Scientific and Technological Objectives of
Research and TrainingProject Objectives
The main scientific challenge of the network is to develop a group of inter-disciplinary research teams focused in the newly emerging fields of the above disciplines, and to integrate the results that ensue from their innovative activities in the central theme which is the smart management for sustainable human environment. In order to address the S&T objectives of the projects, the ITN collaborative research network will focus its activities on research and training in the disciplines of Wireless Sensor Networks, Sensor Signal Processing, Non-Destructive Evaluation and Smart Proactive Management. Each of the above areas defines an individual work programme, the research and training activities of which will be implemented through work packages WP1, WP2, WP3 and WP4 respectively. Two additional work packages WP0 and WP5 will be focused on the Management and Dissemination of Results activities.
The project’s strategy entails the development of multidisciplinary projects under the umbrella of the four application areas which will involve research themes from more than one work-program. Between six and seven ITN partners will collaborate in each individual project with a view of reinforcing links between them and achieving better integration between the various disciplines. Partners are selected to carry out work on each individual project according to their expertise in the related research area, their research infrastructure and their training facilities in associated topics, with the choices being “quality controlled” by the internal and external experts.
The proposed programme of work focuses on “beyond the state-of-the-art” innovation in the field of smart management for sustainable human environment, based on the world-class expertise available in the consortium. A certain level of manpower is allocated to each work-programme, in terms of newly recruited by the full members, ESRs and ERs. Within each work program Research Themes and scopes are considered in terms of scientific and technological advancements. The description of the research objectives of each work programme is given below, while the participation of active partners is highlighted in the appropriate section heading.
Work Programme 1. Wireless Sensor Networks (CUT, RACTI, IC, AIT, IT, COMSIS, DFL, ICOM)
This work program (WP) will focus on training ESRs and ERs in the critical area of wireless sensor node and network design, implementation and deployment. Intersectoral research will be deployed in the beginning of the project in order to gain a better understanding of the challenges involved with the NDE and smart proactive management applications, and lead to an effective design and evaluation of the basic building blocks of the system, wireless sensor nodes. Inter-disciplinary research and transfer of knowledge is also expected between work programs 1 and 2, so that signal processing and node design are coordinated so that system hardware and software are effectively combined to achieve the ambitious goals of the project, and advance beyond the state-of-the-art. The following research themes are considered within this WP:
Research Theme 1: Communication protocols
Research Theme 2: Distributed OS for Reconfigurable Sensor Networks
Research Theme 3: Energy Harvesting and Conservation
Research Theme 4: Localization
Work Programme 2. Sensor Signal Processing (CUT, RACTI, IC, AIT, IT, COMSIS, DFL, ICOM, EMPA)
In this WP ESRs and ERs will be trained in the critical area of signal processing and energy efficient wake-up strategies for event based monitoring with wireless sensor networks. Signal processing in such resource constrained nodes is not trivial, therefore inter-disciplinary research is expected to be triggered with the beginning of the project between WPs 1 and 2 to investigate the limitations and capabilities of signal processing algorithms within the desired system architecture. Naturally, this WP will collaborate with WP 3 and 4 in inter-sectoral research activities that will set the system requirements for the algorithms’ specifications. The following research themes are considered within this WP:
Research Theme 1: Distributed processing and Aggregation
Research Theme 2: Signal Processing for Event Classification
Research Theme 3: Middleware
Work Programme 3.Non Destructive Evaluation (CUT, RACTI, AIT, IC, UNIS, UPV, BAM, EMPA, PB, COWI, NR)
This WP will focus on training and research in the area of non destructive evaluation to develop a strong intersectoral skills base. Strong interaction between the five sub programmes in this package is required as well as the other WPs to achieve integration between these specialisations within a smart proactive management framework. Interaction with industry is also pivotal to the success of this programme in order to focus training and research towards the needs of end users.
Research Theme 1: Optimum Sensor Locations and Requirements for NDE
Research Theme 2: Combined Monitoring and Inspection Systems
Research Theme 3: Assessment and Long Term Performance Modelling
Research Theme 4: Performance Model Updating Based on Sensor Information
Research Theme 5: Damage identification
Work Programme 4. Smart Proactive Management (CUT, IC, UNIS, UPV, BAM, EMPA, PB, COWI, NR)
This WP will train the researchers in various techniques on smart proactive management providing the overall framework for linking all WPs as well a providing a vital link with the industrial end users community. It comprises a key element of the whole ITN programme which holds the potential to make a significant contribution in the area of smart proactive management of the human environment placing Europe ahead of others in this area.
Research Theme 1: Proactive Management Strategies
Research Theme 2: Life Cycle Design and Assessment
Research Theme 3: Multi-objective Optimisation
In order to facilitate integration between the various disciplines a number of multi-disciplinary research programmes will be defined each involving several partners working across different research themes. There are four areas of application where the multi-disciplinary research projects will focus. These include Smart Proactive Management of: Structural systems; Heritage and infrastructure; Transportation infrastructure systems and Urban microclimate.
The SmartEN ITN network will develop a high quality comprehensive and multidisciplinary training programme able to equip the ESRs with world-class scientific knowledge and important complementary skills which will help them to become the future leaders in the area of research and development of IP, systems and processes for smart management of the sustainable human environment.
Each partner will assign supervisors who will help the researchers to develop a Personal Career Development Plan which will describe in detail their individual training. Each ESR will be given a full three year contract while the ERs will be given one and two year full employment contracts. ESRs will be engaged in training through research work, which is structured to meet the requirements for PhD degrees and with results that make a distinct contribution to knowledge. ESRs will carry out the core of their PhD work in their host organisations, but they will also spend periods of study/work at the site of at least two more ITN participants. The proposal includes specific training actions. Each of the training actions is briefly described below:
Recruitment process of PhD students and ERs: Six month period will be given to partners to complete the recruitment process . The recruitment process will be based on equal opportunities and gender equality.
Induction of ESRs to the Work programmes and research themes: The researchers will be introduced to the SmartEN network and in collaboration with their supervisors they will set up their Personal Career Development Plan (PCDP). Each ESR’s personal local training activities will be included in a detailed report which will also contain the PCDP.
Development of individual multidisciplinary projects: Multidisciplinary specific application targeted projects will be developed in such a way so as to provide ESRs with cutting edge scientific research topics. ESRs from six to seven partners will work on each individual project with the performance being “quality controlled” by the internal and external experts
Training through personalised Research performed locally: The ESRs will be involved in daily work that will consist of research and development activities inside the host academic or industrial partner. During these activities, the ESRs will be strongly devoted to their research job and being trained and supervised by the key-scientific staff of the network.
Training through intersectoral visits and Industrial Secondments: The ERs of the network will frequently visit other teams within the ITN in order to facilitate knowledge distribution around the network. They will also spend secondment periods in academia, industry and end-users, to effectively transfer the knowledge between these sectors. Training through integration of results for developing commercial prototypes: The ESRs will be able to see the results of their research incorporated in prototype applications which will be developed for future commercialisation. The network aims to equip ESRs with the necessary skills to be able to work in the industry as project and product managers.
Organisation of multidisciplinary scientific workshops: The network will organise scientific ITN workshops at 13th, 20th, 28th and 35th months where the network ESR’s will present their work to others. The workshops will take place at CUT, RELIT, UNIS and RACTI respectively. For each event, visiting scientists will be invited according to the research and scientific focus areas of the workshop.
Organisation of researcher’s skills workshop: A special skills workshop is scheduled to coincide with a scientific workshop at 13th month. The aim of the workshop is to train all the new ESRs on complementary skills subjects.
Organisation of IPR and entrepreneurship workshop: The network will organise an IPR and entrepreneurship workshop on the 35th month where the ESRs will have the opportunity to learn from industrialist and successful entrepreneurs which will be invited as guest speakers.
Summer School Organisation: A summer school is scheduled to coincide with the 20th month workshop. The summer school will involve extensive training of ESRs on general and on specialised issues related to the central network theme. The duration of the event will be two weeks and will take place at the RELIT’s premises in Athens.
Organisation of SmartEN concluding conference: The concluding SmartEN conference will be the final network training activity which is also open to a group of invited researchers, industrial product managers and infrastructure management representatives. The conference which will be hosted by the CUT, will present the outcome of the research projects, disseminate the SmartEN results and raise new challenges that the network will tackle in following-up collaborations.
Writing of PhD thesis: This is the final part of the training where the ESR’s will write their thesis under the supervision and the guidance of senior network scientists.