FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Engenharia Mecânica

Unidade de I&D

Unidade de I&D em Análise de Ciclo de Vida de Produtos e Componentes Industriais Soldados [MECH-LVT-Oeiras-712] visitada em 07/03/2008

Classificação: Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
ISQ was privately founded in 1965 as the Portuguese Welding Institute. At present ISQ has approximately 200 members, and a staff of 800 in Portugal and 400 abroad. In the early eighties, the activities of ISQ expanded to mechanical and materials testing, quality management, maintenance inspection, construction safety inspection, risk analysis, non-destructive testing, structural integrity assessment, etc.
ISQ is involved in numerous visible and well funded projects. The international projects, such as the CERN project for inspection of superconducting cables, magnets and cryogenic components (12 million € for the period of 2001 to 2006), contribute greatly to the international visibility of Portuguese research. The unit has three groups, all located within the Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidade:
1. Materials Processing: Joining Technologies and Non-Destructive Testing
2. Materials Behaviour and Characterization Group;
3. Sustainable Environment and Safety Group
All groups in ISQ conduct highly relevant research and testing. The visit to the unit revealed well equipped and maintained laboratories, with well qualified and enthusiastic staff working on a variety of significant projects.
The unit receives a rather low grade because of the relatively low number of publications in international journals. The low number of publications and citations is most likely related to the small number of MSc and PhD students graduated.
Programmatic funding is not requested by any group. However, the panel would like to note that they would benefit from support for PhD students. This support should be contingent on publications in International Journals.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Materials Behaviour and Characterisation [RG-MECH-LVT-Oeiras-712-1457]
The main focus of this group is the development of new and improved materials, materials behaviour at high temperatures, corrosion behaviour, metallurgical characterization of new alloys (especially their micro constituents), and understanding the behaviour of welds (especially under creep and fatigue loadings), etc.
This is a large group with 6 PhDs and 9 non-PhD researchers. The group has impressive funding, exceeding 1 million € (note: several listed projects have the same funding level), and significant collaboration with other research groups, particularly with universities. The group has developed two prototypes.
Collaboration with universities should yield graduate students and journal papers. However, only one MSc and one PhD thesis were completed. Only 7 publications in international journals are listed. These include one paper “to be submitted to Mat. Sci. and Eng (2006)”. Several papers do not have page numbers and appear to be in conference proceedings, only 2 publications are in international peer review journals. The impact factor and the number of citations are not given.
This group receives a rather low grade because of the lack of journal publications and citations and the low number of MSc and PhD students graduated.
Materials Processing: Joining Technologies and Non-Destructive Testing [RG-MECH-LVT-Oeiras-712-1455]
The key objectives of this group include development of: (i) strategies for automated welding; (ii) automated repair methodologies, based on reverse engineering, simulation (iii) prototype for the friction stir welding; (iv) vision based techniques for identification of 3D forms; (v) new joining process variant for the conventional TIG process, (vi) metallurgical characterization of new steel grades, etc.
The group has 5 PhD and 7 non-PhD researchers. Their key goal is to promote research and development in the areas related to advanced materials, new joining processes, manufacturing strategies and new methods for process and quality control.
The group is developing a laser cleaning system for museum exhibits (such as paintings) and has organized two international meetings on conservation and restoration of artwork. The group has obtained 2 international patents. However, only 2 PhD theses have been completed, and the number of papers in international journals appears to be low. Furthermore, the impact factor (IF) of the journals and the number of citations was not provided.
The level of funding is exceptionally high. In the period 2004 to 2008 the group received close to 1.5 million €.
Sustainable Environment and Safety [RG-MECH-LVT-Oeiras-712-1458]
The key goals of this group are monitoring and assessment of industrial units (e.g., emissions), to reduce pollution and other unfavourable effects on the environment. The group is developing reliable monitoring devices and sensors, estimation models and expert systems.
The relatively small but exceptionally active group comprises 2 PhD and 7 non-PhD researchers. The group has participated in 27 projects. They have developed novel monitoring techniques and models. Accordingly, the funding is exceptionally high – it exceeds 1 million €.
Only one MSc and one PhD thesis were completed. 10 journal papers are listed but no impact factor or number of citations is given.
The group has a solid plan and it should continue to receive a high level of funding.