On October 12th and 13th, the formal research assessment for Mechanical and Industrial Design Engineering took place. An international committee, chaired by Prof. De Baets of Ghent University, has had interviews with the Faculty Board, the Heads of Departments and with a representation of PhD researchers, Tenure-Trackers and other members of the faculty. The department Civil Engineering was excluded from this assessment, because it was recently assessed separately. In the future, it is intended to have research assessments for the faculty ET as a whole.
Just shortly before the assessment, we had to decide that it would be performed completely on-line due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a substitute for the lab-tour, a movie was made to introduce the Surgical Robotics Lab, the Virtual Reality and Smart Industry Lab and the Laser Lab. In no more than 3 working days this movie was realized and could be presented on the 13th, together with other already available movies, pictures and an online-walk-through to the VRSI lab.
In a short feedback session, Prof. De Baets expressed his appreciation for the open discussion with all participants. The committee was impressed by the academic freedom that is still maintained in the faculty and linked that to the enthusiasm and “proud-on-UT” spirit that they had experienced in all interviews. Research was rated high, especially for the applied research that may be expected for a university that presents itself as entrepreneurial. For fundamental research, the management was suggested to define the ambition more clearly. The committee was very positive about the PhD programme and the policy and actions on research integrity and data management.
The formal assessment report is expected in a few months’ time and will be distributed via the departments.