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Professor Albert Soler, new dean of the Faculty of Earth Sciences

The rector Joan Elias with Albert Soler, the new dean of the Faculty of Earth Sciences.

The rector Joan Elias with Albert Soler, the new dean of the Faculty of Earth Sciences.

Albert Soler is an expert on the study field of isotopic geochemistry applied to origins and destination of pollutants in the environment.

Albert Soler is an expert on the study field of isotopic geochemistry applied to origins and destination of pollutants in the environment.

Group picture after the ceremony on November 12.

Group picture after the ceremony on November 12.

03/12/2019

Institucional

Professor Albert Soler took office as dean of the Faculty of Earth Sciences in a ceremony on November 12 at the boardroom of the Rector’s Office, in the Historical Building. Albert Soler, who was the director of the Department of Mineralogy, Petrology and Applied Geology of the UB, replaces Professor Albert Casas as dean.

Other members of the governing team of the Faculty of Earth Sciences took office in the same ceremony: Eulàlia Masana as Academic vice-dean; Alejandro Marcuello as vice-dean for Economy and Research; Gemma Alías as vice-dean for Quality, and Carles Martín as secretary. This team has a distinguished career in institutional tasks, for Alejandro Marcuello, Gemma Alias and Albert Soler had been vice-deans during the 2008/2016 period with the governing team led by dean Lluis Cabrera-, while Eulalia Masana and Carles Martín, were head of studies of Geology and head of doctoral studies at the Faculty, respectively. 

Other members of the Faculty took office as well: Galderic Lastras as new head of studies of the degree in Marine Sciences –interdisciplinary degree taught at the University of Barcelona since the academic year 2015/2016- and Josep Maria Casas as secretary of the Department of Earth and Ocean Dynamics.

Albert Soler (Barcelona, 1960), graduated in 1983 and obtained his doctorate in Geology in 1990 at the University of Barcelona. He is expert on the study field of isotopic geochemistry applied to origins and destination of pollutants in the environment, and leads the Research Group on Applied Mineralogy, Geochemistry and Geomicrobiology of the UB, and TECNIO MAiMA Group within the field of knowledge transfer, gathering a multidisciplinary group with working lines on water depollution, isotope geochemistry, mineral resources, mineral durability in civil works and food authentication. He is member of the Water Research Institute of the UB (IdRA) and has taught in the field of experimental sciences –Geology, Geological Engineering and Chemistry- as well as in different master degrees of the UB and other universities, postgraduate studies and international courses, such as the one launched by the International Groundwater Hydrology Course Foundation (FCHIS-UPC).

Albert Soler has led state and European projects, and has taken part in more than 70 competitive projects and 90 knowledge transfer contracts. Collaborator with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in development projects in Latin America, he has also published more than 200 scientific articles –many of them appearing in indexed journals in the Science Citation Index- and has supervised eighteen doctoral theses. Regarding university management, he has been secretary of the Faculty during the mandate of the dean Francesc Calvet (1990-1993), vice-dean with the team of the dean Pere Santanach (1999-2004) and vice-dean for Research and Teaching Staff with dean Lluis Cabrera (2008-2016). He has also been departmental secretary with the director Miquel Àngel Cuevas (1996-1997) and has led the new Department of Mineralogy, Petrology and Applied Geology (2016-2019).

Among the priorities of the new governing team of the Faculty, the new dean says we “are in a moment of social and technological changes, which cannot be ignored by the Faculty. We need to re-think the faculty as such, with new studies, and re-think the content of the existing studies, revise the strategies to get new students with new degrees and dual degrees, etc. the new team believes a future planning is necessary for the Faculty in order to face the society’s new challenges. Also, the key situation regarding the generational shift with many retirements and new teaching staff, although it is not enough, should enable us to keep and increase potential,   both in teaching and research and transfer of the Faculty”.  

Another priority of the new governing team is teaching quality, and they think “we have to provide innovation tasks and improvement of teaching quality, since these are the Achilles heel of university teaching in general. Therefore, we need to keep these teaching tasks as equal to the research ones as possible, since they are now underestimated in GRAD or the Academic Dedication Plan (PDA)”.

From the new team perspective, “the administration and services staff (PAS) are a key piece of the university to develop teaching, research and transfer tasks. Like PDI, the PAS staff is reaching a critical point of ageing and retirements, and we need these retirements to be replaced to provide support to the teaching and research management. Also, the administrative reform the UB has to face soon, should not imply an increase of work for this stuff but it should improve their work situation and the process and support to the tasks on teaching, research and transfer management”.

“One of the new challenges is dialogue with companies, professional schools and society”, highlights the new dean. “In this sense, the Faculty of Earth Sciences has always been very active in the transfer of research results to society, and therefore the new team will look after –not only keeping but also improving- the role of the faculty in knowledge transfer to society”. 


 

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