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     Mission


The activities of the Centre are multidisciplinary, linking basic and applied research to technology development, and focused on the issues of sustainability, namely in terms of the needs to secure the quality of the environment, together with the management of energy resources and the economic development. To achieve these objectives, the activities of the Centre are directed towards leading-edge developments and to promote the learning ability of graduate engineering students with the following specific goals:
  • To improve knowledge in advanced fields of strategic technologies with emphasis on turbulent mixing and combustion processes, which have the potential to optimise the environment and the rational use of energy in industry;

  • To develop and use advanced techniques for the analysis, monitoring and control of processes at laboratory and industrial scale, the later including technology and risk assessment.
  • To promote the exchange of knowledge in advanced technologies for the optimisation of industrial processes, including the management of technology and innovation, as a way to promote competitive advantages at the corporate level;
  • To derive science and technology policies and innovation strategies, namely in terms of environmental protection, rational use of energy and economic growth.
In this context, besides the development of basic research in energy and environmental-related processes, the Centre thus undertakes interdisciplinary research involving technology and policy, promoting ways in which industrial development can proceed in a sustainable and socially responsible manner.

In order to achieve these objectives, the Centre is organized in three main laboratories, aimed as follows:
  • LABORATORY OF THERMOFLUIDS, COMBUSTION AND ENERGY SYSTEMS
    • To improve knowledge in advanced fields of strategic technologies with emphasis on turbulent mixing and combustion processes, which have the potential to optimise the environment and the rational use of energy in industry;
    • To develop and use advanced techniques for the analysis, monitoring and control of processes at laboratory and real scales.
    • To promote the exchange of knowledge in advanced technologies for the optimisation of industrial processes and energy systems
  • LABORATORY OF INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY AND SUSTAINABILITY
    • To develop and use advanced research methodologies for the analysis of environmental systems.
    • To promote the exchange of knowledge in advanced technologies for the optimisation of industrial processes and environmental systems
  • LABORATORY OF TECHNOLOGY, MANAGEMENT AND POLICY
    • To develop and use advanced research methodologies for the analysis of techno-economic systems.
    • To promote the exchange of knowledge in advanced technologies and the management of technology and innovation for the optimisation of industrial processes, as a way to promote competitive advantages at the corporate level;
    • To derive science and technology policies and innovation strategies, namely in terms of socio-economic development.
In addition to these three laboratories, the Center as developed the IST Design Studio, which aims at renewing and strengthening research and education in engineering design in a way to improve manufacturing competitiveness and innovation. The studio is centred on activities developed through the IST´s M.Sc. on "Engineering Design", http://in3.dem.ist.utl.pt/mscdesign/, in close collaboration with industry, bringing together staff, researchers and students from the IST´s Department of Mechanical Engineering, as well as from the Department of Engineering and Management Science, the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Department of Informatics. Its ultimate goal is to help extending the enterprise value chain in emerging and traditional sectors by incorporating the necessary design skills for new product development practices. To achieve this goal, our strategy is to introduce and promote product development strategies in Portugal by establishing a sustainable research and education programme to develop and transfer knowledge of engineering design, which will enable companies to continually:
  • integrate design competencies
  • improving product quality, and
  • significantly reduce leadtime in product development, while
  • increasing performance/cost ratio.
Our vision for the coming decade is the establishment of routine procedures of collaborative product development in Portuguese manufacturing, allowing the incorporation of design competencies in industry in a way to increase product value and reduce product development lead times, while simultaneously reducing life-cycle costs, improving quality and satisfying the general design requirements of minimum energy consumption, recycling capability and environmental friendliness.


Research Team Experience

The R&D activities included in the present research programme, which have been particularly developed since 1998, have derived from those developed within the scope of the Combustion Laboratory of the Mechanical Engineering Department of I.S.T. for a number of years, which have been extended with the aim to integrate competencies at the level of technology policy and advanced socio-economic research methods. This is because the successful development and subsequent exploitation of energy and environment technologies requires, apart from improved knowledge of basic thermo-fluid mechanics, the understanding of policy issues and innovation strategies, in a context which promotes the sustainable development. The ultimate goal is to improve the process of industrial assimilation of knowledge, through a stepwise and interactive approach considering the overall values chain associated with industrial and corporate processes.

In addition, the activities developed in the last years have been planned on the basis that the most important challenges in maximising the impact of Science and Technology, S&T, on the well-being of nations, is to understand and maximising the complex processes that underlie world-class S&T research, commercialisation and management, including the protection of intellectual property and the integration of knowledge in a context of enhanced economic wealth and shared prosperity.

The concepts presented above are the result of a strong involvement of a number of resercahers in a considerably large number of international R&D projects since 1986. These projects have been developed in the scope of national projects and the BRITE/EURAM, Science, STEP, Environment, Joule and Esprit Programmes of the European Commission, as well as an increasing involvement with Portuguese and European industry. Apart from the national sectors of glass and crystal, R&D links have been established for a number of years with major European aeronautical companies (Rolls Royce, SNECMA, TURBOMECA, MTU, Rolls-Royce- BMW) and process industries (Saint Gobain). Briefly, the work evolved from basic research on turbulent fluid mechanics and combustion, namely through several master and doctorates programmes. Moreover, the research work has gained considerably from the successive organisation of the Intl. Symposia on Applications of Laser Techniques to Fluid Mechanics, which have been held in Lisbon since 1982. The symposia have contributed significantly to promote a series of international contacts and research activities in international cooperation.

More recently, the development of competencies in the area of science, technology and innovation policy has been successfully achieved following three main lines of development, namely: i) advanced training of young researchers in leading American universities, through PhD. Programmes in leading and emergent topics; ii) launching in IST of the Master programme on "Engineering Policy and Management of Technology" in 1998 and of the Master programme on "Engineering Design" in 2002, which has allowed to train young people in new areas of education at IST and promote new links with Portuguese companies; and iii) the organization of the Intl. Conferences on Technology Policy and Innovation, which were launched in July 1997 and carried out in close collaboration with a number of leading research groups worldwide.