The Sorbonne Universities cluster (SU) welcomes Brazil to UTC

In the framework of the CAPES Chairs - Sorbonne Universities cluster (SU) – see insert below, UTC will be hosting a very high level Brazilian research scientist, Prof. Paulo Pimenta who works at the University of São Paulo. Prof. Pimenta will be employed at the Chair of Mechanical Engineering to conduct research as to the possibility to double the capacity of offshore wind-turbine farms.

The Sorbonne Universities cluster (SU) welcomes Brazil to UTC

In the framework of the CAPES Chairs - Sorbonne Universities cluster (SU) – cf. insert below, UTC will be hosting a very high level Brazilian research scientist, Prof. Paulo de Mattos Pimenta, to work with Adnan Ibrahimbegovic, Professor of the UTC Chair of Mechanical Engineering. As of Feb. 2016, for a period of 6 months, this eminent Brazilian specialist will offer his expertise (acquired by working with John Argyris inter alia, one of the pioneers of computational mechanics). “This particular insight due to the German school of mechanical engineering will be most interesting”, underlines Adnan Ibrahimbegovic

A pedagogical objective

A book will be edited by Springer for use in the Masters’ and PhD programmes; the draft is being finalised by Adnan Ibrahimbegovic and Paulo Pimenta. The title will be “Nonlinear mechanics of structures and flexible multibody systems” and constitutes one of the main pedagogical objectives of the stay of Prof. Pimenta in France. “The South American and German approaches, brought to Compiegne by Prof Pimenta will be confronted with North American approaches that were perfected during my PhD days at Berkeley and in various industrial collaborative programmes in France, so that we can build up together a comprehensive panorama of the field”, underlines Adnan Ibrahimbegovic. The US approach consist of making a high level use of computational techniques, whereas in France the approach favours mathematical applications. As far as applied research is concerned, industrial experimentations in France and Brazil are still very different. The needs expressed by industries such as Airbus for large aircraft are different research those at the Brazilian company Embraer, where the policy is to design and assemble smaller aircraft. These two high level scientists would like to unite the different approaches in a single reference book and to demonstrate how best they can be implemented depending on the needs and situations as they arise.

Doubling the size and capacity of wind-turbines

These two experts also aim at producing a significant progress in wind-turbine design. Both France and Brazil have excellent offshore opportunities to make the most of vert large scale wind-turbines. “The objective here is to come up with a feasible design with twice the size and power generation capacity compared with already installed models” adds Adnan Ibrahimbegovic. This objective implies modelling the various fluid interactions (wind, water) and the supporting structures (the base, the mast, the turbine blades …), so as to attain a full understanding of this multi-physics. For the UTC based specialist, it is primordial to understand the system behaviour over along operational tie-span and in extreme climatic conditions.

Flexible turbine blades, inspired from dragon-fly wings

Another prospective progress could lie in an analysis of dragon-fly wings – hopefully to design flexible turbine blades that would prove more reactive to changing wind conditions. An innovation like this would make it easier to cut in a generator under light wind conditions, and at the same time would reduce the risk of a blade braking in stormy conditions.

As Adnan Ibrahimbegovic sees it, the partnership could lead to the possibility of proposing their solution to a call for research programme in the framework of the EU programme Horizon2020, which aims among other targets at securing renewable and clean energy procurement. If they succeed they could benefit from 25 Meuro grant to pursue the design and build the largest offshore wind turbine ever assembled to date. The collaboration with Prof. Pimenta seems especially relevant in terms of complementary knowledge bases, but will also serve to bring Brazil and France closer to make best use of the innovative approaches. A case in point here is that Adnan Ibrahimbegovic has now been appointed to a Franco-Brazilian Chair in the State of São Paulo where with its 120 000 students, the University is the largest in Brazil.


Appendix: The laureates of the Sorbonne Universities Cluster CAPES Chairs Programme

The programme of the Sorbonne Universities Cluster CAPES Chairs, with the financial support of the Brazilian Ministry in charge of Higher Education and Research aims at strengthening and encouraging the hosting of high level Brazilian research scientists. Sorbonne Universities and thee CAPES set up this prestigious programme, signed when President François Hollande made a State visit to Brazil in 2013. A first call for proposals enabling mobility to one of the HE establishments mem2014nbers of the Sorbonne Universities Cluster was launched in 2014 and the first two laureates were nominate for 2015-16. Over and above Prof. Paulo de Mattos Pimenta, who lectures at the University of São Paulo, hosted by UTC for 6 months, there is also Prof. Marcelo Bozza, a specialist in immunology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro who will be hosted by the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN). In its capacity as a member of the Sorbonne Universities Cluster, UTC is a beneficiary of this most distinguished programme. The Sorbonne Universities Cluster the only French institution that benefits from CAPES Chairs. This puts SU on a par with Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, with a collaborative agreement with Brazil aimed at stimulating scientific excellence and ensuring the highest quality in the Brazilian higher education and research system.