unit focuses its activities in the areas of Industrial Processes and Industrial Management, each of these forming a separate group. These topics and engineering fields receive a considerable amount of interest worldwide and the Centre holds the potential to become a strong Master's level program recognized not only in Portugal but in Europe as well. The Centre’s administration is very supportive of and enthusiastic about this activity. Most members of the team have received their Ph.D. degrees at well known schools in their fields so the potential to deliver world quality research is there.
The current productivity measured in terms of peer-reviewed journal publications and international presence is not yet competitive with that of units that were established 10-15 years ago (again, this unit was formed only 2.5 years ago). However the panel believes that the potential to become a strong research unit is present, considering the strong educational background and dedication of the researchers. They were successful in organizing high-impact conferences on the national and international levels. The overall grade of 3.5 reflects the strong potential of the group along with their performance within the short time they have been around.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Industrial Management / Gestão Industrial [RG-MECH-LVT-Lisboa-4005-2977]
This research group addresses research themes related to plant operations, such as shop floor control systems, supply chain management, lean manufacturing and work study methods.
There are 4 researchers in the group who have a PhD and one non-PhD researcher. The venue for publication of this group is mainly at meetings and through reports. The publications listed (more than the ten allowed by the report format) were published mainly in reports of the university and regional meetings. Only one PhD was completed in the group since 2005, that of the Principal Investigator. The team has done well in the organization of conferences and international participation in research. Products developed are relevant for local industry. Master's degree and undergraduate students work on projects identified and supported by local industry - under the supervision of the faculty. Several such projects were completed. The lower productivity of the group is related to the fact that this research unit is very young (created in July 2005, the PI received his Ph.D. in 2005). The researchers have degrees from good schools and it is to be expected that their productivity will improve with time and with stable funding for research.
The research, development and educational component of this work are of considerable relevance for local industry and the local population and therefore relevant for Portugal. However, in order to be competitive within FCT, this group is encouraged to increase its focus on the international visibility of their program. The score reflects this group's extraordinary importance to their local community, which relies heavily on the school in terms of engineering and education, as well as its potential. The researchers need to get familiar with the metrics used by FCT and the international research community (which may change over the years) to secure stable and longer-term FCT funding.
The products developed and the enhancements introduced may also be of great relevance for the industry on an international level; however this is not the emphasis of the researchers. It does not appear that a strong effort being made to reach the international research community, which is one of the current priorities of FCT. It is suggested that the researchers investigate possible collaborations that will increase their international visibility in addition to their very strong local visibility.
The group and the institution have considerable limitations in terms of training PhD students. However, to compensate for this, collaboration has been established with universities in the region to allow the training of the researchers in a Ph.D. program. They have a growing Master's program and a strong undergraduate program. The undergraduate teaching labs are excellent and well equipped so this group has the potential to create a strong Master's degree program in an engineering area that is currently receiving a lot of attention. It is expected that the Master's program will take on an important role nationally and internationally in the future.
Industrial Processes / Processos Industriais [RG-MECH-LVT-Lisboa-4005-2978]
This research group is formed by 7 PhD level researchers. 5 PhD level researchers are associated with the group in addition to the 4 non-PhD researchers.
The research areas of the group focus on activities that support local industry, such as the development of a tool-wear monitoring system, development of tools for the textile and footwear industry, development of residual water treatment solutions, and characterization laser-glazed plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coatings. The research activities are classified into three classes:
- Automation and Process Control
- Materials and Technologies
- Environment and Energy
The report lists publications that appeared in peer-reviewed journals. However, the number of citations listed in the report is incorrect so the total productivity is difficult to judge. Most of these international publications are related to thermal barrier coatings and laser processing, and the research was conducted in collaboration with two universities in Portugal and one in the UK. The investigators also list conference papers and other publications in the report.
Research activities within the group are relevant for the local community and the group is planning to expand their activities internationally. The work that is internationally recognized is the study of thermal barrier coatings and it is not carried out on site. Since the group is relatively large and the researchers well-established, this group carries the potential to become a leader in selected areas at the international level as well.
Current research efforts mainly focus on Portuguese industry, however, the topics can be relevant internationally. The investigators need to understand the focus of FCT in terms of international criteria and relevance and expand their efforts accordingly.
The training aspect was not addressed in the report; however the site visit shows that the group is active in training undergraduate and Master's level students. Collaboration was established with Portuguese universities for the training of PhD students since the Centre does not award PhD degrees.