R&D Institutions

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

Unidade de I&D

Centro de Investigação Geológica, Ordenamento e Valorização de Recursos [EASP-Norte-Braga-697] visitada em 29/01/2009

Classificação: Very Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
This is an enthusiastic, coherent, small group which should be encouraged. Their research is based on good sound geology and good interaction with industry which creates good employment prospects for their students. In particular, their work on pegmatites, techniques for mapping orogenic systems, and landslides/recent active tectonics is very good and potentially world class. The Unit is ambitious and forward looking, however, their long term plans perhaps lacked some focus and need careful appraisal. There is a good rate of production of a variety of international products. The small size of the Unit means that they might be exposed and perhaps may have sustainability problems as they currently attract few students. They need to increase size and, or need to be more ambitious in outlook and expand into other areas relevant to geological resources and, or strategically link with other groups of like interest either at home or abroad to become a larger unit. We support what they are doing.

The management is horizontal. This is a well managed small team with strong but democratic leadership.

The laboratory facilities are adequate, however, there is an urgent need to resolve issue of recent modern equipment lying unused elsewhere on site.

Advice to Unit
Grow, perhaps by forming strategic alliances at home and abroad or take the risk of not being able to survive.

We commend the excellent links with industry. We also note with approval the strong focus on CPLP countries for both scientific and moral reasons. We are also pleased to note the standard of the research training provided for both Portuguese and CPLP students.

We rate the Unit's degree of internationalisation as Very Good. We hope this Unit continues to prosper and council that it should look at strategic alliances to help it expand. We find that this is a Unit in which the single Groups did high quality international research which lead to some contributions to the field.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Investigação Geológica, Ordenamento e Valorização de Recursos [RG-EASP-Norte-Braga-697-550]
This is a medium-sized, modestly funded, active group (previously part of larger unit) targeting resource exploration and evaluation together with geological criteria for conservation and management. Some funding is already in place for the net cycle. The group has strong links with industry and the Portuguese Language countries of Angola, Brazil, Mozambique and Cape Verde.

Focus, Relevance and Feasibility of the Research Aims
This is largely an applied and environmental geology group tackling some interesting, relevant and timely challenges. Main achievements for this cycle involve hydrogeology, spa minerals and isotopic precipitates, Variscan pegmatites, abandoned mines and waste dumps, and stone decay associated with pollution. Future objectives will include the development of hydrogeology (mineral occurrences, water and health, and thermal springs), tectonics (Minho Region), environmental geochemistry (biomineralization and extremophiles), stone decay (effect of salt) and pegmatites. The investigations of pegmatites, from Iberia and Mozambique, cover the resource exploration and evaluation component of the group, whereas the biotic dimension (biomineralization and investigation of extremophiles) is an interesting addition.

Productivity (including evidence of international levels of attainment)
The group has demonstrated good productivity with seven papers in international journals (over 10 citations), three conferences, substantial international activity and funding in place for a continuation. The rising number of international publications and externally-financed projects together with renovation of the laboratories are commended.

The group has good student production, 4PhD and 4MSc, together with Masters programmes for students from the Cape Verde islands and Mozambique together with an active recruitment programme for foreign researchers.

Overall Perspective
The group’s overall achievements have met expectations with some indications of the impact and relevance of this work at international level. In particular pegmatite mapping in Angola, emerald mining in Brazil and investigation of placers in Mozambique add international value to this forward-looking group.