R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Engenharia Mecânica

Unidade de I&D

Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Aeronáuticas e Espaciais - CCTAE [MECH-LVT-Lisboa-670] visitada em 07/03/2008

Classificação: Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
This is a solid applied research group that is well established in Europe. The information provided in the unit report form is not as complete or specific as it could be.
The unit’s weakness is in student training; it does not graduate many PhD and Master students. The information supplied in the unit report does not distinguish between PhD and Master theses.
The unit is composed of 7 PhD researchers. One of the researchers has recently left this group. The group covers a wide array of topics (Aero acoustics, Flight Dynamics of Aircrafts and Rockets, Magnetohydrodynamics), which is a large range considering the size of the group. The unit encourages members to be independent and decide on their own research topic. The productivity is very good, and while the unit tends to rely on analytical methods, the research topics are still relevant, with a potentially significant impact on the aeronautical industry.
The productivity of this group is very good. The group published in diverse journals that cover topics ranging from acoustics to applied mathematics. A few of these journals have high impact factors (3.98) when compared to the highest impact factors of aerospace journals (approx 1.0). Two of these papers have only 1 citation, while the rest have none. The additional list of publications contains mostly conference proceedings, but no refereed journals. The US Patent listed in the report (“On an active noise reducing nozzle”, March 2004) was not described in the oral presentation as a significant achievement.
The unit is participating in 8 EC funded R&D Projects on Aero acoustics, involving major European aircraft manufacturers. Three EC R&D Projects in the area of Flight Dynamics and one project with the European Space Agency complete the list of funded research activities. The number of projects listed in the presentation (14) is different from that in the unit report. No definite amount on the unit’s overall funding over the 2003-06 period was provided.
The strength of this group is in the use of analytic methods with strong emphasis on mathematical physics. While some of these methods are still very useful, the trend in the field is towards the use of computational tools to tackle increasingly complex problems that are simply impossible to address with analytical approaches. No clear plan for the future of the unit was outlined. Plans to initiate new research lines, such as CFD methods in aeroacoustics, are apparently not being considered. No organization of international conferences was declared.
The panel did not identify much capacity to transform ideas into viable practical activities at the international level.
There seems to be a a strong dependence on public funding, with no current initiatives to obtain funding from alternative sources.
The number of PhD theses completed over the period 2003-06 is not clear. The unit report indicates a total number of 4 MSc and PhD theses, with no distinction between MSc and PhD. The unit does not seem very effective in attracting graduate students.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Aerospace Sciences [RG-MECH-LVT-Lisboa-670-1268]