IK4-IKERLAN has been selected to participate in a European network devoted to training researchers in the area of smart, energy-efficient structures. This network, known as ANTARES (acronym for Advanced Training and Research in efficient Smart Structures), is made up of a consortium of 12 universities, research centres and companies that will be supervising the PhD theses of 14 researchers until the year 2018.

The ANTARES network has been started to train researchers to make them capable of transferring their knowledge to the production of smart, energy-efficient structures in the future. The final aim is to produce structures that generate the smallest ecological footprint but which are nevertheless competitive in terms of performance, safety or functionality.

This initiative is part of the ‘Marie Curie’ programme devoted to encouraging the geographic mobility of European researchers, and is being funded by the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme.

The thesis scheduled to be co-supervised by IK4-IKERLAN within the framework of the new network will focus on implementing methods to extract and reuse all the possible energy from environmental vibration. New energy-efficient transducers used in energy control and storage will be developed, and new autonomous control systems designed to cut noise, vibration and energy consumption starting from the reduction in structural mass will be specified. The integrity and reliability of the structures will be guaranteed by means of specific monitoring methods. The rules of entry for the theses of the members of the ANTARES network will be posted on http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess.

The training network will foster the mobility of the researchers by helping them to participate in courses run by the various members of the consortium. Multidisciplinary training will also be highlighted.

Participating in this network alongside IK4-IKERLAN are important universities, top-level research centres and leading companies in their sectors like KU Leuven, UniUD, ISVR, IDS, LBF, TNO or LMS.

The partners in the academic and research ambits provide a broad range of approaches with respect to research and training capacity, in addition to the possibility of running courses geared towards all the participants in the network so that they can share their knowledge. The industrial partners, for their part, are offering ANTARES specific applications presenting challenges associated with the smart structures on which research will be carried out.

According to Óscar Salgado, the officer in charge of the project at IK4-IKERLAN, the centre “is being offered a tremendous opportunity to work with organisations across the continent which are a true reference in the field of energy efficiency and smart structures, precisely at a time when requirements and competitiveness are particularly high in these fields".

He went on to say: “Thanks to this network, we will be contributing towards the development of self-sufficient, energy-efficient smart structures, which will enable us to avail ourselves of cleaner energy and drive forward the competitiveness of the European economy. And one must not forget that the ongoing contact with significant players in these sectors will allow us to keep abreast of the latest technological knowledge, thanks to which we will be able to offer our clients the best solutions."

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It is one of the organisations participating in the ANTARES European Network, which will be training researchers specialising in the area of smart structures designed to achieve greater energy efficiency
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