Azerbaijani visit. REFRESH workshop at DTU Compute, April 2024
Azerbaijani visit. REFRESH workshop at DTU Compute, April 2024
Azerbaijani visit. REFRESH workshop at DTU Compute, April 2024
Azerbaijani visit. REFRESH workshop at DTU Compute, April 2024
Azerbaijani visit. REFRESH workshop at DTU Compute, April 2024
Azerbaijani visit. REFRESH workshop at DTU Compute, April 2024
REFRESH project at DTU Compute_April2024. Azerbaijani visit.
Azerbaijani visit. REFRESH workshop at DTU Compute, April 2024
Azerbaijani visit. REFRESH workshop at DTU Compute, April 2024
Azerbaijani visit. REFRESH workshop at DTU Compute, April 2024
Azerbaijani visit. REFRESH workshop at DTU Compute, April 2024

DTU helps Azerbaijani universities foster green energy education

Energi og forsyning Dataanalyse Kunstig intelligens (AI) Matematik Matematisk modellering Matematisk logik Matematisk analyse Statistik

The way to green transition goes through research, knowledge sharing and education. In the middle of April, DTU Compute hosted a so-called Training of Teachers workshop for participants from six Azerbaijani universities.

The main purpose of the weeklong visit was to get inspiration for increasing the capacity at the Azerbaijani universities by enrolling the teaching staff in a Training of Trainers (ToT) programme to improve the teaching methodologies and the existing curricula in the field of alternative and renewable energy of local partner universities in Azerbaijan.

The workshop was part of the EU Erasmus+ project “Green and sustainable global economic improvement at Azerbaijani Universities: renewable energy and climate change mitigation” (REFRESH). In addition to DTU, the project involves three other European universities, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, University of Barcelona, and University of Bologna.

According to Professor Mads Peter Sørensen from the research section Dynamical Systems at DTU Compute the participants’ feedback on the workshop largely centred around the very informal, lively, and inclusive manner in which all presentations were delivered:

“There was ample room for discussion on topics related to renewable energy and sustainability. Several times, we didn’t manage to cover all the slides from the speakers.”

Smart use of energy systems

During the workshop, the Azerbaijani participants introduced their institutions and their educational programmes within sustainability and renewable energy, several topics equivalent to topics at DTU.

So, the head of study for several DTU bachelor and master level programmes related to renewable energy, sustainability, and ecology were invited to present their programmes to the Azerbaijani guests.

The workshop included discussions on the latest research related to forecasting fluctuating energy production from wind, solar, and water, flexibility on the consumer side, and storage possibilities in district heating systems and Power to X. That is smart use of coupled energy systems and applying methods such as data driven mathematical modelling, optimization, artificial intelligence, statistical methods, pricing regulation and extensive use of IT to aid the transition to a green energy future.

These later topics are not a part of the Azerbaijani university programmes but could be relevant for further curricula development.

“From what I can observe, sustainability-focused educational programs in Azerbaijan primarily emphasize technological solutions at the “component” level - such as understanding what a wind turbine is and how it functions. The same applies to fossil power plants, solar cells, hydropower, and so forth. However, as advocated by Professor Henrik Madsen, there is a need for course content related to fluctuating renewable energy sources, real-time production capacity prediction, and user-side flexibility,” Mads Peter Sørensen says.

Case studies

Besides that, the workshop showed the potential of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in teaching and pedagogical development.

A case study of using generative AI in a course on design and innovation was presented by Michael Deininger from DTU Construct. Another example was the demonstration of the generative AI tool called ChatTutor by Tue Herlau from DTU Compute. In ChatTutor you scan teaching material to ChatTutor and based on this material students ask questions to ChatTutor, which in turn provides answers based on the scanned teaching material, like a human teaching assistant.

The guests also had time for a laboratory visit to the new building 310 and were presented with the experimental work on materials for fuel cells. Highly interesting with numerous curious questions and discussions on the topic.

The workshop also went on a guided tour of Nordhavn in Copenhagen, the largest and most ambitious sustainable city development project in Scandinavia. Here, they received an overview of some of the building technologies used for assuring sustainable city development.

Overall, DTU Compute had very lively and interested teachers from Azerbaijan, contributing to a successful discussion on teacher capacity building at higher educational institutions, Mads Peter Sørensen says:

“We exchanged ideas for the development of sustainability programmes at partner local higher education institutions in Azerbaijan and discussed programme portfolios, content, and teaching materials. We hope they returned home with a lot of ideas on how, through education, they can best support the green transition."

Right now, the partners in REFRESH are in the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku for a management committee meeting. During the visit, Mads Peter Sørensen will give a presentation about DTU's educational programmes, and the data driven energy research at DTU Compute at Sumgayit State University located approx. 40 km north of Baku city.

Facts about REFRESH

  • From April 14-20, 2024 representatives from six Azerbaijani universities attended the workshop hosted by the section for Dynamical Systems at DTU Compute.
  • The list of universities encompasses Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC), Azerbaijan Technology University (ATU), Ganja State University (GSU), Mingachevir State University (MSU), Lankaran State University (LSU), and Sumgayit State University (SSU).
  • Contributions from DTU came from Department of Wind and Energy Systems (DTU Wind), Department of Energy Conversion and Storage (DTU Energy), Department of Technology, Management and Economics (DTU Management), Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering (DTU Construct), and Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science (DTU Compute).
  • The workshop was part of the EU Erasmus+ project “Green and sustainable global economic improvement at Azerbaijani Universities: renewable energy and climate change mitigation” (REFRESH)
  • REFRESH is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. 
  • In addition to DTU, the project involves KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in Sweden, University of Barcelona in Spain, and University of Bologna in Italy.