The following is an excerpt.

 The Midway evaluation of SFI CASA could hardly have been more positive.

The team of evaluators
The representatives of the evaluation team during the session at SFI CASA 5th March 2019. (from left) Dr Mattias Lundberg, Professor Mary O’Kane, Professor Mats Oldenburg, and Professor Eric Markiewicz.

The main conclusion of the evaluation team of 4 international experts that scrutinised CASA this spring is clear: «This is an excellent competence centre with many examples of best practice in its research, research training, organisation, and industry support operations».

No magic tricks

The midway evaluation involves all 17 centres in the 3rd SFI Scheme. The Research Council’s Executive Board have just released the final report.

READ MORE: You can download the report here
For CASA’s part, there is only one recommendation. To the CASA family, this is a well-known heel of Achilles: The weak gender balance. Magnus Langseth in lab, Kicking machine in the backgroundThe advice from the panel is that the Centre ensures that its scientific advisory board is gender-balanced.

In a press release CASA Centre director Magnus Langseth points out that this is a challenge. And not for CASA only, but the whole field of research nationally as well as internationally.
«We have made considerable efforts to attract more female researchers, and we will continue to do so. The challenge is that the number of females in our field is low. We cannot conjure them up either», Langseth states.

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Research that improves competitiveness

The report concludes that CASA has performed excellent research. The Centre and has met its overall objective «to provide a technology research platform based on multi-scale testing, modelling and simulation for the development of smart, cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly structures and products». One of the outlines is that the research will improve the 14 industrial partners’ competitiveness.

Other statements:

  • The Centre has an impressive working capacity covering many fields of mechanics involved in safety and security.
  • The Centre has a distinct research profile, and its activity is geared to produce research outputs, both short term and long term.
  • The level of scientific quality is very high and recognised worldwide.
  • The Centre researchers have high international reputations and visibility.
  • The Centre has a well-running organisation for research training.
  • The PhD students are collocated in the Centre’s premises and feel well supported by Centre staff and partners.
  • There is an open atmosphere in the Centre, and the supervisors are available for guiding the research students most of the time.
  • The PhD candidates have had several opportunities for publication with their supervisors and each other.

Commendable process

The Midway evaluation outlines that CASA is well organised and governed with appropriate support from the host institution, NTNU.

In total, the evaluation team finds that the Centre’s 14 partners constitute a well-structured critical mass sharing generic needs for validated computational tools.
Also, the team conclude that the process and pathway from basic research to knowledge transfer for the partners is commendable. They also find it commendable that industry has made an effort to articulate its needs to the multidisciplinary research community – three departments at NTNU and SINTEF Industry.