Archives for November 2016

10th November 2016 - No Comments!

Nuclear fuel concept a winner for EIT InnoEnergy graduate

Nothing tops finishing up your master’s thesis with a feeling of a job well done. Except perhaps making a major discovery AND winning a prestigious award! EIT InnoEnergy MSc EMINE student Alicia Raftery did just that when securing the honourable Sigvard Eklund award for 2016.

The late nuclear physicist Sigvard Eklund dedicated his life to utilising nuclear energy for peaceful purposes – and his foundation carries on that tradition. This year Alicia was one of proud winners receiving their award at the SKC (Swedish Centre for Nuclear Technology) annual symposium in September 2016 in Hindås.

Alicia shares her passion for nuclear energy with us – and how EIT InnoEnergy has been a big part of the picture.

Award-winning idea

Always having an interest in nuclear fuel fabrication, during a 3-week nuclear fuels course at Cadarache (part of her master’s study) it just clicked. She reached out to KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) to obtain a master’s thesis position in their nuclear fuels lab. This hands on experience allowed her to develop this possible new fuel concept – also the theme of her thesis, “Fabrication and Characterization of UN-USix Nuclear Fuel”.

Working closely with KTH PhD student supervisor, Kyle Johnson, she created a composite nuclear fuel of uranium silicide and uranium nitride using a relatively new sintering method called “spark plasma sintering” (SPS). The project was a great success in the fact that a high-density fuel pellet with enhanced thermal conductivity was created, but it also uncovered a new “unknown” ternary phase. “Westinghouse is going forward with the next step of irradiation testing the fuel in the US, putting the fuel in a research reactor to see how it behaves”, explains Alicia.

Kyle submitted her thesis for the award, recognising the significance of the results. “She was an incredibly talented, knowledgeable, and thorough young scientist – who always willing to get her hands dirty (not something just anyone does in a nuclear fuel lab).“

EIT InnoEnergy’s role

Alicia already felt like a winner, having received a scholarship from EIT InnoEnergy for the entirety of her master studies. “The EMINE programme exposed me to a wide network in industry and academia, both in Sweden and France.” Excited to begin her PhD studies in January 2017, she’ll spend the first two years studying in the US and the second two years in Belgium. “I think the high level of education I received in the EMINE program definitely contributed to my acceptance into this PhD position.” 

Onward and upward

She is currently working at the Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico, gaining experience at a national lab before going on to graduate school. When asked what the future holds, “I’ve really enjoyed studying in an international environment. I see myself as a project manager on international collaborative projects.” But what continues to drive her passion in the field of nuclear energy? “I consider nuclear energy not only to be the most practical energy solution, but also endlessly interesting. And I am a true victim to the notion that my contributions to nuclear research will make a real difference in the world.” It’s clear to see she is already on her way. Congratulations on the discovery and award!

8th November 2016 - No Comments!

Join the EIT Alumni Startup Days and tackle societal challenges!

Taking place in six cities, two hundred EIT Alumni and Students will be uniting on the weekend of 2 to 4 December 2016 to create a positive impact through innovation and entrepreneurship.

The EIT Alumni Startup days is a community building initiative that enhances cooperation across the EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities. By bringing together graduates, researchers, developers, young professionals and start-up enthusiasts in 6 cities across Europe for a 54 hour event, we connect a global network of entrepreneurs and innovators.

Space is limited so book your place now.
All the latest developments can be followed on our twitter , facebook and web page.

The event will be taking place in Barcelona, Berlin, Eindhoven, Lisbon, Paris and Stockholm and will kick off on the 2nd December, lasting 54 hours and finish on the 4th December. Challenges addressed by the participants will come from corporate sponsors, companies within the local innovation ecosystem or EIT Alumni members wanting to expand and seek help for their start-up propositions.

 

The second edition of this pan-European event builds on the successes of the inaugural Startup Days, which saw 170 participants develop concepts, network and enhance vital cognitive and team working skills. From last year’s event, ideas were conceptualised such as; bridging gaps between farmers and people who live in the city; a dictionary for hand gestures; to solving water pollution by utilising micro-algae.

7th November 2016 - No Comments!

EIT Digital launches Internet of Things course on online learning platform Coursera

EIT Digital has launched an Internet of Things (IoT) course on the online learning platform Coursera.

 

This is the third Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) EIT Digital has placed on Coursera, as part of a planned programme of over fifteen courses due to be published this year.

EIT Digital introduced the Software Architecture for the Internet of Things MOOC, which was developed in cooperation with iMinds. The course is also employed in an innovative ‘flipped classroom’ approach. In a flipped classroom, students watch online lectures at home, and engage in concepts in the classroom with the guidance of a mentor, which is quite the flipped or opposite situation of ‘regular’ on campus courses. The MOOC is part of a bigger online programme called ‘Internet of Things through Embedded Systems’.

"This programme will provide access to the on-campus EIT Digital Master Programme in Embedded Systems for bachelor students all over the world,” says Martijn Klabbers, Online Education Activity Lead at EIT Digital. At the end of the online programme, students can get a certificate, and at the end of the blended programme (including the online part and the on-campus program) students receive the same double degree and EIT label as regular on-campus EIT Digital students. Klabbers adds that professionals and people with other degrees can join in the MOOC as well. “EIT Digital innovates in digital education, building upon, and improving the reputation of European Universities of Technology. It does so by transforming existing courses at these universities to an online format and demonstrating the excellence of these courses. These courses are part of the regular Master Programme, and the transformation includes the active participation of European universities.”

The courses on Coursera are offered by more than 140 institutes, like Stanford University, Princeton University, Eindhoven University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Sapienza University of Rome, University of London and Lund University in Sweden. If learners want to join and apply for the on campus program, they need to purchase the Coursera certificates for all courses (50 euro per online course).

EIT Digital expects to launch more courses on Coursera in the near future, Klabbers reveals. “Soon we will launch a follow-up about Internet of Things. In August, we will launch the first course of a series about System Validation. Also we are working, in cooperation with the Haas School of Business of the University of California, Berkeley and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, on three courses about Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Furthermore, there is an Advanced Computer Architecture series from the Technical University of Berlin to be released in the same time period. Next year a similar programme on the topic of Data Science will be published on Coursera and open for learners all over the world.”

EIT Digital has already offered two other courses on Coursera in cooperation with Åbo Akademi University and Eindhoven University of Technology. These are, respectively, Development of Real Time Systems and Quantitative Formal Modeling and Worst Case Performance Analysis, which will have follow-ups published soon.