FCT

R&D Institutions

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

Unidade de I&D

Centro de Vulcanologia e Avaliação de Riscos Geológicos [EASP-Acores-PontaDelgada-643] visitada em 31/01/2009

Classificação: Excellent

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
Overview
This large, well-organised Unit is primarily concerned with research into plate boundary processes, with a particular focus on volcanic and seismological hazard prediction and management. The Unit made a strong presentation and impressed the Panel with the high degree of internationalisation and commitment of its research team. The integration of the many different relevant research areas into one integrated Group has created a focussed, world-class research facility and provides an excellent example that many other Units may wish to emulate. We note the involvement of many workers from abroad and the high production of international publications. It is clear that this Unit is not only respected internationally but also is highly respected and supported at local government level. The monitoring strategies that are being developed are of international importance. The Unit has a realistic strategic plan which involves relocation to a specialist building which will further integrate the functions of volcanic observatory with that of an international research centre led by a Chief Scientist. The students were very proud to be in this Unit and gained a real sense of the importance of their studies for the wider society.

Management
There is a good horizontal management within the Unit which interacts well with the Local Government.

Facilities
The Unit enjoys access to clean, well equipped labs and we were informed by Local Government that they are to be relocated to a custom built centre which will further integrate the various functions of this Unit.

Recommendations to the Unit
We fully support the strategic plans laid out before us which seek to integrate hazard prediction and management with fundamental research.

Commendations
We would particularly like to commend the commitment of the entire Unit to maintenance and development of hazard monitoring within the Azores. This ranges from simple educational products to explain to citizens the causes of and risks associated with natural hazards to the commitment of individual scientists who routinely give up their spare time to operate monitoring stations.

Conclusions
We rate this Unit as Excellent, because it publishes science that is of both international importance and of considerable benefit to humanity. This is a Unit which carries out internationally recognized, outstanding research which contributes to the advancement of the field.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Centro de Vulcanologia e Avaliação de Riscos Geológicos [RG-EASP-Acores-PontaDelgada-643-2891]
Introduction
This is a very large Unit of staff, PhD and non PhD researchers. It is noted that the Unit has been established for the 2003-2010 period.

Focus, Relevance and Feasibility of the Research Aims
The specific research focus is on volcanology and seismology. These are topical research areas in the Earth Science which would be expected to lead to major contributions to knowledge and understanding at the national and international levels.

Productivity (including evidence of international levels of attainment)
For its size, the group has achieved a very high level of productivity in terms of publications. Many of these are in peer-reviewed international journals. The unit has also designed a patent prototype of a seismic array.

Training
1 PhD and 24 MSc projects, completed in the review period, plus the new intake of 13 doctoral students provides evidence that the group provides a very good research training environment.

Overall Perspective
The group overall achievements have met expectations with major indications of the impact and relevance of its work at international level. Future plans and objectives are well developed and realistic and will lead to outcome of international relevance and importance.