The REN Prize once again honoured the three most innovative master's theses in the field of Energy. Gabriel da Silva Garanito Maciel, a student of Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, was the winner of the 2018 edition of the REN Prize, with the thesis 'Development and Mechanical Design of a Foundation for an Offshore Wind Turbine'.
The REN Prize was awarded on 8 November, in Lisbon, during a ceremony attended by, among others, the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor; Rodrigo Costa, Chairman and CEO of REN; Francisco Pedro Balsemão, CEO of Impresa and João Peças Lopes, Professor at FEUP and president of the jury of the REN Prize. The awards ceremony was preceded by a debate on the topic of 'Innovation, Connection to Companies and Creation of Value for the Country', moderated by Pedro Santos Guerreiro, with the rectors of some of the most important Portuguese universities.
The second prize of the 2018 edition of the REN Prize was awarded to Pedro Sarmento de Beires, from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, for his academic work on the topic 'The role of reversible hydroelectric power plants given the increase in the level of integration of renewable generation in isolated power systems'.
The third prize was awarded to Fábio José Correia de Brito, from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, for the thesis 'Simulation of Aggregate Operation Strategies of Distributed Storage Systems in Wind Farms and Photovoltaic Plants'.
The jury also awarded two special mentions, to João Espírito Santo from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto and to João Anjo from Instituto Superior Técnico.
Created in 1995, the REN Prize is an award for the best master's theses in the field of energy, written by students of Engineering, Economics, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Information Systems and Computer Science.
Winning theses in each of the 24 editions of the REN Prize have been following the defining changes and developments that have shaped the energy sector, anticipating challenges, identifying problems, and putting forward innovative solutions.
The amount of the prizes was doubled in this edition, with the winner of the Prize for the Best Thesis being awarded a monetary value of €25,000, the second prize receiving €15,000 and the third prize receiving €10,000. Each special mention will receive a prize of €2,500.
From 2019, the REN prize will also be open to doctoral theses. This award seeks to honour the best doctoral thesis in Portuguese universities by new PhDs in topics from the field of Energy, in the following scientific areas: Engineering, Economics, Physics, Chemistry, Information Systems and Computer Science. This prize will be awarded biennially. All doctoral theses from the fields mentioned above which have been argued in the two school years preceding each year in which the Prize is awarded are eligible.