Industry meets young researchers at the annual DTU Energy PhD Symposium

Friday 23 Nov 18
Every year the PhD students at DTU Energy get the opportunity to present their research to representatives from industry as well as the senior researchers at the department. This year, 110 participants contributed to a successful symposium.

When as a PhD student you are stuck in the lab trying to make some little detail in your experiment work just right, it can sometimes feel as if your work has little relevance to the outside world. The annual DTU Energy PhD Symposium is a vivid proof that this is not true. Here industry representatives come to spend a day listening to the department’s PhD students and perhaps spot a talented young researcher as a potential future employee in their company.

This year, two former PhD students at the department shared their insights with the audience on the transition from academia to industry. Frank Allebrod, who did his PhD on high temperature and pressure alkaline electrolysis, is today the Head of R&D at H-Tec Systems, a German company developing high performance electrolysers for the hydrogen sector. He outlined some of the differences between working at a university and in a company but also emphasized how his PhD could be put to good use in his present job.

Ane Christiansen worked on development and characterization of advanced lithium batteries for her thesis. This has perhaps not much to do with wind turbines, but it turns out that her expertise in materials development can be put to good use in the wind industry. In her talk she described how she found an unexpected career as a surface treatment engineer at Siemens Gamesa, developing new surface treatments to protect wind turbine blades from corrosion.

The rest of the day was spent in two parallel tracks where 17 PhD students gave talks on their work with many lively discussions afterwards. A poster session presented the projects of another 27 PhD students.

At the close of the day, Department Head Søren Linderoth could announce the winners of the prizes for best talks and poster. From track A, Mathias Christensen won with his talk on ‘In-situ characterization of secondary Zn-air batteries’ (he had already left by the time of the ceremony to write his thesis(!) so his head of section, Professor Peter Holtappels, accepted on his behalf), while the track B winner was Martina Trini with her talk on ‘Ni/YSZ electrodes degradation in SOFC and SOEC: combining microstructural characterization and phase field modelling’. Finally, Nicola Mazzanti received a prize for his poster ‘Ceria as a SOEC fuel electrode’.

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