With the onset of the second quarter, students in the EPE program enter into what is known as their specialisation courses. Unlike the common core courses in Q1, these courses begin to streamline the batch of students into four profiles viz. Smart Grids, Power Electronics and Drives, Photovoltaics, and High-voltage. As a part of these courses, students also begin to learn software widely-used in academia and the industry. One of these is COMSOL Multiphysics, a software which uses Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to study complex inter-dependent physics such as heat transfer and electrostatics.
The SSD collaborated with the COMSOL team to host a 3-hour online course aimed at introducing students to the software for the first time. The topics covered in the course include,
(i) The GUI (ii) The Workflow (iii) Four live software demos (iv) Q&A session
Frank de Pont, the host for several of the COMSOL webinars, explained in length and in detail about the various powerful capabilities of the COMSOL environment. We were overjoyed to see that the students remained interested and interactive throughout the course, albeit with a few breaks in-between.
Owing to the huge success of this course, the SSD will surely consider the possibility of advanced courses on COMSOL and also trainings in other software platforms in the future!
The Smart Grids specialization of our Electrical Power Engineering(EPE) program broadly deals with studies related to the power system; how to study power flows within the network, how to optimize sharing between various nodes, and how to ensure long-term reliability of the grid infrastructure. The next company to host a lecture with us was Enexis B.V. one of the important DSOs of the Netherlands.
What are DSOs?
Well the two major entities responsible for the ‘transmission’ and ‘distribution’ of power throughout the country are the TSOs (Transmission System Operators) and the DSOs (Distribution System Operators), respectively. Being a DSO, Enexis is in-charge for handling the power grid in Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel, Noord-Brabant, and Limburg. That’s a lot of work!
The speaker for the lecture, Sharmistha Bhattacharya, works as a Strategic Consultant in the Asset Management Department of Enexis. Since her main expertise lies in power quality issues, students were eager to hear her thoughts on the challenges faced by the distribution network in the world today. After a short overview of the Enexis Group, she spoke about her experiences in the industry. Students were highly interactive when discussing asset management and the interesting projects the company was working on. At the end, Sharmistha shares a few tips and tricks on getting employed in the smart grids job market.
The event was very insightful and helped the students in getting a larger picture of the role and responsibilities of a distribution system operator in today’s world.
The next lecture was taken by Mahesh, Bart, and Albert from Ampulz B.V., a power electronics company dealing with a variety of clients in the public transport, educational, as well as oil&gas industries. Ampulz is a daughter company of Vonk B.V. which plays an important role in enabling the energy transition through catering solutions for Power Conversion, Electrical & Instrumentation, and Control & Automation challenges. The speakers discussed the long history of the company, and described the key ongoing projects. One of these is the Decomplexed platform, which was powered by the innovative VONK energy system. The students were thrilled to hear about the various internship and job opportunities at the company.
The feedback we received from this lecture was proof that our efforts in improving the quality of our online events were in the right direction!
The first company contacted by SSD was the renowned ProDrive Technologies, headquartered at Eindhoven. With close to 1500 employees as of 2020, ProDrive is a leader in the innovation and manufacturing for the medical, automotive, semiconductor, and energy industries. They hence raised several eyebrows of students following the Power Electronics and Drives specialization of our Electrical Power Engineering program. The speaker was Sjors Verkammen, a masters student carrying out his thesis at the company. His work related to efficient charging in electrical vehicles, and design of the corresponding power electronics. Hearing his story provided students a gist of the energetic work culture at ProDrive, as well as a peek at how smoothly the company operates from within. After his talk, a representative from HR, Ruud de Vries, explained in better detail the internship and job opportunities at ProDrive.
An idea of how the company is involved in a vast variety of markets and the applications of their technologies in these fields has been made known to the students.
Overall, the enthusiasm of students made the very first online event/lecture in the pandemic age a success! It was also a chance for the board of SSD to know where we could improve in organizing online events to make them more educational and informative.