Discussions from the Floor (Question from Discussant)

Do we need to change the present culture in reward system to enable new technology development?
How can we do it?
Can researchers, particularly young scientists, take risk in universities with the bean-counting mode?

read more... - Professor James Klausner (University of Florida, DOE)

How can we create the atmosphere for people to do transdisciplinary collaboration from the top-down?
What is the stand of heat transfer in the broad scientific committee?

read more... - Professor Xing Zhang (Tsinghua University)

Most of the scientific result is applied to our society through technologies.
Communication and collaboration between science and technology, scientists and engineers, are important.
How can we do it?

read more... - Dr. Junichi Sato (IHI Co.)

Discussion

  • "It definitely needs changing" - Prof. Jaluria

  • "We have the technology to do it" - Prof. Bayazitoglu

  • "One paper is enough if it is a very high impact paper" - Prof. Poulikakos

  • "First a brilliant idea for the project, then the right people" - Prof. Stephan

  • "Let us not forget disciplinarily – it is the core of our activities" - Prof. Poulikakos


  • "Nailing down the problem into more realistic issues" - Prof. Kasagi

  • Can we justify research funding and acquire public trust by participating in top-down research?
    How to design, legitimate, implement, evaluate, and push for issue-driven R&D?
    How to cultivate, stimulate motivation of researchers and keep science autonomy under such policy environment?



  • "We would have to show a long-term societal need ourselves" - Prof. Jaluria

  • "It has to be a proper balance between top-down and bottom-up" - Prof. Stephan

  • "Make sure it is not the same pie we are talking about" - Prof. Poulikakos

  • "Top-down projects are more dominant in Korea" - Prof. Lee

  • "We are all engineers; trying to do work which does meet the need" - Prof. Jaluria




  • Do we need to change the present culture in reward system to enable new technology development?
    How can we do it?
    Can researchers, particularly young scientists, take risk in universities with the bean-counting mode?

    - Professor James Klausner

    Thank you very much to the panel for your excellent insight. I was asked to make a few comments and maybe address some questions to the panel. Let me start by saying that I’m a professor at the University of Florida currently on leave working for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy within the U.S. Department of Energy. So as such, I’m a public steward, I represent the interests of the public, and I’m an advocate for the public.

    As Professor Kasagi had mentioned, that the public is expecting from the technology community and the science community that at the end of the day you are going to make their lives better, and so I think that’s a real expectation from them. There is another expectation from the public is that they are willing to support your research with public funding, but at the end of the day, they expect that technology is not only going to make their life better but it’s going to create new companies and provide new job opportunities. So, that’s another expectation is job growth emanating from technology.

    The world is not static. The world is always changing. And 30 years ago, this expectation was not placed on especially university research. Technology was expected to come from the industrial sector, not the university sector. So, we have a change of culture going on, and as a community, we need to adapt to that culture.

    Now, I agree with Professor Jaluria that the thermal science community is very well positioned to take a lead in technology innovation and development. In fact, from my experience, the thermal science community is probably the most creative and versatile community that I have been associated with during my brief stay within Department of Energy. We don’t always think of ourselves that way, but from my experience, I think that’s the case and I think we need to stand up and be bold and look for bold solutions and effectively communicate our solutions.

    For my role as a public steward, I need your help and your creativity to enable new technology development. However, I think there is a fundamental problem that exists today in our universities, in that the reward system is not set up to enable or provide incentive towards developing technology for one thing and, number two, trying to get it into the commercial sector for another thing. I will give two brief examples of what I mean by that.

    One example I will give comes from my own university back in the 1970s – you might get a kick out of this. Wernher von Braun who is the father of modern rocketry in the United States, when he retired after the Apollo Missions in the United States, he came to University of Florida – where I work – to be a professor in the Aerospace Engineering department. At that time, every new professor had a meeting with the dean of the graduate school and they interviewed that person to see if they were suitable to advice graduate students. The dean of the graduate school had no idea who he was and just looked over his resume and said, “You only have 13 publications. How in the world can you expect to advice graduate students?” So, I think in universities now we are in an incredibly bean-counting mode where we look at numbers and not impact.

    The second example is how many people in this room would advice young assistant professors coming in who are looking to get tenure, “Don’t take risk, try and do low risk research, get a lot of publications, then get your tenure and you can take risk.” But the reality is, as human beings, we are at our intellectual peak in our early 20s. By the time we get our doctorate degree, we are already 30 or so. It’s the young assistant professors who are going to change the world and the people who we want to take risk.

    So, I will ask Professors Stephan, Poulikakos, and Jaluria who I know all have had administrative positions – (1) do you agree with me that we need a change of culture, (2) how do we change the culture, and (3) what have you done collectively to try and change the culture in your institutions? Thank you.



    How can we create the atmosphere for people to do transdisciplinary collaboration from the top-down?
    What is the stand of heat transfer in the broad scientific committee?

    - Professor Xing Zhang

    Yes. Thank you very much Professor Kasagi for your very nice introduction. I’m very grateful to the moderator and the panelists for your very interesting and very important talks. This panel discussion has pointed out most of the important issues on the role of thermal science in meeting social challenges where the heat transfer is one of the most common physical phenomena in the world, especially in the energy system. Suggesting that over 80% of the worldwide energy utilization involves the heat transfer process. Thus, improvement in the heat transfer performance can offer a huge potential for saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions so as to reduce global warming. Therefore, this discussion is very important and should be sustainable and further extended in the future.

    I would like to ask three questions. First, I would like Professor Kasagi, as you already said that there are very important rules on the thermal science from the historical point of view – this is very important. I would especially like to know how this law has changed between the period of the oil shock in 1970s in Japan and at the present in Japan – this is the first question. And I would also like to ask Professor Peter Stephan another question. As you said that the transdisciplinary collaboration is mandatory to solve the upcoming energy problems, but you said this is very difficult – of course I totally agree with your opinion. My question is – how to create the atmosphere for people to do transdisciplinary collaboration from the top-down? The third question I would like ask Professor Yogesh Jaluria because you were the chair of the division of SME and also co-chair of the ISHMT executive committee. As you know, thermal scientists cannot meet societal challenges – from the broad scientific committee. So, what is the stand of heat transfer in the broad scientific committee? Thank you.



    Most of the scientific result is applied to our society through technologies.
    Communication and collaboration between science and technology, scientists and engineers, are important. How can we do it?

    - Dr. Junichi Sato

    Okay. Thank you for your panelists and the many good presentations. I think energy is a very important issue for societies, and our welfare is depending on the energy problems and also the environment is an energy problem. Our thermal science and heat transfer is very closely connected to these problems. But my comment is all of the scientific result, almost all – most of the scientific result is applied to our society through technologies. Not directly – science is not directly applied to the societies, always through. Therefore, the technology is always faced to our communities. If energy problems happen, always society asks what is the science and technology. But always my opinion is many scientists, many public peoples, many politicians mistake science equals technology.

    In my opinion, firstly moderator Nobuhide Kasagi showed science in societies and science for societies, I think firstly to do these ones, science in technology and science for technology and then technology in society and the technology for societies. So, how to communicate with science and technology is very important. Science and technology collaboration is like scientists and engineers, and the other word is academia and industries. But this collaboration is not so easy. Also in the academia side, Professor Stephan showed multidisciplinary collaborations inside academy is not an easy way. But the scientific society and the engineering society has very different thinking ways. So, this area is not so small – not so low, very high. Then, how we collaborate with science and technology and scientists and engineers is a very important issue for our future thermal science and thermal technology. Please discuss.

    Last week in San Francisco I attended the international conference and symposium, at that time firstly to our meetings on how to collaborate industry academia – half persons are from the academia and half persons from the industries. But now all of the panelists and most of the discussion people are from the academia. How do you understand to collaborate with industries? My question is from the start of the industries. Thank you.



    stephan photo

    Kasagi:
    Thank you very much for very valuable comments. I would like to ask the panelists to react to these comments. Maybe, okay, Professor Jaluria?


    "It definitely needs changing"

    Good researchers and the scientists and the engineers often tend to keep away from a higher position. But, we need to get into the system in a position where we can make the changes.
    We cannot ignore industry because that’s our base, too.

    stephan photo

    Jaluria:
    I will address a few of these questions. And I think these are very interesting and important points that have been raised, starting with James Klausner. It is true – whatever he is saying is true, certainly with respect to the American system. There is a lot of bean counting and the reason for that of course is that it’s much simpler to do it, but it has taken away a lot from impact, it has taken a lot away from innovation, so it definitely needs changing. So as a dean or as a chairman, changes have to be made. How would we make it is the overall picture – you cannot focus only on that. We were talking about interdisciplinary work. We were talking about working with industry as was just mentioned. Many of these things have to come in. We ourselves have to get involved very heavily at the administration level. Very often, the good researchers and the scientists and the engineers often tend to keep away from a higher position. So, we need to get into the system in a position where we can make the changes. And ultimately we have to move in that direction; otherwise, what will happen is we will end up with a lot of papers, which nobody reads – we will have a lot of journals, which nobody reads, and the impact would be much less.

    Talking a little bit about what Professor Zhang had brought up, it’s something which has bothered I think our entire community for a long time. We are in a position – and in kind of a unique position that we can do a lot of work in many different areas; we are ideally positioned. If you look at any of the other fields in engineering, thermal sciences does stand out. We are almost in everything that you can think of, and I showed a slide for that. But have we done at the level that you are talking about, how much are we involved? And it turns out that our involvement at the top levels is very low, it’s extremely low. It could be because we have not got involved with the policymakers, maybe we have not got involved with the physical societies or the theoretical mechanics or whatever, but we have stayed away from it, and that to me after all these years' experience I think was a mistake. We should involve ourselves with much bigger picture. We cannot stay trying to solve heat transfer problems and electronic cooling. We have to go much beyond that, see how it affects the global situation, and that points to the same thing that was raised a minute back regarding working with industry.

    We have to work with the scientists. We may need a biological input or we may need some other fundamental input. But at the same time we cannot ignore engineering, we cannot ignore industry because that’s our base – we cannot ignore that. Once you start working with industry, once you start working with a whole diameter of these things, many of these things will change. We would be able to move further and start making policy and impact on the whole picture around the world. And that would also impact on what James was talking about, that how can we change the way that we evaluate. Will a patent become important as compared to a paper? A paper in a high-impact journal, even if that paper is never used, is that more important than a patent or not? Once you get involved with the industry – and the only way to do it is really to involve many other areas, interdisciplinary work.

    It is hard, and Peter was absolutely right – it is extremely hard. But having worked for about 15-20 years with food scientists, I found that when you start with it you are completely on the outside, they don’t even want to talk to you. You talk about the numerical world, they don’t want to even listen to you, but you have to stay on with it, you have to exert from your side. In many cases, the thermal scientists go there and tell them how they can solve the equations and stop there. No – you have to learn what they are doing, what are their interests, what are they worried about, and show that indeed your work can affect them. It’s a much longer, much more difficult process. But having worked with these people along with the industry in food science, the industry in food science is much worse than even polymer sciences because they think that computer doesn’t exist, doesn’t have any meaning, they want to measure things. So, you have to work with them very closely to make an effect. Thank you.


    "We have the technology to do it"

    stephan photo

    Bayazitoglu:
    I would like to answer your question. I’m sorry I will not be able to pronounce your name this time. But what I think, we need to have a correction on our fundamental undergraduate engineering education or science education. Maybe in the earlier years we couldn’t do it at our time, but right now we have the technology to do it. We should be able to teach engineering to science students and science to engineering students. We should try to integrate those topics – rather than a science professor teaching to science students, engineering professor teaching to engineering students, we should integrate the students learning and the professors themselves. That, we can do it, because now we have the technology to do it. That way, you can take a scientist, maybe have him work as an engineer or an engineer, like all of us, might become a scientist one day. That is the probable solution for the future generation in my opinion.


    "One paper is enough if it is a very high impact paper"

    You have to have the guts to strike and take high risk yourself.

    stephan photo

    Poulikakos:
    I would like to respond to Jim. Thanks Jim, this is very interesting, a very direct question. Having worked on both sides of the ocean many years and having done research on both sided and tried to earn money on both sides, all kinds, I have seen both systems and they are different. You are absolutely right, in the United States it’s going very much in the direction of bean-counting. And I also admit that this philosophy is contagious, so it’s spreading across the ocean. But I must say and my experiences come from the institution where I work that is ETH Zurich. This is not how we do business at ETH Zurich. First of all, the hiring process of professors in these institutions is not similar to that of the United States because you have a mixture of people with a more academic profile and people with a more industrial profile. You can hire a professor that effectively has no publications in a certain area, but has a great industrial experience and he brings a complete different component and richness to the department that your typical academic profile would not bring – that would be pretty much unthinkable in the United States.

    ou did talk about creativity, and I really hated to hear what you said that – what did you say, 30 years old, your best years are behind you?! I want to strongly argue against that point. Of course, professors – let me put it this way, they do get older, but they still stay smart and they work with young people. So by working with young people, they retain by association some of their creativity. But regarding then of course incentives, I have been from department head to vice president of research at ETH Zurich, I must say that we do not count beans. I must say that, however, when I see a young colleague publishing a very high-impact journal, I applaud them; when I see a colleague doing a development that an industry will really use and the industry comes and effectively are very excited about it, I will also be very excited. And we do promote people across the board with profiles. We do promote people that at the assistance professor level they have two science papers and we do promote people that they have nothing of the kind, but they have significant industrial contributions.

    The philosophy in my institution is more balanced. As a matter of fact, let me give you an anecdotal sort of piece of information. Recently we had a departmental evaluation. A report was written about an assistant professor that this fellow does very high quality work, but he doesn’t have enough papers. So, the president made a point. Effectively he called the person that wrote this report back and said, “Here, we don’t do that business, okay? Effectively, one paper is enough if it is a very high impact paper.” Of course the fact remains how do you define high impact and excellence?, but I want to make clear that the philosophy is different than your typical sort of U.S. criteria.

    As a vice president of research, you asked a personal question of what I have done. I had money then to distribute, so effectively that was a good thing, made a lot of friends. And high risk was the primary criteria. Not 'how many papers you did', not what… And then you have to fight against the reviews for such proposals that come and say, “This is a great idea. I don’t believe you can do it. This is high risk.” Then, you have to have the guts to strike at such comments and take high risk yourself. So, that’s our reality.


    "First a brilliant idea for the project, then the right people"

    Industry typically wants multiple or transdisciplinary projects. - then the collaboration with industry becomes much more difficult

    stephan photo

    Stephan:
    I want to answer first to Jim. Bean counting is a big issue also in my university specifically in the natural sciences.. In engineering sciences bean counting is not as common, and the reasons are the following. At least in Germany, and this is also different in other European countries, the tradition was that in engineering we had only full professors. They were typically hired after the PhD plus a 5 to 10 years' industry career. At that point, they had a very little number of publications, but R&D experience in instustry. However today I face, for example as a member of the senate of our university, more discussions if you compare young applicants, which made a purely academic career with a higher number of publications, and some applicants who have spent part of their live in industrial research and have a lower number of publications. We had strong discussions on that, and it’s always a dispute of disciplines in the senate. In mechanical engineering, for example, we recently decided not to go for so-called junior professorships, which is equivalent to assistant professor, although the university would give us extra money for that. The restriction of hiring only full professors, mainly with industrial background, often makes it easier to collaborate with industry because those people have the relevant background. On the other hand, they are past their mid-30s where they are most creative, as you said, so they are maybe 35 to 40 when they are hired for the first time in the academic world, and this is a different situation.

    I always thought that the United States, this transfer to industry and spinoff creaction is much easier than in Germany. But I learned that it’s not as easy there too. In my environment it’s not difficult to collaborate on a single disciplinary project with industry, but industry typically wants multiple or transdisciplinary projects, and then the collaboration with industry becomes much more difficult. I am lucky to have some government money at the moment to pay two people in my research cluster who are just organizing such transdisciplinary industry collaboration. That’s an attempt for the next three to four years and we will see what comes out.

    Let me give a short answer to Xing Zhang, concerning what can we do for this transdisciplinary world. I think specific infrastructure is also necessary. I learnt – that’s very simple, but very effective – if you accommodate people from different disciplines in one building and share one lab together, that helps a lot. And of course you need to the right people – first a brilliant idea for the project, then the right people, try to exclude those people who just want to join the project because they get money out of the project, they really have to show enthusiasm for the interdisciplinary project. After my previous talk, Nobu said, “Peter was honest. I’m not as negative as Peter.” I’m not negative, I’m honest, yes. But I had a period where I was even more enthusiastic, then I went to a small period of frustration, and meanwhile I’m enthusiastic again but also realistic.


    "Let us not forget disciplinarily – it is the core of our activities"

    stephan photo

    Poulikakos:
    May I say something very briefly, Nobu? A lot has been said about – it used to be called interdisciplinarity, now recently it’s called transdisciplinarity, and indeed the big problems are transdisciplinary. But I would like to just put a vote here also for the disciplinarity, and I have always been a strong proponent in all these funding agencies to make sure that first they fund disciplinary research, because a lot of money tends to go into the other side because without that then we will lose the nucleus of our activity. It is also very important. We should not forget this. Of course we do have good mechanisms for that. That is why we don’t discuss it all the time. But not discussing it does not mean it’s not important. Clearly more administratively and from the viewpoint of the organization, the transdisciplinary research is a lot more challenging. But let us not forget disciplinarity – it is the core of our activities.



    "Nailing down the problem into more realistic issues"

    Can we justify research funding and acquire public trust by participating in top-down research?
    How to design, legitimate, implement, evaluate, and push for issue-driven R&D?
    How to cultivate, stimulate motivation of researchers and keep science autonomy under such policy environment?

    stephan photo

    Kasagi:
    Okay. They have raised many issues, disciplinary versus transdisciplinary or transformation-enabling technology, all of thermal science in establishing the sustainability and education, academy-industry collaboration and so forth. I would like to hear – nail down the problem into more realistic issues. All of the issues – most of the issues raised are related to the funding system by which scientists and engineers can promote their own research work. This is a very simple diagram. At the top of the diagram we have policymakers, maybe science community gave them a sort of a scientific advice. Ministries or funding agencies make science and technology policy and provide the state budget. With these state budgets, universities, national industry and businesses are moving with the scientists and engineers. So, there are two perhaps funding schemes or program setting schemes. One is the state-driven research work. This has already been touched by the panelists as well discussants. And also there must be seed-push R&D schemes. This is a traditional scheme with which a sort of autonomy of science is preserved.

    The problem is perhaps if there is a resonance between the policymakers and the scientists. The question is top-down versus bottom-up. As I said before and also panelists mentioned that there is a trend, this is a global trend, that research funding is formulated in a framework of issue-driven R&D less than seed-push R&D in many countries, perhaps because every country is competing in its economic growth as well as under the constraint of a very tight budget. So, this is the general trend. However, there exists a dilemma. First, can we justify research funding and acquire public trust by participating in top-down research? This is a question to the science community or all of you here. How to design, legitimate, implement, evaluate, and push for issue-driven R&D? So, even if – okay, this is a research issue, but it is not uncertain whether every research issue raised by scientists is certified satisfactory to the general public. General public may want more or more wider range or scope. Third – how to cultivate, stimulate motivation of researchers and keep science autonomy under such policy environment? Science itself has long had its autonomy, so a scientist can choose any research theme or issue by his or by her own without any influence of politics or the influence of the opinion of general public. So, there is some dilemma.

    Once again, I will ask the panelists to give us your view on this topic. Okay, Yogesh please?


    "We would have to show a long-term societal need ourselves"

    stephan photo

    Jaluria:
    Very important points there raised by you, Nobu. The question of issue-driven versus top-to-bottom, I think it’s reasonably clear now that much of the research that is being funded now and not only just the funding but even the interest in the society is towards issue-driven rather than from the bottoms-up. The reason for that to me looks like predominantly the changing of the budgets. I will give an example. There used to be a lot of very interesting fundamental research on fires. People would work on very interesting problems on how the fire would spread, what will happen on the wall, how can we change the condition, and so on – and that went on for many years. But as the budgets became tighter and tighter, it became very clear that there had to be a target. You could not just go and start solving problems, which in the long run may not have a direct relevance. At that time, the sprinklers, flow through vents, changing environment or egress time started coming into the picture. So, my feeling is that this trend will continue.

    Now, the question is – how can we work with that? And I feel that if the boundaries are relatively flexible or the domain is fairly large, the envelope is very large, we can then generate our own interest so that it satisfies that. Unfortunately, there are many areas where you would find that, even though it’s issue-driven that there is a societal need and it has been brought up, but the targets are not so solely defined that we cannot find our own ground and we cannot find our own research. What will happen is that as more and more of these issue-driven things come up, as long as there is enough flexibility, as long as we can maneuver ourselves in that, there is a possibility to make an impact. If we depend entirely on what we can generate or what our ideas are, then the problem is that we would have to show a long-term societal need ourselves. In some cases it will be possible, but in many cases very difficult to do. So, I would say working with the two and finding a proper balance is really the way to go.


    "It has to be a proper balance between top-down and bottom-up"

    stephan photo

    Stephan:
    I think this is the most important point. It has to be a proper balance between top-down and bottom-up. Both are needed and have to be properly balanced. But I think we should at least have a look to the big picture and the topics that are defined from the top. However, then we should start the bottom-up approach and sit together with good friends and colleagues and try to define our own goals within these larger topics, instead of simply waiting that someone from the top will guide us. We can write our proposals in such a way that we meet the buzzwords and keywords to be hopefully successful. Sometimes, at least in Europe, external agencies without scientific staff offer proposal writing. They are trained to hit the keywords and the buzzwords. This kind of external, non-scientific proposal writing is the wrong way. The scientific experts should do it.


    stephan photo

    Kasagi:
    So, it is something like the state of policymakers to decide where the playground is and then it is the science community, which kind of supports baseball or football game you will play. Okay. Dimos?


    "Make sure it is not the same pie we are talking about"

    stephan photo

    Poulikakos:
    Top-down will happen because, again, this is the granularity at which the decision-makers distribute money. They see the problems; they see the disasters, the needs, and so on and so forth; and they sort of define areas where they put money. I think if we can have an influence, the influence should be two-fold. First of all, make sure that this is hopefully new money because if it is the same pie we are talking about and they take a big part of this for the problematic research, then what is losing is the bottom-up research for the better research. If we can have an influence, we will make sure to encourage them to do that since they like to do it, but that should be new money. And whether we are successful or not, we should of course try to make the best out of it because effectively they give you these big boxes without having defined exactly how things would be done. So there, one has the opportunity of course to come up with the ideas and do high quality basic research and so on and so forth, mostly in a collaborative fashion.


    stephan photo

    Kasagi:
    Well, Professor Lee, I think the Korean government is making a very aggressive science and technology policy. If you know, just roughly speaking, how much fraction is funding for top-down and how much fraction is for bottom-up?


    "Top-down projects are more dominant in Korea"

    Lee photo

    Lee:
    Some years ago, mostly individual research portion was much higher, but now it is decreasing, and then top-down projects are more dominant. That is because the group research programs are more actively developed and also very large projects, for example, over U.S. $10 million per year, such kind of IBS – we call Institute of Basic Science program, we are planning to set up 50 such kind of IBS research centers. And then, U.S. $10 million are allocated at each research center. It absorbs almost the large portions of total research funds, so bottom-up research has actually no room to distribute to the individual researches.


    Kasagi:
    What is the reaction of the scientists in Korea?


    Lee:
    So, many people are very much complaining about it and then…


    Kasagi:
    Complain?


    Lee:
    Yes.


    "We are all engineers; trying to do work which does meet the need"

    stephan photo

    Jaluria:
    If I might make an observational point, we have been talking about funding, as you just mentioned, and I think funding is clearly very important. But I would like to make another point along with that, that fundamentally we are all engineers – at least a majority of us are engineers. And there is a certain amount of satisfaction, a certain amount of pleasure, a certain amount of usefulness that we would feel if we were able to do things, which do have an impact. So, not only is it a question of funding, whether we can maneuver or we can join hands to get money, I would say also trying to do work, which does meet the need as the panel says and which does make a major impact – whether it’s in energy, whether it’s in transportation, whether it’s in the global climate. I think there is a certain positive element to that, and I think we should keep our focus on that also.

    page top