CEMMPRE - Centre for Mechanical Engineering, Materials and Processes

General description of R&D unit

CEMMPRE - Centre for Mechanical Engineering, Materials and Processes (ex-Centre for Mechanical Engineering) is an interdisciplinary R&D Research Unit of the Foundation for Science and Technology. It currently comprises 74 integrated members with PhD, 63 members without PhD and 25 collaborators, working on fundamental and applied research in Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and related areas such as Industrial Innovation, Robotization and Production Transformation. The new name (CEMMPRE) was adopted in 2017, as the result of a restructuring plan that took into account the main criticisms of the evaluation panel of the last FCT centres’ evaluation, and had as main objective to cover, in a consistent way, the different scientific activities of the Research Unit.

During the period 2013-2017, CEMMPRE comprised three different participant institutions (Universities of Coimbra (host institution), of Porto, and of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro). It was organized into 7 scientific groups: Advanced fabrication systems; Bioengineering and polymer synthesis, Mining and raw materials, Nanomaterials and microfabrication; Sensors and nanoelectrochemistry; Structural integrity; and Surface engineering. In 2017, these 7 groups were merged into two groups: Mechanical and Intelligent Manufacturing, and Materials and Processes. For the period 2018-2022, CEMMPRE will comprise just one participant institution, the University of Coimbra.

The research activity of CEMMPRE is aligned with the four innovation platforms of Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) of the central region of Portugal, that interact with CEMMPRE’s areas of research on Intelligent Manufacturing; Design & Testing, Surface and Interface Engineering, Nanomaterials and Nanotechology, Bioengineering, and Advanced Sensor Systems (CEMMPRE keywords).

CEMMPRE’s general policy is based on cooperation between universities and research centres with the business sector and society in general, promoting innovation, dissemination of scientific and technological knowledge, advanced training, and strategies for regional, national and international development. The relationships between CEMMPRE and other institutions, such as Instituto Pedro Nunes (IPN) have led to stimulating new ideas for new mechanical processes, materials, technologies, prototypes and products to be directly transferred to enterprises, mainly through its laboratories “LED&Mat” and “LEC”, headed by researchers from CEMMPRE. IPN – Incubator is also a strategic partner for starting new enterprises based on strong and promising ideas.

The strategic plan of CEMMPRE is articulated between the Coordinator, two Vice-coordinators and one Principal lnvestigator (PI) of each Research Group. The two Pls program research within each group and joint research between the groups.

CEMMPRE funding for the period 2013-2017 was 13.4 M€, distributed as follows: EC (2.3 M€), national funding (10.0 M€, of which 3.7 M€ from FCT and 6.3 M€ from ANI and QREN), direct contracts with industry (1.0 M€) and other funding (0.1 M€). CEMMPRE awards the merit of its researchers, with FCT annual funding being divided not only by the number of researchers but also by their productivity, in terms of indicators and relevance.

During this period, 51 books/Chapters and 819 scientific papers were published in ISI journals, and 10 patents were submitted. The addresses of members of CEMMPRE in these articles appear with “CEMUC”, “CEMMPRE” or “University of Coimbra”. All the top 5 journals in which CEMMPRE published in the last 5 years are in Quartile 1 (Q1). In terms of scientific outputs, the 5 more relevant international collaborations in the last years were with UK, Czech Republic, France, Spain and Netherlands, with more than 210 joint published papers. CEMMPRE participates in 13 international infrastructures/networks. 59 students were awarded the PhD degree with supervision by members of CEMMPRE.