Ricardo Sousa


Ricardo José Alves de Sousa
Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Universidade de Aveiro
Campus Universitário de Santiago
 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Tel: +351 234 378 150
Email:rsousa@ua.pt

1. What are your personal perspectives as a researcher?
After doing Master and PhD thesis in the area of computational mechanics and simulation of technological processes, I have decided to embrace more applied and experimental areas. Next directions to follow, scientifically speaking, are to efficiently combine numerical techniques and experimental validations in a framework integrating design, modelling and assessment for product development in a wide range of mechanical engineering applications, from automotive and aerospace to kitchen utensils.

2. In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges in your area of research?
I'm currently conducting two research lines. The first one is devoted to incremental forming processes, a technique that allows you to produce sheet metal formed parts without needing to employ dedicated - and costly - tooling, which makes this process ideal to produce ready-to-use prototypes or small batches of customized parts. The deep implementation of this process into industrial environment has been impaired for two main reasons: large forming times and geometrical innacuracy. So, using a innovative machine built at TEMA labs, research has been conducted in order to improve the process in terms of accuracy and forming time. Results are encouraging. The second research line is related to safety devices in engineering, and particularly on the application of the natural material by excelence - cork -for impact applications, like is the case of helmets. There is still much to be done in this area, not only on material development side, but also on design and injury evaluation.  The work has been progressing with a small - but very dynamic - group of researchers. For both areas, there is also the common challenge of finding industrial interest, and funding, to develop final applications.

3. Where are the strengths of the UA in your opinion?
UA is a young and dynamic university. The matricial system, without faculties, makes much more easy to access central services and eliminates a good ammount of bureaucracy. Furthermore, it is a University with close relations to the industrial pole of the region, making easier to establish connections and employ students. Geographicaly, it is close to other research centers, like Coimbra and Porto, which estimulates also scientific cooperation. Finnaly, it is a university opened to international students and staff exchange, a university thinking globally. Nowadays, this is quite important to keep pace of technological evolution.

4. Could you give one idea to improve research in the UA?
Research fields are becoming more and more interdisciplinary. There has been many innitiatives the show up what has been done in the campus, being the most visible one the Research Day. However, few selected works are present from each Department-Research unit. It could be a good a idea to promote kind of "thematic" research days covering just 2 or 3 research areas (e.g. Chemical, Civil and Mechanical). In this sense, a larger range of works could be presented while maintaining the aspect of crossing-over different research fields.





última atualização a 27-02-2015

Ricardo Alves de Sousa (São Paulo, 7th October, 1977) is currently Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and coordinates the Division of Plastic Forming, from the GRIDS-TEMA research group. He has obtained BSc and MSc degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Porto in 2000 and 2003, respectively, being awarded as the top ten student of the 2000 class in Mechanical Engineering. In 2006, he obtained the PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Aveiro, Portugal. In 2011, received the international scientific ESAFORM (European Association of Material Forming) prize for outstanding contributions in the field of material forming. In 2013 received the Innovation Prize from APCOR, the portuguese association for cork material. He is author of 3 patents and more than 100 papers, 45 of them in International peer reviewed journals.

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