This was the IMPRS Summer School 2023

Highlights from the 8th IMPRS Summer School on Sustainable Energy Systems

September 08, 2023

Every two years, the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS ProEng) hosts a highly anticipated summer school in the town of Magdeburg. This event brings together PhD candidates from the field of Applied Mathematics, Chemical Engineering, and Bioprocess Engineering to engage in lively debates and discussions about the unique challenges in their respective domains. The summer school also offers a platform for these aspiring researchers to interact with renowned experts and build valuable connections within their academic community.

This year, the IMPRS Summer School unfolded over the course of a week, offering a comprehensive program of lectures and tutorials centred around the vital topic of Sustainable Energy Systems. With the growing importance of sustainability in our world, particularly in transitioning to a low-carbon economy, reducing emissions, and promoting energy security and economic development, this topic could not have been more relevant.

The week commenced with an opening address by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai Sundmacher, the spokesperson of the IMPRS. This was followed by the inaugural lecture, providing an introduction to sustainable energy systems. Subsequent sessions delved into specific areas such as Thermal Energy Storage, Bio-Hybrid Fuels, and Biomass. In between these fascinating lectures, participants had the opportunity to engage in informal discussions with both their peers and the expert speakers, fostering a dynamic learning environment.

The second day was equally content-rich, with lectures covering Wind Turbines, Hydropower, and Bioenergy and Life Cycle Assessment. To ensure a hands-on understanding, a tutorial accompanied the session on Bioenergy and Life Cycle Assessment. The day concluded with a guided city tour of the beautiful City of Magdeburg, allowing newcomers to familiarize themselves with the city's charm and historical significance.

Wednesday brought insights into Green Hydrogen, Energy Storage, and Energy Systems Modelling. To provide a refreshing break from academic pursuits, participants embarked on a two-hour canoe tour along the river, building camaraderie while enjoying the scenic views of the city. The day culminated in a delightful dinner, offering a perfect end to an eventful day.

Thursday continued to engage the intellect with lectures on Modelling of Energy Networks and Computer-Aided Energy Systems Engineering. Participants were actively involved in tasks to deepen their understanding of the subject. An online lecture by Prof. Faruque Hasan from the Texas A&M University, USA, expanded the scope of the event, while a spotlight presentation by Dr. Rachael M. McDermott shed light on the fascinating realm of “Magnetic Confinement Fusion Research and the Path to Fusion Power.” This presentation was open to all, providing valuable insights into cutting-edge fusion power research.

The final day of the IMPRS summer school, Friday, featured interesting lectures on Battery Technologies and an engaging session on Interdisciplinary Competence Development by Juliana Hilf from the department of Political Science of the Otto-von-Guericke University. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai Sundmacher then officially closed the summer school, marking the end of an exhilarating week filled with lectures, tutorials, and social events.

The success of this year's Summer School can be attributed to the contributions of dedicated speakers and the active participation of all attendees. As the event concluded, the organizers expressed their anticipation for the next Summer School, eager to welcome back familiar faces and newcomers alike.

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