Explore eUMaP secondments (2023): insights & experiences from our project partners

July 2, 2024 0 By admin

 We are thrilled to share insights, highlights, and experiences from the secondment journeys of our project partners in the eUMaP project. Secondments play a crucial role in the development and success of our project, facilitating cross-border collaboration and the exchange of knowledge and expertise. These international experiences not only drive the project’s progress but also contribute significantly to the professional and personal growth of our partners. 

In the next paragraphs, we delve into the impactful stories and achievements of some of our team members, showcasing how these secondments are fostering innovation and strengthening our collective efforts towards our project goals. 

Key strategies for energy, water, and waste management during crises (AUTH-S3)

Konstantinos Chatzikonstantinidis, Sept-Oct 2023 >> Nicosia, Cyprus

 Introduction 

Konstantinos Chatzikonstandinidis, a Mechanical Engineer, researcher, and PhD candidate at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, completed a secondment focused on utilities management under crisis conditions as part of the eUMaP project. 

Objectives and main goals of the secondment 

The primary objectives of Konstantino’s secondment were to investigate the impact of crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, on energy and water management in smart buildings, and to develop methodologies for improving these systems during such events. The goal was to enhance the resilience and sustainability of utilities management during crisis conditions. 

Key activities and tasks undertaken during the secondment 

During his secondment, Konstantinos undertook a comprehensive literature review on energy and water management in smart buildings during crisis. He collected real-time data from various buildings to analyse consumption patterns during lockdowns, identifying changes in both residential and commercial buildings. He addressed challenges related to building occupancy and usage patterns during the COVID-19 lockdown and explored the practical benefits of Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS). His work focused on developing methodologies for improved energy and water management during crises. 

Achievements and outcomes 

Konstantinos’ efforts have significantly contributed to a more resilient and sustainable approach to utilities management in times of crisis, aligning with the goals of WP6 “Utilities Management under Crisis Conditions” and tasks 6.1 and 6.2 within the eUMaP project. His work led to the development of essential methodologies for utilities management during crisis conditions, particularly focusing on secure and sustainable energy systems designed to withstand lockdown periods. Additionally, he crafted a comprehensive methodology for managing water resources

during lockdowns, which includes a rigorous risk assessment framework and practical strategies to prevent potential water shortages. 

Through meticulous literature exploration, an in-depth analysis of a real-world case study, and the specialized use of advanced technologies, Konstantinos has crafted a research study that illuminates key strategies and innovative solutions essential for managing energy and water resources in smart buildings during crises. The study underscores how the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for resilient and adaptable smart building technologies, revealing significant changes in energy and water consumption patterns due to increased time spent at home. Key challenges identified include fluctuating occupancy levels, stagnant water issues, and data anomalies. To address these, innovative solutions such as real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, automated leak detection, and water recycling have been proposed, optimizing resource utilization and enhancing occupant safety. 

Additionally, a case study on a residential complex in Larnaca (Cyprus) demonstrated increased energy and water consumption during lockdowns, emphasizing the need for adaptable management practices in smart buildings. The research highlights the value of technologies like digital twins, BIM, and data visualization tools in managing resources effectively. 

The study concludes that interdisciplinary collaboration and data-drive decision-making are crucial for developing adaptive strategies for smart buildings, advocating for a holistic, human-centric approach to crisis management. These findings aim to inform policy frameworks, industry standards, and academic curricula, fostering resilience in urban living and infrastructure. 

Personal and professional growth 

During his secondment, Konstantinos learnt the importance of adaptability and collaboration in addressing crisis like COVID-19. He emphasized the need for flexible research and global partnerships. Contributing to a project with such societal significance has brought him fulfilment and valuable experience. It has provided him with new ideas and opportunities to collaborate with diverse partners to tackle global challenges. He truly believes that collective efforts can serve as an inspiration and catalyst for positive change. 

Future collaborations 

Konstantinos is looking forward to continuing his collaboration with project partners, leveraging the insights gained during his secondment to further enhance the eUMaP platform and contribute to ongoing and future research activities. 

Conclusion 

Konstantin’s secondment in the eUMaP project significantly advanced utilities management under crisis conditions. His research on the impacts of crises like COVID-19 on smart buildings led to innovative methodologies for resilient energy and water management. This work underscores the necessity for adaptable smart building technologies and interdisciplinary collaboration. 

Available BIM software and BIG data management / Listing of smart devices for eUMaP pilots (Caverion-FU/AUTH)

Vėjas Ogintas, March-May, May-June >> Nicosia, Cyprus // Thessaloniki, Greece

Introduction 

Vėjas Ogintas, engineer at Caverion Lietuva, completed two significant secondments as part of WP3 and WP5 activities, focusing on “Spatial energy analysis of Kaimaikli buildings”, “Available BIM software and BIG Data management” and “Listing of smart devices for eUMaP pilots”. These secondments were crucial in enhancing the project’s objectives through advanced technological strategies and collaborative efforts. 

Objectives and main goals of the secondments 

The main objectives of Vėjas’ secondments were to enhance spatial energy analysis, explore and evaluate BIM software and Big Data Management strategies, and review smart devices for potential implementation in eUMaP pilots. 

Key activities and tasks undertaken during the secondment 

  • WP3 secondment at Frederick University, Nicosia, Cyprus: Vėjas developed detailed energy consumption maps for various building categories in the Nicosia suburb. This work provided clear visualizations of energy usage patterns across different types of structures, involving meticulous data collection and analysis to categorize buildings and their energy profiles. 
  • WP5 secondment at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece: Vėjas conducted a comprehensive analysis of available open BIM software, assessing their functionalities and suitability for the project. He also reviewed Big Data management strategies to harness the full potential of large datasets, focusing on methods to optimize data storage, processing, and analysis. Additionally, he evaluated a range of smart metering devices, considering their integration into the eUMaP pilots to enhance real-time monitoring and collection capabilities. 

These activities collectively aimed to advance the project’s objectives by leveraging innovative technologies and data-driven approaches. 

Achievements and outcomes 

In his report, Vėjas meticulously documented the most recent information about various BIM (Building Information Modeling) software options and their compatibility with other systems. This comprehensive report was included in the final deliverable, serving as a crucial resource for selecting and implementing BIM solutions within the project. 

Personal and professional growth 

Through these secondments, Vėjas gained invaluable experience and knowledge by collaborating with project partners. This collaboration fostered the exchange of ideas and best practices, enhancing his capabilities in handling future challenges and contributing significantly to his personal and professional growth. 

Future collaborations 

These secondments have laid the groundwork for future collaborations, particularly in the areas of energy analysis, BIM software development, and Big Data management. The networks established during this period are expected to facilitate ongoing partnerships and joint projects, driving further advancements in smart energy solutions. 

Conclusion 

Vejas’s secondments at Frederick University and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki have significantly contributed to the eUMaP project. By advancing the understanding of energy consumption patterns, BIM software, and smart device integration, these secondments have provided essential knowledge and established connections that will undoubtedly benefit future initiatives within the project and beyond. 

Geomatic techniques for utilities consumption analysis in urban areas during emergency periods (Università degli Studi dell'Aquila - GSH)

Sara Zollini (different periods of 3 months in total from September 2021 to July 2023 & María Alicandro (Jan-Feb 2023/ Jul-Aug 2023) // Athens, Greece

Introduction 

Sara Zollini, a PhD Geomatic engineer and researcher, along with María Alicandro, a researcher, both from the University of L’Aquila in Italy, completed several secondments with our Greek partner Geosystem Hellas S.A. Their focus was on a photogrammetry assignment in the city of Thessaloniki. 

Objectives and main goals of the secondments 

The primary objective was to understand the effects of COVID19 by studying indirect factors using geomatic techniques. These included images from optical sensors mounted on aircraft, UAVs, and satellites. Additionally, they aimed to propose a new methodology to highlight the changes between the pre-lockdown, during lockdown, and post-lockdown periods. 

Key activities and tasks undertaken during the secondment 

The secondment began with a UAV survey in the historic Ano Poli area. UAV surveys, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle survey or drone survey, refers to the use of UAVs or drones to collect data and information about a specific area or location for various purposes. Following this, they used photogrammetric techniques to create a detailed 3D model and ortophoto of the city. Furthermore, they planned to apply the same methodology to the University area of Thessaloniki for generating a BIM model. Read the linked article in which the activities performed during their secondment are detailed. 

Achievements and outcomes 

The main achievements of these secondments related to the WP4 of the project were the development of a methodology to analyse any changes happened in the period around the lockdown to understand the utilities consumption. The proposed methodology consisted in applying an object-based image analysis (OBIA) on the images pre-, during and postcovid for a change detection. The research started from the GaoJing/Superview-1 preprocessing which mainly consisted in the fusion on the panchromatic and multispectral images through a process called “pansharpening”, and then, in the correction of the geometry and the spatial position of the image by performing orthorectification and resampling. At the end, all the pieces of information were joint in a stack and a subset of the image was selected, in order to isolate the area of interest. Another designed methodology was related UAV imagery, where both photogrammetric technique and digital image processing have been integrated for information extraction. The outcomes are mainly related to the approaches and the methodologies that could be applied in different context, as it would happen to the University area of Thessaloniki. Information could be collected in different informative layers in a BIM considering different time periods. In this way, any change could be highlighted and the correct management in emergency period could be applied. 

Personal and professional growth 

During their secondments, both Sara and Maria increased the awareness on how important the collaboration among researchers is. Studying with different people provides opportunities to build a colourful professional network. Meeting people from various companies or academic structures can open doors to new career opportunities in both sides. The experience helped to become more flexible and collaborative, especially during the first secondments when the Covid-19 was still an important sad reality. Contributing to a project with such importance has brought them a very valuable experience. 

Future collaborations 

Sara and Maria are looking forward to continuing their collaboration with the partners of the project and, specifically, with the GSH of Athens, where they would spend other secondments to accomplish the other designed tasks. They will put all their effort to make their contribution within the eUMaP platform and to keep active the collaboration with each partner. 

Conclusion 

To conclude, the participation to this project offered (and it is still offering) a unique and transformative opportunity for both personal and professional growth, fostering greater empathy and openness. Navigating new challenges and environments builds self-reliance and confidence, making all the participants more adaptable and resilient. All the acquired experiences would highly benefit to the eUMaP project and by pursuing clear goals, engaging locally, networking actively, and seeking mentorship, the personal and professional benefits can be maximized.

To sum up, the secondments within the eUMaP project have showcased the invaluable contributions and achievements of our partners, emphasizing the critical role of international collaboration and knowledge exchange in addressing global challenges. As we move forward, the insights gained from these secondments will continue to inform and enhance our collective efforts, driving the eUMaP project towards a more sustainable and resilient future. 

The eUMaP project

The eUMaP project aims to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic on critical infrastructure such as energy, water, waste, and telecommunication systems. It proposes the development of an open platform that enables local authorities to effectively manage and plan the demand and supply of building utilities during quarantine or lockdown situations, ensuring resilience and continuity. The platform is based on earth observation data and integrated with open BIM platforms in five European cities.

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