Doctorate in Applied and Engineering Physics  

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Thesis Proposal for the

Doctorate Program in Applied and Engineering Physics (DAEPHYS)

Starting in the Academic Year 2016/2017

Proposal 040

Title:Structuring IIoT Systems and Applications In Smart Electricity Grids
Objectives (recommended length: 2000-3000 char):
To achieve the overall objective, this work plan includes the creation and development of an instrumentation systems platform that, being integrated through a flexible and open architecture interacting over IP technology (Internet), allows the integration of different equipment, information formats and services, thus overcoming the heterogeneity of data, functions and devices. In addition, this work plan includes the design, development and demonstration of technology that, in the context of this integrated platform, may represent a new concept of web sensor/actuator for the supervision of electricity grids, by embedding ‘intelligence’ throughout the infra-structure, in order to support current operation, predictive maintenance, and strategic development planning.
Thus, the scope of the work being proposed includes the following areas of knowledge and technological achievement:
• Study leading to the definition of an architecture, and of methods and information integration primitives for an information system platform which is adequate to integrate large-scale, heterogeneous technologies;
• Adoption of IP technology (Internet) to support information flows in large-scale supervision and dispatch systems, including the communication mechanisms - wired and wireless - and, above all, the definition and programming of high-level services (web services) for remote interaction between scattered embedded devices;
• Design and implementation of a unique platform for the construction of smart sensors that are originally designed as web-devices, thus embedding specific web-services relating to the local data gathering and processing addressing the respective functionalities they serve.
Framework (recommended length: 500-2000 char):
The proposed theme is in line with studies and project work in the area of real-time distributed systems which, for over 25 years’ time, are carried out at the Instrumentation Centre / Department of Physics for various application areas - industrial, medical and laboratory –, thus contributing to advances in the remote, central management capabilities of both systems and processes in large-scale, scattered infra-structures, with a rationale corresponding to the ‘Industrial Internet of Things’(IIoT). Specifically, the scope of this work addresses the emerging application case of the widespread electricity grids, involving both transport and distribution, encompassing the widespread cabling (overhead and underground circuits), and distribution infra-structures (primary and secondary substations).
This proposal was designed in collaboration with Eneida Wireless & Sensors, S.A. – a Portuguese SME that designs, develops and delivers robust Smart Sensors Networks for the Electric Utilities and Heavy Industries, providing remote and online Optimization of the condition and operation of their Critical Assets. In particular, eneida is interested in evaluate different energy harvesting technologies, mainly from high Electromagnetic Fields.
Tasks (recommended length: 1000-3000 char):
The work programme may be structured as follows:
- Structured approach to the information integration processes: identification and integration of data sources and information flow;
- Analysis and design of an information system able to support the management activities regarding the exploitation of the infra-structure resources;
- Development of a modular telematics platform that provides access to data, enabling interoperability with external applications, by resorting to open systems architectures, and complying with the standards accepted in the field of application;
- Study and implementation of methodologies and technologies for monitoring variables (both analogue and Boolean), and data fusion, thus leading to local assessment capabilities;
- Devise high-level services and their local and remote programming, by resorting to virtual instrumentation techniques and high-level communication protocols;
- Devise an information system based on web services and external interaction (remote) mechanisms through IP communication;
- Practical demonstration of the global system;
- Conclusions and preparation of the thesis document.
Research centre/lab or R&D unit hosting the thesis project:
University to which the thesis project will be presented:
UC - Universidade de Coimbra
DAEPHYS Scientific Domain in which the project fits:
Enabling technologies
Relation of the project to the Scientific Domains of DAEPHYS:
The success of such sensors and systems is dependent of new enabling technologies: IP over low power WAN, Energy harvesting, data mining and new predictive maintenance algorithms.
Candidate profile:
Solid knowledge in instrumentation (electronics and systems);
Does this proposal involve more than one University?:
Synergies between the two Universities participating in the proposal:
DAEPHYS strongly encourages the presentation of thesis projects in co-supervision by researchers from two of the universities participating in the Program. In this field, explain the benefits resulting from the proposed co-supervision and the involvement of elements from the two universities, e.g. building critical mass teams, profiting from existing infrastructures or advanced equipments, profiting from expert technical know-how, etc. If the proposal involves only one University, write n/a.
(recommended length: 500-1000 char)
Does this proposal involve a company?:
Proposals involving a company:
DAEPHYS strongly encourages the presentation of thesis projects involving a company, preferably a high-tech company. These proposals have to: 1) be centered on a technological problem in which the partner company has been (or plan / would like to be) involved; 2) have a co-supervisor on the enterprise; 3) include part of the project to be carried out in the company.
(recommended length: 500-1000 char)
: All the tasks in the work programme, except the last one "Conclusions and preparation of the thesis document" will be developed in cooperation with the company R&D Department.
Whenever necessary, the candidate can work in company facilities.



Name:Francisco José de Almeida Cardoso
Institution:Universidade de Coimbra
link to CV or indication of ORCID ID:



Name:José Eduardo Gomes Oliveira
Institution:Eneida Wireless & Sensors
link to CV or indication of ORCID ID:


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