The University of Valencia and Würth Elektronik create a chair to promote smart grids

José Torres - Cátedra Würth

The University of Valencia and the company Würth Elektronik eiSos have created an institutional chair to promote education and research on smart grids. The collaboration agreement between both institutions was signed by Principal Esteban Morcillo and by Oliver Konz and Thomas Schrott, CEOs of the German company manufacturer of electronic and electromechanical components for the electronics industry.

One of the key objectives of the new institutional chair for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) in smart grids is to encourage both research into this technology and its practical application. Its activities – i.e., research mainly aimed at third cycle studies, management of internships, international conferences, etc. – will be coordinated by the Design of Digital Systems and Communications Research Group (DSDC), affiliated to the Department of Electronic Engineering of the School of Engineering of the University of Valencia (ETSE-UV). 
The Vice-Principal for Internationalisation and Cooperation, Guillermo Palao, emphasised the international nature of this chair “given that it is the first one in the history of the University of Valencia to be signed with a foreign company the headquarters of which are outside our borders”. In fact, this is yet another initiative that shows “the will and effort of our university to promote the international dimension of our activities, both in teaching and in research, with a view to enhancing our competitiveness”. 
Professor of electronic engineering José Torres has been appointed director of the Smart Grids Institutional Chair of the University of Valencia and Würth Elektronik eiSos, while Jorge Victoria Ahuir, in charge of the area of electromagnetic compatibility components at Würth, will supervise the students’ internships and will deliver lectures at the University of Valencia. As for funding, Würth Elektroniks will make a financial contribution of at least 30,000 euros yearly. 
An emerging and strategic market
“The development of smart grids has already started and businesses are preparing for a new emerging market”, says Professor Torres, director of the new chair and vice-dean of the School of Engineering, who considers that this is a strategic sector because “sales of Spanish companies in major markets worldwide will amount to more than 1,200 million euros annually in new smart goods and services, according to the European Commission”. 
Integration of renewable energy 
Torres notes that employment associated with the smart grids sector is estimated between 40,000 and 50,000 jobs. He stresses that these “will be crucial for the proper integration of renewable energy into the electrical grid and for a real implementation of distributed generation (self-supply, smart meters, electric vehicles, microgrids, etc.)”. 
The link between the University of Valencia and Würth Electronik eiSos – a company of the Würth Group, the global market leader in fastening and assembly technology with an annual turnover of almost 400 million euros – is the result of more than a decade of work by the Design of Digital Systems and Communications Research Group, led by José Torres, at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN).

Last update: May 21st, 2015.

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