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ETH Zurich has the ambitious plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030. This project aims at supporting ETH Zurich's sustainability goals by improving energy scenarios and supporting current modelling work. The main objective of this project is to:
(1) Review the proposal of ETH Zurich, by conducting a comprehensive review of the current roadmap. Current energy scenarios are discussed and challenged. Limitations are identified and opportunities for improvements and system optimization are evaluated.
(2) Identify, discuss, and obtain data requirements with ETH Zurich’s sustainability department. Different new scenarios and technologies are explored to reach decarbonization targets. In particular, there is a lot of data on a building level available and this can be used for energy system modelling for the next step.
(3) Energy system modelling is used to assess novel energy scenarios and technology options to evaluate the decarbonization potential of scenarios and technology options. Simulation and/or optimization techniques will be used to compare different energy scenarios and technology options.
(4) Finally, results will be reported and a set of potential improvements are internally communicated to support ETH Zurich’s sustainability goals.
- Environmental Technologies
- Master Thesis
For a successful transition to a more efficient energy system with reduced environmental impact, distributed multi-energy system (MES) is a promising concept. This project aims to analyze the impact of spatial scale, on the optimal design of MES. More specifically, it focuses on assessing the role of energy storage and the competition between different energy storage technologies when designing MES on different spatial scales. Spatial scales can range from residential (~10 kW of peak electricity demand) to neighborhood (~1 MW), city (~1 GW), and country (~10 GW). Two distinct aspects are planned to be analyzed within this project; (1) Impact of system scale on optimal technology selection – e.g., how does a 10-kW system differ from a 1-MW system? (2) When multiple MES are connected through a network, how does it impact the optimal technology selection – e.g., how does a 1-MW system differ from 100 connected 10-kW systems?
- Engineering and Technology
- Master Thesis
The future trajectory of the global energy sector highly depends on the socio-economic development narrative, for example, as used by integrated assessment models (IAMs). Consequently, future energy demand patterns and generation profiles are uncertain and depend on many factors, such as population growth and climate policy. These uncertainties can be addressed by using different scenarios, applying data-driven approaches, and predictive analysis to generate future weather, demand, and generation profiles. Better understanding possible future energy profiles is needed to improve current and future energy planning, to be potentially used during the design phase of energy systems.
Machine learning is such a data-driven approach that can be used to address these concerns. Here, the main objective is to develop a parameterized machine learning model to generate future weather, demand, and generation profiles based on different socio-economic narratives up to year 2050, for example, from IAMs.
To do so, a first step comprises of historical data collection and establish the main influences such as population growth and climate policy, which would lead to scenarios (can also be adapted from IAMs). After data collection, an appropriate machine learning method has to be chosen, which requires understanding of available methods and choosing the best available method. Next, the chosen machine learning method will be used to train data and generate future weather, demand, and generation profiles up to year 2050. The model should learn the patterns and correlations between inputs (e.g., socio-economic factors/IAM scenarios) and outputs (e.g., energy demand and generation profiles). The main case studies will be focusing on Europe and more specifically on decentralized case studies in Switzerland, Norway, Scotland, and Greece due to their different location-specific aspects, such as their local climate.
- Environmental Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Knowledge Representation and Machine Learning
- Master Thesis
Combine two exploding fields in computer science: machine learning and agent-based modelling.
Based on preclinical and in vitro studies of cell behaviour and cytokine reaction-diffusion and mechanical tests we have generated an in-house biofidelic agent-based model of the human skeleton and its response to diseases and their treatments. This model reproduces the effects of several widely used osteoporosis treatments on key parameters used to quantify fracture risk. This rule-based approach involves studying bone mechanobiology at the cell scale and extrapolating this to millions of cells at the tissue scale to understand the pharmacokinetics of treatments and identify possible new therapies and approaches to patient-specific treatment.
An alternative approach to in silico prediction of response to treatment is a supervised learning approach where we simply input baseline and follow-up bone scans to a CNN with twelve layers constructed using keras. We then attempt to dive into the black box and quantify what characteristics of the input govern the response of our model. The issue is the clinical data is not big enough to do this well so we use the agent-based model as input to the ML approach to construct a proxy model! This also helps us understand, validate and quantify the uncertainty in the agent-based model. To decide which runs of the agent-based model to use as input to the ML approach to construct the proxy model we use polynomial chaos expansion.
- Animal Physiology-Cell, Artificial Intelligence and Signal and Image Processing, Cell Development (incl. Cell Division and Apoptosis), Cellular Interactions (incl. Adhesion, Matrix, Cell Wall), Computation Theory and Mathematics, Modeling and Simulation, Protein Targeting and Signal Transduction
- Bachelor Thesis, Master Thesis, Semester Project
The goal of this project is to experimentally study the shock waves produced by laser-induced optical breakdown. The student will map the three dimensional pressure field around the location of plasma formation and quantify the isotropy of shock wave propagation. Experiments will be conducted using a hydrophone and robotic arm.
- Mechanical Engineering
- Semester Project
Help us to maximize the output of our lab to design novel sustainable processes by combining experiments, predictive models and OED with Bayesian optimization.
- Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Industrial Biotechnology and Food Sciences, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
- ETH Zurich (ETHZ), Master Thesis
We are interested in developing a method to synthesise smooth microparticles, decorated with fluorescent markers for 3D rotational tracking to answer open questions in colloid science.
- Master Thesis, Semester Project
The increasing number of renewable energy sources, such as Photo Voltaic (PV) systems, has made the shift from centralized to distributed generation in power systems. However, growing share of renewable sources in the energy demand poses a challenge to power system stability due to lack of inertia. System inertia refers to the kinetic energy stored in large generators’ rotating mass, such as those found in fossil-fuel based power plants. System inertia is vital for maintaining a stable frequency level.
This work is part of an NCCR project with the utility company of Walenstadt, Switzerland, to
explore the transient response studies of the network under different scenarios, such as change in the load or fault conditions.
- Electrical Engineering
- Master Thesis
Capacitors are essentials components of most power electronic converters, which suppress voltage fluctuations and absorb ripples. Nevertheless, capacitors suffer from thermal and electrical issues, and their weaknesses are a limited life cycle and high degradation catastrophe rate. Research has found that capacitors cause about 30% of the faults in converters due to aging degradation, making them the most vulnerable part of electronic power converters. With the rising penetration of converters for transmission in networks, the stability of converters to certify system operation safety is crucial.
- Electrical Engineering, Systems Theory and Control
- Bachelor Thesis, Master Thesis, Semester Project
Delayed bone healing or failed non-unions account for 5 – 10% of all bone fractures and present a challenging problem in regenerative medicine. The impact of delayed unions or non-unions can be devastating with prolonged rehabilitation, decreased quality of life and significant health care costs. Our lab has conducted fracture healing studies in young and prematurely-aged mouse models with different defect sizes. The aim of this project is to analyse data from mice which exhibit delayed unions and non-unions.
- Biomaterials, Biomechanical Engineering
- Bachelor Thesis, Internship, Master Thesis, Semester Project