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Instituto Superior Técnico student wins 2011/2012 REN Prize

REN has awarded the 2011/12 REN Prize to Tiago Castelhano, a Master’s degree student at the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), for his project entitled “Earthing in Substations”.

The ceremony took place today at the Hotel Tivoli Lisboa during the Grids of the Future Conference organised by REN and attended by George Gross, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois, and Artur Trindade, Secretary of State for Energy.

The main aim of Tiago Castelhano’s work, which earned him a prize of 12,500 euros, was to improve the safety conditions of people who operate and visit electrical substations. The study establishes the methodologies for dimensioning earthing networks in substations as a guide in dimensioning these systems.

The second prize, worth 6,500 euros, was awarded to Tiago Pinto of the Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP) for his study entitled “Adaptive Learning in Agents’ Behaviour: A Framework for Electricity Markets Simulation”. This develops a system that enables agents to optimise energy supply to the market.

David Cerdeira of the IST picked up the third prize, worth 3,500 euros, for his work in the area of smart grids, entitled “Smart Grids – Distributed Implementation, in 61850 Architectures in Energy Substations, of Programmed Automatisms according to Standard 61131-3”, which guarantees the interoperability of automation devices of different systems that control the electricity grids.

The jury also awarded two honourable mentions to the studies by João Soares of ISEP and Rui Parreira of IST.

Focus on integration of renewable energies

Besides the award of the prizes, another of the ceremony’s high points was the speech by George Gross. This speaker, a specialist in the integration of renewable energies, discussed the future opportunities in the area of renewable energies, with a special focus on the challenge of Smart Grids.

The jury of this year’s REN Prize is chaired by José Sucena Paiva, of Instituto Superior Técnico, and comprises representatives of the Instituto Superior Técnico, the Porto Faculty of Engineering, the Science and Technology Faculty of the University of Coimbra and REN.

The selection criteria include assessment of the level of technical and scientific knowledge, the innovative nature of the approach and results and the creativity demonstrated in the aims and methods. The structure and organisation of the presentation were another factor taken into account.

The 17th REN Prize aims to distinguish the best Master’s degree theses on electrical and natural gas networks and systems developed in Portuguese higher education establishments by Master’s graduates or final-year Master’s degree students in Engineering subjects.