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Why take a doctoral degree at the UPC

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Because of Excellence

The UPC is listed in the main international rankings as one of the top technological and research universities in southern Europe and is among the world's 40 best young universities.

Its main asset: people

Satisfaction with the work of the thesis supervisor is highlighted by 7 out of 10 UPC doctoral students. Support and availability get the best ratings.

Internationalisation

More than half of the students of the UPC’s Doctoral School are international and a third obtain the International Doctorate mention.

 

Graduate employment of a high quality

Almost all UPC doctoral degree holders are successful in finding employment, mostly in jobs related to their degree.

The best industrial doctorate

The UPC offers the most industrial doctoral programmes in Catalonia (a third) with a hundred companies involved.

The industrial setting

The UPC’s location in an especially creative and innovative industrial and technological ecosystem is an added value for UPC doctoral students.

Theses for defense agenda

Reading date: 15/01/2021
  • LOPS, CAMILLA: Integrated Solutions for the Energy and Seismic Retrofit of Existing Buildings.
    Author: LOPS, CAMILLA
    Thesis file: (contact the Doctoral School to confirm you have a valid doctoral degree and to get the link to the thesis)
    Programme: DOCTORAL DEGREE IN CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING
    Department: (DECA)
    Mode: Change of supervisor
    Deposit date: 26/11/2020
    Reading date: 15/01/2021
    Reading time: 09:00
    Reading place: ETSECCPB: (Cotutela Universidad de Pescara) https://zoom.us/j/98516538681?pwd=NFE3OUlCTXBhT016Y0ttT2ZSa1MzQT09
    Thesis director: MONTELPARE, SERGIO | CAMATA, GUIDO | PELA, LUCA
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: RICCI, RENATO
         SECRETARI: BRANDO, GIUSEPPE
         VOCAL: ZULLI, DANIELE
    Thesis abstract: European building stock is characterised by low energy efficiency and high structural vulnerability with respect to earthquakes,especially in seismic prone areas like Italy. In fact, the vast majority of buildings has been designed before the introduction of modernenergy and seismic codes. Faced with the need for energy and structural retrofit, an integrated approach becomes a suitablechoice, with benefits in terms of reduced construction time and costs. The present work proposes a framework for the holisticrenovation of existing buildings, improving their structural and energy performance with low environmental impact. A ¿holisticrenovation¿ approach aims to concurrently tackle all building¿s deficiencies, increasing the structural design service life, andachieving higher levels of safety, sustainability and ultimately resilience. The aforementioned holistic approach is applied to a realcase study: a multi-storey reinforced concrete building located in Pescara (Central Italy) retrofitted with an Engineered Double SkinFaçade. The proposed intervention is chosen based on the great variety of possible configurations it may assume and itsapplicability on the building¿s envelope. The insertion of a such conceived retrofit provides the building with a so-called ¿filter zone¿which guarantees better comfort conditions in the indoor spaces, as well as higher seismic performances. In addition, occupants¿relocation is prevented and therefore, any potential downtime. In order to assess the effects of the Engineered Double Skin Façadeon the case study, multisectoral simulations are performed, including energy, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), life cycleassessment (LCA) and structural analyses. Obtained results are used to discuss the multiple benefits of the proposed retrofit fromthe structural and the energy efficiency point of view. The thesis can be subdivided into two sections. The first part is centred on theanalysis and description of the holistic approaches mainly adopted for the integrated retrofitting of existing buildings, with theidentification of interesting examples of engineered multi-layered façades. The second part, instead, aims to test and validate theselected Engineered Double Skin Façade by performing dynamic energy, CFD, LCA and structural simulations in order to estimatethe improved performances ensured by the intervention.
  • SÁNCHEZ BALVÁS, LIZETH ARTEMISA: Sustainability for energy-efficient lighting
    Author: SÁNCHEZ BALVÁS, LIZETH ARTEMISA
    Thesis file: (contact the Doctoral School to confirm you have a valid doctoral degree and to get the link to the thesis)
    Programme: DOCTORAL DEGREE IN SUSTAINABILITY
    Department: University Research Institute for Sustainability Science and Technology (IS.UPC)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 27/11/2020
    Reading date: 15/01/2021
    Reading time: 15:00
    Reading place: VIDEOCONFERENCIA Estat alarma Covid-19 - ETSECCPB, aula C2-001, Campus Nord, C/ Jordi Girona 1-3, 08034 BCN - enllaç:https://meet.google.com/pjm-xypg-uft
    Thesis director: DE LA FUENTE ANTEQUERA, ALBERTO | FELIPE BLANCH, JOSE JUAN DE
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: ARMENGOU ORÚS, JAUME
         SECRETARI: PUJADAS ÁLVAREZ, PABLO
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: QUINTERO QUINTERO, JESÚS MARÍA
    Thesis abstract: The social, environmental and economic side effects of the street lighting are the foremost concern for this thesis, since the expanding use of light at night, along with an inappropriate design, has led a large energy consumption, light pollution and impact on human health and the environment. With increasing consideration on the negative side-effects, it has introduced new recommendations for energy efficient lighting, indicators, and new energy classifications systems to evaluate the energy performance of lighting systems.According to the literature, the energy classification systems are based on installed power and lighting parameters (luminance or illuminance), which influence by regulating the energy consumption and the light levels entering the eye. However, recent studies on the advances of lighting technologies, i.e. light-emitting diode (LED), control systems and luminaires, and developments in mesopic photometry and its influence in energy reduction and vision performance, demand for new requirements. This implies a new quantification system to measure energy efficiency by incorporating all the elements that affect the overall efficiency of the installation. Within this context, an alternative tool to aid decision-makers in choosing the best energy efficiency system to be implemented and to support evidence on the energy savings on street lighting was proposed. This alternative approach takes into consideration the improvement of visual performance by correcting the standard photometry system (photopic) by the mesopic system recommended within the CIE 191:2010 and the operational hours of the lighting system, which are usually disregarded by the most commonly used energy classification approaches. The research outlined in this thesis proposes to use the value function approach that allowed standardizing the proposed energy consumption indicator within a value scale ranging from 0 to 1, which also represents satisfaction degree: the less energy is consumed the more grade of satisfaction. A case study comprising 13 representative streets of the Eixample District of Barcelona was used to validate the alternative approach proposed, and results were compared with those obtained by considering three energy efficiency classifications currently used in Spain, Netherlands and Italy. For the sample, a systematic procedure was carried out to collect data regarding lighting class and geometrical characteristics of the streets, and to the main characteristics of the lighting system.The results derived from the application of the proposed method can be used straightforwardly to quantify the potential energy savings that can be obtained when using different energy classifications. Moreover, these results provide a critical analysis by pointing out the strengths and weakness of the most significant energy performance indicators along with their corresponding energy classification systems. In conclusion, this thesis constitutes a conceptual and empirical approach to the energy classification systems applied in Europe to the street lighting. Thanks to the methodological contribution and the knowledge obtained, this thesis intends to contribute to improving the energy efficiency-based classification systems, and consequently, to move forward into a sustainable and smart assessment tool.
Reading date: 19/01/2021
  • ABELLA GARCIA, AINOA: Ingeniería Kansei en el campo del diseño: Una aproximación desde la ingeniería estadística aplicada a la percepción de los materiales.
    Author: ABELLA GARCIA, AINOA
    Thesis file: (contact the Doctoral School to confirm you have a valid doctoral degree and to get the link to the thesis)
    Programme: DOCTORAL DEGREE IN STATISTICS AND OPERATIONS RESEARCH
    Department: Department of Statistics and Operations Research (EIO)
    Mode: Change of supervisor
    Deposit date: 27/11/2020
    Reading date: 19/01/2021
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: ETSEIB: Defensa per videoconferència per COVID-19 https://meet.google.com/wpi-fpfc-wwz
    Thesis director: MARCO ALMAGRO, LLUÍS | CLÈRIES GARCÍA, LAURA
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: TORT-MARTORELL LLABRES, JAVIER
         SECRETARI: PEREDA BAÑOS, ALEXANDRE
         VOCAL: ROGNIOLI, VALENTINA
    Thesis abstract: The objective of the current doctoral thesis is the theoretical and experimental application of Kansei engineering in the field of design. Kansei engineering is a method that aims to develop or improve products, services and/or experiences by translating the emotional needs of users into parameters or characteristics of the design itself. In the present investigation, Kansei engineering uses as a base statistical engineering, since the most appropriate statistical and analytical methods are used to provide value, validity and rigor. The first contribution of the thesis is the creation of a Theoretical Framework of the emotional dimensions ¿sensation, perception, emotion, feeling and affect¿ as a result of a systematic review in two scientific databases. The objective is to promote the integration of emotions during any stage of the creative process; therefore, a common taxonomy is developed with definitions, theories and measurement tools for each of the emotional dimensions. In addition, three figures -Emotional Path, Emotional Systematization, and Preliminary Mapping of Design and Emotion- have been created in order to synthesize all information and to be used as visual guides. Once the state of the art is developed, the research has focused on two different topics related to Kansei engineering and its updating in the 21st-century context: communication channels and measurement tools. For this, the materials are selected as the scope of application. Regarding Communication Channels, two case studies are carried out ¿pilot test and experiment¿ in order to understand how user perception may vary depending on the interaction and the amount of information received. In the experimental design, three materials are presented through three different communication channels to evaluate their sensory properties. In some cases, people evaluate the same material for each channel and in others, each participant evaluates a different material per channel, through the Perception Evaluation Kit. The results indicate that in some communication channels there are significant differences regarding the perception of sensory properties. Responses level in both experiments is very similar, that is to say, the order of presentation for the communication channels does not seem to influence perception. In addition, channel 3 is the preferred one regardless of the predominant learning style. The contribution concerning the Measurement Tools chapter is to apply a heterogeneous method- ology that uses self-report and physiological tools to assess the perception of recycled materials, as well as the environmental attitude and consumption habits of the participants. The purpose is to detect if there is any relationship between the information that is extracted from the two types of tools. Electrodermal activity, hedonic appreciation, and evaluations of sensory properties have reported significant differences between materials. In contrast, electromyography, the precision in the identification and the relationship between consumption habits and environmental attitude have not observed significant effects or interactions in the data. Finally, the Statistics and Design section reflects on the relationship and union of the two disciplines and presents two points of confluence between these ¿statistical engineering and Data-Driven Design¿. The contribution of this chapter is the Data Collection Toolkit, a set of methodologies, resources and tools for designers. The objective is to promote better practice in research through design so that the experiment has greater validity and statistical base.
  • AGUIRRE NUÑEZ, CARLOS ANDRES: Influencia de los subcentros metropolitanos en la estructura de los valores Inmobiliarios y nuevos métodos de identificación de centralidades
    Author: AGUIRRE NUÑEZ, CARLOS ANDRES
    Thesis file: (contact the Doctoral School to confirm you have a valid doctoral degree and to get the link to the thesis)
    Programme: DOCTORAL DEGREE IN URBAN AND ARCHITECTURAL MANAGEMENT AND VALUATION
    Department: Department of Architectural Technology (TA)
    Mode: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 30/11/2020
    Reading date: 19/01/2021
    Reading time: 17:00
    Reading place: ETSAB (Per videoconferència-COVID 19) enllaç: meet.google.com/vhx-raws-scw
    Thesis director: MARMOLEJO DUARTE, CARLOS RAMIRO
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: ROCA CLADERA, JOSE NICASIO
         SECRETARI: MARTÍ CIRIQUIAN, PABLO
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: OLIVARES GONZALEZ, ADRIANA INES
    Thesis abstract: The Monocentric model of urban structure, characterized by a clear dominance of the CBD (central business district) in terms of concentration of employment and activity, flourished the main theories of the urban economy, such as offered rent (bid rent), which establishes a relationship of inverse proportionality (trade-off) between the rent that the locators are willing to transfer to the ground, and the cost of transportation. The locations closest to the CBD are those whose soils receive the most rent. The current paradigm of metropolitan urban systems is abysmally far from this, meanwhile: a) the CBD does not usually concentrate the largest amount of metropolitan employment, and b) the rest of the employment is either dispersed or agglomerated in sub-centers.The research discusses the methods of identification and validation of these as territories with a remarkable centrality in the territory, and subsequently, establishing measures of the impact of these centralities on urban values, such as land prices, housing prices, indicators mobility and CO2 production.The research problem arises from the heterogeneity of analysis methods of the sub-centrality and also from the dependence, of one of the main currents, of the labor density as a central element of analysis. In this logic, this agenda also questioned and developed different synthetic measures of this labor density. The main objective of this doctoral thesis is to evaluate proposals for methods of identification of sub-centers, applying them to the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona, considering the different density measures.The hypothesis raised in the research is whether labor density as a synthetic measure can be more efficient compared to its traditional measurement, together with a discussion about the different methods, it allows improving the identification of sub-centers in a metropolitan environment.The methodology used in the analysis is: 1) to test different identification approaches to sub-centers in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona 2) to design and test different validation conditions of these sub-centers; 3) Rescue based on measures and indicators the effects of this sub-centrality on real estate values, CO2 production, land use, among other factors.The results lead that the most robust subcentre selection method turns out to be the construction of a monocentrality curve through a regression, analyzing the positive residuals and placing a threshold (1 standard deviation), to identify worker density emergencies, which are subsequently validated based on the definition of a sub-center with at least 3 components, mobility, prices and impact on the density of workers, CO2 production and land use.In addition, different approaches to the delimitation of metropolitan areas were tested, applying these to the identification of emergencies or concentrations of workers in 7 Spanish metropolitan areas, which constitutes a secondary line of work, but convergent with the main research agenda.The results are synthesized in two lines, the first corresponds to the proposal of a methodology for the identification of sub-centers, which includes the formation of new synthetic measures of labor density. Of these the Composite Density, as a synthetic measure, improves the identification conditions for the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona and Madrid. Vectorial Density, which is synthesized by considering a vector between the components of the traditional one, proves its effectiveness in explaining real estate values, such as house prices, CO2 production and urban land use, in the case of the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona.
Reading date: 20/01/2021
  • RASOL, MEZGEEN ABDULRAHMAN: Development of New GPR Methodologies for Soil and Cement Concrete Pavement Assessment
    Author: RASOL, MEZGEEN ABDULRAHMAN
    Thesis file: (contact the Doctoral School to confirm you have a valid doctoral degree and to get the link to the thesis)
    Programme: DOCTORAL DEGREE IN EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING AND STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS
    Department: (DECA)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 30/11/2020
    Reading date: 20/01/2021
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: ETSECCPB: Videoconferència per COVID-19 https://meet.google.com/ int-gorp-pbo
    Thesis director: PEREZ GRACIA, MARIA DE LA VEGA | SANTOS ASSUNÇÃO, SONIA ALEXANDRA
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: FONTUL, SIMONA
         SECRETARI: CASELLES MAGALLON, JOSE ORIOL
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: TOSTI, FABIO
    Thesis abstract: The study of surface geology by means of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) can provide information about abrupt lateral changes in the terrain. The location ofthese changes is very useful in seismic nanozonation studies, since it allows determining a priori the sectors in which the meas ures should be intensified . The thesis analyzes the effect of changes in granulometry and com paction in the subsurface radar records . lt is observed that a greater heterogeneity of the terrain produces an increase in the background noise ofthe signa! (clutter) dueto the backscattering ofthe waves. The analysis of the amplitude ofthe incoherent signa!, determined in each A-sean by means ofthe average value obtained in a certain time window, makes it possible to obtain graphs ofthe amplitude ofthe background noise versus the position ofthe trace in the profile . The results clearlydefine the sectors in which the amplitude value increases, associating them with the existence of heterogeneous materiaIs in the most superficial zone of the subsoil. On the other hand, the analysis of the frequency content ofthe received radar signa! shows abrupt changes that are sometimes related to the increase in the clutter amplitude.However, at other times they do not appear , even though there is an increase in noise. To analyze the effect, a seasonal study was carried out in an area eros sed by underground streams , comparing the results in the dry season with the results in the rainy season . In temporal space, the underground streams could be detected thanks to the increase in clutter. The results were compared with those obtained by passive seismic . In the frequency space, greater changes in frequencywere observed in the rainy season, while in the dry season these changes only appeared in the records obtained in the area where there was one of the streams. lt was concluded, therefore, that the study of the amplitude s pectrum could be used to determine the presence ofwater and, in the case ofstreams, to differentiate between active streams and drychannels. These results are of great interest for the planning of trans port infrastructures.In the second part ofthe thesis, damage to transport infrastructure is analyzed. Specifically, on rigid pavements. Often these pavements built by using reinforced concrete slabs, are covered by an asphalt layer, either by design or dueto periodical restorations. The interna! cracks that are generated are not observed on the surface until very advanced stages. Severa! laboratory experiments and field case studies were proposed to determine the ability of the GPR to locate cracks, studying the effect ofthickness, depth and fill material. lt was observed that cracks of a size that allow them to be considered as incipient can be detected, although the length ofthe vertical crack could only be detected in the case of cracks already in an advanced state of damage (of great width) or filled with saturated sand or water. The decrease in the speed ofthe signal due to the presence ofwater allowed a higher resolution. The experimental results were compared and verified with field case studies, on real roads. Similar effects were observed although with a more limited resolution. Us ing com putational methods, the anomalies recorded in the radargrams were related and verified in most ofthe cases, both experimentally and in field studies, with different types of cracks.

The Doctoral School today

  • 45PhD programs
  • 2328doctoral students 18/19
  • 290thesis supervisors 18/19
  • 328read theses 2019
  • 1072019 thesis with I.M. and/or I.D.
  • 183 I.D. projects (30% from G.C. total)

I.M: International Mention, I.D.: Industrial Doctorate, G.C.: Generalitat de Catalunya