Designing and Building a Critical State of the Art for Research

Designing and Building a Critical State of the Art for Research (online)


In collaboration with Euskampus

The foundation of all good research is a well designed, well built, and well maintained Critical State of the Art (SoA). This is usually the first major task as a doctoral student, and one that researchers will continue to need to work on throughout their doctoral studies, and perhaps beyond. How good the Critical State of the Art is will determine the quality of the research, and thus how successful and worthwhile the doctoral research will be.

The course is composed of three-hour classes run over three weeks, with practical work set each week to be completed and presented for the following week. And the practical work will need between three and four hours each week. All classes will work as online seminars, and include both presented material and open discussion. So, researchers should make their own notes, and actively engage in, and contribute to each class. All classes will be conducted in English. A good level of confidence of working in English is therefore recommended. But the English does not need to be perfect, just good enough!

The main outcome is learning how to design and build a Critical State of the Art for research. Other learning outcomes are:

  • Looking for, selecting, and acquiring  SoA materials
  • Critical reading, understanding, and organising SoA materials
  • Designing, building, using, and maintaining your SoA

Students will be expected to attend 100% of the classes together with submission of all three practical work assignments. The course is equivalent to 25 hours or 1 ECTS credit.

Lecturer Tim Smithers has a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, from Kingston Polytechnic, London, and a PhD from Cambridge University, for research on computational techniques for the design of cyclically symmetric structures.

Duration / Timetable

  • 10 hours attendance + 15 hours personal work
  • Timetable: 10:00 to 13:15

Course dates

Group 1 April 29 May 6 May 13
Group 2 May 20 May 27 June 3

Group size

18 doctoral students per group (2 selected by each ENLIGHT partner university)

Selection criteria

Those who are interested in attending should fill in the Registration Form and include:

  • A letter of motivation (maximum 1000 characters)
  • Level of English (minimum B2)

Registration for UPV/EHU students


For further information, please contact the Doctoral School at the UPV/EHU at:


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