FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Engenharia Mecânica

Unidade de I&D

Unidade de Métodos Numéricos em Mecânica e Engenharia Estrutural [MECH-Norte-Porto-225] visitada em 03/04/2008

Classificação: Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
The group has good productivity with fine citation records. The unit currently has 8 PhD members plus 1 non-integrated PhD member and 2 PhD students. For most of the period under review, the size of the group was 16 PhDs, reduced to 14 in 2006, and then to the current 8. This reduction is due to transfer to other units and retirement. Two members of the team are from the Institute Polytechnic of Bragança.
The research topics covered by this group are
• Optimal design of structures, including composites
• Optimization of industrial forming processes
• Evolutionary algorithms for optimization (ANN and genetic algorithms)
• Vibration of geometrically nonlinear structures
• Modelling structural behaviour under fire (Bragança)
The group published 75 journal papers during the evaluation period, which corresponds to a production ratio of 1.25 journal paper / PhD / year. These papers have been cited. 5 books have been produced (1 monograph and 4 as Editor) and 4 book chapters.
Funding is relatively low, with FCT being almost the single source.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Unidade de Métodos Numéricos em Mecânica e Engenharia Estrutural [RG-MECH-Norte-Porto-225-2399]
The group in Bragança working on modelling structural behaviour under fire conditions appears to have been involved in an EU funded project during the period 2003-2004. They are conducting numerical and experimental studies. This group of 2 PhDs has produced 9 papers during the period.
The activity on nonlinear vibration has led to several publications (3 / year) and has attracted recognition such as young researcher awards. A proposal has been submitted to ESA. The team should try to identify possible useful applications of this work, in order to get involved in cooperative research projects.
The work on the optimization of composite structures seems to have led to several recognized publications. The head of the unit should attempt to transfer these results to the aerospace industry because the analysis and design of large composite structures is currently one of the “hot” topics in the aircraft industry (Airbus). The same remark applies to the metal forming research (net shape manufacturing). The unit should make more efforts to transfer their results to industry.
The group has good productivity with fine citation records. The evaluation panel suggests that this unit considers actively pursuing international collaborations; there are few opportunities for small research units working in isolation. In order to do this, the management of the unit has to identify one or several niches where they think their work is strong and in line with the needs of industry, and take action to build a national and international network of partners, with the objective of conducting collaborative research at the European level.

Comentários da unidade

The evaluation panel recognized that the group has good productivity with fine citation record. The group published 75 journal papers during the evaluation period, which corresponds to a production ratio of 1.25 journal paper / PhD / year.
Furthermore the team has published 10 articles in 5 national journals, presented 128 communications in international conferences and 58 articles in national conferences.
The unit members were involved in 61 international and 4 national conferences.
The scientific productivity ratio of the research unit is much higher than the ones presented by other evaluated research units classified as “Very Good”.
The management of the research unit does not understand how it is possible to justify this discrepancy in the evaluation criteria.
Independently of the need to increase the international collaboration as pointed by the evaluation panel the unit classification is too low and needs revision.