CORDIS - EU research results

European Training network Of PhD researchers on Innovative EMI analysis and power Applications: ETOPIA

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ETOPIA (European Training network Of PhD researchers on Innovative EMI analysis and power Applications: ETOPIA)

Reporting period: 2021-04-01 to 2023-09-30

Our modern society becomes highly interconnected where power supply is not only providing energy between many distributed sources and loads but are also a main path of interference, especially in large complex systems, platforms and facilities, where interoperability of the electronic systems has to be achieved. There is an urgent need to train new researchers with a closer interaction of electrical power and power electronics with information technology and communications equipment. The ETOPIA consortium of key academic partners, supported by industry, has been brought together not only to train a sufficient number of qualified researchers but also to provide the fundamental research that underpins future technological developments.

The detailed coordinated multidisciplinary multinational doctoral training program will provide the trainee researchers with a complete broad experience and at the same time allow them to develop and eventually lead their focused area of research. The program will focus on the development of novel methods to model, simulate, design, evaluate, measure and monitor. ETOPIA will also develop corrective economical measures for a safe, reliable, efficient and greener electrical power distribution system in and between buildings and vehicles.

Specific innovations expected to be achieved through ETOPIA are methodologies to optimize the design of complex electrical/electronic installations with respect to compatibility and efficiency. Dissemination methods to realize optimal impact will include scientific publications, presentations and workshops, summer schools, training of engineers in industry and dissemination through newsletters, interviews, school visits, websites and social media.
The ETOPIA doctoral training objectives were achieved in line with the needs as stated by the EU , and for ETOPIA:
• Create the European Graduate (Doctoral) School for conducted (power-line) EMC, sustainable
• Develop a structural doctoral programme in conducted EMC by 6 leading research groups at renowned universities, in close collaboration with industry
• Strengthen and structure the initial training of researchers in conducted EMC at European level
• Provide trained researchers with the necessary skills to work in industry
• Improve career perspectives by broad skills development & building a durable consortium in research & training

These doctoral training objectives for the first period reporting were achieved by: setting up the European Joint doctorate (EJD) agreements within the project framework with 2 joint degree agreements and 1 double degree agreement; develop training to the ESR’s to enhance their necessary skills to work in the industry in the scientific and personal skills during Summer Schools and the organisation of special workshops or sessions at the EMC related conferences.

The ETOPIA scientific objectives are to develop and integrate advanced methods to model, design, evaluate, measure and monitor economic measures for a safe, reliable, efficient and greener electrical power system. The work packages and deliverables are therefore aligned with these objectives. These objectives can be achieved by advanced models and simulation methods allowing for uncertainty for connected devices and systems, and full experimental evaluation and characterisation of equipment and complex installations, incl. platforms.

These scientific training objectives were achieved by the ESR’s performing the modelling, simulations and experiments which already has led to the submission of multiple deliverables. The ETOPIA societal objectives are the implementation of the newly developed and acquired knowledge by close collaboration with industry via secondments, training schools and case studies and thus actually contribute to the EU 2020 ambitions. The close collaboration with industry has been slightly delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing that physical meetings were not possible due to the travel restrictions. The ESR’s and supervisors planned the secondments, a total of 52 secondments have been achieved covering a total of 71 months of interaction between the industrial partners and the ESR's. The 3 Summer Schools were held and reported with strong participation from industry. A minimum of 6 Special sessions/workshops at international conferences were envisioned and ETOPIA has organised 10 special sessions and workshops.

ETOPIA strongly encourages the participation of female researchers in science. Although it was not possible to recruit female ESR’s within the ETOPIA project, the six beneficiaries actively promoted and encourages female researchers in the field. During Girlsday, technical companies, (non-)governmental organizations, and research institutes open their doors for 10-15 year old girls, in order to awaken/increase their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). During guest lectures, 3 PhD students involved in partner MSCA projects shared their experience as women in this field of engineering. Prof Flavia Grassi collaborated with them as mentor. Starting at 11h and 12h, will be given by the researches of the university of Twente including a Radio interview by the Project Manager. Also, Professor Flavia Grassi from university Politecnico di Milano actively promotes and encourages female researchers in the field.

The 12 talented researchers have receiving high-quality interdisciplinary training in the field of EMC, including power quality, for smart cities through research, courses and (beyond-) network events, covering scientific aspects as well as personal skills and career development, and implement the knowledge within industry. Each ESR has a well-defined individual project described in their Personal Career development plan and is be part of a group of outstanding European researchers with a high level of employability and with great exposure to researchers in- and outside the specific EMC expertise field.
The innovative way of ETOPIA will create new scientific knowledge and technological experience to have a large impact on the European economy. It has been estimated that the cost of EMI compliance causes between 1-5% of a product price and up to 5% of the total development costs. ETOPIA results can directly address the increasing complexity and interoperability of power systems and communication systems, enabling smart city infrastructures, providing substantial savings and greatly improve the competitiveness of the European industry. Furthermore, ETOPIA will ultimately impact the quality of life and the environment. Electronic devices in modern complex systems frequently results in interference requiring several redesign cycles, considerably delaying the availability of the product on the market and increasing the cost of the final product. ETOPIA aims at first-time-right design making development of high tech systems more cost effective, which will result in new orders and will create new jobs in Europe. Therefore, ETOPIA is a clear example of strengthening European innovation capacity.

The project has trained very skilled researchers which are very desired by industry and academia. Already 5 ESR have found a job in Industry and 4 have found a follow-up job in Academia while the remaining 3 are still in their PhD Trajectory, see D2.11 Awarding Joint PhD degree. As mentioned, 3 ESR’s have awarded the joint or double degree.
ETOPIA Summer School II in Milan - First Day
ETOPIA recruitment Event in Amsterdam
Publication on Utwente website related to Girlsday 2021
Presentation by Professor Frank Leferink during conference in New Orleans