Sommerkursister på DTU Energikonvertering

”It's always good to see, how things work in real life"

“Hydrogen and Fuel cells” are part of the MSc program Sustainable Energy at DTU. Every summer DTU Energy invites students to a three-week summer course to learn how theory works in practice.

You take an ordinary printer, adds a specially developed driver and suddenly you can print 100 times on one square centimeter and create your very own miniature tape casting.

Simple, effective and a bit of an eye opener for the two students David Marhauer-Nimb and Anne Sofie Lütken from MSc Sustainable Energy at the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby.

They took a three-week experimental course at DTU Energy in the early summer of 2013 and both were happy to finally be able to see how all the advanced equipment work in reality.

"We learn a lot"

"It always surprises you, how something in theory very advanced can in fact be done very low-tech, if you know how to do it," says Anne Sofie Lütken.

"We've had a 13-week course on hydrogen and fuel cells, but one thing is theory, quite another is practice."

Her study companion nods. The theoretical course in hydrogen and fuel cells was very theoretical, in fact so theoretically, that a lot of their fellow students dropped out. They didn’t, which pays off now.

"It's really good to see how it all works out in reality and we learn a lot. Both of us took the lab tour at DTU in Lyngby, but seeing the equipment in use is different. It makes us relate to what and how it works and why there is so many different processes in tape casting and sintering, "says David Marhauer -Nimb.

The two students have read a lot of articles in scientific journals, but it can be difficult to assess which exact calculations are the most important to learn from in the articles. Seeing the stuff in reality makes it simpler.

"Very complicated Articles suddenly become very tangible. Now we understand the reasons for sintering to take so long time, and why it is so important not to heat the material too fast and such. "

Attractive Risø Campus

The two graduate students studied stabilization of slurries, another summer team did experiments with cell tests and a third did 3D prints of electrolytes and electrodes. And although there is a long way from Lyngby to Risø, the combination of beautiful natural surroundings and a highly competent research environment is very attractive.

"Everything is lovely informal here, but the seriousness and quality of the research permeates everything. Risø is not so easily accessible, but it is definitely a place where I want to do my thesis, "says Anne Sofie Lütken. The distance is not a deterrent if you can get to sit among the experts on your chosen field of research and be an integrated part of everything.

David Marhauer-Nimb agree wholeheartedly. He went even further and spent five weeks of his summer vacation as summer-student at Risø Campus after the initial three weeks. A great experience.

"I am definitely going to do my Master on fuels cells. Definitely!"