POLKA - Pollution Know-how and Abatement

News from the POLKA Community

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News - July 2021

New Supervising Scientist joins POLKA Team

Harshit Gupta

Harshit Gupta took over the role of Research and Innovation manager at Bekaert Heating this month. Originally from India, he has been working at Bekaert since 2015, following his Masters in Thermal Engineering at the University of Twente in The Netherlands. Harshit is close to completing his PhD at TU Eindhoven and will now be supervising the research on Task 5.2 Development of a heat engine for hydrogen-rich fuel mixtures

News - May 2021

New Early Stage Researcher joins POLKA Team

Jiasen Wei

Jiasen Wei enrolled at the University of Genoa this month and brings POLKA back to the full complement of 15 ESRs. Jiasen studied in China and will now be working in Italy on Task 3.3 Optimisation of a prototype thermoacoustic system with an adjoint approach under the supervision of Prof. Alex Bottaro.

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News - November 2020

PhD Position Available

POLKA logo

A 3-year funded PhD position has become available at the University of Genoa, Italy. Working on Task 3.3 Optimisation of a prototype thermoacoustic system with an adjoint approach under the supervision of Prof. Alex Bottaro and Prof. Jan Pralits.
Please click on the link for Task 3.3 for further details.

News - March 2020

12-13 March 2020 – First POLKA progress meeting at Wychwood Park Hotel near Keele

MTR Meeting Group Photo

This first of six progress meetings was meant to be the "Mid-Term Meeting" with the project officer from Brussels in attendance. Unfortunately, travel restrictions due to Covid-19 were coming into force and prevented the project officer from attending. It was also impossible for the Italy-based POLKA members to attend in person, so they participated via video-conferencing. The agenda included introductions by the senior POLKA members, a report and outlook by the coordinator, Professor Maria Heckl, and presentations by all 15 fellows . These presentations showed an impressive amount of progress made by the fellows in just a few months. The meeting took place over two half-days, from lunch to lunch, with dinner for all in the evening. Please see Media Gallery for some photos from the meeting.

12 March 2020 – Guided tour of the green-energy facilities on the Keele Campus

The campus of Keele University is being used as an "at-scale living laboratory" for two major sustainability initiatives: HyDeploy (a trial to inject hydrogen into the campus gas network) and SEND (a Smart Energy Network Demonstrator). The POLKA delegates were welcomed by Professor Chris Fogwill, the director of Keele's Institute for Sustainable Futures, which oversees these initiatives. They were then taken on a guided tour of the HyDeploy plant and the Horwood Energy Centre (a hub were these initiatives are being showcased). Our Media Gallery has some images from an ealier tour in February 2020 which included Keele's hydrogen-gas-blend boiler testing room.

11 March 2020 – First Scientific Workshop at Keele University

This workshop had the title "Analytical methods in thermo‐ and aeroacoustics" (download timetable for full details). Six postgraduate-level lectures were presented by four experienced researchers: Professors Yannis Hardalupas, R.I. Sujith, Maria Heckl and Dr Aswathy Surendran. Everyone had lunch in the Terrace Restaurant in Keele Hall, where they were welcomed by the Head of Chemical & Physical Sciences, Prof. Mike Watkinson. The workshop finished with a quiz to test the fellows' understanding of the material presented to them, and the winning team received a prize in the form of chocolates. Our Media Gallery has a few photos from the day and further resources are available in our POLKA Scientific Workshops page.

10 March 2020 – First Workshop on Research Skills at Keele University

This workshop was delivered by wp: writing point on the theme "Better science writing". The morning session focused on Communicating effectively, Structuring a science paper, Dividing the work into stages, Writing a first draft; the afternoon session focused on Editing for information flow, Editing for successful sentences, Choosing your words. The workshop concluded with the Einstein quote "If you can't explain something simply, you don't understand it well". Please see Media Gallery for a selection of photos from the workshop.

9 March 2020 – First Entrepreneurship Workshop at Keele University

This workshop was on the topic "Entrepreneurial Leadership and Personality"; it was delivered by the POLKA partner UnternehmerTUM. The fellows were introduced to different leadership styles, specific characteristics associated with successful entrepreneurs, and team building skills. In interactive exercises, they learned to assess their own leadership aptitude, to build emotional intelligence, and more. Some photos from the workshop are available in our Media Gallery.

6 March 2020 – First Outreach Workshop at the Science Museum in London

The POLKA fellows met for the first time at the outreach workshop "Public Engagement Training", which was hosted by POLKA Partner Science Museum London. The fellows joined in interactive sessions on "Understanding your audience", "Engagement framework and activities", "Getting people talking" and "Hook your audience in". At the end of the day, the fellows were ready to plan their own outreach activities. Please see Media Gallery for some photos from the workshop.

POLKA Reasearch Team complete

Nikhil Balasubramanian

We offer a warm welcome to Nikhil Balasubramanian who is the 15th and final Early Stage Researcher to join the POLKA team. Nikhil, originally from India, studied for his Masters in Israel and now joins Dr Jakob Hermann at IfTA, Puchheim, Germany to work on Task 4.1 In-situ monitoring of combustion systems with longitudinal thermoacoustic modes.

News - January 2020

POLKA Team recruitment update

Punithan Chelladruai

Dr Joàn Teerling at Bekaert Combustion Technology, Assen, The Netherlands welcomes Punithan Chelladurai to the POLKA team of Early Stage Researchers. Having completed his Masters at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras he will now be working on Task 5.2 Development of a heat engine for hydrogen-rich fuel mixtures.

The team at SISW, Leuven, Belgium were also delighted to welcome their second ESR, Alex García Vergara. Alex studied in his native Columbia before coming to Belgium and will now be researching Task 2.2 Dynamics of hydrogen flames and retro-fitting engines under the supervision of Dr Sophie Le Bras.

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News - December 2019

Twelfth Early Stage Researcher joins POLKA Team

Mohammad Saad Salim

Mohammad Saad Salim enrolled at the University of Genoa this month and brings the POLKA ESR total to 12. He is from Pakistan, gained his Masters in South Korea and will now be working in Italy on Task 3.3 Optimisation of a prototype thermoacoustic system with an adjoint approach under the supervision of Prof. Alex Bottaro.

News - November 2019

Recruitment of Early Stage Researchers nears completion

Sadaf Arabi

The team at Keele University, UK extend a warm welcome to their second ESR, Sadaf Arabi, joining the POLKA project. Sadaf is originally from Iran, gained her Masters in France and will be supervised by POLKA Project Coordinator, Prof. Maria Heckl on Task 3.2 Nonlinear coupling of thermoacoustic modes modelled by a Green's function approach.

Dr Giovanni Campa welcomes his POLKA ESR, Halit Kutkan, to the team at Ansaldo Energia, Genoa, Italy. Halit studied in Turkey before coming to Italy where he will be researching Task 2.3 Influence of increased fuel reactivity on gas turbine combustion dynamics and gaining his PhD at Genoa University.

The team at KTH, Stockholm, Sweden were also delighted to welcome their second ESR, Charitha Vaddamani. Charitha studied her native India before gaining her Masters in Germany and will now be researching Task 5.3 Passive instability control by finned tubes under the supervision of Dr Susann Boij.

Alessia Aulitto

Prof. Ines Lopez Arteaga welcomes her second ESR, Alessia Aulitto to the team at TUe, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Alessia studied in Italy before coming to Holland where she will be studying Task 1.2 Linear and nonlinear sound absorption mechanisms in flexible micro-perforated plates.

UK Masters graduate, Peter Kincaid, has made a welcome addition to the work on Task 4.3: Temperature measurement with new generation of optical fibres, under the suprvision of Dr Donatella Ciampini at the University of Pisa, Italy.

News - October 2019

Further recruitment of POLKA Early Stage Researchers

Yokeswaran Subramanian was the first ESR to be welcomed to the POLKA team at Keele University. Yokesh is originally from India, but studied for his Masters in the USA. He will be supervised by the POLKA Project Coordinator, Prof. Maria Heckl, whilst working on Task 3.1 Interaction between thermoacoustic instability and flashback.

Simone Olto

Dr Sophie Le Bras welcomed her first ESR, Simone Olto, to SISW in Leuven, Belgium. Simone studied in his homeland Italy, before gaining a Masters in The Netherlands and starts work on Task 1.3 Instability control by acoustic damping devices, whilst studying for his PhD at KU Leuven.

News - September 2019

Three more Early Stage Researchers join the POLKA Team

TU Munich, Germany welcomed two ESRs to the POLKA project, both working with Prof. Wolfgang Polifke. Eduardo Scoletta is originally from Italy, gained his Masters in France and will be working on Task 2.1 Scaling laws for the effect of hydrogen content on flame dynamics and on thermoacoustic frequencies. He is joined by Marcin Rywik, originally from Poland, who studied at Imperial College, London. Marcin will be researching Task 4.2: High-fidelity simulation of nonlinear dynamics of turbulent flame.

Shail Shah

Prof. Hans Bodèn at KTH, Stockholm, Sweden welcomes Shail Shah. Having completed his undergraduate studies in India, Shail gained his Masters in Germany and will now be working on Task 1.1 Sound absorption mechanisms in MPPs with grazing flow and under hot conditions.

News - March 2019

27 March 2019 - POLKA Launch Party

POLKA Project Coordinator, Maria Heckl, supplied a variety of European delicacies to colleagues at Keele University to celebrate the launch of the POLKA project - please see Media Gallery for the photos from the event.

21-22 March 2019 - POLKA Kick-Off Meeting

POLKA Partners from across Europe gathered for a first face-to-face meeting, hosted by Keele University project coordinator Maria Heckl - please see Media Gallery for the group photo.

Vertika Saxena

First Early Stage Researcher recruited to POLKA project

We offer a warm welcome to Vertika Saxena from India, who is the first fellow to join the POLKA project. Vertika, originally from India, studied for her Masters in Korea and will now work under the supervision of Prof. Ines Lopez Arteaga at TU Eindhoven, The Netherlands, on Task 5.1 Instabilities in boilers with complex thermoacoustic properties.

News - February 2019

1st February 2019 - POLKA project start

POLKA logo

The POLKA project, awarded a €4 million grant from Horizon 2020 to support the development of emerging technology solutions that could replace fossil fuels and provide low-carbon energy solutions for combustion engines, started today.

POLKA is coordinated by Keele University's Prof. Maria Heckl and will use a combination of experiments, numerical simulations and analytical techniques, and will train a cohort of 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), each enrolled in a three-year doctoral programme. The project will be divided into 15 interlinked sub-projects, each forming an individual PhD project for an ESR, who will be equipped with a wide portfolio of skills, including traditional academic research, and also transferable skills in outreach and gender equality issues.

This will be supplemented by a unique integrated training programme in innovation, exploitation and entrepreneurship. Secondments are an important part of the training programme - the ESRs will develop an innovation-oriented mindset and have excellent career perspectives in the renewable energy sector.

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