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Dublin Castle
Through my role with IES R&D, I’m lucky enough to find myself supporting the launch of the first ASHRAE Section in Ireland and am currently helping to organise its inaugural event. Taking place on 9th February at Dublin Castle, the conference will focus on commercial building energy performance, and will feature the ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer, Dr. Bruce D. Hunn, who will lecture on measurement, evaluation and improvement of energy performance of commercial buildings. Additional talks will include recent developments in natural refrigerants, modelling of HVAC systems and controls, as well as building energy policy and regulation.

ASHRAE is an international organisation of around 53,000 members covering 132 nations, focussed on technical advancements in heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration, and helping to promote sustainability in these areas. In June 2015, I helped establish ASHRAE Ireland, with the aim to promote the organisations goals to our current national membership, and help encourage networking of member groups and organisations under this common goal.

As well as being involved in the launch of ASHRAE Ireland I’m also a research fellow on EINSTEIN, a Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) project, between IES and Trinity College Dublin (TCD). The aim of EINSTEIN is to formulate and integrate a number of advanced building control strategies; Controls which will not only help eradicate errors between ‘as-built’ and ‘as-designed’ conditions but also include predictive analysis of how the building should perform, taking into account future weather predictions and occupant use. The synergy between the project and the conference theme made it the perfect fit for me and for IES who are sponsoring the event.

The event already has an excellent line-up of speakers so far, with energy sector representatives from both industry and academia. Our very own Catherine Conaghan will be speaking on “Building Energy Modelling and Smart Building Control” covering commercial available solutions IES already has in the space as well as looking at EINSTEIN and other research projects ongoing in IES R&D under the theme of operations and smart building control.

I fully expect the event will be a great opportunity to create meaningful engagement on the energy issues facing individuals and companies, particularly in the face of falling energy prices and increasing importance of meeting demanding sustainability targets.

Read more about the event and sign up here. We look forward to welcoming you to Dublin Castle on 9th February.

Einstein-project (2)EINSTEIN, one of our funded Research and Development projects is nearing the end of its second year, bringing us to the half way mark. And excitingly we’re starting to see some really interesting results.

EINSTEIN is a Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) project, where knowledge is shared between Industry and Academic partners through a number of staff exchanges. The aim is to encourage entrepreneurship and to help to turn creative ideas into innovative products and processes.

Together with our project partners Trinity College Dublin (TCD), the aim of EINSTEIN is to formulate and integrate a number of advanced building control strategies. Controls which will not only eradicate errors between ‘as-built’ and ‘as-designed’ conditions but also include predictive analysis of how the building needs to perform, taking into account future weather predictions and occupant use.

From the work we’ve done to date, we’re starting to get see some really interesting results in relation to the three algorithms in development (fault detection, prediction and optimisation).

The results and key findings in project to date will be presented and discussed by the project team members as part of the Operational Energy Management of the Built Environment Seminar that IES is hosting with Trinity in the Guinness Storehouse on the Wednesday 18th November.

Plus, you can find out more about EINSTEIN on the project website. Keep checking back as we’re developing a new results section to keep you updated on progress as it’s made.

If you want to be included on our mailing list for quarterly EINSTEIN updates please contact events@iesve.com.

Internship-at-IES

This summer we were pleased to welcome Adalberto Guerra Cabrera, a Research Assistant from the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, to the IES Team on a five week internship. Now that his time at our Glasgow HQ has come to an end, we asked Adalberto to share his experience on our blog. Here is what he had to say about his time with us…

What is your background? What do you do at Masdar?
I’m currently a Masters Degree student at Masdar, studying the Sustainable Critical Infrastructure program. I’m just coming to the end of my first year and will be starting my second and final year shortly. My study time is divided equally between classes and research and my research topic is ‘Microclimate in cities’. Prior to studying at Masdar I was a Civil Engineer in Mexico, so it’s been a big change for me, moving country and occupation.

My family and girlfriend all live in Mexico and I get to visit them during holidays mainly, however I am lucky enough to be attending a conference there in October and look forward to seeing them all then.

How did the opportunity for your internship with IES come about?
I had a keen interest in the VE and its capabilities and during a discussion around strategies and solutions in a team meeting I mentioned this to my advisor. A week later I received an email asking if I’d be interested in an internship with IES at its headquarters in Glasgow. I was delighted to have been asked and accepted straight away. I am very grateful both to IES and my advisor for allowing me this opportunity. My advisor is very experienced and understands the real value you get from combining your studies and research with real world work experience.

What has your role involved at IES during your internship?
For the last 5 weeks I have been working with the Model Interface team and Birthe Klebow, testing the master planning tool. I used the tool to test models from Abu Dhabi and provided feedback from the tool. In the short time I have been here I’ve learnt many of the features of the VE and feel I can now use it properly and appreciate its vast capabilities. In Masdar there is a shortage of people that know how to use the VE, so one of my tasks when I return will be to help others use the software.

What have you enjoyed most about your time here with IES?
I’ve loved being around so many smart and very motivated people. Everyone is so enthusiastic and works very hard: it’s contagious and motivates me to be the same when I can see just what can be achieved. It’s been great to have experienced a real life working environment related to my studies and it is very encouraging to see how the work I am doing at Masdar can be applied to the real world and make a real difference. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know a different culture and seeing the way a company is organised here. I only have previous experience of working for a company in Mexico where everything seemed very rushed and stressful with extremely long hours. Here things are more focused, specialised and relaxed which makes for a much more productive environment.

How would you describe the people and culture at IES?
The people at IES are very smart, dedicated and passionate. Everyone treated me very well from the moment I arrived. The HR team have been very supportive throughout the whole experience, organising my trip and accommodation and giving me a nice introduction to the company on my arrival, telling me how everything works and who is who. The team I’ve worked with also made me feel very welcome. On my first day I had a team meeting where I was assigned a project based on my interests and was given realistic goals which I am pleased to say I have achieved. Throughout the internship, the team have been very supportive. I’ve had weekly meetings to review my progress and the team have given me some great advice and helpful information for my research. I have lots of new ideas and tools I can use for my thesis now.

Something that really struck me about the company was the transparency of information available to staff from senior management, for example, the statistics given in the quarterly presentation by Don, showing how the company is progressing. I think this is really important and really helps with staff motivation. I have never known this type of transparency before in a company.

Overall, if I were to describe the IES culture in one word I’d say ‘collaborative’. The way everyone works really well together and helps each other is really nice to see and I’ve really enjoyed being a part of this for the last 5 weeks.

What have you learned from your experience working with IES?
I’ve learned the importance of collaborating with others to achieve goals. It’s been a wonderful learning experience in that I can see the similarities between my research in the lab at Masdar and the research that is being carried out here with IES and it really motivates me knowing that we are on the same track. IES is one of the only companies that I know to combine commercial activity with research and it makes me really happy to have been a part of this.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about undertaking an internship with IES?
I would highly recommend it to anyone considering an internship and I look forward to reporting back at Masdar on how good it has been for my development and my future studies. If I were to offer any advice I’d say: do your research and check out current developments IES are working on so you are prepared before you go. Most importantly, remember to pack a rain jacket or buy one if you don’t have one!

Anything else you’d like to tell us about?
Aside from what I’ve learnt with IES, it’s been a good cultural experience, visiting Scotland. It was my first time in the UK and I have really enjoyed visiting museums and taking in the city of Glasgow. I’ve even enjoyed the weather – it gets so hot in Abu Dhabi so the rain has been a nice change. Also, the landscape is so very different. In Scotland, everything is green so I’ve made sure I’ve taken my camera everywhere so I have some great pictures to take back to Masdar.

Although my time here has been short, I have built some great working relationships and I look forward to keeping in touch and continuing those relationships when I return to Masdar.

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