Mersedeh Ghadamgahi is an engineer who combines PhD study at Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology with a job as an engineer in Ovako’s Research and Development department at Hofors.
“Ovako is a well-known employer at my institute and my supervisor at KTH suggested that I get in contact with them when I was doing my master’s thesis back in 2011,” Ghadamgahi says. “Patrik Ölund, head of R&D at Ovako, also supported me to continue my education as a PhD candidate when I started working for them.”
Simulations point to furnace improvements
Ghadamgahi is undertaking PhD studies in the area of energy technology and is examining how furnaces, such as those at Ovako, can be made more efficient. With the help of sophisticated software and simulations, she is investigating what happens inside furnaces.
“We first simulate the conditions within the furnace – the temperature it’s operating at, the oxygen content and so on,” Ghadamgahi says. “Then we compare this with experiments we have done in real furnaces. If the results are similar we know the simulations can be relied on.”
Ideas subjected to practical tests
KTH has its own test furnace, but Ghadamgahi usually works together with Ovako’s R&D department using the “real” furnaces in Hofors to test new ideas.
“Working in Ovako as an R&D engineer is truly inspiring, since every new opinion is more than welcome to be considered,” Ghadamgahi says. “This is actually where fresh new ideas coming from academic can shape into reality, if applicable.”
Speaking at ICAE 2013 in South Africa
Ghadamgahi recently published her first article, which was titled: Numerical study on heat transfer and combustion in a large scale- LPG fuel furnace: The role of oxygen content in oxidizer”. She travelled to South Africa on Ovako’s behalf to attend the International Conference on Applied Energy 2013 where she was one of the speakers.
“Presenting in ICAE was definitely a big challenge, since simulation experts were there from all over the world to criticize every step of your work,” Ghadamgahi says. “There were significant debates after the presentation, indicating the interest of the audience in our work when academic work collides with real industrial problem solving, which eventuated in a successful representation.”