Master's students to pitch sustainable energy plan to Chinese city

The winning proposal for Meili, China's municipal energy system is presented by, from left, Filippo Padovani, Marta D'Angelo (speaking), Francesca Longobard, Alishba Ghauri and Diyue Wang. (Photo: David Callahan)
Published Sep 03, 2019

A team of master’s students in Sustainable Energy Engineering won a challenge that will take them to China to pitch an urban energy system for the Chinese town of Meili.

In KTH Energy Technology’s master’s course, Energy Management (MJ2410) , 100 students have created sustainable energy system proposals for the Chinese town of Meili, near Shanghai, to be completed by 2040. Sixteen teams were competing for the opportunity to travel to China and pitch their ideas for local stakeholders in Meili.

Taking first place in the competition was a proposal for a user-centric business model innovation. The students who comprise the team are Alishba Ghauri, Diyue Wang, Filippo Padovani, Aynur Motigullin, Francesca Longobardi and Marta D'Angelo.

Their victory was announced after the top five finalists presented their proposals to an audience that included Diefeng Cao, the educational counselor from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Sweden.

Now the team is set to travel to China on September 23, with instructor Hatef Madani , associate professor in the Department of Energy Technology.

“This challenge focuses on the decision-makers and influencers in cities,” Madani says. “There are a lot of calculations and a lot of technical background that goes into this work. What it’s about is being visionary – showing what can be done with energy systems to improve quality of life in cities.”

Professor Ramon Wyss (far left), former KTH deputy president, and Cao Diefeng, educational counselor with the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Sweden, with the winning team: from left, Alishba Ghauri, Diyue Wang, Filippo Padovani, Francesca Longobardi and Marta D'Angelo.

The complexity of energy management presents students with a particularly rewarding challenge, he says.

“You’re talking about management and analysis of complex systems, with many different stakeholders and objectives. It gives the students a good example for figuring out where the economic and quality of life tradeoffs can be found, and how they can help city decision-makers try to resolve them.”

Instructor Hatef Madani (center), associate professor in the Department of Energy Technology, visits with the students after the competition. Far left is Professor Per Lundqvist, who also is instructor for the course.

Energy Management (MJ410) is a classic example of KTH’s brand of challenge-driven education – the students are learning how to solve problems they will encounter throughout their engineering and management careers, he says.

An audience of peers, instructors and guests listen to the presentations.

“We start the course with a big challenge at the city/district level which should be approached by the students,” Madani explains. “Then we will help the students all through the semester on how to use system thinking and system analysis approaches to solve the problem.”

Last year, the course took on a challenge with the city of Tokyo. Arrangements with Meili, which is located close to Shanghai, were made with support from former KTH Vice President Ramon Wyss, who in addition to his role as professor in theoretical nuclear physics, works closely with international relations for KTH. The students will also be presenting their winning proposal at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which is one of KTH’s strategic partner universities.

David Callahan

Watch all the presentations:
These are all of the finalists in the challenge:

Alia Ahmed
Brais Armiño Franco
Ashish Guhan Baskar
Elin Bergqvist
Emily Christley
Marta D'Angelo
Elsa Forsgren
Alishba Ghauri
Kushagra Gupta
Mikael Gyllenswärd
Mihskakwan James Harper
Ming-Hsuan Hu
Tomas Högberg
Mikaela Jerresand
Hugo Johansson
James Robert Johnson
Filip Josefsson
Francesca Longobardi
Monika Mizgalewicz
Aynur Motigullin
Karan Ramesh Narayan
Lovisa Nycander
Filippo Padovani
Maryam Sadighi
Araavind Sridhar
Evelina Steen
Malavika Venugopal
Oskar Vågerö
Diyue Wang
Jason Xiao Quan Yeo

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Last changed: Sep 03, 2019