R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Engenharia Civil

Unidade de I&D

ISISE – Institute for sustainability and innovation in structural engineering [CIVE-Norte-Braga-4029] visitada em 27/11/2007

Classificação: Very Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
ISISE is a new unit based in the universities of Coimbra and Minho. It is organised into three research groups around the general topic of structural engineering. Leadership is very strong, with two of the groups ranking among the top six that we visited in the whole FCT review exercise in Civil Engineering. The unit acts as a focus for staff from other institutions that share its research interests.
One of the most striking aspects of this unit’s work is the strong emphasis on leadership and management of group performance. There is a clear appreciation of the importance of “managing people”, explicit and ambitious, yet realistic plans for the future and a vision which is clearly articulated.
The groups within the unit are very productive in international research terms, have a good record of international conference organisation and participation and are active in a number of European research projects. They have a “presence” across the full range of international research activity – editorships, conferences and research projects.
Each of the groups has critical mass; they are not spread too thinly across topics.
Industrial links are strong.
The PhD student group was notably well organised and active, with a regular seminar programme and was clearly operating as an effective community of young scholars.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Historical and masonry structures [RG-CIVE-Norte-Braga-4029-841]
Steel and mixed construction technologies [RG-CIVE-Centro-Coimbra-4029-2619]
Structural concrete [RG-CIVE-Centro-Coimbra-4029-2618]

Comentários da unidade

The guidelines from FCT for evaluators and evaluation forms clearly state that “It is expected that the evaluation panel will explain in some detail in the Final Unit Evaluation Report its overall judgment of the Research Unit at the end of the evaluation process, as well as to give specific comments on the different research groups that make up the Unit including the grades attributed to each individual Research Group”.
The General Comments for ISISE are insufficiently detailed and no specific comments are given for the different research groups, meaning that the results of this research assessment exercise have marginal value for subsequent action for the entire research unit and each research group by itself. Therefore, the exercise constitutes a, partly, lost opportunity. ISISE will request information on the “Rating of individual groups” and each of the four parameters considered for evaluation.
The General Comments are highly positive, stating that ISISE has a “presence” across the full range of international research activity and indicating that ISISE has two groups (out of three) within the top six in Portugal. In a context that 21% of the Research Units in Portugal have been rated as “Excellent”, the rating of ISISE as “Very Good” seems inadequate. The redress procedure contemplated by FCT will therefore be used aiming at a fair evaluation, in the context of the global national exercise.