Talha: “Failure is what I predict”

Academia meets industry… and vice versa. Denmark holds a strong position in the delicate art of making theory and practice blend blood, ultimately benefitting both academic societies and private companies as well as the world outside. 

Text: Henrik Kastoft, freelance journalist
Photo: Anders Trærup, freelance photographer

If – for some reason – you want to know when any given component will eventually fail or break down Khandokar Abu Talha (26) from Bangladesh is a young expert, you should consider paying a visit.

Significant new knowledge
The fellow European Industrial PhD project between the University of Southampton and Vestas aircoil involves four young talents from abroad. The project is funded by the EU Horizon program. The project is planned to last four years with a 50/50 split between studies in the UK and Denmark. The PhD’s have weekly online meetings with their university supervisor and biweekly meetings with their industrial supervisor. At Vestas aircoil the industrial supervisor is Claus H. Ibsen, Master of Science in Engineering (M. Sc. Eng.) and PhD himself.

A PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is a 3-year postgraduate doctoral degree, awarded to students who complete an original thesis offering a significant new contribution to knowledge in their subject. PhD qualifications are available in all subjects and usually the highest level of academic degree a person can achieve.

Given his capacity to predict the lifespan of a wide range of materials and structures, one could, in fact, argue he is a master of disaster. Yet, engineers don’t use that kind of language which seems a fairly good reason to have Mechanical Engineer and PhD Talha explain himself:

“My work is to investigate the fatigue behaviour of components in a certain structure… let’s say a heat exchanger. Combining fatigue testing with cyclic amplitude loading, observations and merging these real-life data into established and well-proven general theories and methods, I can predict when the component will fail. In a fairly precise manner”.

Using heat exchangers as an example to illustrate his point doesn’t come by accident. Talha is currently working on his PhD thesis, Fatigue evaluations of additive manufactured materials in novel heat exchanger design in the headquarters of Vestas Aircoil – for the past seven decades, a pioneering and market-leading Denmark-based manufacturer of marine and industrial cooling systems.

Knowing what we don’t know

“As goes for any PhD thesis, however, my work has the essential second part not just to obtain an in-depth understanding of what we can observe and already know but indeed carry on the thought process to a next level enabling us to realise some of the knowledge gaps we still face. Realising what we don’t know is a fundamental first step in science to build new experiments that will generate more information and data upon which we can crystallise out groundbreaking new evidence and knowledge”.    

Predicting failure in a modern setting basically involves extremely heavy data, capable computer modelling and real-life cyclic loading tests. Inside Talha’s modern computer and its powerful models, however, sits knowledge, part of which goes way back in time.

Understanding the cyclic behaviour of material goes back to World War II. In 1943 two American scientists working for NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the predecessor to NASA) established the Ramberg-Osgood equation that describes the non-linear relationship between cyclic stress and strain, which still is a relevant and widely used theory even though more advanced models are available.

Supporting 65,000 researchers
With the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) the EU Commission is supporting the career development and training of researchers.
The MSCA are expected to finance around 65,000 researchers, including 25,000 doctoral candidates. The EU target is to spend 3% of EU GDP on research and development by 2020. At the MSCA start in 2014 at least 1 million new R&D jobs had to be established.
By funding excellent research and offering attractive working conditions, the MSCA offer high quality professional opportunities open to researchers of any age, nationality or discipline.
The specific objectives of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN) are:
1. to train a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit
2. to raise excellence and structure research and doctoral training, extending the traditional academic research training setting, incorporating the elements of Open Science and equipping researchers with the right combination of research-related and transferable competences
3. to provide enhanced career perspectives in both the academic and non-academic sectors through international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility combined with an innovation-oriented mind-set.

From elastic to plastic behaviour

The constitutive equations themself are so complicated it would probably take an engineer to fully understand it.

Yet, the stress-strain curve related to the constitutive equations illustrates the behaviour of materials near the yield points.

In material science and engineering, the yield point is the point on a stress-strain curve that indicates the limit of elastic behaviour and the beginning of plastic behaviour. Below the yield point, a material will deform elastically and return to its original shape when stress is stopped. Once the yield point is passed, however, some fraction of the deformation will be permanent and non-reversible. That stage in the process is known as plastic deformation.

And plastic deformation can often lead to microscopic cracks that, in themselves, are not destructive but can develop further and make the material or structure deteriorate into weakness, malfunction and eventually total breakdown.

A process well-known from numerous incidents and accidents – recent examples being airplane accidents in the US and Europe with engine parts ripping off due to metal fatigue and consequently damaging the entire structure.

Everything will fail one day

“The cyclic behaviour combined with stress-life – the number of cycles to failure under a certain stress level – can predict failure of a structural material with reasonable accuracy. It all started in 1837, when a german engineer, Wilhelm Albert published the first article on metal fatigue, later which was termed as ‘metals being tired’ by Jean-Victor Poncelet, a French engineer. Then, O. H. Basquin proposed the relationship between stress and number of cycles to failure, which marked a major milestone in fatigue research history. For generations, engineers stood on the shoulders of these pioneers, and created complex models of fatigue failure as phenomena and how to excel the prediction of it”.

The pioneering nature of these early realisations proves themselves on a daily basis as theories turn out to be applicable not only to metal as they originated from but – at least partly – also to other materials such as composites, plastics and ceramics.

At the coffee machine in the Vestas aircoil reception area, we briefly dwell at the slightly more philosophical truth that everything may eventually fail. Any structure we build, any machine we manufacture will fail at last. Even human beings and what goes beyond our wildest imaginations have an end:

“Ultimately, even the universe as we know it will possibly collapse one day… in what is to become the biggest failure ever,” Talha says with contagious laughter. “But I am not sure my computer models are capable of predicting much in that context”.

Pioneers for six decades
Founded in the 1950s Vestas aircoil has been a market leading manufacturer of marine and industrial cooling products ever since. Vestas built the first marine diesel engine charge air cooler in the world for Burmeister & Wain in 1956. The company is headquartered in Lem, a small industrial town often associated with its blacksmith industry.
Until the 1980s Vestas aircoil was part of Vestas Wind Systems also located in Lem. Today, Vestas aircoil is owned by Genua.
Vestas aircoil has 250 employees based in Denmark, Southern Europe and the Far East.
www.vestas-aircoil.com

Young talents from abroad

In other words: Fatigue, failure and collapse is a law of nature. And Talha’s engineering nature is to describe and predict.

“Predictions of failure are highly relevant in, let’s say, the car industry. Most failures – probably 7 or 8 in 10 – have a cyclic nature. Fatigue cracks in materials and components will correspond in a certain ratio with the numbers of miles the car has been driving. On top of that comes other crucial factors such as climate, load, user characteristics etc. Predictions basically enable companies to set up maintenance schedules, guarantees, spare part production etc. In fact, to a large extent the core business model itself”.      

Working closely together with PhD-colleagues Milena Watanabe Bavaresco from Brazil and Kevin Jose and Atul Singh from India, Talha is part of the ambitious research and development team at Vestas aircoil currently planning to further expand its R&D facilities and activities in Denmark.

Three years ago, the market-leading Danish manufacturer of marine and industrial cooling systems joined forces with the University of Southampton in preparations for a fellow European Industrial PhD project financially supported by the EU Horizon program. The international collaboration, including UK, Denmark, the European Union and talented young people from abroad carry the ambition to spark even closer cooperation between academia and industry for their mutual benefit.

“Representing academia, I find the industrial environment very rewarding. It’s indeed inspiring to face real-life challenges. Another upside is the potential networking and collaboration opportunities enabling us to generate new solid knowledge essential for the PhD”.

The deadly winter in Denmark

Talha will work on his thesis at Vestas aircoil until December 2021. Going back to the UK, he will finish his PhD at the University of Southampton within 6-9 months.

Where prediction and failure will bring him after that he doesn’t know yet:

“Before arriving in Denmark, I worked in Bangladesh, France, Germany and England. I am open to any opportunity. Given the current Covid-19 situation… who knows what travel bans will look like in the future?”.

Instead, Talha puts a lot of energy into his passion for cooking. Often together with PhD colleague Kevin Jose from India.

“I am very excited about both the Asian and European kitchen. Coming to the sparsely populated Western part of Denmark, we have realised, however, the difficulties in finding those ingredients we are familiar with in Southeast Asia”.

“Apart from the Asian food resource scarcity, living in Ringkoebing and Denmark has been a wonderful experience so far. People are fun and very nice. I am quite excited about the Nordic work-life ratio allowing me substantial time to enjoy the sea and re-energise. The one thing I don’t like about Denmark is winter. No life… no sunshine. It’s deadly!” says Talha with a smile and wraps up:

“And yet I survived…”

Kevin: “Now I see structures everywhere”
Milena: “I fell in love with research”
Read More

ESR2: Secondment at Dinex

ESR2 (Kevin Jose) has returned from Middelfart after spending a month at Dinex A/S, the exhaust and aftertreatment solutions giant. During his time at Dinex, he was part of the Product Development team. He got a first hand experince of the design development process in an industrial setting with a focus on FEA Structural Analysis. The experience he gained at Dinex will surely be useful in his career.

Read More

Kevin: “Now I see structures everywhere”

Academia meets industry… and vice versa. Denmark holds a strong position in the delicate art of making theory and practice blend blood. Ultimately benefitting both academic societies and private companies as well as the world outside. 

Text: Henrik Kastoft, freelance journalist
Photo: Anders Trærup, freelance photographer

”I was born and raised not far from New Delhi… a giant metropolis with 22 million people. I also lived in New York with a population of 8 million. Even Southampton – hometown of my university – has 250,000 inhabitants. Now I live in Ringkøbing together with 10,000 people or so. It’s quiet but I actually find the rather sleepy atmosphere charming. I believe it’s an ideal place for me to write the initial part of my PhD thesis”.

Kevin Jose (25) came directly from India to Denmark in January 2020. He arrived in the midst of the month-long Nordic winter darkness challenging even to many native Danes suffering from a weather-burdened mood. On top of only a few hours of daylight this particular winter was distinct with a record number of rainy and windy days.

“The subtropical summer we experience now, however, definitely warmed me up. Actually, I find the indoor temperatures a bit challenging these days. Unlike India there is no air conditioning inside our office building and the campus where I live. The bright summer nights with very early sunrise is also something for me to get used to”.

Significant new knowledge
The fellow European Industrial PhD project between the University of Southampton and Vestas aircoil involves four young talents from abroad. The project is funded by the EU Horizon program. The project is planned to last four years with a 50/50 split between studies in the UK and Denmark. The PhD’s have weekly online meetings with their university supervisor and biweekly meetings with their industrial supervisor. At Vestas aircoil the industrial supervisor is Claus H. Ibsen, Master of Science in Engineering (M. Sc. Eng.) and PhD himself.

A PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is a 3-year postgraduate doctoral degree, awarded to students who complete an original thesis offering a significant new contribution to knowledge in their subject. PhD qualifications are available in all subjects and usually the highest level of academic degree a person can achieve.

Structures in nature

Working closely together with PhD-colleague Milena Watanabe Bavaresco from Brazil, Kevin is part of the research and development team at Vestas aircoil. The market leading Danish manufacturer of marine and industrial cooling systems joined forces, three years ago, with University of Southampton in preparations for a fellow European Industrial PhD project, financially supported by the EU Horizon program that Kevin is now part of.

The international collaboration including UK, Denmark, the European Union and talented young people from abroad carries the ambition to spark even closer cooperation between academia and industry for their mutual benefit.

“And that is indeed what we achieve by spending time at Vestas aircoil. Once your fundamental knowledge is in place you start to see the structures we examine everywhere. Even in nature and the landscape surrounding us”.

Supporting 65,000 researchers
With the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) the EU Commission is supporting the career development and training of researchers.
The MSCA are expected to finance around 65,000 researchers, including 25,000 doctoral candidates. The EU target is to spend 3% of EU GDP on research and development by 2020. At the MSCA start in 2014 at least 1 million new R&D jobs had to be established.
By funding excellent research and offering attractive working conditions, the MSCA offer high quality professional opportunities open to researchers of any age, nationality or discipline.
The specific objectives of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN) are:
1. to train a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit
2. to raise excellence and structure research and doctoral training, extending the traditional academic research training setting, incorporating the elements of Open Science and equipping researchers with the right combination of research-related and transferable competences
3. to provide enhanced career perspectives in both the academic and non-academic sectors through international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility combined with an innovation-oriented mind-set.

The beauty of our work

“To give you an example, one day I was at the fjord watching the waves coming in. What I observed and realized was how plants along the shore influence the rhythm of the water surface. In fact, plantation at the fjord has an effect on the waves that in some ways is similar to the effect that tubes and fins in a Vestas aircoil charge air cooler have on vibrations of the cooler. I find it rather fascinating to recognize and retrieve the dynamics from completely different spheres and potentially make them relevant even to an industrial cooling system. That is the beauty of our work”.

For Kevin the inspiration goes far beyond observing waves at Ringkøbing Fjord. Even his knowledge of vibrations from musical drums and trees reactions to earthquakes carry insights that Kevin can take advantage of on a daily basis.             

Troubles to shoot

Sitting at his desk in the Research and Development Department at the Vestas aircoil headquarter in Denmark Kevin is working on computer models that are capable of translating the physical dynamics that he observes elsewhere into tools that have the capacity to make sophisticated know how workable in an industrial setting as well.

Pioneers for six decades
Founded in the 1950s Vestas aircoil has been a market leading manufacturer of marine and industrial cooling products ever since. Vestas built the first marine diesel engine charge air cooler in the world for Burmeister & Wain in 1956. The company is headquartered in Lem, a small industrial town often associated with its blacksmith industry.
Until the 1980s Vestas aircoil was part of Vestas Wind Systems also located in Lem. Today, Vestas aircoil is owned by Genua.
Vestas aircoil has 250 employees based in Denmark, Southern Europe and the Far East.
www.vestas-aircoil.com

One highly relevant topic at his current employer is the effect of manufacturing tolerance on vibrations.

“Vibrations cause deformations in materials and structures that – if not predicted accurately in calculations and design – potentially may cause failure. From let’s say aircraft jet engines we know that even the slightest deviations in geometric or material parameters in one fan blade eventually may break down the entire engine with catastrophic consequences to follow. 1 or 2 percent dissimilarity can easily evolve into a 100 percent disaster. Inspired by real life industrial challenges, my work focuses on building the simplest possible models that translate issues related to vibrations into academic concepts and responses from physics that are durable at the engineer’s desk as well as in the production facility”.

Ultimately, Kevin’s ambition is to succeed with scientific simplification models that may not run three decimals on expensive super computers but strike an accuracy that make the models useful in contexts where thousandths are overkill.

The nature of the PhD         

Kevin is currently researching and writing a PhD thesis he plans to submit in 2 years or so. Meanwhile he will write numerous scientific articles submitted to relevant journals with the PhD constituting a summary of the original work presented and connected over the course of the PhD project. 

”A PhD thesis would normally be 100-150 pages and must present what is acknowledged by independent researchers as new scientific realizations. If successful a PhD would ideally become one in only 2-3 experts worldwide in his or her particular field of super specialized science”.

To focus one must, however, relax now and then. In Kevin’s case he prefers to rest his curious scientific mind while searching through a camera lens for picturesque landscapes, sunsets or lighthouses along the North Sea coastline and Ringkøbing Fjord. Or enjoy the social life at the campus in Ringkøbing with those 30 other young international talents living there… many of them young researchers at the wind turbine giant Vestas Wind Systems located next door to Vestas aircoil.

Now and then, Kevin also put aside the scientific literature and allow himself to linger with books describing recent Danish history.

“I am rather stunned by the homogeneity of the Danish society. Once in a while, though, I miss the dynamic cultural dissimilarity I grew up with in India. I speak two Indian languages fluently and my parents are part of a religious minority comprising only two percent of the population in India. I find it exciting when cultures and contradictions meet, but I am deeply impressed by the non-hierarchical society in Denmark. We sit in the CEOs office to do this interview for instance… that pretty much explains the Danish informality”.

Magic in the campus kitchen

Most of all, Kevin misses the spicy Indian cuisine he was born and raised with. After months of searching and assisted by friends in Denmark and abroad, a decent spice rack with ginger, turmeric, cumin, cilantro and fenugreek is slowly materializing in his campus kitchen. As well as new discoveries in kitchen machinery.   

“We do not use electrical ovens in India. It was a somewhat magical discovery to me, and I decided to bake bread only to suffer the painful response that fellow students in the campus kitchen complimented me for my “fine cake”. After that I started looking for bakeries with bread on sale”.

It may well be that his core competences lay outside baking, however, true talent does not deny itself. Looking into the future Kevin see himself almost anywhere in the world his expertise may unfold:

“If my future career will lead me to a university position as professor or a cutting-edge research and development position in the private sector I really don’t know. It is still in the making, I guess. In fact, I don’t have strong feelings what part of the world will become my future home. I am very flexible and mostly driven by job opportunities that have the potential to unleash the science I feel passionate about”.

Milena: “I fell in love with research”
Talha: “Failure is what I predict”

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ESR3: Secondment at University of Southern Denmark

It has been a month of fruitful learning for our ESR3 (Milena Bavaresco). She has just completed a secondment at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), in Odense. Led by our project partner Prof. Anders Brandt and his research team Visor, she received a training in Operational Modal Analysis, which is a process for testing a structure under normal operating conditions to identify its dynamic properties. This opens a new range of testing possibilities for InDEStruct in our quest for understanding the vibrations manifesting in heat exchangers.

If you are interested in the topic of vibrations analysis, you may want to check ABRAVIBE. It is a free toolbox provided by Anders Brandt which contains a variety of functions aiding in the signal processing of vibration data.

More information on SDU Mechanical Engineering and their research can be found on their website.

Read More

Milena: “I fell in love with research”

Academia meets industry… and vice versa. Denmark holds a strong position in the delicate art of making theory and practice blend blood – ultimately benefitting both academic societies and private companies as well as the world outside.

Text: Henrik Kastoft, freelance journalist
Photo: Anders Trærup, freelance photographer

“Arriving in January was… Well, how can I phrase it? It was cold and dark! But for me positive as well. Coming to Denmark I was surprised by the hospitality and spaciousness of my new surroundings. I truly appreciate the nature at the fjord… it gives me the opportunity to live, work and study in a peaceful manner. To enjoy the privilege to disconnect”.

Milena Watanabe Bavaresco (28) moved to Denmark in January 2020. She travelled from a summery Brazil in the southern hemisphere to the western part of Jutland, at that time of the year a wet and windy peninsula region even by many Danes considered to be part the outskirts of the tiny northern Kingdom.

Significant new knowledge
The fellow European Industrial PhD project between the University of Southampton and Vestas aircoil involves four young talents from abroad. The project is funded by the EU Horizon program. The project is planned to last four years with a 50/50 split between studies in the UK and Denmark. The PhD’s have weekly online meetings with their university supervisor and biweekly meetings with their industrial supervisor. At Vestas aircoil the industrial supervisor is Claus H. Ibsen, Master of Science in Engineering (M. Sc. Eng.) and PhD himself.

A PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is a 3-year postgraduate doctoral degree, awarded to students who complete an original thesis offering a significant new contribution to knowledge in their subject. PhD qualifications are available in all subjects and usually the highest level of academic degree a person can achieve.

Time to shine

Amongst her travel documents Milena brought a contract signed by the University of Southampton in England and Vestas aircoil in Denmark. The university is ranked Top 100 globally. On the website the university flash its payoff: “This is your time to shine” with a promising ambition to “develop critical thinking and independent learning skills that are essential for future leaders and decision makers”.

Currently, Milena shines at Vestas aircoil. Supported by funding from the EU Horizon program she splits her PhD time equally between the UK and Denmark in a project planned to last four years.

Having a master’s degree in Engineering Milena now has the ambition to succeed a PhD working closely together with her PhD-colleague Kevin focusing on their studies in vibrations.

Minimize the risk of failures

“Vibrations cause severe problems in many industries. If we want to find solid and lasting solutions, we must understand the challenges first… and we need to start by the fundamentals. If we realize the structures and comprehend the nature of vibrations, I believe we offer ourselves the opportunity to solve most of the troubles as well”.

Regardless of the structure itself – a building, an aircraft, a car, wind turbines, a vessel or any other structure exposed to vibrations – over time these periodic movements may cause failures that have the potential to be very expensive to the company that manufactures, maintains or has the ownership of that structure.

“I find vibrations a very interesting topic due to the amount of internal and external factors that play a significant part: materials, geometry, mounts and connections just to mention a few. To build strong structures capable to withstand years of wear and tear the complexity of vibrations must be recognized and fully taken into consideration in their design process”.   

Supporting 65,000 researchers
With the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) the EU Commission is supporting the career development and training of researchers.
The MSCA are expected to finance around 65,000 researchers, including 25,000 doctoral candidates. The EU target is to spend 3% of EU GDP on research and development by 2020. At the MSCA start in 2014 at least 1 million new R&D jobs had to be established.
By funding excellent research and offering attractive working conditions, the MSCA offer high quality professional opportunities open to researchers of any age, nationality or discipline.
The specific objectives of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN) are:
1. to train a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit
2. to raise excellence and structure research and doctoral training, extending the traditional academic research training setting, incorporating the elements of Open Science and equipping researchers with the right combination of research-related and transferable competences
3. to provide enhanced career perspectives in both the academic and non-academic sectors through international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility combined with an innovation-oriented mind-set.

Finding new ways to test

The complexity of vibrations may appear obvious for the Vestas aircoil charge air coolers mounted deep in the machinery next to a double MAN modern two-stroke diesel engine delivering a total of 86,000 BHP onboard a majestic Triple E container ship from Maersk Line.

“The complexity, however, may apply to much simpler constructions. Dynamic properties are intrinsic to all these objects around us,” says Milena spreading her arms at the meeting table in the office where we talk. “Combined with certain loadings, these properties can determine the success or failure of a structure in terms of vibrations”.

“My work focuses on researching new ways of testing structures and implementing existing methods to make them useful in both a Vestas aircoil setting and to other industries as well”.

Vestas aircoil is a market leader in marine and industrial cooling systems. For decades the company has faced the fact that one of the main challenges in cooling systems is actually the cooling itself: bringing temperatures from 225 degrees Celsius to 35 with air travelling within a cooler that is only half a meter wide is highly complex and only possible with air exposed to a humongous cooling surface cramped into the cooler. Despite having the size of a wardrobe, a Vestas aircoil cooler may easily contain a cooling surface of 1,000 square meters. Such massive differences in temperatures from input to output within the same structure, however, expose materials and components to extreme conditions.

Pioneers for six decades
Founded in the 1950s Vestas aircoil has been a market leading manufacturer of marine and industrial cooling products ever since. Vestas built the first marine diesel engine charge air cooler in the world for Burmeister & Wain in 1956. The company is headquartered in Lem, a small industrial town often associated with its blacksmith industry.
Until the 1980s Vestas aircoil was part of Vestas Wind Systems also located in Lem. Today, Vestas aircoil is owned by Genua.
Vestas aircoil has 250 employees based in Denmark, Southern Europe and the Far East.
www.vestas-aircoil.com

The gamechanger

Having the opportunity to research and develop together with a world leading manufacturer in marine diesel engine and industrial cooling systems Milena is thrilled with the future perspectives in 3D printing:

“It is a technology that lay out new land for us to discover. In traditional materials and processes we experience many restrictions. However, 3D printing allows us to change the name of the game… at a microscopic scale. We can build our structures with innovative geometry and we can place different materials in strategic positions. That allows us to manufacture goods with a built-in vibration control strategy that is sophisticated in concept, yet simple in operation”.

The introduction of new fuels such as biofuels and hydrogen are also keeping engineers busy with new designs, calculations and re-designs as we prepare engines for a greener and more climate friendly future.

Practice what they preach

Another day at the office is often working hours with Milena on the constant move between physical laws and engineering drawings at her computer desk and real life testing and experiments in the probation area in a corner of the Vestas aircoil production facility.

“We conduct these experiments to test, understand and document how materials react to temperatures and vibrations making us able to transform theory into practice and harvest new knowledge based on the processes. The genuine passion and interest in my PhD work makes it highly encouraging for me to be with Vestas aircoil. Most companies would probably flash an interest in bridging academia and industry… at Vestas aircoil they quite simply practice what they preach”.

Fell in love with research

It’s Friday afternoon. Lunch – the traditional Danish rye bread with cold cuts – is over. Weather outside is quite contrary to Milena’s arrival half a year ago. A high pressure weather situation pumps hot and dry air from the European continent to Scandinavia. Temperatures are 30 degrees Celsius. Had it not been for a knee injury Milena would probably play tennis this weekend, but she plans to go to the beach instead.

“Going to the beach in Denmark is quite different, though. In Brazil we are much noisier and extroverted. In Denmark people are rather understated and relaxed in many aspects. I had no idea what to expect when I first went here. I never met a Dane before moving here in January. But I like the people and the country… I really do”.

Summer holidays are closing up. Covid-19 travel restrictions prevent Milena from visiting family in Brazil. Instead she will spend three weeks in August together with her cousins in Ireland and visit her boyfriend in the UK.

Looking into the future beyond her PhD Milena is less certain what territories she will explore.

“During my master’s degree in vibration control I simply fell in love with research. Trying to tackle what is unknown to me and sometimes even others definitely motivates me. If my future work will be in academia or the industry, however, it is hard for me to tell. I do not have a fixed goal… I am ready to walk in any direction my curiosity dictates”.

Talha: “Failure is what I predict”
Kevin: “Now I see structures everywhere”

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InDEStruct T-shirts designed!

The InDEStruct team will be participating in fitness events during their time in Denmark as part of outreach activities. A t-shirt has been designed for the same. The eagle-eyed may notice that a “periodic structure” adorns the t-shirt. (Even more eagle-eyed readers may notice that it is, infact, a “disordered periodic structure”.)

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ESR 2: Secondments in UK

ESR2 (Kevin Jose) completed two secondments, at ANSYS (Abingdon) and IHS ESDU (London), in the previous week. The training he received will surely be an asset to him in the project and futher along in his career.

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Mid-Term Check

We held a successful Mid-Term Check in Denmark. We, Vestas aircol, were so fortunate that we could welcome a large part of the academic supervisors from the University of Southampton at our premises in Lem, Denmark. Also present in the meeting, were our project officer from the commission and several of our partners who participated remotely on webex from Brussels and UK.

The progress of the projects were reported, including aspects of the Recruitment report, Deliverables, Milestones and Critical implementation risks and mitigation actions.

However, the highlight of the meeting was the presentations by the Early Stage Researchers showing excellent progress and an ability to nail the essence of the challenges. They will make a difference.

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Early Stage Researchers in Denmark

We are back from the Christmas Holidays and have the pleasure of welcoming the Early Stage Researchers who have started their first secondment here in Lem, at the Danish west coast. Looking forward to following closely how the projects move forward.

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Pre-preparation for Mid-Term Check

The team of supervisors from the University of Southampton and Vestas aircoil met in Southampton for an interesting day where we focused on preparations for the upcoming Mid-Term Check. We discussed the obligations of the network and the reporting. The full day event ended with a dinner in charming Winchester.

Next day, the danish delegation managed to go to the Solent Sky Museum which gave an interesting insight to the industry which was a part of Southampton.

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