Miquel Vidal, new Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry
On Wednesday March 15, Miquel Vidal, professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Chemistry took office as new Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry, replacing Pere Lluís Cabot, who has been dean of the Faculty since 2008. In the same ceremony, the vice-deans Fermín Huarte and Mercè Segarra took office, as well as M. Dolores Velasco as secretary of the Faculty.
Among the priorities the new team led by Vidal has to face is the question of the “generational relief”, a problem affecting the entire University. The new dean highlights that “we have professors about to retire; this can create a hole of knowledge and leadership in certain fields of chemistry that needs to be filled”. “The most important for us –says Vidal- is to improve the figures of stabilization for your doctors”.
According to the new dean, “the Faculty of Chemistry has a differential feature, which is the importance of the facilities, both for its modernization and for safety. In this sense, there is an annual investment plan to renew laboratories and teaching teams that require more investment compared to other centers. Safety is a priority for the team: “We will continue applying the security plan jointly decided with OSSMA” said Vidal.
Regarding research, the dean aims to strengthen the high level of the Faculty: “We have to keep being what we are: the top one Faculty of Chemistry in Spain in scientific performance and recommended among national and international rankings”. Vidal believes this “privileged and referential” position has to be maintained, though during the last years it downgraded due the crisis. In particular, he said there was been a significant decrease on doctoral grants and that is why the University needs an active policy.
Another of the priorities is the dialogue with the world of business and society. “We are forced to transfer and we seek a connection point with companies to serve occasionally”. Apart from the Business Fair and other initiatives, the Faculty wants to explore the possibility of having postgraduate studies to give an answer to the labor market and businesses.
Miquel Vidal (Barcelona, 1965) graduated in Chemistry at the University of Barcelona. He taught in the field of environmental sciences (Chemistry, Geology, Environmental Sciences, Chemical Engineering and Pharmacy): Also, he taught in university master degrees of Advanced Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry, and in Erasmus Mundus on Quality in Analytical Laboratories. Regarding research, he leads the Consolidated Research group of Qualitat en la Determinació de Contaminants Prioritaris i Avaluació de llur Comportament (QÜESTRAM). He is working on the field of pollutant behavior in the environment, and has been in European and North American institutions and participated in national and international projects. He has also published more than forty articles in journals and books and supervised more than ten theses and twenty dissertations and master’s degree final projects. He was secretary of the former Department of Analytical Chemistry and is now coordinating the doctoral program of Analytical Chemistry and Environment. He has been consultant at the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency in design and management of institutional assessment.