Noiseless, vibration-free buildings?
Accés obert
 
24 de gen. 2011 Is it possible to predict the acoustic consequences of structural design in the fields of construction and civil engineering? How are noise and vibrations transmitted? Cristina Díaz. Department of Applied Mathematics III. Laboratory of Computational Methods and Numerical Analysis.
0 reproduction
 

For Cristina Díaz, raising the status of research is vital. ‘Greater value has to be placed on the work of PhD students, at both the economic and social levels. Spanish society has to realise how much added value PhD students offer. Students need to feel that devoting themselves to research is simply another career choice and that having a PhD will broaden, rather than limit, their career possibilities.’

Díaz researches the parameters and structures involved in noise propagation without forming part of a specific project. This gives her the freedom to follow her own interests, which has led to a rich and varied experience that is anything but routine. Specifically, her line of research is the numerical modelling of vibroacoustic problems (i.e. problems involving vibrations and sound) in the spheres of construction and civil engineering.

 

Vídeos de la mateixa sèrie

The laser, detective of cancerogenic cells?

Accés obert
29 de febr. 2008
Satish Rao
Postdoctoral researcher
30 years-old; Washington, D.C, USA
Currículum
Postdoctoral Researcher. Institut of Photonic Sciences. Castelldefels.
PhD – Physics: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
MSc – Electrical and Computer Engineering: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
Outsanding
The best of dedicating oneself to the research is that every day one has the chance to produce something new. One’s ideas and hard work can produce something innovative and unique and can improve technologies. This is exciting for working as a researcher.
In Spain, there is a lot of money that is being spent on research. So there are many opportunities for youngsters to become involved in research in this country. It is not as necessary as before for talented researchers to leave Spain to have good careers. Second, a talented researcher is respected all across the world and will have the opportunity to do many things as technology continues to advance.
I hope that I will some day become a professor at a university in the United States or in Europe. This is very difficult, but I do imagine myself working in research for a long time either at a university/institute or for a company.

Algorithms to forecast natural disasters?

Accés obert
24 de gen. 2011
Felipe Quintero swears that he loves bad weather. When it rains at night, he thinks, ‘We’ll have our work cut out for us tomorrow, analysing all the data and running the simulations!’

This young researcher is doing his PhD at the Centre for Applied Research in Hydrometeorology (CRAHI) within the framework of the IMPRINTS project, which is funded under the EU’s 7th Framework Programme and coordinated by UPC lecturer Daniel Sempere.

The IMPRINTS project seeks a better understanding of the phenomena that cause flash floods and debris-flow events, in order to improve risk management and develop forecasting and warning systems that increase public safety in situations involving flood risk. Nineteen public and private institutions from Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Holland, South Africa and Canada are participating in the project.

Liquids and solids at the same time?

Accés obert
24 de gen. 2011
For Luis Carlos Pardo, a good researcher needs to have ‘passion, passion and more passion’. To paraphrase Isaac Newton, a scientist should be like a child playing on the seashore, who is excited to find a pebble or a shell with an unusual shape. Obviously, hard work and perseverance are also required, but ‘they will come easily enough if you are passionate about what you do’.

At first glance, the molecules in a liquid like water seem to be completely disordered. However, upon closer examination, one finds that the space around each one is filled with other molecules, like pieces in a three-dimensional game of Tetris. Thus, order is found in a system that initially seemed to be disordered. This fact is crucial to understanding how certain biological processes involving water work.

This is the line of research being pursued by this young researcher, who is experimenting with neutrons to study the structure of liquids. Luis Carlos is a firm believer in popularising science and would like to see scientific news in the media given greater attention, since, as he puts it, ‘research is also culture’.

How do materials react to fire?

Accés obert
15 d’oct. 2011
This young lecturer and researcher’s work is focused on the field of construction, specifically, on construction materials and the use of mathematical models to simulate physicochemical processes.

She works on research projects related to the development of new construction materials with specific features, the use of non-destructive diagnostic techniques, the assessment of energy efficiency and acoustic comfort conditions, how materials react to fire, and the computer simulation and design of elements intended to make buildings safer and more sustainable.

An underground that never breaks down?

Accés obert
24 de gen. 2011
For Marc Gispert, the success of this business venture can be credited to its team, ‘to the bonds of friendship that we have forged, which allow us to work non-stop, for hours on end, because we share the same objective’.

The final project for his degree consisted in designing artificial intelligence hardware and software able to predict mechanical and electrical motor failures. With a view to pursuing the project further, his group began to collaborate with the company Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB), which has been key to allowing them to get the business project off the ground.

The group entered their business idea in the 9th Contest of Business Ideas sponsored by the UPC’s Innova Programme, and it took second prize. Thus was born Thinking Forward S.L., which has created a new hardware and software system to detect potential electrical motor failures. The system’s clearest application can be found in the railroad sector, where it would increase safety and considerably reduce both predictive and corrective maintenance work, and also enhance the reliability of systems that use electrical motors.

Noiseless, vibration-free buildings?

Accés obert
24 de gen. 2011
For Cristina Díaz, raising the status of research is vital. ‘Greater value has to be placed on the work of PhD students, at both the economic and social levels. Spanish society has to realise how much added value PhD students offer. Students need to feel that devoting themselves to research is simply another career choice and that having a PhD will broaden, rather than limit, their career possibilities.’

Díaz researches the parameters and structures involved in noise propagation without forming part of a specific project. This gives her the freedom to follow her own interests, which has led to a rich and varied experience that is anything but routine. Specifically, her line of research is the numerical modelling of vibroacoustic problems (i.e. problems involving vibrations and sound) in the spheres of construction and civil engineering.

Bacteria that can cause miscarriages?

Accés obert
24 de gen. 2011
Gemma Agustí is fond of something Jules Verne once said: science is made up of a series of mistakes that lead little by little to the truth. ‘It’s true! A bad result shouldn’t discourage you or make you lose hope.’ She insists, ‘Research is addictive. Every time you obtain a positive result, you want to do it some more!’

Agustí’s research focuses on pathogenic microorganisms found in wet environments such as swimming pools and accumulated rainwater that cause spontaneous abortions, or miscarriages. She received a start-up grant from the UPC and is currently studying these pathogens and identifying sources of infection.

The bacterium Waddlia chondrophila is believed to cause abortions in bovines and has, in recent years, been directly linked to spontaneous abortions in women in the first trimester of pregnancy. The ecology, route of infection and prevalence in the environment of this pathogen are all unknown and, thus, so is the route of transmission.

Waterpoof and fireproof cardboard?

Accés obert
24 de gen. 2011
Gabriel Ros and Gustavo García believe that the success of this business project will hinge on knowing how to work as a team and having full confidence in each team member’s work. They insist that ‘curiosity is what drives both researchers and entrepreneurs’.

The research team has created a new material made out of paper and cardboard waste that is mouldable, fireproof, porous, waterproof and highly resistant and can be used as a substitute for plastic and other materials commonly used in the construction sector.

The new material, which they have named Biprocel, is obtained by applying a biotechnological process to cellulose waste, is environmentally friendly and can be obtained without the use of chemicals. It has applications in a variety of sectors, ranging from construction to shipping or packaging. In fact, because of its high resistance, insulating and waterproofing properties and low density, Biprocel can be used as a replacement for plasterboard and other materials used in construction, such as insulating partition walls, soundproofing panels and drop-ceiling tiles, or for polyester tissue in packaging.

A virtual assistant to fight tumours?

Accés obert
25 de maig 2010
Alfredo Vellido remembers how his first few months as a researcher ‘were like going into a bakery and being told you could take whatever you liked: I suffered from the ‘all-you-can-eat buffet’ syndrome. I read voraciously.’

Vellido leads a team of 14 researchers on an international scientific project to design an intelligent diagnostic decision-support system for brain tumours based on advanced imaging techniques and soft computing, i.e. computer systems that are able to process imprecise, uncertain and/or incomplete information adequately to achieve usability, robustness and low-cost solutions.

The project, called Artificial Intelligence Decision Tools for Tumour Diagnosis (AIDTumour), aims to create a functional prototype that can help doctors improve their diagnoses in clinical oncology, specifically with regard to brain tumours, using data from magnetic resonance spectrometry.

Will mobile coverage problems soon become a thing of the past?

Accés obert
25 de maig 2010
Research has helped Adrián Agustín increase his ability to ‘organise and plan’ his work. He is currently a researcher in the Signal Processing and Communications Group and participates in the Rocket project, which aims to enhance wireless communication systems.

Within the framework of the project, a variety of solutions have been proposed, including introducing relays and designing the necessary techniques to use them to improve communications, increasing bandwidth to make it possible to transmit more information, and trying to ensure that, at the cellular level, all users have very good coverage for Internet transmissions and data transfer.

The radio spectrum has been observed to be underused in certain places and at certain times of day. In such cases, the researchers are investigating the option of using both mobile terminals and base stations to detect whether the idle bandwidth can be used to increase the speed of data transmission. The project likewise proposes deploying very small and affordable relay terminals and significantly increasing the performance of wireless networks.

At the frontier of Moore’s Law?

Accés obert
24 de gen. 2011
For Shrikanth Ganapathy, research gives him a feeling of great freedom. This feeling has only grown stronger since he embarked on his experience in the city of Barcelona.

Holder of a degree in electronics and communications from Anna University (India), he is a researcher with the Architectures and Compilers (ARCO) Group and is writing his PhD within the framework of the Terascale Reliable Adaptive Memory Systems (TRAMS) research project, which aims to ensure that the memories of the teraflop-capable nanometric processors of the future are robust, reliable, energy efficient, fault tolerant and equipped with a variety of advanced features.

As a result of the constant shrinking of transistors and ensuing improvements in their performance, in accordance with Moore’s Law (named after Gordon Moore, founder of Intel Corporation), within the next decade a single chip should be able to perform trillions of operations per second, thereby enabling data flows of several trillion bytes per second. Such impressive computing capacities will not only transform the processing flows at major data and computer-service centres, but also the power consumption and functional capacity of personal computers, communication devices and all other electronic devices with entertainment and home applications.

Satellites to study climate change?

Accés obert
6 d’abr. 2010
Alessandra Monerris thinks that research requires a series of skills and abilities: ‘dedication, perseverance, the ability to synthesise information, the capacity to work as part of a team, an open mind, a willingness to wonder why things are the way they are, not to mention independence and initiative!’

On 2 November 2009, the European Space Agency launched the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite. The group led by researcher Adriano Camps, from the UPC’s Department of Signal Theory and Communications, participated in the mission, which was the first to be led by Spain and will enable more precise forecasts regarding climate change. Monerris defended her doctoral thesis within the framework of the activities leading up to the satellite launching. She is currently the director of the SMOS Barcelona Expert Centre (SMOS-BEC).

Algorithms to forecast natural disasters?

Accés obert
6 de maig 2010
Felipe Quintero swears that he loves bad weather. When it rains at night, he thinks, ‘We’ll have our work cut out for us tomorrow, analysing all the data and running the simulations!’

This young researcher is doing his PhD at the Centre for Applied Research in Hydrometeorology (CRAHI) within the framework of the IMPRINTS project, which is funded under the EU’s 7th Framework Programme and coordinated by UPC lecturer Daniel Sempere.

The IMPRINTS project seeks a better understanding of the phenomena that cause flash floods and debris-flow events, in order to improve risk management and develop forecasting and warning systems that increase public safety in situations involving flood risk. Nineteen public and private institutions from Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Holland, South Africa and Canada are participating in the project.

Electric airplanes?

Accés obert
6 de maig 2010
When deciding whether or not to do a PhD, Miguel Delgado drew up a list of pros and cons. He saw pursuing a PhD as a means of having more time to learn, but he was also aware of the lack of professional stability it entailed. Looking back, he realises that at the time he did not take into account one factor that he now considers crucial: ‘contact with industry’.

He first began to work on the EU’s MOET project as a result of a collaboration grant he received when he was still a student. The project, led by the company Airbus, seeks to improve the internal architecture of airplanes in order to make them lighter, safer, more fuel-efficient and less polluting.

Within the framework of the project, which is overseen by researchers Juan Antonio Ortega and José Luis Romeral, the UPC is responsible for diagnosing how the motor that moves an airplane’s ailerons works. The new version of this motor, which has traditionally been based on a hydraulic system, will use an electromechanical system instead.

Semi-solid casting of metal parts?

Accés obert
6 de maig 2010
For Sergi Menargues, the best part of working as a researcher is that ‘research is a field in which you never hear the word “routine”!’

He is currently working on his doctoral thesis in the field of alloy casting by means of the sub-liquidus casting process and is a lecturer at the Vilanova i la Geltrú School of Engineering.

Simulations to predict phenomena on a nanometric scale?

Accés obert
16 de maig 2010
This young researcher and civil engineer conducts his research in the fields of computational mechanics and numerical methods, the mechanics of carbon nanotubes and liquid membranes, and the use of finite-element technology to solve real engineering problems.

Marino Arroyo has received a prestigious Starting Grant for nearly €1.5 million to pursue his work in the field of multiscale modelling and computer simulation. Starting Grants are a highly competitive grant programme that aims to launch the careers of the most promising researchers. He has also been recognised by the ICREA Acadèmia programme, which rewards excellence in research and leadership with €250,000 grants intended to allow recipients to devote themselves primarily to research for a period of five years.

Recyclable tyres?

Accés obert
16 de maig 2010
This young industrial engineer specialised in chemistry and engineering management works in the private sector for a German multinational as a technical consultant on paint additives for the Spanish market. With a view to improving her CV, she decided to supplement her career with doctoral studies.

Pilar Casas is adamant that ‘without research, there is no innovation, and without innovation, companies aren’t competitive. We need new ideas, new products that position Catalonia at the forefront of scientific research.’ For Casas, research has an addictive side. ‘The best part about being a researcher is that the more progress you make, the more curious you become—you get hooked!’

Hydrogen-producing plants?

Accés obert
24 de gen. 2011
For Cristian Ledesma, to be a researcher, ‘you need to be a naturally curious, very, very patient and persevering critical thinker’. It is not about mechanically performing experiments, but rather thinking about and understanding what you are doing at all times. You also need to be ‘passionate about research, organised and optimistic’. The most important lesson he has learned in recent years is that ‘patience is the mother of science’.

His doctoral thesis consists in studying a chemical reaction that uses a biomass-derived product called bioether to obtain hydrogen. Studying this reaction involves preparing and characterising catalysts containing different formulations of nanoparticles.

He is currently conducting experiments for his doctoral thesis, and he will shortly begin a research stay at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). He plans to defend his thesis next autumn. Once he has finished his PhD, he would like to continue to devote himself to research in the private sector.