Public outreach – schools, young people & researchers


Guidance for Graduates initiative

MEDOW student Jayachandra Naidu and his colleagues at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have created an online platform for graduate students across the world who are considering a postgraduate degree.

The objectives of this initiative are to:

  • provide information on application procedures, admission requirements, scholarships, tuition fees;
  • build a CV; and
  • write a Statement of Purpose.

The guidance is provided by researchers, professors and subject experts in a relevant field.

His initiative is available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. He has already received very positive feedback.

Graduate Guidance screen shot

Teaching the next generation

Barcelona, Spain, December 2016

As MEDOW students reach the end of their time in the network, they continue their outreach activities with the next generation of young power systems engineers. At the 2016 EES-UETP course on HVDC Technology and HVDC Grids, Kevin Schönleber lectured attendees on Operation and Control of Offshore Wind Power Plants while Marc Cheah led a session on Interactions between AC and DC Systems and Frequency Support.

KIC Innoenergy Wind Power workshop

Barcelona, Spain, October 2016

For the third year in a row, MEDOW researchers played a lead role in this workshop for students of the KIC Innoenergy Master’s in Smart Electrical Networks and Systems (MSc SENSE).  Kevin Schönleber led a session on Offshore Wind Power Plants.

Open Day

Cardiff, UK, 08 July 2016

Cardiff University hosted a MEDOW Project Open Day and Energy Exhibition.  This was our final public outreach event and aims to give the general public the opportunity to find out about the project’s aims and achievements.

The event was open to all and formed part of the University’s Summer of Innovation programme.  As well as displaying MEDOW’s work, the exhibition featured other energy and environment related doctoral level research, including that of the SUSPLACE (Sustainable Place Shaping) Marie Curie European Training Network.

See the event advert on CORDIS and on Marie Curie Alumni Association website

MEDOW in China!

May-June 2016

For the second year in a row, MEDOW conducted a mini tour of China, including active participation in two international conferences,  to share the the project’s work.  ESR Gen Li presented a paper IEEE International Power Electronics and Motion Control Conferences (IPEMC) ECCE Asia 2016 in Hefei.  He then presented a poster at IET ACDC 2016 in Beijing, while ESR Abel Ferreira presented a paper at the same conference.  Gen then presented his IPEMC paper to students and staff at China Agricultural University and presented an overview of offshore wind and DC grids in Europe to staff of State Grid ChangChun Power Supply Company.  Gen presented the overview again at Northeast Dianli University, and MEDOW Scientist-in-Charge Dr Jun Liang presented the project at Beijing Information Science & Technology University  and North China Electric Power University.


Presenting MEDOW to the general public

Monmouth, UK, 11 May 2016

Cardiff ESRs presented the project to the Science and Technology interest group of the ‘University of the 3rd Age‘, a year-round programme of talks and events for retired people from all walks of life.  Marc, Tibin and Gen presented not only the rationale for and challenges of DC grids for transmission of offshore wind power but also talked about the wider context of renewable energy and plans for international power interconnection.

International Conference

Leuven, 07 April 2016

MEDOW hosted a Special Session on Offshore Wind and HVDC Grids with Friends of the Supergrid at the 2016 IEEE EnergyCon conference at KU Leuven, Belgium.  This was MEDOW major outreach event for industry and policymakers as well as resaerchers and the public.  Well over 100 people attended the session.

The day-long Special Session, completely dedicated to the integration of offshore resources and the development of the HVDC grid, started with a panel session on the current state-of-the-art and future challenges of OWF connection. Bart Embrechts and Brunet Pascal from Engie-Fabricom  presented the current design status of the offshore platforms using AC transmission and the developments taking place in order to decrease their volume and the cost. Chris Veal (Transmission Investment) explained the procedure for becoming an offshore transmission operator and its economic feasibility. And finally, Nicolaos Cutululis (DTU Wind) introduced different strategies for the provision of ancillary services from wind farms.

The day’s second session dealt with the need and development of a HVDC grid in Europe. During the session, Norman Macleod (PB) and Frank Schettler (Siemens) presented the technology roadmap for the construction of the DC grid and the needs and current draft of technical specification for the integration of the HVDC network respectively. From the utility side, Mart van der Meijden (TenneT-Netherlands) introduced the current HVDC projects in the Netherlands and detailed their capability to be updated as the converter stations for the future multi-terminal DC connection. Finally, Ronnie Belmans (EnergyVille-KU Leuven) and Marta Navarrete (FOSG) coincided in pointing out regulation as the main barrier for building the North Sea DC network and the need for taking risks. To sum up, all speakers agreed that the technical challenges are being solved or they will be reached in the future but that regulatory issues and different interests among countries are still seen as the main hurdles to start building such a grid. The panelists agreed that it is not a dream but a need and the solution for the decarbonisation of the European energy sector. It was also recognized that the sometimes conservative power industry needs to invest in projects of higher risk in order not to further delay developments and for Europe to stay ahead as technology leaders.

The afternoon session presented the outcomes from the MEDOW project in the form of presentations of the work of the technical work packages and, afterwards, a presentation by all ESRs of their own posters during a poster session which also featured a discovery of Belgian beers.

ESRs participate in a school Science Week

Cardiff, 16 March 2016

For a second time, Cardiff ESRs took part in the annual Science Week at Cathays High School.  Tibin Joseph and Gen Li visited the school to assist with activities relating to engineering, to lead teams in a ‘engineering challenge’ and to talk to school students about their work.

European Innovation Summit

Brussels, 07 – 10 December 2015

MEDOW was put forward by Kay Swinburne, Member of European Parliament for Wales, to feature in the conference brochure of the European Innovation Summit, which was organised by the Knowledge 4 Innovation forum of the European Parliament. The project featured as an example of how research and development is contributing to transforming the energy sector in Europe.

Outreach with school pupils

Barcelona, Catalunya, 04 December 2015

The closing outreach activity during the MEDOW conference week in Barcelona took place at the local school Escola Sunion. MEDOW researchers provided a 90-minute session with around 50 pupils aged between 16 and 18. The pupils were about to finish their A-levels with special focus on science and technology, thus the future generation of engineers. The aim of the session was promote of the MEDOW project in the context of an EU-funded research activity as well as the beauty of being and becoming an engineer to challenge technical problems.

The preparation of this class was prepared jointly by the MEDOW researchers during the week and four speakers were identified to present the content and answer questions. Although the presentations were mainly given in English, the knowledge about the Spanish education system from experienced researcher Agusti Egea and early-stage researchers Marc Cheah and Alejandro Bayo was very useful to connect with the audience and facilitate communication with a little Spanish or Catalan. The presentations mainly focussed on how to become an engineer, an outlook on the future power system and renewables and finally wind power. Furthermore Barcelona-based researcher Kevin Schönleber gave some insights about the difference between conventional and renewable energy. The pupils were interested and interacted actively with the researchers. Some questions were quite specific for the Spanish educational system but in parallel interest rose for the engineering education at European universities, e.g. Masters abroad. For the MEDOW researchers it was interesting to see how the education evolved during the last ten years, as the technological and English level of the pupils was surprisingly good compared!  The researchers thanked the students for the interest shown in the presentations and hoped to answer all questions during the session.

MEDOW researchers teach class on Grid Integration of Renewable Energy to Masters students

Barcelona, Catalunya, 01 December 2015

MEDOW researchers prepared and taught a class on Grid Integration of Renewable Energy to students of the KIC Innoenergy MSc Renewable Energy at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

KIC Innoenergy Wind Power workshop

Barcelona, Spain, October 2015

For the second year, MEDOW fellows helped run this workshop for MSc students. While on secondment in Barcelona, Ata Mokhberdoran met with students of KTH University in Stockholm (also a partner institution of the MSc programme) to give them a class on HVDC Grid Protection. Meanwhile, Muhammad Raza gave a lecture on Future Offshore Network and its Integration with the Grid and Abel Ferreira a lecture on HVDC Technology. Kevin Schönleber led a session on Wind Power.

MEDOW in Beijing!

Beijing, China, April -May 2015

ER Agustí Egea started work at China Electric Power Research Institute in April 2015.  We took advantage of ESRs Jorge Gonçalves and Tibin Joseph being on secondment alongside Agustí at CEPRI and MEDOW supervisors Dr Jun Liang and Dr Oriol Gomis and ER Dr Qing Mu being in the city for a variety of research activities to make MEDOW known!  The group presented their work and the project aims at a number of workshops and meetings to audiences from China Smart Grid Research Institute, North China Electric Power University, China Electric Power Research Institute, China Agricultural University, Qinghua University and Beijing Institute of Technology.

In May, Jorge and Tibin and their CEPRI colleagues met with around 40 staff and students of Zhenghou University to talk about their work in the Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation and Supply in Cardiff and on integrated AC/DC grid simulation.

Communicating MEDOW in Iran

Tabriz and Sahand, Iran, April 2015

ESR Ataollah Mokhberdoran presented his work on ‘DC Distribution and Smart Grid’ to an audience of 40 research group leaders and managers at Tabriz Electricity Distribution Company and his work on ‘Fast HVDC Circuit Breakers’ to an audience of 40 professors, PhD researchers and Masters students at Sahand University of Technology.

Qing Mu at Birmingham University

Birmingham, UK, March 2015

ER Qing presented an Introduction to Advanced Digital Power System Simulation to students and staff.

Sahar Pirooz Azad at the University of Alberta

Edmonton, Canada, March 2015

ER Sahar presented her research on HVDC System Control and Protection to an audience of senior staff. Sahar has since taken up employment as Associate Professor at the university.

North China Electric Power University visits the UK

Cardiff, UK, February 2015

ESR Tibin Joseph met with a group of students and staff to discuss his work on Interactive AC/DC Grids.

“Champion the Researcher” day for high school students

Cardiff, UK, December 2014

ESRs Marc and Jorge told a group of more than eighty 13-15 year old students about their MEDOW work. This presentation was part of the Royal Academic of Engineering (RAEng) “Champion the Researcher” event at Cardiff School of Engineering.  The students came from seven secondary schools across the Cardiff and Bristol areas and the aim of the day was to increase school students’ and teachers’ awareness of engineering as a potential career path and raise the profile of engineering research in particular.  See a report on the event.

Workshop at Institute of Electric Energy Systems and High Voltage Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Karlsruhe, Germany, November 2014

ESR Kevin Schönleber gave a presentation on ‘The MEDOW Project in Barcelona’ to a group of young researchers and staff at KIT.

KIC Innoenergy Wind Energy workshop

27 November 2014, Barcelona

UPC is a partner in the KIC Innoenergy Master’s in Smart Electrical Networks and Systems (MSc SENSE) programme. MEDOW researchers took part in the workshop with Abel Ferreira leading a session on Modular Multilevel Converters in HVDC and Rodrigo Teixeira Pinto lecturing on Transmission System Options for Far and Large Offshore Wind Farms.

Engineers Without Borders Challenge for bachelors students

Cardiff, UK, October 2014

ESRs Jorge, Marc and Tibin took part in the Engineers Without Borders Challenge 2014.  The Cardiff School of Engineering set all the first year undergraduate Electrical and Mechanical Engineering students the challenge of developing a solution to problem encountered in the developing world.   Each ESR supervised groups of students during two workshops every day for one week and supported them in developing a technically and economically viable engineering solution.  This gave the ESRs great experience of demonstration, supervision and communicating their work, as well as of understanding (or remembering!) the challenges facing new young engineering students.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions ITN information session

Cardiff, UK, 2 October 2014

MEDOW Scientist-in-Charge Dr Jun Liang, Cardiff ESR Gen Li and MEDOW Project Officer Cath Roderick presented the network and its benefits for individual researchers and collaborative networks at a MSCA Innovative Training Networks event at Cardiff University.  The event was open to academic, research and professional services staff from Cardiff at its GW4 partner universities and attendees came from a variety of subject areas and disciplines including medicine, social sciences and engineering.  Jun explained to the audience his experiences of co-ordinating a successful ITN bid.  Gen talked about his experiences as a Marie Curie researcher and the benefits it offers for his current work and future career, while Cath talked about how to manage and co-0rdinate a Marie Curie network.

Eevi Laukkanen from the University’s Research and Innovation Services kicked off the session with a detailed talk on the benefits of ITNs and best ways to prepare proposals. There was also a talk from a science communication professional about the importance of communication and engagement training for early career researchers.

This was a very useful day in sharing knowledge, promoting ITNs to a wide audience and highlighting the benefits and structure of a doctoral training network.

HVDC-WIND Meeting at BarcelonaTech

Barcelona, Spain, 15 September 2014

Cardiff ESR Marc Cheah presented his work on Permanent Magnet Synchronous Generator for Wind Turbines: Modelling, Control and Inertial Frequency Response at his former university and MEDOW partner CITCEA-UPC.  This gave him the opportunity to share his work with researchers and students from outside the MEDOW project and its immediate area of work.

GW4 Communication for Collaboration

Bristol, UK, 3-5 September 2014

Cardiff University ESR Tibin Joseph attended the Communication for Collaboration residential workshop in early September 2014.  The GW4 consortium consists of Cardiff University, University of Bristol, University of Bath and University of Exeter: the South West (of England) and Wales’ four leading, research-intensive universities.  The universities will collaborate through their research to address key global challenges for the benefit of society and the economy.

This workshop for postgraduate researchers aimed to introduce the participants to the opportunities and challenges of collaborative research, as well as providing an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they gained throughout the event. Sixty PGR students (15 from each university), from a range of research disciplines, were awarded places through a competitive application process.

Tibin was able to tell fellow participants about the MEDOW project and the opportunities presented by being a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher. He distributed publicity materials about the project to the other participants.

As a result of the meeting, in December 2014 Tibin produced a report on Offshore Wind Energy Transmission with Multi-Terminal High Voltage DC grids (MT-HVDC)and Fuzziness in collaboration with University of Bristol researcher Daniel Lewis.

ESRs take part in Renewables Day at Cathays High School, Cardiff

16 July 2014, Cardiff

Cardiff ESRs Marc Cheah, Tibin Joseph and Gen Li visited Cathays High School to take part in an event which aimed to help school students to learn about different types of renewable energy.  The ESRs demonstrated wind turbines, a water turbine (Pelton turbine) and a wind meter and told the students about their work on the MEDOW project.

Cathays High students had lots of questions for the ESRs and showed genuine interest in learning about the different ways in which electricity can be generated.  See a report on this activity.

Communicating MEDOW with multidisciplinary research students

June 2014, Gregynog, UK

ESR Gen Li attended the 6th Cardiff Gregynog Conference in rural Wales and presented to delegates Building the Grid for the Future, an overview for non-experts of MEDOW’s main aims and challenges.

ESRs lead a workshop in Barcelona

24 & 25 April 2014, Barcelona

On 24 and 25 April 2014, the MEDOW outreach event “Workshop on HVDC Towards the Future” was organized at the Technical University of Cataluña (UPC).  The main audience for the workshop was local students and SENSE (Smart Electrical Networks and Systems)  students from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. We were pleased to count on the presence of Mr. Jayachandra Naidu at the workshop to share his valuable views.  Jayachandra is the MEDOW ESR PhD student hosted at Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

The workshop covered two aspects, firstly a thorough discussion on the state-of-art technology of HVDC systems suitable for the integration of offshore wind power plants, and secondly demonstration of facilities at UPC as well as an interesting technical visit to one of the major distribution substation in Barcelona. Different concepts of modern wind power plants, advanced control approaches and latest development in the field of voltage source converter (VSC) high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system focused on wind power integration were presented.

The MEDOW research fellows located in Barcelona at UPC, Cinergia and Alstom participated actively in the organization of the event as well as in the presentation of interesting information on their on-going research. Abel Ferreira presented VSC-HVDC: State of the Art, while Muhammad Raza discussed Network Configuration and Topologies for Multi-terminal VSC-HVDC Transmission Systems. Kevin Schonleber talked about DC Collector Arrays for Offshore Wind. The schedule of the workshop is given in detail here.

Sharing MEDOW with multidisciplinary researchers in Denmark

March 2014, Aalborg

DTU-based ESR Jayachandra Naidu attended a training course on Preparation of Research Plans for PhD at the University of Aalborg and took the opportunity to share his MEDOW objectives in his presentation on Study Plan for Coordinated Control of Wind Power Plants in Offshore HVDC Grid.

ESRs take part in National Science & Engineering Week (UK) events with Cathays High School, Cardiff

17, 19 & 21 March 2014, Cardiff

The ESRs at Cardiff University attended some ‘science club’ sessions at Cathays High School as part of National Science and Engineering Week 2014.  They helped school students to participate in a number of ‘hands-on’ science activities and experiments. Marc Cheah gave a demonstration to students of how a wind turbine creates electrical power and how we can control and increase the amount of power generated.

Science staff at Cathays High work hard to encourage students to become interested in the sciences and to engage with the subject area as a possible future field of studies and employment.  The MEDOW ESRs’ participation gave students the chance to meet and ask question to some young researchers who have pursued studies and a career in the sciences.

‘Renewable Energy’ Afternoon for A-level students

Thursday 12 December 2013, Cardiff University

52 students and four teachers from three local schools came to Cardiff School of Engineering for a renewable energy themed event.  ESRs from across the MEDOW network gave presentations on power systems and the challenges of integrating renewable energy sources into existing grids (which the MEDOW project is aiming to address), wind power and future career opportunities in electrical and energy engineering.  The students had the opportunity to ask the ESRs questions about wind power and renewable energy generation.  Our visitors then visited one of three laboratories to see the ‘power system simulator’ operated by the Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation and Supply, a working model of the proposed Severn Barrage (tidal power) or the ‘lightning simulator’ in the High Voltage lab.  The event concluded with a talk on the proposed Severn Barrage by Professor Roger Falconer, academic staff member at Cardiff University and President of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research.  The talk on tidal power allowed the students to hear about another promising type of renewable energy and the kinds of challenges that engineers and researchers are addressing.

Click here to see a report on the event.

The visitors enjoyed videos by ASC Renewables and Alstom on the benefits of wind power and on the basic concepts of how energy from an offshore wind farm is transmitted to the grid.