Theses authorised for defence

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN AEROSPACE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  • GASPARINO FERREIRA DA SILVA, LUCAS: High-performance low-dissipation algorithms for simulation of turbulent compressible flows
    Author: GASPARINO FERREIRA DA SILVA, LUCAS
    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 AEROSPACE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
    Department: Department of Physics (FIS)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 03/04/2024
    Reading date: 28/06/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: BSC Auditorium, Planta -1, Plaça Eusebi Güell 1-3, Barcelona
    Thesis director: LEHMKUHL BARBA, ORIOL | MIRA MARTÍNEZ, DANIEL
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: RUBIO CALZADO, GONZALO
         SECRETARI: JOFRE CRUANYES, LLUÍS
         VOCAL: COLOMBO, ALESSANDRO
    Thesis abstract: Motivated by recent advances in computational technology aiming at exascale capabilities, which implies a need for applicationscapable of taking advantage of these new supercomputing architectures, this work will present two algorithms aimed at implementing an efficient and low-dissipation algorithm focused on LESand DNS of turbulent compressible flows.The basis for the algorithms is the Continuous Galerkin method applied to elements whose nodes and quadrature points areformed from the Gauss-Lobatto-Legendre roots, resulting in a SpectralElements Method. Throughout this work, it will be evidenced that this formulation leads to highly efficient kernels for discretizingthe convective and diffusive terms of the compressible Navier-Stokes equations, with the added benefit that the order of the scheme is coupled with the order of the shape functionpolynomials employed by the elements themselves, significantly simplifying the process of increasing the order of the scheme.To achieve a stable Total Variational Diminishing algorithm, the \acrshort{sem} scheme will be paired with an EntropyViscosity-based stabilization model and a suitable splitting of the nonlinear convective terms will be employed to eliminate aliasing issues that occur in the \acrshort{sem} formulation.This spatial discretization is then coupled with both an explicit and a semi-implicit scheme to account for the temporal nature ofthe flow equations. The explicit version of the algorithm is expected to be simple and efficient per time step, but due to its \acrshort{cfl} condition limitation, the semi-implicit version is alsoproposed to allow for better overall performance incases where the time-step becomes overly limited, such as in wall-bounded flows.Considering the focus on producing a \acrshort{cfd} application towards the exascale future, an important aspect of this work isthat both algorithms are proposed with a full \acrshort{gpu}implementation in mind: the use of accelerators is expected to be a key aspect of future supercomputing architectures, and thus itis important to design these algorithms with this in mind.Examples detailing the performance of both algorithms will be presented both in the case of a single device and when distributedarchitectures using multiple devices are employed.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN AGRI-FOOD TECHNOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY

  • KHALIL, REINE: The Use of of Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients: Future Perspectives and Consumers’ Preferences
    Author: KHALIL, REINE
    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 AGRI-FOOD TECHNOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
    Department: (DEAB)
    Mode: Change of supervisor
    Deposit date: 29/05/2024
    Reading date: 01/07/2024
    Reading time: 09:30
    Reading place: Doctoral School of Science and Technology-Lebanese University, Hadath, Lebanon 10:30h, hora de Beirut / 9:30h hora de Barcelona; meet.google.com/rvm-kghq-ive
    Thesis director: KALLAS CALOT, ZEIN | HADDARA, AMIRA | PUJOLA CUNILL, MONTSERRAT
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: MESIAS DÍAZ, FRANCISCO JAVIER
         SECRETARI: ACHAERANDIO PUENTE, MARIA ISABEL
         VOCAL: SERHAN, MIREILLE
    Thesis abstract: Current food production systems face multiple challenges related to the inefficient use of natural resources, a growing population, and the consequences of climate change. To meet the increasing demand for dietary protein, it is necessary to introduce alternative and more sustainable protein sources such as edible insects. Edible insects present a promising opportunity, considering their efficient use of natural resources and relatively high protein content along with other beneficial nutrients. However, it is crucial to gauge consumer preferences for this novel food source given the general lack of familiarity with edible insects among consumers. The overall objective of this dissertation is to explore consumers´ preferences for specific insect-based products. First, the willingness to consume (WTC) jam and yogurt enriched with insect protein was investigated in Catalonia, Spain, both before and during the COVID-19 lockdown. The results showed a significant decrease in WTC jam and yogurt during the COVID-19 lockdown. The findings indicated that variables such as age, environmental awareness, and income level influenced the WTC. Factors such as attention to advertisements, origin importance, and online purchasing behavior influenced WTC before the lockdown. Personal variables associated with COVID-19, including contracting the virus, adhering to restrictions, and being informed about symptoms, were also found to have an impact on WTC during the lockdown.Second, the willingness to pay (WTP) for yogurt enriched with insect protein was estimated. The determinant factors were analyzed using the Heckman sample selection model. Data were collected from 1,909 consumers in Catalonia, Spain. The results of the study indicated that 55.7% of consumers were inclined to buy the product at an average premium of 24% over the standard price of yogurt. The results of the study also revealed that sociodemographic factors had an impact on the purchasing decision along with the importance of local, ecological, and price attributes.After gathering information from the initial two studies, a consumer survey with a real product was conducted. First, a high-protein snack with insect ingredients was developed, known as “protein balls”, and its different properties were evaluated. Four formulations were prepared by introducing two protein sources (milk protein isolate and cricket flour from Acheta domesticus) and two flavors (chocolate and carob). Additionally, a commercially available protein ball was evaluated. The findings indicate the suitability of cricket flour and carob powder in high-protein snacks without substantially compromising the sensory properties of the product. Furthermore, the sensory profiles of the samples were evaluated using the Flash Profile method. The sensory space of the cricket samples was separated from that of the milk protein samples, mainly related to flavor attributes. After the characterization of the developed formulations, they were evaluated by gym users through a home-use test. The purchase decision and its determinant factors were assessed, along with the willingness to pay price estimate. The sensory acceptability of the cricket samples was slightly lower than that of the milk and commercial samples, primarily related to their flavor. The findings revealed a significant consumer segment willing to purchase the cricket samples (69.0-69.8%); however, they demanded a discounted price compared to the retail price of the commercial sample. Food-related attitudes, such as environmental concern, health consciousness, and willingness to try new food, significantly influenced purchase decisions; however, the largest effect was due to sensory acceptability. The outcomes of this dissertation can guide the design, pricing strategies, and marketing campaigns for new products with insect ingredients to meet consumer expectations and eventually promote the expansion of this sector.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN APPLIED MATHEMATICS

  • CAMPELLO ROMÁN, VÍCTOR MANUEL: Canonical realizations of Bondi-Metzner-Sachs–like symmetries in field theory
    Author: CAMPELLO ROMÁN, VÍCTOR MANUEL
    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 APPLIED MATHEMATICS
    Department: Department of Mathematics (MAT)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 30/05/2024
    Reading date: 08/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Sala d'Actes de l'FME, Edifici U, Campus Sud.
    Thesis director: BATLLE ARNAU, CARLES | GOMIS TORNÉ, JOAQUIM
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: RUSSO, JORGE
         SECRETARI: TALAVERA SANCHEZ, PEDRO
         VOCAL: FIGUEROA-O\'FARRILL, JOSE
    Thesis abstract: The BMS group appears as an infinite-dimensional group of isometries of asymptotically flat spacetimes first introduced by Bondi, Metzner, van der Burg, and Sachs in 1962. This group has gained interest recently due to the invariance of the gravitational S-matrix under these transformations and the existence of a connection between Weinberg's soft gravitons theorems and Ward identities of BMS supertranslations, and also due to the relation between flat space holography and BMS. Despite being originally related to gravitational physics, the BMS group and its Lie algebra can be realized in free flat field theories by means of the Fourier modes of the field. One of these realizations, which we refer to as the canonical realization, can be built for a free scalar field in Minkowski space using a generalization of the usual Poincar\'e charges. In this Thesis, we study in detail the canonical realization to uncover the expression of the infinite-dimensional conserved charges associated with BMS transformations in d=3 spacetime. The final expression consists of an integral transformation in terms of derivatives of polyharmonic Green functions. We later explore a particle non-linear realization of BMS using the Maurer-Cartan form to find an infinite set of BMS coordinates that are constrained by gauge transformations. We construct the corresponding Poincaré transformation generators in terms of these infinite-dimensional coordinates and the associated momenta. Finally, we study the extension of BMS with conformal transformations in the massless theory. We conclude that it is possible to extend the algebra to a Weyl-BMS realization by defining new superdilatation operators, but the incorporation of special conformal transformations results in an infinite tower of new operators that need further study. The work presented in this Thesis could be of some use for the study of flat-space holography since it describes a field theory in three-dimensional space-time that could act as the dual to asymptotic flat gravity theory in the bulk.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

  • GARCÍA DORCE, CRISTINA QUITERIA: Habitat Évolutif
    Author: GARCÍA DORCE, CRISTINA QUITERIA
    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 ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN
    Department: Department of Architectural Design (PA)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 29/05/2024
    Reading date: 09/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:30
    Reading place: Presencial (ETSAB. Planta Baixa. Sala de Graus)
    Thesis director: FERRER FORES, JAIME JOSE
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: GASTON GUIRAO, CRISTINA
         SECRETARI: DOMINGUEZ MORENO, LUIS ANGEL
         VOCAL: JEREZ ABAJO, ENRIQUE
         VOCAL: SOLANO ROJO, MONTSERRAT
         VOCAL: MORENO MORENO, MARIA PURIFICACION
    Thesis abstract: Often, studying the multiple variations that a building undergoes is like taking a trip back in time. Discovering what is behind this transformation is like an open book for those who know how to read it, where very distant details are told that leave a mark and when that mark becomes visible, it is like returning to the beginning of that journey. It thus becomes a circle of relationships influenced by certain perceptible manifestations. However, on the other hand, most of these will be intangible and will be the ones that will truly determine the more or less adequate quality of what is acquired.The transformation of the environment, conditioned by the existence of human nature, is influenced by multiple factors that affect a probable response to environmental stimuli. The need for shelter and a social setting must be satisfied through an architectural form and the order in the landscape that occurs there through all the instinctive tools that promote survival.This is the case with the shanty towns that cluster around the motley industrial, French colonial area of the coastal city of Casablanca. A period of transition that goes from 1945 to 1956, between the end of colonialism and the beginnings of decolonization, where these slums, slums, slums or, more in line with their colonial origin, bidonvilles, proliferate as a paradigm and pathology.In their attempt to structure and restructure the city in the face of these spontaneous masses that jeopardized the orderly growth of cities, new studies on the change in the coming scenario anticipate ideas and projects on the behaviors and ways of life that have arisen and imposed on the tables of performance. In mind, past and future forms of life seek balance on the direction of the anticipated city that only time in its knowledge will tell.Faced with solutions of acquired interpretation, the contrasting stacks of courtyard houses as a genuine and deep-rooted way of understanding the Moroccan city, awaken in the consciousness of the natural passage of time an advance without a solution of continuity from a past that is still operational. The indeterminate spaces and the adaptation to the different needs as indispensable qualities in the possession of the homes will mark this premise imposed in the face of the inability to take another course other than that of adaptation to wrong situations, the object of European experimentations, where the building manifests as an incomplete assumption until the moment in which it is not inhabited or the individual is capable of appropriating it.In its continuity and on the movement that causes what has already been learned, one more step establishes the development of prolonged growth. The conquest of height, the true upward evolution based on the synthesis of studies on the acquired or imposed place, its people, origins and its multiple errors as true tests of what is understood to last, a constant, a continued evolution to understand or extract an approximation to the so-called habitat.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN ARCHITECTURE, ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

  • ROIG MAYORAL, ORIOL: Paràmetres definitoris de la façana ventilada i la seva influència sobre el funcionament energètic del sistema
    Author: ROIG MAYORAL, ORIOL
    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 ARCHITECTURE, ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
    Department: Department of Architectural Technology (TA)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 05/06/2024
    Reading date: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    Thesis director: PARDAL MARCH, CRISTINA | ISALGUE BUXEDA, ANTONIO
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: BASTERRA OTERO, LUIS ALFONSO
         SECRETARI: COLL LOPEZ, JAIME
         VOCAL: LUNA NAVARRO, ALESSANDRA
    Thesis abstract: The negative repercussions of climate change and global warming are becoming more and more evident. We need to find strategies to reduce our environmental impact and at the same time adapt to these new conditions. The ventilated facade is a constructive system that can be useful to avoid overheating of buildings and improve the comfort of users.The commonly used energy calculation systems, incorporated in the regulations, do not take into account many of the characteristics of ventilated facades. Some of their parameters, or their combination, can affect the ventilation of the cavity and the energy performance of the enclosure. Therefore, these systems may not be sufficient to argue for decision-making about aspects involved in the energy performance of the facade as a whole.This thesis hypothesizes that the simplified calculation systems do not consider parameters of the ventilated facade that can greatly influence the energy performance of the envelope. To demonstrate this, an algorithm is developed. It takes into account the defining parameters of the ventilated façade and related variables.It is an algorithm that takes into account the characteristics of the facade, the building as a whole, and the environment, along with the weather conditions. With this information, it relates the energy flows based on their transfer equations. Transient conduction is considered following the explicit method, with surface finite elements. The airflow through the openings and inside the ventilated cavity depends on the wind pressure and the buoyancy, while the dynamic and frictional losses are conditioned by the geometry and characteristics of the channel.This model is incorporated into a calculation tool programmed in Python and is validated by comparing its results with temperatures measured in five buildings. These cases were chosen to represent different situations, and especially uncertain aspects such as airflow and how it is conditioned by the geometry of the cavity and its interruptions and discontinuities.The validation of the tool is carried out at two levels: graphical and numerical. The first allows us to obtain an image of the model operation and to be able to analyse in which situations it best approximates reality, while the second allows us to obtain objective statistical values. The tool is validated with a minimum coefficient of determination (R²) of 0.87 for each of the periods, which indicates a very good correlation.Once validated, the tool is used to analyse how some parameters influence the energy performance of the envelope. The chosen parameters are the colour of the outer surface, the dimensions of the ventilation channel and the material of the outer sheet. It is verified that these parameters imply a variation of the average outer surface temperature of the inner sheet of between 0.64 °C and 7.97 °C, which proves the hypothesis.In the future, it is proposed that the influence of various parameters in different climates and situations be studied in depth so that this information can be extrapolated and used as a design guide. In this way, architects could reasonably estimate how their technical and design proposals influence the energy performance of the enclosure. By being able to adapt the facade to the environmental, climatic, building or system conditions, a lower energy demand for climate control could be achieved. In addition, this knowledge can be used to implement innovative proposals that can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the ventilated façade. Finally, it can also be applied to try to influence the regulations and their simplified calculation systems, with the aim that they reflect the actual energy performance of the ventilated facade more accurately.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN BIOINFORMATICS

  • CABRERA PASADAS, MÓNICA: Exploring the impact of p53 activation on spatio-temporal genome topology
    Author: CABRERA PASADAS, MÓNICA
    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 BIOINFORMATICS
    Department: Department of Statistics and Operations Research (EIO)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 27/10/2023
    Reading date: 09/07/2024
    Reading time: 10:00
    Reading place: Sala d'Actes de l'FME, Edifici U, Campus Sud
    Thesis director: JAVIERRE MARTINEZ, BIOLA M | VALENCIA HERRERA, ALFONSO
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: MARTI-RENOM, MARC A
         SECRETARI: DELICADO USEROS, PEDRO FRANCISCO
         VOCAL: RAMOS RODRIGUEZ, MIREIA
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: STIK, GREGOIRE
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: GÓMEZ MELIS, GUADALUPE
    Thesis abstract: The year I started this Ph.D. (2019) was the 40th anniversary of the discovery of p53 and the 30th anniversary of its characterization as a tumor suppressor. Approximately, half of all human cancers carry mutations or deletions of the p53 gene, while the other half have disruptions to the p53 signaling pathway. Nevertheless, despite decades of extensive research the precise molecular mechanisms underpinning p53-mediated gene regulation and its tumor-suppressive efficacy remain partially elucidated.Under non genotoxic or oncogenic stressed conditions, the MDM2 protein promotes ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation of p53 maintaining low cellular levels. However, upon encountering cellular stress, the p53-MDM2 interaction is disrupted leading to p53 accumulation and activation. Once active, p53 promotes critical cell fate decisions such as cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, or senescence by transactivating an array of target genes, leading to effective tumor regression. Consequently, the loss of p53 functionality is intrinsically linked to cancer susceptibility, rendering p53 an enticing candidate for anti-cancer therapeutic interventions. Cis-regulatory elements master gene expression through the control of transcription in temporal and spatial dimensions. However, the mechanisms by which p53 engages the genome in the context of 3D chromatin to activate transcription are not well understood –the interplay between p53 and 3D genome organization has remained unexplored to date.This doctoral thesis investigates p53s ability to reconfigure the genome and govern transcriptional regulation by inducing alterations in the temporal and spatial genome structure. It is the hypothesis of this dissertation that p53 exerts its influence by modulating physical connections between regulatory elements, enhancers, and gene promoters via the manipulation of DNA loops.To rigorously assess this proposition, a comprehensive investigation into the potential ramifications of p53 activation in HCT116 cell lines achieved through pharmacologically inhibiting MDM2 with Nutlin-3a drug has been outlined. This approach synergistically integrates diverse genomic datasets, encompassing Hi-C, Promoter Capture Hi-C, RNA-seq, and ChIP-seq methodologies. The analysis unveils that p53 activation precipitates both direct and indirect modifications in genome architecture, manifesting within minutes of its induction. By deciphering the nexus between 3D genome organization and p53-driven transcriptional regulation, this thesis aspires to help in the unravel avenues for therapeutic intervention in the realm of cancer treatment.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING

  • PIÑERA AVELLANEDA, DAVID: Development of Antibacterial, Antiresorptive and Osteogenic Gallium and Silver Doped Titanium Implants
    Author: PIÑERA AVELLANEDA, DAVID
    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 BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING
    Department: (CEM)
    Mode: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 23/05/2024
    Reading date: 05/07/2024
    Reading time: 12:30
    Reading place: Aula A0.02 de l'Escola d'Enginyeria de Barcelona Est (EEBE), Av. d'Eduard Maristany, 16, 08019 Barcelona
    Thesis director: MANERO PLANELLA, JOSE MARIA | BUXADERA PALOMERO, JUDIT
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: GÓMEZ RIBELLES, JOSÉ LUIS
         SECRETARI: GONZÁLEZ GARCÍA, CRISTINA
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: MAS MORUNO, CARLOS
    Thesis abstract: The augment in life expectancy has motivated the increase or degenerative disorders, especially in our bones. The skeleton provides us protection and support; however, with aging, bones can undergo an imbalance in its homoeostasis resulting in a high osteoclast activity mediating bone resorption. As a consequence, bones become damaged and they are susceptible to fractures.Diseases involving high bone resorption can be osteoporosis or bone cancer and me tastasis. In these disorders, the traditional treatments are focused on reducing bone resorption by inhibiting osteoclast activation. However, even with the use of anti-resorptive drugs, the risk of fractures still remains high. Therefore, in cases in which bone deterioration is beyond and a fracture occurs; or the tumor must be removed, a prosthesis is required.In this sense, Titanium (Ti) and its alloys are the most used materials in orthopedic surgeries, mainly due to suitable biocompatibility and excellent mechanical properties. Nevertheless, to achieve adequate osteointegration in a compromised environment where bone resorption is highly activated is an arduous labor. In addition, Ti has to face another huge problem to ensure osteointegration: bacterial infection. Bacteria can adhere to the implant surface, provokes surgical site infection (SSI) and compromise the success of the implant and the life of the patient. Moreover, in orthopedic surgeries after malignant bone tumor resection, bacteria can take advantage of the patients immune depression and generate a major complication.In order to solve this unmet medical need, in this PhD thesis we propose a surface thermochemical treatment to improve the Ti performance. This thermochemical treatment is a well-established procedure, developed by Kokubo, T., to enhance the bioactivity of Ti and can be modified with the addition of functional ions. Therefore, in this PhD, we explore the use the addition of silver {Ag) into the thermochemical treatment to provide antibacterial activity {chapter 1 ); the addition of gallium {Ga) to provide anti-resorptive character and osteoinduction {chapter 2); and finally, the addition of both ions to obtain an antibacterial Ti implant with anti-resorptive and osteoinductive properties (chapter 3).After physicochemical evaluation in previous work, this PhD thesis highlights in Chapter 1 that the Ag-doped calcium titanate layer produced on Ti surface as a consequence of the thermochemical treatment inhibits bacterial attachment. shows no toxic effect on osteoblast-like cells. and enhances osteoblasts survival in co-culture with Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. In Chapter 2, the Ga-containing calcium titanate and gallium titanate layer produced as a consequence of the treatment reduces osteoclastogenesis and induces osteodifferentiation in human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC). Finally, in Chapter 3, the combination of both ions generates Ag-doped Ga-containing calcium titanate and gallium titanate capable of reducing osteoclastogenesis and inducing osteodifferentiation of hMSC after co-culturing with Pseudomonas aeruginosa andquorum sensing virulence.As conclusions, the layer generated with the Ag and Ga combination could be a good strategy to reduce bone resorption in bone defects caused by excessive bone resorption. Moreover, the layer would prevent the apparition of SSI by fighting bacterial infection. Therefore, GaAg-treated Ti becomes a promising medical device for its application in osteoporotic and bone tumor prostheses with high incidence of bacterial infection.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT

  • MOHAMMADI, PAYAM: EXPLORING NANOSAFETY PERFORMANCE IN R+D FACILITIES AND LABORATORIES (WORKPLACES)
    Author: MOHAMMADI, PAYAM
    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 BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT
    Department: Department of Management (OE)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 08/05/2024
    Reading date: 19/07/2024
    Reading time: 12:00
    Reading place: Defensa pública a l'Aula 28.8 - ETSEIB- UPC ( Avda. Diagonal, 647-Barcelona)
    Thesis director: GALERA RODRIGO, ASUNCIÓN
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: FERREIRA MARTINS AREZES, PEDRO MIGUEL
         SECRETARI: CREMADES OLIVER, LAZARO VICENTE
         VOCAL: GONZÁLEZ GARCÍA, MARÍA DE LAS NIEVES
    Thesis abstract: This dissertation explores the realm of nanosafety within workplace environments, underscoring the pivotal role of extensive knowledge management as the field of nanotechnology continues its rapid expansion. At the heart of this study lies a tripartite research methodology designed to seamlessly bridge the theoretical underpinnings of nanosafety with their practical applications in occupational health and safety (OHS), particularly concerning the management and handling of nanomaterials.The research embarks on its journey with a detailed bibliometric analysis aimed at assessing the current landscape of knowledge creation within the domain of nanosafety. This foundational step not only illuminates the breadth and depth of existing scholarly work but also serves to identify prevalent trends, key thematic areas, and notable knowledge gaps within the field. By dissecting the fabric of existing literature, the study sets the stage for the subsequent phases of research, each tailored to address the intricacies of nanosafety in occupational settings.Following the bibliometric analysis, the dissertation ventures into a critical examination of the identified knowledge gaps. Through a methodical synthesis of literature reviews, expert interviews, and case study analyses, the research sheds light on the multifaceted challenges and opportunities that lie within the realm of nanosafety dissemination and application. This segment of the study is instrumental in proposing a set of innovative strategies aimed at enhancing the dissemination and practical application of nanosafety knowledge among key stakeholders, including industry practitioners, policymakers, and the academic community.The final step of this research endeavor is the development of an innovative diagnostic tool designed to revolutionize the implementation of nanosafety protocols in workplace environments. Rooted in the latest scientific insights and aligned with prevailing EU standards, this tool offers a pragmatic solution for businesses seeking to not only comply with but also proactively enhance their nanosafety measures. By integrating theoretical knowledge with practical application, this diagnostic tool epitomizes the dissertation's core objective: to mitigate the risks associated with nanomaterials in the workplace while fostering a culture of safety and compliance.Collectively, this dissertation not only illuminates the complex landscape of nanosafety management but also champions the need for a dynamic, multidisciplinary approach to OHS in the context of nanotechnology. It underscores the indispensability of continuous research, agile knowledge transfer, and the creation of practical tools that synergize theoretical insights with real-world needs. In doing so, the study makes a significant contribution to the field of nanosafety, paving the way for the adoption of safer, more sustainable technological practices in professional settings.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN CHEMICAL PROCESS ENGINEERING

  • AGUILAR MORENO, MIGUEL: Liquid-Liquid membrane contactors for sustainable ammonia recovery and valorization: experimental insights, novel approaches and applications
    Author: AGUILAR MORENO, MIGUEL
    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 CHEMICAL PROCESS ENGINEERING
    Department: Department of Chemical Engineering (EQ)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 16/04/2024
    Reading date: 05/07/2024
    Reading time: 10:00
    Reading place: EEBE (Escola d'Enginyeria Barcelona Est), Sala Polivalent de l'Edifici A, planta baixa, Campus Diagonal-Besòs
    Thesis director: CORTINA PALLAS, JOSE LUIS | VALDERRAMA ANGEL, CESAR ALBERTO
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: DOSTA PARRAS, JOAN
         SECRETARI: GIBERT AGULLO, ORIOL
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: REZAKAZEMI, MASHALLAH
    Thesis abstract: This comprehensive research represents a significant stride in the exploration of innovative strategies aimed at enhancing ammonia recovery within diverse wastewater streams. The study is structured into distinct phases, each addressing crucial aspects of the ammonia recovery process. In the initial phase, the research focuses on augmenting membrane contactor performance, employing coagulation-flocculation (C/F) and aeration as preliminary treatments. The outcomes of this phase demonstrate substantial increases in both the mass transfer coefficient and overall efficiency ofammonia recovery, particularly notable when treating the real sidestream centrate. A pivotal finding underscores the efficacy of dosing aluminum sulphate (Al2(SO4)3) at 30 mg Al+/L in the C/F process, yielding remarkable efficiencies in the removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD), turbidity, and total suspended solids (TSS). Into the second phase, the study delves into the sustainable application of liquid-liquid membrane contactors (LLMC) for ammonia recovery. An array of experimental conditions is meticulously explored, with the results illuminating the considerable impact of replacing the acid washing liquid between steps on the overall performance of the LLMC. Additionally, the study highlights the nuanced relationship between the initial ammonia concentration and the subsequent recovery, providing valuable insights. This phase effectively showcases the potential versatility and efficiency of LLMCs in the valorization of ammonia within wastewater streams. The third and final phase introduces a novel asymmetric hollow fiber liquid-liquid membrane contactor (HF-LLMC) with distinctive selectivity for ammonia over water. The investigation entails a comprehensive examination of various operational parameters, including feed and acid flow rates, mass transfer coefficients, and acid consumption. Notably, the results affirm the high selectivity of the HF-LLMC for ammonia, coupled with minimal water transfer. This establishes the HF-LLMC as a promising technology for the recovery and concentration of ammonium in diluted urban and industrial streams. The amalgamation of these findings, approached with a global perspective, significantly contributes not only to the advancement of sustainable nutrient recovery technologies but also underscores their pragmatic feasibility for implementation within the frameworks of the circular economy and efficient resource management.
  • LEÓN OVIEDO, TAMARA ELIZABETH: Application of bipolar electrodialysis to the generation of alkaline and acidic solutions from concentrated seawater brines from saltworks
    Author: LEÓN OVIEDO, TAMARA ELIZABETH
    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 CHEMICAL PROCESS ENGINEERING
    Department: Department of Chemical Engineering (EQ)
    Mode: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 08/05/2024
    Reading date: 03/07/2024
    Reading time: 12:30
    Reading place: Defensa pública: EEBE (Escola d'Enginyeria Barcelona Est), Sala Polivalent de l'Edifici A, planta baixa, Campus Diagonal-Besòs
    Thesis director: JOFRE CRUANYES, LLUÍS | CORTINA PALLAS, JOSE LUIS
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: GIBERT AGULLO, ORIOL
         SECRETARI: LICON BERNAL, EDXON EDUARDO
         VOCAL: PAWLOWSKI, SYLWIN
    Thesis abstract: Brines should be treated as waste and disposed accordingly. Nevertheless, brines are typically discharged back into water bodies, thereby affecting the marine environment, soil quality, and groundwater. However, the potential benefits and applications of these brines are worth further investigation. In addition to the high concentration of salt (NaCl), some important elements, such as Critical Raw Materials (e.g. Li, Sr, Ga, Ge) can be found. This has increased interest in using brines as an alternative source for recovering strategic elements, the large content of strong electrolytes (e.g., NaCl and Na2SO4) has opened the possibility of using brines as a source to produce chemical commodities (e.g., strong acid and bases). Specifically , owing to the highly saline nature of brines, they are well-suited for use in electro-membrane processes such as Electrodialysis with Bipolar Membranes (EDBM). EDBM allows for the generation of chemicals from their corresponding salts; the protons and hydroxide ions generated in the bipolar membranes generate, together with the cations and anions removed from the salts , acidic and alkaline solutions, respectively. However, EDBM technology still needs to be improved to reduce the high energy expenses and boost the concentration of products. EDBM remains a non-scale-up technology that requires more research and study to be able to compete with well-established technologies to produce acidic/alkali solutions from brines, including chlor-alkali technology.There fore, it is necessary to investigate mass transfer processes in complex systems such as those involving EDBM with solutions of high salt composition. Additionally, there are a limited number of bipolar membranes and limited information on the behaviour of the membranes in concentrated solutions .In this context, the present thesis aims to carry out an extensive evaluation of the production of acidic and alkaline solutions from brines using EDBM. This involved moving from theoretical proposals based on Computational Fluidic Dynamics (CFO) models to a comprehensive experimental campaign using synthetic brines, in which numerous operational parameters were examined. Two CFO models were introduced using 2-0 geometry, one was time-dependent and the other was not; both aimed to study the mass transpo rt, potential distribution, and water splitting phenomena.The results from both theoretical studies and experiments offered valuable insights into how to enhance the performance of EDBM and make them more competitive with current popular technologies, ultimately leading to the growth and expansion of this technology.
  • MESA GÓMEZ, ADRIANA MARÍA: Analysis and modelling of natech accidents originated by strong winds
    Author: MESA GÓMEZ, ADRIANA MARÍA
    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 CHEMICAL PROCESS ENGINEERING
    Department: Department of Chemical Engineering (EQ)
    Mode: Change of supervisor
    Deposit date: 11/04/2024
    Reading date: 08/07/2024
    Reading time: 16:00
    Reading place: Aula Hemiciclo_02, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Los Andes, Colòmbia // 16:00 (GMT+2) Barcelona (9:00 am (GMT-5) Bogotá - Colombia)
    Thesis director: CASAL FABREGA, JOAQUIM | MUÑOZ GIRALDO, FELIPE | SANCHEZ SILVA, EDGAR MAURICIO
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: PLANAS CUCHI, EULALIA
         SECRETARI: PALACIOS ROSAS, ADRIANA
         VOCAL: DEMICHELA, MICAELA
    Thesis abstract: In recent decades, there has been an increase in the frequency of natural events, coinciding with the simultaneous development of industrial activities in many countries. Consequently, the frequency of Natech accidents, which are technological disasters triggered by natural hazards, has also risen. This trend has spurred researchers to explore new risk analysis methods to prevent and mitigate potential damage to populations, the environment, and industrial facilities. There is a growing awareness in the literature about the impact of natural events, particularly when they occur concurrently, cascade, or accumulate over time.This thesis proposes a research initiative to conduct a risk assessment that includes the Natech risk associated with strong winds. The primary objective is to develop a methodology for analyzing Natech risk in storage units in coastal zones that are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events.Firstly, the thesis introduces the integration of natural events, specifically strong winds, into a quantitative Natech risk analysis methodology. This integration represents a significant advancement in assessing the potential impacts of technological accidents triggered by natural events. By incorporating strong winds as a hazard, the methodology offers a more comprehensive approach to evaluating the vulnerability of industrial facilities, especially storage tanks, to natural-technological events. This integration enables stakeholders to better understand and quantify the risks posed by Natech events involving strong winds, facilitating the implementation of targeted mitigation measures and enhancing preparedness. Ultimately, it contributes to improving the resilience of industrial facilities and surrounding communities to the risks posed by natural events.Secondly, the thesis describes the development of two models for environmental and socioeconomic risk assessment, respectively. These models provide a comprehensive framework for evaluating the potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts of Natech events, thereby enhancing the understanding of the overall risk landscape. By incorporating previously overlooked vulnerable elements, such as cultural heritage sites, sensitive environmental areas, water catchment sites, and so on, the models offer a more holistic perspective on Natech risks, ensuring that mitigation strategies can protect not only human safety and infrastructure, but also socioeconomic and environmental assets.Thirdly, the thesis outlines the development of a computational tool designed to facilitate the implementation of these models. This tool streamlines the risk assessment process, enabling stakeholders to analyze and manage Natech risks efficiently.Overall, the generation of these models and the accompanying computational tool represents a significant advancement in Natech risk management. By integrating environmental and socioeconomic considerations into the risk assessment process, these models provide a more robust foundation for decision-making and emergency preparedness, ultimately contributing to the resilience of communities and ecosystems in the face of Natech events. Finally, the methodology is applied in a case study to verify its applicability
  • MUÑOZ NAVARRO, JUAN ANTONIO: Assessing the fire hazard of vegetation at the wildland-urban interface
    Author: MUÑOZ NAVARRO, JUAN ANTONIO
    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 CHEMICAL PROCESS ENGINEERING
    Department: Department of Chemical Engineering (EQ)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 03/05/2024
    Reading date: 12/07/2024
    Reading time: 10:00
    Reading place: EEBE (Escola d'Enginyeria Barcelona Est), Sala Polivalent de l'Edifici A, Edifici A, planta baixa, Campus Diagonal-Besòs
    Thesis director: PLANAS CUCHI, EULALIA | PASTOR FERRER, ELSA
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: OLIVERAS MENOR, IMMACULADA
         SECRETARI: ÁGUEDA COSTAFREDA, ALBA
         VOCAL: DE ALMEIDA, MIGUEL ABRANTES DE FIGUEIREDO BERNARDO
    Thesis abstract: Human population is growing worldwide, so are the places where we live, move and work. These places, like neighbourhoods, networks for transportation of people and materials or industries are frequently near, or even immersed, within forested areas. These areas, where human activity meets with forestlands, are known as the wildland-urban interface. Here, we, our properties and our activities get exposed to forest fires, with a high potential for the loss of human lives and assets. The solution to this problem is complex, comprises various aspects and involves reducing the risk at the wildland-urban interface.One of the main features of this problem is the vegetation, that act as a natural fuel for the fire. Here, the ornamental vegetation has an active role driving the fire within the wildland-urban interface, while the wild vegetation drives the fire front from the forest where the fire ignites to the boundaries of our settlements.The goal of this thesis is to assess the fire hazard at the wildland-urban interface, addressing the problem from the perspective of these natural fuels. To meet this goal, the chapters of this thesis characterize and model the burning behaviour of ornamental and wild vegetation and develop documents, methodologies and tools to implement this knowledge.To characterize ornamental vegetation and the way it burns, this thesis shows detailed fuel samplings, real-scale burning experiments and a forensic study of a real fire in the wildland-urban interface. With this information it was possible to develop custom scripts to simulate ornamental vegetation fires in Fire Dynamics Simulator, which is a Computational Fluid Dynamic simulator specially designed to simulate heat and smoke transportation from the fire.To characterize fires burning wild vegetation, this thesis focuses on the boundaries of the wildland-urban interface and develops models able to predict flame geometry from the environmental conditions, which is necessary to forecast fire impact on the people and the structures. Finally, this thesis presents a software ready to be used by fire managers that uses the information obtained from these models to size the preventive infrastructures that surround our settlements.
  • NASR ESFAHANI, KOUROSH: Mathematical modeling of advanced oxidation processes for the efficient wastewater treatment: Integrated Management of advanced oxidation processes and conventional Bio-Processes for the removal of recalcitrant components
    Author: NASR ESFAHANI, KOUROSH
    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 CHEMICAL PROCESS ENGINEERING
    Department: Department of Chemical Engineering (EQ)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 28/03/2024
    Reading date: 02/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Sala Polivalent de l'Edifici I, Planta baixa, Campus Diagonal-Besòs
    Thesis director: PEREZ MOYA, MONTSERRAT | GRAELLS SOBRE, MOISES
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: PAIS VILAR, VÍTOR JORGE
         SECRETARI: SOLER TURU, LLUIS
         VOCAL: GARCIA MONTAÑO, JULIA
    Thesis abstract: The objective of this thesis is to contribute to the development of mathematical modeling of Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) aimed at the competent treatment of recalcitrant organic compounds in wastewater. In particular, the Ph.D. thesis first focuses on developing mathematical models of AOPs, implementing these models in software tools, and enabling a deeper understanding of the complex nature of these processes through the detailed simulation of the evolution of chemical species along the reaction time for diverse and unexplored scenarios. Hence, these tools are next used for fitting the models to the experimental data obtained in the laboratory in the course of the thesis or reported in the literature. The fitted models are analyzed and refined through sensitivity analysis techniques, and finally, they are validated and their accuracy assessed. Models are mainly used for addressing operational issues, but also design aspects are considered in regard of the simulation of integrated processes using AOPs and conventional biotreatment processes.The thesis specifically addresses the development of a model for AOPs, above all photo-Fenton processes, including flexible H2O2 supply given as a function of time. The model contributes a practical tool aimed at providing model-based simulation for solving the problem of the management of the H2O2 dosage profile of the photo-Fenton process.The thesis also addresses the problem of the pH dependency of the photo-Fenton by modeling the possibility of performing the photo-Fenton process at near-neutral pH. This is studied by considering the use of iron complexing agents such as ethylenediamine disuccinic acid (EDDS). In a subsequent stage, as a step forward in improving photo-Fenton processes, a reported kinetic model of the Fe(3+)-EDDS mediated photo-Fenton process is extended to include the reactions occurring in the absence of H2O2, when EDDS(• 3- )radical generated from the lysis of the Fe(3+)-EDDS complex is responsible for the organic matter degradation. This is achieved by adopting a novel semi-empirical approach based on lumping radical species.Ozonation of wastewater is also studied as a different case of AOPs, focusing in the modeling of ozone decay during the treatment of secondary effluents containing organic matter. This is addressed by proposing a new model, based again in the used of lumped or surrogate concentrations. The ozone model developed is shown to be capable of describing the complex profile of the ozone at different initial concentrations, and has proved accurate to describe the experimental data obtained in the lab, as well as data reported in the literature.The modeling approach adopted in this thesis has also been used to explore integrated processes combining AOPs with other processes, namely conventional biotreatment processes which main acknowledged limitation is the incapacity to remove recalcitrant compounds from wastewaters. The study combined the AOP models developed with standard models such as ASM1 to map the correspondence between the variables employed in each model, and produce the simulation of different scenarios combining these two technologies.As a final remark, the thesis has also addressed the design and development of chemical reactors, particularly prototypes for photo-Fenton processes using 3D-printing. This last study addresses the selection of materials according to different criteria for reactor prototyping and subsequent testing of the chemical suitability of the reactor for carrying out AOPs.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN CIVIL ENGINEERING

  • LIN, QIN: Challenges and opportunities of Chinese ports: the multi-faced perspectives
    Author: LIN, QIN
    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 CIVIL ENGINEERING
    Department: (DECA)
    Mode: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 24/05/2024
    Reading date: 11/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Defensa pública presencial ETSECCPB, Sala Tesines C1-002 (C/Jordi Girona 1-3, mòdul C1, Campus Nord, Barcelona).
    Thesis director: GRIFOLL COLLS, MANUEL
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: GONZALEZ-AREGALL, MARTA
         SECRETARI: MARTÍNEZ DÍAZ, MARGARITA
         VOCAL: CHEN, GANG
    Thesis abstract: In this thesis, challenges and opportunities of Chinese ports and shipping is investigated from the multi-faced perspectives, i.e., the challenges between ports in the background of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), the challenges of new trade routes to traditional shipping pattern, the opportunities of traditional shipping in the dominant era of land-based transportation and the challenges of prosperous shipping to the port traffic.Hong Kong, which is one of the world’s largest shipping centres and once the leading port in the GBA, has experienced a continuous decline in recent years and has been successively overtaken by two other GBA ports (i.e. Shenzhen and Guangzhou). Chapter 2 explores the concentration, inequality, and competition of the GBA multi-port system during the 1972–2020 period. Results indicate that: 1) Hong Kong has witnessed an entire K-wave evolution, and 2) the evolution of the GBA multi-port system is a result of the asynchronous development stages of different GBA ports; 3) Missing the opportunity period of 2000–2008, the transfer of capital from Hong Kong and the Chinese “opening up” policy are the direct, the underlying and the root causes behind this evolution; 4) A tri-hub multi-port system has gradually taken shape in the GBA finally, in which Hong Kong is the second runner-up after Shenzhen and Guangzhou. The prospect of the Hong Kong Port would not be optimistic, and a negative impact of Guangzhou on Hong Kong could be expected in the near future. The newly opened Trans-Asian Railway offers opportunities for trade logistics between China and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Chapter 3 selected six factors including cost, time, transport volume, reliability, safety, and environmental friendliness to investigate the impact on logistics for trade between China and ASEAN. It explores the most ideal solution for the Sino-Thai logistics route by using the AHP-TOPSIS approach and ranks the current five Sino-Thai logistics routes. The results indicate that the Sea-land transport (0.787) is still the best option, the Kunming-Bangkok Roadway (0.452) came in second, followed by the newly opened Trans-Asian Railway (0.431); The Nanning-Bangkok Roadway (0.373) ranks second to last, and the river-land transport service (0.249) is the last resort. In this sense, the newly opened Trans-Asian Railway would influence the current pattern of Sino-Thai logistics to some extent. Efficient inter-island transportation is crucial for the development of an island’s economy and traffic accessibility. Chapter 4 investigates the travel mode choice of passengers between two different scenarios (i.e. short sea shipping (SSS) and road transport) and also examines the factors influencing the travel mode choice with an anonymous questionnaire based on the state preference survey. Logit-based models (i.e. Multinomial Logit Model, Random Parameter Multinomial Logit Model, and Finite Mixture model) are used to estimate the determinants of mode choice. Sensitivity analysis is proceeded to determine the impact of adjusting variables on mode choice. Findings suggest that passengers who choose SSS pay more attention to the convenience of the journey, while those who choose road transport are more concerned about the travel cost. Ships’ routeing was first adopted to reduce the risk of ship collisions and promote marine traffic efficiency. In chapter 5, a quantitative assessment method based on the Gini coefficient is proposed to evaluate the ship collision risk in ships’ routeing waters. This method is applied to Ningbo Zhoushan Port (NZP), the Gini coefficient of the course over ground (COG) for each leg is calculated with the historical Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, and then the Hierarchical Clustering Algorithm (HCA) is applied to classify the 28 legs of the ships’ routeing waters in NZP into 5 risk levels. The results show that: PA 4 and 7 are high-risk areas; PA 1 and 2 are medium-high-risk areas.
  • NÚÑEZ CORBACHO, MARC: Aerodynamic shape optimization under uncertainties using embedded methods and adjoint techniques
    Author: NÚÑEZ CORBACHO, MARC
    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 CIVIL ENGINEERING
    Department: Barcelona School of Civil Engineering (ETSECCPB)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 09/04/2024
    Reading date: 04/07/2024
    Reading time: 12:00
    Reading place: ETSECCPB, C/Jordi Girona 1-3, edifici C1, sala 002, Campus Nord, Barcelona.
    Thesis director: ROSSI BERNECOLI, RICCARDO | BAIGES AZNAR, JOAN
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: LEHMKUHL BARBA, ORIOL
         SECRETARI: MARTINEZ FRUTOS, JESUS
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: RICCHIUTO, MARIO
    Thesis abstract: This thesis develops a framework to perform shape optimization under uncertainties for a body under the action of aerodynamic forces. The solution of the flow is performed with finite elements using the full potential equation with an embedded approach, where the object of study is defined implicitly with a level set function. The optimization problem is solved by combining different software packages to perform the solution of the flow, advance in the optimization loop and perform uncertainty quantification. The first contribution of the thesis is the development of a full embedded approach for the solution of the full potential equation. Due to the inviscid hypothesis of potential solvers, these require the definition of a gap in the computational mesh in order to generate lift, known as the wake. Based on previous works where the wake is defined implicitly with an embedded approach, this work also considers the geometry as an embedded body. Mesh refinement and numerical terms are employed to improve the definition of the geometry in the mesh and ensure the definition of the Kutta condition. The solver is validated for two and three dimensions for subsonic and transonic flows with different reference data. Another contribution of the thesis is the development of the adjoint analysis for the subsonic full potential equation with embedded geometries in two dimensions. Each coordinate of the object of study is considered a design parameter in the adjoint analysis, where the effect of the level set function is considered. The sensitivities of the objective function with respect to the design parameters are validated by comparing them to the sensitivities obtained by using a finite differences approach. A shape optimization problem where the lift coefficient is maximized with geometrical constraints is solved as an example of application of the adjoint sensitivities. The embedded shape optimization problem is extended to consider uncertainties in the inlet condition. The optimization problem is reformulated by choosing a risk measure, the Conditional Value-at-risk, which is minimized. The adjoint sensitivities are adapted for the stochastic case, considering the selected risk measure. The estimation of the risk measure is performed thanks to an external uncertainty quantification library, by applying a novel approach which uses Monte Carlo methods to estimate the Conditional Value-at-risk. The stochastic case is solved in a distributed environment, where each optimization step deploys a Monte Carlo hierarchy to estimate the objective function and its gradients.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN COMPUTATIONAL AND APPLIED PHYSICS

  • LOPEZ BLANCO, SAMUEL: Current-controlled flash sintering for ultra-fine control of the microstructure of lead-free ferroelectric perovskites.
    Author: LOPEZ BLANCO, SAMUEL
    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 COMPUTATIONAL AND APPLIED PHYSICS
    Department: Department of Physics (FIS)
    Mode: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 09/05/2024
    Reading date: 03/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Defensa pública a l'Aula 002, Edifici C4, Jordi Girona 1- 3, Campus Nord, Barcelona
    Thesis director: GARCIA GARCIA, JOSE EDUARDO | OCHOA GUERRERO, DIEGO ALEJANDRO
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: PEREZ MAQUEDA, LUIS ALLAN
         SECRETARI: JIMENEZ PIQUÉ, EMILIO
         VOCAL: BELTRAN MIR, HECTOR
    Thesis abstract: The global environmental crisis imposes the need to perform changes in modern industrial manufacturing systems. In the context of ferroelectric ceramics, it is required to move towards energy efficient sintering methods and eco-friendly materials. Flash sintering emerges as a potential alternative owing to its rapid densification and reduced energy consumption. This technique has been investigated in depth since its discovery in 2010 but it is yet to be fully understood. In this thesis, flash sintering is employed in order to obtain dense environmentally-friendly ferroelectric ceramics. A proper control of the sintering parameters is used to achieve highly controlled microstructures and enhanced functional properties for specific applications. The flash technique is then taken a step further by exploring the current control mode, which proves to grant further dominion over the microstructure. In this work a comprehensive study of sintering parameters in multiple ferroelectric materials, from well-known compositions to complex perovskite-structured systems, is performed in order to accomplish fine microstructure tailoring. The ultimate goal was to demonstrate that flash sintering is an efficient method of obtaining ferroelectric polycrystals with high quality properties that can rival their conventional counterparts while overcoming the aforementioned environmental concerns.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE

  • ALZATE MEJÍA, NESTOR: Modelado de la incertidumbre humana en la asignación de recursos para redes de comunicaciones
    Author: ALZATE MEJÍA, NESTOR
    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 COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE
    Department: (DAC)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 03/06/2024
    Reading date: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    Thesis director: DE ALMEIDA AMAZONAS, JOSÉ ROBERTO | PERELLO MUNTAN, JORDI
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: MARZO LAZARO, JOSE LUIS
         SECRETARI: BARLET ROS, PERE
         VOCAL: NIN GUERRERO, JORDI
    Thesis abstract: This research addresses resource allocation in communication networks, with emphasis on the impact of human uncertainty on the performance of these networks, especially those using advanced technologies. The central hypothesis of this thesis is that variations in human behavior influence the operational efficiency of communication networks. To validate this hypothesis, a methodology has been designed that includes an exhaustive review of the specialized literature, complemented with a rigorous qualitative and quantitative analysis in simulated scenarios.In this context, a specific case study is investigated: the use of mobile applications for rented vehicles with driver, such as Uber and Cabify, operating in a network slice of a 5G network. These applications, installed on mobile devices, facilitate the connection between users and drivers, showing the availability of vehicles in real time. The process begins when a user selects an origin and destination point in the app, which proposes an optimal route. However, the driver can modify the proposed route without penalty, introducing uncertainty that can negatively affect network performance.In the simulations, special attention is paid to the Call Drop Rate (CDR) as a function of possible failures during the handover process. The simulations are developed in multiple stages: initially in a minimum scenario, designed to verify the influence of uncertainty on network performance. In the second stage, the model is evaluated in the Simulation of Urban Mobility (SUMO) simulator, which brings more realism to the vehicular environment. This simulator is integrated with the Artery-C framework, which incorporates elements related to 5G technology. In the final phase, data from the InTAS scenario, which models detailed information of the city of Ingolstadt, is used, providing a robust test environment for model validation.The findings show the relevance of developing methodologies that optimize resource allocation and improve network performance, aligned with operators' strategic objectives. This approach represents a promising way to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the implementation of technological solutions in dynamic and complex environments.The main objective of this research is to develop and evaluate a model that captures human uncertainty from multiple perspectives, adopting an interdisciplinary approach. The results indicate that human uncertainty significantly affects the performance of communication networks. Through an interdisciplinary approach, an innovative model has been designed that integrates sociological, psychological and computational aspects, capturing human uncertainty in advanced technology contexts. The adaptability and effectiveness of the model have been corroborated using advanced computational tools.This study contributes to the field of resource allocation in communication networks, demonstrating the importance of adopting adaptive strategies. For future research, it is proposed to extend the model to analyze different network slices, considering unique characteristics and constraints imposed by service providers. This would include the evaluation of resource seasonality to improve the elasticity and responsiveness of the model. In addition, it is suggested to develop an innovative method for dynamic resource allocation that incorporates human uncertainty, allowing adaptive decisions in real time. These approaches would promote more effective management and optimization of network resources in various contexts and temporalities.
  • GÓMEZ SÁNCHEZ, GONZALO: Exploring genomic datasets through machine learning methods leveraging high-performance computing
    Author: GÓMEZ SÁNCHEZ, GONZALO
    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 COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE
    Department: (DAC)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 16/04/2024
    Reading date: 10/07/2024
    Reading time: 10:00
    Reading place: Defensa pública a la Sala E106 - Edifici C6 de la Facultat d'Informàtica de Barcelona - Campus Nord - Barcelona
    Thesis director: BERRAL GARCÍA, JOSEP LLUÍS | CARRERA PÉREZ, DAVID
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: GARCÍA LÓPEZ, PEDRO
         SECRETARI: RUIZ RAMÍREZ, MARC
         VOCAL: CIRILLO, DAVIDE
    Thesis abstract: In recent years, the exponential increase of generated data has raised the need for implementing new methodologies to process the huge datasets being created. High-Performance Computing (HPC) brings together a set of technologies mainly based on parallel computing that help reduce the time expended analyzing these datasets. A research field where these technologies are needed is Computational Genomics. Furthermore, the complexity of the genomic datasets limits the use of basic conventional methods for the discovery of complex significant relations, introducing the need for Machine learning (ML) algorithms and robust statistical methods to better classify these variants. In the first part of the thesis, we aim to identify complex patterns of somatic genomic rearrangements in cancer samples, which are triggered by internal cellular processes and environmental factors. The problem of classification becomes particularly challenging when considering thousands of rearrangements at a time, often composed of multiple DNA breaks, increasing the difficulty in classifying and interpreting them functionally. Here we present a new statistical approach to analyze structural variants (SVs) from 2,392 tumor samples from the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) Consortium and identify significant recurrence. The proposed methodology is able not only to identify complex patterns of SVs across different cancer types but also to prove them as not random occurrences, identifying a new class of pattern composed of three SVs that was not previously described. In the second part of the thesis, we approach another challenge of human genetics, which is the study of the relation between single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and complex diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes, Asthma, or Alzheimer's. The study of these disease-variant associations is usually performed in a single independent manner, disregarding the possible effect derived from the interaction between genomic variants. Here, we have created a containerized framework that uses Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction (MDR) to detect combinations of variants associated with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), called Variant Interaction Analysis (VIA). This methodology has been tested in the Northwestern University NUgene project cohort using a subset of 1,883,192 variant pairs with some degree of association with T2D and identifying a subset of 104 significant pairs, two exhibiting a potential functional relationship with T2D. The developed algorithm has been released in an open-source repository, including the containerized HPC framework, which can be used to search for significant pairwise interactions in other datasets.In both frameworks developed within the thesis, the use of large-scale supercomputing architectures has been a hard requirement to find relevant clinical indicators. To ensure open and broad access to HPC technologies, governments, and academia are pushing toward the introduction of novel computing architectures in large-scale scientific environments. This is the case of RISC-V, an emerging open standard instruction-set architecture. To evaluate such technologies, in the last two parts of the thesis, we propose the use of our VIA use case as a benchmarking, providing the first genomic application for RISC-V. With this use case, we provide a representative case for heavy ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) data processing. We developed a version of the VIA workload for RISC-V and adapted our implementation in x86-based supercomputers (e.g. Marenostrum IV at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC)) to make a fair comparison with RISC-V, since some technologies are not available there. With this benchmark, we have been able to indicate the challenges and opportunities for the next RISC-V developments and designs to come, from a first comparison between x86 and RISC-V architectures on genomic workload executions over real hardware implementations.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING

  • VINYETA MEDINA, GIL: Modelo de priorización de inversiones de soluciones tecnológicas en Smart Buildings con criterios de desarrollo sostenible.
    Author: VINYETA MEDINA, GIL
    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: Normal
    Deposit date: 15/05/2024
    Reading date: 22/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Defensa pública a l'Aula 28.8 (ETSEIB) Av. Diagonal, 647 08028 Barcelona - Campus Sud UPC
    Thesis director: CUERVA CONTRERAS, EVA | PUJADAS ÁLVAREZ, PABLO
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: ARMENGOU ORÚS, JAUME
         SECRETARI: PARDO BOSCH, FRANCESC
         VOCAL: ECHARRI IRIBARREN, VICTOR
    Thesis abstract: This Doctoral Thesis addresses aspects of interest for designers, promoters, owners, and managers of office buildings, with the intention of providing clarity on the Smart Building paradigm, as well as identifying decision support tools necessary to accelerate technological transformation, without underestimating the sustainable development, in the building sector.The main goal is to develop a new methodology for prioritizing investments in technological solutions for Smart Buildings, enabling an objective, transparent, traceable, and participatory distribution using sustainable development criteria throughout the various stages of a building's life cycle. To develop this the methodology three tools need to be created: (1) the Catalogue of technological solutions and (2) the Model for prioritizing technological solutions, both as decision support tools for the design and conceptualization phases, and (3) the Platform for integrating technological solutions to improve asset management during the operation phase.Firstly, a methodology for analyzing and classifying the universe of existing technological solutions applicable to the building sector is developed, with the aim of identifying their true potential and implementation requirements. This information is crucial for subsequently selecting the most suitable solutions for each project.Secondly, once the solutions are catalogued, it is essential to prioritize actions to achieve the desired Smart Building level and ensure meeting the real needs of the client and the end-users who will interact with the building. Therefore, a multicriteria model is generated to prioritize the technological solutions based on sustainable development criteria, involving end-users while relying on sector reference standards. To verify the robustness of this model, a sensitivity analysis is conducted.Thirdly, after the technological solutions are prioritized and selected, the implementation of a foundational, modular, flexible and scalable platform is necessary to ensure comprehensive management of all implemented technological solutions, both present and future. This platform aims to collect, standardize, analyze, and visualize all generated data centrally, optimizing the overall building performance.Finally, the functionality of the developed tools has been verified through two real practical applications. First in a more confined scope, such as the offices of JG Ingenieros, and then in a project for a real JG client, Simon's new corporate headquarters, SWITCH.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING

  • ARNAIZ MARTÍNEZ, DAVID MARIANO: Bringing Self-Awareness to the Extreme Edge - A Distributed Approach for Adaptive Energy Management in WSNs Applied to Structural Health Monitoring
    Author: ARNAIZ MARTÍNEZ, DAVID MARIANO
    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 ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING
    Department: Department of Electronic Engineering (EEL)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 21/03/2024
    Reading date: 02/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Defensa: Aula de postgrau, edifici C5, Campus Nord, ETSETB
    Thesis director: ALARCON COT, EDUARDO JOSE | MOLL ECHETO, FRANCESC DE BORJA | VILAJOSANA GUILLEN, XAVIER
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: CHOWDHURY, KAUSHIK ROY
         SECRETARI: ABADAL CAVALLÉ, SERGI
         VOCAL: DINI, PAOLO
    Thesis abstract: In today's landscape, data are increasingly becoming an invaluable resource to enhance decision-making, enable predictive insights, improving operational efficiency, among numerous other applications. Within the current data-centric mindset, wireless sensors play a facilitator role, allowing the collection of data in a flexible, low-cost, and simple-to-deploy way.One of the ever-pending challenges of wireless sensor node technologies is their limited energy availability, particularly their limited battery life. To extend their battery life, sensor nodes need to use their energy as frugally as possible. The optimal behavior for a sensor node is highly dependent on the varying operation conditions. Thus, to operate optimally, sensor nodes need to incorporate adaptive mechanisms to dynamically adjust their behavior at runtime. These adaptive mechanisms are commonly referred to as Dynamic Energy Management (DEM).Despite the progress made in DEM, commercial sensor nodes continue to mostly operate using static behaviors, wasting energy. The main limitation impeding the widespread adoption of DEM is that it renders the node's behavior dependent on the operating conditions, thereby making the node's behavior unpredictable. In recent years, self-awareness has been proposed as a promising solution to this challenge. Self-aware systems autonomously adjust their behavior at runtime based on their internal and external operating conditions to achieve their operational goals as efficiently as possible. Consequently, while the behavior of a self-aware system may not be known at a given time, these systems provide some level of predictability by complying with their operational goals.This thesis delves into the use of self-awareness at the sensor node level to guide the node's adaptive behavior. The main objective of this thesis is to provide a solid foundation to support future progress in self-aware sensor nodes. In pursuit of this goal, it presents a reference architecture of a self-aware sensor node solving the existing lack of standardization in their design. Additionally, it proposes two self-aware monitoring methods enabling the node to comply with its battery lifetime target while optimizing its energy allocation to maximize its monitoring accuracy. Another key aspect that limits the adoption of self-awareness at the sensor node level is the node's lack of information and computing capabilities to model complex environments, as is usually the case in Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) applications. This thesis tackles this issue by proposing an anomaly-aware monitoring method tailored for SHM applications, which models the local vibration patterns measured by the node to determine the current monitoring requirements for the node. Finally, the thesis ends by exploring how the concept of self-awareness can be extended through the network, enabling the interaction between self-aware sensor nodes and a self-managing monitoring application running in the cloud.
  • CAMPOS SALAZAR, JOSE MANUEL: Design and Analysis of Battery Chargers for Electric Vehicles Based on Multilevel Neutral-Point-Clamped Technology
    Author: CAMPOS SALAZAR, JOSE MANUEL
    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 ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING
    Department: Department of Electronic Engineering (EEL)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 30/05/2024
    Reading date: 23/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: ETSEIB: Defensa pública a la Sala de Presentacions 28.8-Avda. Diagonal, 647-Campus Sud, Barcelona
    Thesis director: BUSQUETS MONGE, SERGIO | FILBÀ MARTÍNEZ, ÀLBER
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: TRILLA ROMERO, LLUÍS
         SECRETARI: BORDONAU FARRERONS, JOSE
         VOCAL: BARAIA-ETXABURU ZUBIAURRE, IGOR
    Thesis abstract: This thesis presents an exploration into the field of advanced battery charger design and control, addressing critical needs across a spectrum of modern applications. It first outlines the increasing importance of battery chargers in various domains, emphasizing the requirements of efficiency, adaptability, and reliability. A detailed review of existing technologies and control strategies underscores the urgent need for innovation in charger design.The focus of this research is the design and development of a battery charger topology. This topology is based on cascaded multilevel converters that provide bidirectional power flow and galvanic isolation. It addresses the charging requirements of multiple batteries connected in series and incorporates two distinct dc links. The charger develops from a three-level configuration to a four-level configuration, finally leading to a generalized n-level charger.Integral to this work is the formulation of comprehensive linear models, from state-space to s-domain representations, which highlight the charger's complex dynamics. This allows for an in-depth understanding of its operational behavior and control characteristics.The thesis also introduces a well-tuned control system that synchronizes the operation of the two multilevel converters. This ensures optimal operation of the charger. The ac-dc converter regulates the dc link voltage and grid power factor, while the dc-dc converter regulates the shared dc link voltage and battery bank charging currents. The user has the flexibility to determine which converter controls the dc-link voltage regulation.A key innovation is the independent charge control for each battery bank. This feature allows batteries to reach full charge independently, regardless of their initial state of charge or rated capacity. This improves overall efficiency and battery management.In addition, the thesis provides a practical and straightforward design methodology for compensators based on the charger's linear schemes. It employs uncompensated gain loops and uses Bode plots for effective tuning of compensator parameters.Finally, the thesis outlines future research directions. These include experimental validation, exploring vehicle-to-grid integration, exploring nonlinear control systems, assessing off-board charger viability, examining renewable energy integration, enhancing grid-supporting features, evaluating scalability and efficiency, and evaluating real-world applications. Together, these efforts promise to advance and optimize the proposed battery charger, placing it as a central element in the field of efficient and sustainable energy systems.
  • ROS COSTALS, ELOI: Unconventional semiconductor junctions and their application in photovoltaic devices
    Author: ROS COSTALS, ELOI
    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 ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING
    Department: Department of Electronic Engineering (EEL)
    Mode: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 03/06/2024
    Reading date: 10/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Defensa pública a l'Aula Polivalent de l'edifici A de l'EEBE (Escola d'Enginyeria Barcelona Est-Campus Besòs).
    Thesis director: VOZ SANCHEZ, CRISTOBAL | PUIGDOLLERS GONZALEZ, JOAQUIN
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: DUEÑAS, SALVADOR
         SECRETARI: JEHL, ZACHARIE VICTOR SAMUEL NATHANAEL
         VOCAL: CAMPOY QUILES, MARIANO
    Thesis abstract: A solar cell consists in an absorber material that transforms light into excited charge carriers, and carrier selective contacts that allow the flow of the carriers {electrons/ holes) only in a particular direction. In this work different materials that can be used as carrier selective contacts have been studied and characterized by means of methodologies used in c-Si solar cells to understand their operation principles. The exploration of these novel materials resolves around the need of solving multiple problems of current technologies. These include the difficulty in generating ohmic contacts due to interface effects such as Fermi Level Pinning {FLP) in n type c-Si as well as the use of hazardous dopants in high temperature steps to fabricate Silicon solar cells. Finally, the knowledge on the deposited materials has been used in other technologies to prove their application extends beyond crystalline Silicon.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING

  • ALCOVERRO BASSOLS, JORDI: Constitutive Models for Unsaturated Soils. A Thermodynamic Approach
    Author: ALCOVERRO BASSOLS, JORDI
    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 GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING
    Department: (DECA)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 30/05/2024
    Reading date: 25/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: ETSECCPB. UPC, Campus Nord Building D2. Classroom: 216 C/Jordi Girona, 1-3 08034 Barcelona
    Thesis director: GENS SOLE, ANTONIO
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: NAVARRO GAMIR, VICENTE
         SECRETARI: RAMON TARRAGONA, ANNA
         VOCAL: PINTADO LLURBA, XAVIER CESAR
    Thesis abstract: Unsaturated soils are particular instances of porous materials, which are characterized by a solid skeleton and a number of fluids that can move through the skeleton. At the microscale, a porous material is made of interacting entities of various dimensions (3D phases, 2D interfaces, 1D common lines, 0D common points), which contain various species (mineral, water, air, …). If representative volume elements (REV) can be defined, averaging yields a set of macroscale interacting continua, which can be modeled using mixture theory. After averaging, the microscale geometric features of the entities and the microscale distributions of thermodynamic properties within the entities are lost. In order to recover part of this information, macroscale geometric variables (e.g. volume, area, length or number of points of each entity in the REV) and macroscale density variables (e.g. mass of each species in each entity in the REV) are defined. Additional macroscale variables can be defined in order to characterize the anisotropy of the porous material (e.g. structure tensors).The state of a porous material is assumed to be given by the deformation of the solid skeleton, the measure (volume, area, length, number of points) of each microscale entity in the REV, the mass of each species in each microscale entity in the REV, the temperature and a set of internal variables. The number of state variables can be significantly reduced by assuming that the evolution of the porous material is along local equilibrium states. These states are such that, for prescribed values of the strain tensor of the solid skeleton, the total mass of each species per unit reference volume, the temperature and the internal variables, the measure of each microscale entity in the REV and of the mass of each species in each microscale entity in the REV take unique values, such that the total free energy per unit reference volume is minimum. As a result, the state of a porous material is given by the strain tensor of the solid skeleton, the total mass of each species per unit reference volume, the temperature and the internal variables. The constitutive model of a porous material is derived using the framework of thermodynamics with internal variables, in which the porous material is considered to be an open thermodynamic system. The state equations are derived from the free energy and the evolution equations of the internal variables are derived from the dissipation or a dissipation potential. For unsaturated soils, additional simplifying assumptions are made: (1) small strains of the solid skeleton; (2) isothermal atmospheric conditions; (3) three species: solid mineral, water and gas; and (4) elastoplastic response of the deformation of the solid skeleton and of the water mass content.In some soils short-range interaction forces bond water to the solid skeleton. Vicinal water is bond to the solid skeleton, whereas free water is not. The behavior of free water is as if it were outside the soil, so that microscale pressure distributions are uniform (neglecting gravity), so that chemical potentials and temperature allow to define a macroscale pressure. In contrast, the behavior of vicinal water depends on the interaction forces, so that microscale pressure distributions are not uniform. The behavior of a soil is assumed to be given by three different regimes: (1) saturated (fixed vicinal water, variable free water, no gas phase); (2) capillary (fixed vicinal water, variable free water, gas phase), with an hysteretic water retention curve; and (3) dry (variable vicinal water, no free water, gas phase). At each of these regimes a different constitutive model for the soil is used. Generic examples of these models are given: elastoplastic for the saturated regime, elastoplastic with water content hysteresis for the capillary regime and elastoplastic for the dry regime.
  • CID ESCOBAR, DANIELA: Methodologies for improving groundwater access in rural areas: "Towards the improvement of human development in low and middle-income countries
    Author: CID ESCOBAR, DANIELA
    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 GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING
    Department: (DECA)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 10/05/2024
    Reading date: 27/06/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: ETSECCPB. UPC, Campus Nord Building D2. Classroom: 216 C/Jordi Girona, 1-3 08034 Barcelona
    Thesis director: FOLCH SANCHO, ALBERT | SANCHEZ VILA, FRANCISCO JAVIER
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: SAWYER, AUDREY
         SECRETARI: FERNANDEZ GARCIA, DANIEL
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: PALTAN LOPEZ, HOMERO
    Thesis abstract: Sustainable groundwater management in rural areas presents multifaceted challenges stemming from hydrogeological complexities, socio-economic disparities, and governance issues. This thesis aims to provide quantitative tools for addressing some of the groundwater access problems in rural areas of low- and middle-income countries by promoting an interdisciplinary approach and the understanding of the expertise of each discipline. The first part of the thesis focuses on developing a comprehensive methodology to assess individual user risk of groundwater shortage. After a preliminary multifactorial analysis incorporating a range of variables from technical to societal, it was found that most of the overall risk of water shortage for an individual household could be attributed to three factors: Proximity, specified as the distance to the closest supply well. Availability of good quality water in the wells, and Sustainability. The factors are mapped onto indicators in the range of [0 - 1] and then represented in a Geographical Information System based on the partition of the entire spatial domain. The three indicators are then combined in a final index based on the product of the three factors, thus mapping time-dependent overall risk and allowing the assessment of temporal risk-evolution scenarios. The methodology is applied to Kwale County, Kenya, where community handpumps and groundwater points comprise the main water supply system. Apart from mapping the present situation, the methodology is also used to assess the impact on hypothetical scenarios. The second part of the thesis extends the analysis to four Eastern African countries, as an attempt to address the complexity and heterogeneity that characterise the human-groundwater interaction in rural water supply systems, we propose a multivariate approach that combines many different variables, such as water point functionality and groundwater quality characteristics, social and economic parameters, such as water point maintenance, finance, and governance system. The combination of variables of very different types and ranges of values is better suited using Multiple Factor Analysis (MFA) as a way to determine formally the main variables that affect water access and the relationship amongst them. The methodology was applied in four different countries of Eastern Africa supplied mainly with hand-pumps. The analysis was performed on datasets collected during a waterpoint census by the UPGro "Hidden Crises" and "Grow for Good" Projects from Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and Ethiopia. The results of the analysis show the existence of common trends, indicating that water access in Eastern African rural areas can be described mainly by three main components: one representing the hydrogeological environment, a second comprising water point management agreements, and a third component linked to the sustainable functionality of hand-pumps. Finally, the thesis explores into household water usage patterns and the impact of groundwater salinity on (ground)water source selection. A mixed-methods approach combining household surveys and physicochemical analysis of groundwater was employed across Kwale County during the dry season. Co-occurrence matrices were used to analyse usage patterns, while logistic regression models were used to understand the influence of salinity, demographic and socio-economic factors on water source preferences. Despite limited changes in drinking water sources between wet and dry seasons, significant shifts occur in non-drinking water uses, demonstrating the community's adaptability in utilizing available water sources. Factors such as taste, safety, and proximity play significant roles in households' decisions regarding their main drinking water source. Moreover, the study highlights the significant impact of groundwater salinity levels on usage patterns, identifying threshold salinity levels beyond which households are less likely to choose certain water sources.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN MARINE SCIENCES

  • ASTUDILLO GUTIERREZ, CARLOS SALVADOR: Posidonia oceanica: A Perspective From Coastal Protection
    Author: ASTUDILLO GUTIERREZ, CARLOS SALVADOR
    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 MARINE SCIENCES
    Department: (DECA)
    Mode: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 23/04/2024
    Reading date: 26/06/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Edifici C1 Aula 002, ETSECCPB, Campus nord, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Thesis director: GRACIA GARCIA, VICENTE | CACERES RABIONET, IVAN
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: COLOMER FELIU, JORDI
         SECRETARI: GIRONELLA I COBOS, FRANCESC XAVIER
         VOCAL: FERNÁNDEZ MORA, MARIA DE LOS ANGELES
    Thesis abstract: Over the decades, the global coastlines have been a key indicator of the development of actual societies. However, the cost of this growth has resulted in the depredation of natural environments. The increased frequency of storms, rising temperatures or rising sea levels are clear symptoms that the environment is responding to the increased pressure that the coasts have been subjected to. In recent years, the degradation of coastal habitats has accelerated, indicating that traditional engineering solutions alone will not be able to solve the problem in the long term. IThis approach enables nature to be reintroduced as a potential element capable of confronting and counteracting the adverse changes that the coastal landscape is undergoing. In order to achieve this goal, it is essential to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the natural elements that comprise the coastline, with a particular focus on identifying strategies that enhance environmental stability. This study aims to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows on the coastline, both in their submerged and emerged states.A novel experiment was conducted in the experimental flume CIEM of the LIM/UPC Barcelona. The objective was to evaluate the protective effect of submerged meadows against irregular erosive waves on a sandy beach with a 1:15 slope. A real meadow model was used with plastic substitutes carefully selected to accurately reflect the dimensions, movements and habitats of a real Posidonia oceanica plant. The submergence ratio and density of the meadow were kept constant. The work has focused on measuring the attenuation of wave height, changes in velocity, involvement in sediment transport and shore erosion. The results showed a persistent decrease in wave height from the area behind the meadow to the breaker zone, which was directly correlated with meadow length and wave energy. Consequently, there was less shoreline erosion as a function of wave height attenuation in cases where meadow was present, and even less when the meadow was longer. Behind the longer meadow, there was a notable change in velocity, resulting in an imbalance of peak velocities. This included a decrease in negative peak velocities and an increase in positive peak velocities. This resulted in an increase in the skewness value of the velocity in this area. The orbital velocities exhibited a decrease only for the long meadow case, which contributed to a decrease in sediment transport volume and the formation of a breaker bar closer to the coast.The emerged part of the meadows was evaluated through field work, analysing the accumulations on the shoreline. Several routes were taken along the southern Catalan coast in order to identify the most frequent accumulation sectors associated with the position of the submerged meadow. Areas with seagrass meadows were identified at depths greater than 5 m, and it was found that these areas exhibited a low frequency of occurrence of banquette events. Information on the management of the accumulations was obtained through interviews with the relevant personnel in each coastal municipality. The aim was to ascertain the manner in which the banquette is dealt with during periods of high tourism demand. Furthermore, this work presents a characterisation of parameters such as penetration resistance and permeability of the accumulations. Additionally, a methodology based on thermal oxidation has been presented to accurately quantify the amount of sediment that can accumulate in the banquettes. The results indicate that the banquettes situated in close proximity to the shoreline accumulated less sediment than those positioned at a greater distance from the coast.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

  • GHONJIZADEHSAMANI, FARNAZ: Environmentally friendly phosphorus flame retardant systems for acrylonitrilebutadiene-styrene (ABS): strategies to enhance mechanical properties and development of novel phosphorus/cork powder hybid solutions
    Author: GHONJIZADEHSAMANI, FARNAZ
    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 MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
    Department: (CEM)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 15/05/2024
    Reading date: 11/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Sala de Conferències de la ETSEIAAT (Escola Superior d’Enginyeries Industrial, Aeroespacial i Audiovisual de Terrassa), Campus de Terrassa, Edifici TR1. C. Colom, 1 08222.
    Thesis director: DE REDONDO REALINHO, VERA CRISTINA | HAURIE IBARRA, LAIA | MALET MURILLO, RAMON
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: FRANCO URQUIZA, EDGAR ADRIAN
         SECRETARI: DE SOUSA PAIS ANTUNES, MARCELO
         VOCAL: YANG, YUNXIAN
    Thesis abstract: Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) is one of the most widely used and versatile thermoplastic due to its toughness, chemical resistance and processability. These characteristics make it suitable for various applications as in electronic and automotive fields. However, its inherent flammability could limit its use. To counteract it, the incorporation of phosphorus-based flame retardants (PFRs) in ABS, as a more environmentally friendly alternative to the halogenated ones, has been used in the past years. However, the use of PFRs has an adverse impact on ABS mechanical properties, limiting its use where both fire safety and mechanical performance are required. In order to solve this problem, new strategies to enhance mechanical behavior of PFR-ABS composites were proposed in the present thesis. Also, due to the current challenge of promoting more ecological solutions, new research regarding the use of bio-wastes of forestry industry, as potential bio-based flame retardants in ABS was also made.The first part of the thesis is devoted to the improvement of mechanical properties of an ABS composite, containing ammonium polyphosphate (APP) and aluminum diethyl phosphinate (AlPi), by combining an ultrahigh molecular weight silicone rubber (UHMW-SR) and ethylene methyl acrylate copolymers (EMA) with different wt.% of methyl acrylate (MA). Their effect on the microstructure, mechanical and fire behavior of the ABS composite was discussed. Improvement in interfacial interaction between the flame retardant particles and ABS matrix, as well as, in the molecular mobility in the presence of EMA and/or UHMW-SR was noticed. As a result, remarkable synergies were observed in impact strength. Particularly, a 212% increase was achieved when added 5 wt.% of EMA, with 29 wt.% of MA, and 2 wt.% of UHMW-SR in flame retarded ABS, maintaining its self-extinguished behavior.To address the development of more friendly flame retardant systems for ABS, cork powder (C), a bio-waste of cork industry with no economic value, was proposed to be used as a potential bio-flame retardant (bio-FR). First, to better understand the flammability behavior of C, the effect of cork components on its pyrolysis decomposition was analyzed. It was observed that suberin plays a major role in enhancing the thermal stability of cork; however, it did not show a significant charring ability, contrarily to cork lignocellulosic part. Furthermore, the effect of combining APP with C on ABS microstructure, thermal stability and fire performance was discussed. By only replacing 3 wt.% of APP by cork, an optimum improvement in fire retardancy was achieved with the highest efficiency in reducing the heat release rate (HRR). It was also revealed that replacing 20 wt.% of APP by cork led to a similar fire performance to the ABS with 30 wt.% APP.Moreover, to increase C efficiency as bio-FR, phosphorus moieties were grafted to its surface by chemical modification. Phosphorylation of C with glyphosate (Cg), triethyl phosphate (Ct) and dimethyl-3-triethoxysilanepropylphosphoramidate (Cd) resulted in a registered phosphorus content of 0.9, 0.3 and 2.4 wt.%, respectively. Compared to natural C, phosphorylated cork contributed to an enhancement of flame retardancy in ABS composites. The highest improvement was observed for ABS with 30 wt.% Cd, by showing a higher combustible gasses dilution effect on the gas phase and a more cohesive char layer formation on the condensed phase that led to the reduction of heat and mass transfer phenomena.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN MECHANICAL, FLUIDS AND AEROSPACE ENGINEERING

  • PERARNAU OLLÉ, ENRIC: Design of service-purpose-vehicles through the sense of smell
    Author: PERARNAU OLLÉ, ENRIC
    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 MECHANICAL, FLUIDS AND AEROSPACE ENGINEERING
    Department: Department of Mechanical Engineering (EM)
    Mode: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 05/06/2024
    Reading date: 02/07/2024
    Reading time: 13:00
    Reading place: Defensa pública a la Sala de conferencies de l'Edifici TR1. (Terrassa)
    Thesis director: CASALS TERRE, JASMINA | FARRÉ LLADÓS, JOSEP
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: KAUSHIK, AJEET
         SECRETARI: CUSOLA AUMEDES, ORIOL
         VOCAL: WESTERBERG, LARS-GÖRAN
    Thesis abstract: This thesis arose from the need to design new tools that enable a better control of indoor air quality in vehicles. Even though indoor air quality has been widely explored in buildings, this topic has often been overlooked by most automotive manufacturers. In recent years, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, a better control of in-vehicle air quality has become a prominent need for most customers and operators of vehicle fleets. Traditionally, on-demand ventilation systems have used carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration to regulate indoor air quality. However, within the confined space of vehicles, the concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can also pose a real risk to the health and comfort of passengers. Therefore, in order to ensure optimal air quality conditions, it seems necessary to complement CO2 detectors with sensors that can effectively monitor VOCs. In the new era of e-mobility and connectivity, vehicles incorporate dozens of sensors in their architecture. Thus, reducing the fabrication and operational costs of new monitoring devices has become a critical requirement to justify their implementation. Recent advancements in micro-fabrication techniques and new materials have enabled the creation of VOCs sensors that are increasingly sensitive, compact, and cost-effective. However, the performance of some of these devices is still conditioned to high energy requirements during operation. In addition, the effectiveness of current gas sensors needs further improvement, so that they not only have high sensitivity, but also a certain degree of selectivity towards multiple VOCs in the environment.This thesis focuses on the design, fabrication, and implementation of a new device for the monitoring of VOCs in vehicles. The results demonstrate the suitability of integrating a gas sensor and a microfluidic channel, which exploit the unique properties of polymers for the sensitive and selective detection of VOCs at ambient temperature. First, this work evaluates the response of a gas sensor coated with single and hybrid polymer films. The addition of carbon nanoparticles within the polymer not only contributes to an increase in the sensitivity and response times of the sensor, but also helps to improve the selectivity of the polymer films. Secondly, this work evaluates the responses of a microfluidic channel for the discretization of VOCs in a mixture. The empirical results obtained in this thesis indicate that polymer thickness is critical in both the sensitivity and selectivity of the different fabricated devices. In general, thicker polymer films help to increase or optimize the performance of both, the gas sensor and the microfluidic channel. Moreover, the chemical compatibility between VOCs and the polymer also proves to be very important in the performance of both devices. For this reason, this work proposes a new methodology, based on the Hansen solubility parameters, which can help assess and predict the response of polymers for VOCs monitoring. Finally, this thesis describes the implementation of an air quality monitoring system that effectively measures CO2 and VOCs levels inside the vehicle cabin. A series of pilot tests validate that VOCs monitoring is relevant to the customer experience and the proper control of indoor air quality in vehicles. Furthermore, these activities contribute to defining how this system should be integrated with the overall vehicle and environment. To the authors knowledge, it is the first time that the devices presented in this thesis have been investigated for their implementation in vehicles, which showcase the originality and potential of this work.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN NETWORK ENGINEERING

  • HAASTRUP, ADEBANJO: Enhanced Dynamic Bandwidth Algorithms for Passive Optical Networks
    Author: HAASTRUP, ADEBANJO
    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 NETWORK ENGINEERING
    Department: Department of Network Engineering (ENTEL)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 22/04/2024
    Reading date: 10/07/2024
    Reading time: 15:00
    Reading place: Defensa localitzada a la sala 028-2 de l'edifici C4 (EETAC) del Campus de Castelldefels.
    Thesis director: RINCON RIVERA, DAVID | PINEY DA SILVA, JOSE RAMON
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: KHALILI, HAMZEH
         SECRETARI: SPADARO, SALVATORE
         VOCAL: PAPAGIANNI, CHRYSA
    Thesis abstract: The telecommunications industry faces rapid changes due to the deployment of ultra-high speed access networks (5G and beyond, fiber-to-the-home), promising unparalleled experiences with high bandwidth and low latency. However, this transition brings challenges. With the surge in smart device numbers and bandwidth demand, optimizing network architecture, management, and resource usage is crucial for cost-efficiency. Passive Optical Networks (PONs) offer efficient broadband access for residential and commercial sectors, with advantages like energy efficiency and robust security and high performance. Leading organizations, such as IEEE and ITU-T, are actively developing standards to increase the capabilities of next-generation PONs. The goal is to meet the demands by implementing innovative mechanisms for efficient management, resource allocation, QoS, energy savings, and low latency.Next-generation PONs have introduced the use of multiple wavelengths based on TWDM techniques. However, managing multiple wavelengths presents challenges, as DBA algorithms need to consider both the time and wavelength dimensions of the network. This follows a Joint Time and Wavelength Scheduling (JTWS) scheme, which requires complex implementation. TWDM-PON also utilizes tunable transceivers in ONUs to switch between wavelengths, but this introduces a delay called Laser Tuning Time (LTT) which is often ignored, but it is an important consideration when designing our DBA algorithms. Additionally, there is a demand to integrate metro and access networks for streamlined telecom infrastructure. Long Reach PON (LRPON) offers a solution by expanding coverage from 20 km to 100 km, enabling high-speed, long-distance data transmission over optical fibers. This reduces the need for central offices, resulting in cost savings. However, the extended reach of LRPONs introduces new challenges, particularly in the area of DBA algorithms. Traditional DBA algorithms like IPACT may not be as efficient for LRPONs due to increased propagation delays and round-trip times (RTT) between the OLT and ONUs. To address these challenges, a novel DBA algorithm called the Distance Weighted DBA (DWDBA) algorithm is proposed.This thesis delves into the limitations of traditional DBA algorithms and proposes novel Enhanced DBA solutions for PONs. Leveraging techniques such as the Longest Processing Time (LPT) scheduling method to minimize queue delays, our DBAs also consider the concept of laser tuning time to bring a practical, real-world approach to our system. The main contributions of this thesis are: - Incorporating the often-overlooked laser tuning time (LTT) concept in our analysis of DBA for TWDM PONs, therefore obtaining more realistic results. - Introducing an innovative algorithm for PONs employing LPT to minimize queue delay and enhance throughput, resulting in a notable reduction (up to 73%) with respect to the queue delay when compared to IPACT. - Developing a Distance Weighted DBA (DWDBA), specifically tailored for LRPONs, aimed at preventing the penalization of ONUs located farther from the OLT. This results in improving up to 30% and 10% the queue delay and throughput, respectively, over IPACT.The effectiveness of these proposed algorithms is rigorously evaluated through comprehensive simulations, demonstrating their potential to meet the demands of future networks.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN NUCLEAR AND IONISING RADIATION ENGINEERING

  • BENSADON OLIART, TOMAS: Analysis of ICRF Heating Schemes for Tokamaks using Predictive Integrated Plasma Modelling
    Author: BENSADON OLIART, TOMAS
    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 NUCLEAR AND IONISING RADIATION ENGINEERING
    Department: Department of Physics (FIS)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 24/05/2024
    Reading date: 05/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Defensa pública a l'Aula H.6.22 de l'ETSEIB - Av. Diagonal, 647, Les Corts, 08028 Barcelona, UPC
    Thesis director: MANTSINEN, MERVI JOHANNA
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: OTÍN FORTUÑO, RUBÉN
         SECRETARI: FUTATANI, SHIMPEI
         VOCAL: GALDON QUIROGA, JOAQUIN
    Thesis abstract: Heating plasmas to fusion-relevant temperatures stands as a pivotal factor in magnetically confined fusion plasmas. Theapplication of radio frequency (RF) heating through electromagnetic waves in the ion cyclotron range of frequencies (ICRF) hasdemonstrated its efficacy as an auxiliary method in existing fusion devices such as tokamaks. Moreover, ITER will incorporateICRF antennas as a primary heating mechanism. Consequently, investigating various heating schemes to enhance fusionperformance becomes critically significant. This thesis presented the development and assessment of theoretical models forICRF heating at two operational devices, i.e JET and AUG, and at the ITER upcoming tokamak, with a special focus on this lastone.The main objective of this thesis was to use, for the first time, the heating code PION integrated into the European TransportSimulator (ETS) to study and predict how the plasma parameters would be affected and evolve when ICRF heating was appliedto ITER Pre-Fusion Power Operation (PFPO), non-active plasmas. Special attention was given to bulk ion heating, temperatureenhancement, sensitivity of the ICRF power partition to minority concentration, and to the comparison between the resultsobtained in this thesis and the results obtained in previous works. The presence of ICRF physics such as Doppler effects, finiteorbit width (FOW) effects, finite Larmor radius (FLR) effects, and the screening effect were studied, and their impact wasdiscussed. In order to prove the feasibility of using the PION+ETS integration on currently working reactors, PION+ETS was usedto study a JET baseline scenario and an AUG deuterium plasma, even though the emphasis was on the predictions of the ITERnon-active phase.The results presented in this thesis are the first results obtained with the PION+ETS integration. Considering the dependence ofITER on every unit of auxiliary heating power that can be introduced into the plasma, it is essential to conduct both numerical andexperimental investigations of this nature. The efforts in this thesis were directed towards testing and enhancing the performanceof ICRF scenarios. Such endeavours play a critical role in ensuring the successful operation of ITER during its early phase. Onthis basis, this thesis offered valuable insights into optimising plasma performance through various heating schemes. The resultspresented here serve as a guide for maximising absorption, bulk ion heating, and final temperature by appropriately configuringthe ICRF heating schemes.Of special relevance for the ITER PFPO phase was the study of three ICRF schemes; fundamental minority H heating in He4plasma at half field (referred to as Scenario 1), second harmonic minority H heating in He4 plasma at the third field (Scenario 2),and fundamental He3 heating in a three-ion scheme in H plasma at 3.3T (Scenario 3). In terms of power density absorbed,single-pass absorption (SPA) coefficients, and final thermal ion temperature, Scenario 1 presented the best alternative ascompared to the other two ITER scenarios, with appropriate results obtained with the smallest minority concentration of 1%.Scenario 2 showed the highest electron temperature and the largest thermal ion temperature enhancement, with an interestingpossibility of using only a minority concentration of 1% as well. Finally, the three-ion scheme in Scenario 3 presented the bestbulk ion heating with minority concentrations two orders of magnitude smaller than the other two Scenarios. FOW and FLReffects were present in all simulations, most notably affecting Scenario 2, where the FLR effects limited the range of energies thatthe resonating ions could reach.Future steps involve enhancing understanding of available transport modelling tools in the ETS framework, conducting thoroughbenchmarking against JET and AUG experimental results, and applying PION+ETS to ITER active phase scenarios.
  • IRAOLA DE ACEVEDO, EDUARDO: Predictive simulation, active diagnosis and dynamic monitoring for tritium processing systems
    Author: IRAOLA DE ACEVEDO, EDUARDO
    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 NUCLEAR AND IONISING RADIATION ENGINEERING
    Department: Department of Physics (FIS)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 05/06/2024
    Reading date: 01/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Defensa pública a la LS.12 de l'ETSEIB (campus sud-Avda. Diagonal, 647)
    Thesis director: BATET MIRACLE, LLUIS
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: PAPATHANASIOU, MARIA
         SECRETARI: SERRA PRAT, MARIA
         VOCAL: MARTELLI, DANIELE
    Thesis abstract: Nuclear fusion has been under development for years, showing consistent advancements toward becoming a clean and efficient energy source. However, significant challenges persist in this field, with tritium handling being a major concern. Tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen used as fuel for fusion, presents unique issues due to its ability to penetrate walls and interact with water and organic compounds.In ITER, where tritium will be used on a large scale (reaching quantities in the order of kilograms), ensuring plant safety is critical. The plant must periodically halt operations to consolidate all process streams for tritium accounting, a time-consuming process that can last hours. This practice is impractical for future industrial fusion plants aspiring for economic feasibility, especially considering the pulsating nature of tokamak burn phases.This thesis proposes a dynamic monitoring framework to address these challenges and improve static tritium accounting. Leveraging first-principle simulation models and data-driven methodologies such as fault detection and time series forecasting, the framework aims to provide continuous, reliable tritium inventory updates. The framework's effectiveness is verified using the Tennessee Eastman process, a process engineering virtual plant, and validated on a representative tritium processing system: the Tokamak Exhaust Processing system.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN OPTICAL ENGINEERING

  • AZOR MORÓN, JUAN ANTONIO: Evaluación de la calidad óptica de lentes intraoculares en presencia de aberraciones
    Author: AZOR MORÓN, JUAN ANTONIO
    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 OPTICAL ENGINEERING
    Department: Department of Optics and Optometry (OO)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 04/06/2024
    Reading date: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    Thesis director: MILLAN GARCIA VARELA, MARIA SAGRARIO | VEGA LERIN, FIDEL
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: PIÑERO LLORENS, DAVID PABLO
         SECRETARI: TORRENTS GÓMEZ, AURORA
         VOCAL: BIARNÉS PÉREZ, MARC FRANCESC
    Thesis abstract: An intraocular lens (IOL) is an implant that is used in cataract surgery to replace the clouded natural lens (cataract) and restore the loss of transparency. Currently, there is a wide variety of designs, brands, and models of IOLs available on the market, which can be classified, according to the number of foci and physical principle of each design, into monofocal,multifocal, and extended range of vision (ERV). This thesis focuses on the evaluation of the optical quality of IOLs and the methods employed to determine it using an eye model as an image-forming system on an optical bench.Optical characterisation of an IOL on an optical bench allows its performance to be measured, before implantation, in conditions close to those required by visual function. This analysis is conducted under controlled conditions of variables such as pupillary size or spherical aberration (SA), which provides good repeatability to the tests. This approach enables objective comparisons between different IOL designs and models, as well as facilitating personalised selection, in accordance with the patient's requirements. For this purpose, an optical device previously designed by the research group has been employed, which adheres to the recommendations set forth in the ISO 11979-2:2014 standard. Meanwhile, the construction, characterisation and commissioning of a new experimental setup, which incorporates a model eye closer to the human eye, has been carried out. This configuration comprises units that permit the control of the optical input information of the test object and the light beam, an adaptive optics (AO) system, and a matrix sensor with a spectral sensitivity close to that of the standard observer in photopic vision. The characterisation of the subsystems and specific components of the assemblies has enabled the determination of their working conditions, with the knowledge and control of their performance. Once the IOL had been placed in the eye model, its optical quality was analysed using objective metrics under a variety of working conditions. Particular attention was paid to image quality and the effects of multifocality and aberrations on its degradation.The potential formation of halos has also been assessed, given the clinical significance of dysphotopic effects. The incorporation of the AO system has enabled the simulation of corneal astigmatism (including IOL rotation errors onceimplanted) and corneas with different degrees of SA, reproducing practical and realistic cases of clinical interest (forexample, corneas undergoing refractive surgery prior to IOL implantation). The research findings provide the values achieved by the lenses under study – 16 IOL models of different des ign and provided by five manufacturers – in a s et of optical quality metrics, as well as their evolution from distance vision to near vision. By means of characterisation, it has been possible to estimate the average postoperative visual acuity values over the full range of vision and to predict the depth of field (with visual acuity 0.2 logMAR or better), thus enabling a comparison with clinical results obtained using defocus curves. Information derived from both optical and clinical methodologies constitutes a valuable contribution to the field of cataract surgery with IOL implantation. This information can be used for a variety of purposes, including the selection of lenses, the design of new products, their manufacture, and quality control. Furthermore, these advances reaffirm the importance of considering the individual characteristics of each patient when selecting the most appropriate IOL.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN PHOTONICS

  • BALDELLI, NICCOLÒ: Classical and Quantum simulation of quantum matter beyond symmetry breaking
    Author: BALDELLI, NICCOLÒ
    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 PHOTONICS
    Department: Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 03/06/2024
    Reading date: 05/07/2024
    Reading time: 14:00
    Reading place: ICFO, Mediterranean Technology Park, Avinguda Carl Friedrich Gauss, 3, 08860 Castelldefels, Barcelona
    Thesis director: LEWENSTEIN, MACIEJ | BARBIERO, LUCA
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: ECKARDT, ANDRÉ
         SECRETARI: ACÍN DAL MASCHIO, ANTONIO
         VOCAL: BAÑULS POLO, MARIA CARMEN
    Thesis abstract: When matter is cooled to temperatures near absolute zero, its quantum nature begins to emerge. The interactions between its microscopic constituents can then lead to the emergence of fascinating physical properties. While the framework of spontaneous symmetry breaking has been incredibly successful in describing how a macroscopic number of particles cooperate to give a system its properties, there are manysituations where this is not sufficient to describe quantum systems. This is especially true for strongly interacting many-body systems.In recent years, multiple techniques have been developed to address this problem. On the one hand, the incredible advances in classical computing hardware and algorithms, have made it possible to study systems with a number of elementary components that were unimaginable just a few decades ago. In particular, the development of techniques such as tensor networks has unified the framework of quantum information with condensed matter physics, making it possible to optimize the computational complexity of simulating a system, based on its entanglement content.On the other hand, the development of platforms to directly perform simulations on quantum systems is a highly sought objective. While a hypothetical universal quantum computer could dramatically increase our understanding of the quantum nature of matter, its difficult development makes it essential to study analog platforms where specific many-body models can be studied directly in a controlled environment. In these quantum simulators, novel quantum phenomena can be studied in an environment free of disorder, with excellent control over parameters and measurement capabilities.In this thesis, we aim to explore these two paths to study some of the most relevant active topics in physics beyond the symmetry breaking paradigm. In the first part, devoted to topology, we propose and analyze new techniques for the detection of topological excitations. We start by proposing a protocol to detect anyons, quasiparticles that do not behave either as bosons or fermions, in Fractional QuantumHall Effect systems through measuring the angular momentum of impurities binding to the anyons. We then show how similar excitations can be identified in topological superconductors through an interaction between the electromagnetic field of a strong laser pulse and the system in a process called High Harmonic Generation In the second part, we move to the study of quantum frustration. This phenomenon,which describes a situation in which various constraints of the system cannot be satisfied simultaneously, can lead to the emergence of unexpected phases of matter. In particular, we study how frustrated phases and a particular class of quantum critical points, called deconfined can emerge in one-dimensional frustrated systems, potentially realizable in quantum simulators. We then study how frustrationcould explain the onset of superconductivity mixed with charge density modulations in two-dimensional strongly-correlated systems.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN POLYMERS AND BIOPOLYMERS

  • FERRERES CABANES, GUILLEM: Hybrid metal-organic nanoparticles for antimicrobial applications
    Author: FERRERES CABANES, GUILLEM
    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 POLYMERS AND BIOPOLYMERS
    Department: Department of Chemical Engineering (EQ)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 03/04/2024
    Reading date: 21/06/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Sala de Conferències de l' ESEIAAT (Escola Superior d’Enginyeries Industrial, Aeroespacial i Audiovisual de Terrassa), C/ Colom, 1-11, 08222 Terrassa.
    Thesis director: TZANOV, TZANKO | TORRENT BURGUES, JUAN
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: PASHKULEVA, IVA HRISTOVA
         SECRETARI: GARRIGA SOLE, PERE
         VOCAL: VASSILEVA, ELENA
    Thesis abstract: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health concern, which leads to increased morbidity and mortality, huge economic burden to the healthcare systems and potentially untreatable infections. Due to the inappropriate use of antibiotics, the natural adaptation has been accelerated and bacteria have developed multiple ways to degrade, alter, or expel drug molecules. Besides these resistance mechanisms, bacteria can adhere to surfaces and grow as biofilms – organised assemblies of surface-bound cells, enclosed in a self-produced extracellular polymer matrix (EPM). The EPM holds the pathogens together, enables adhesion to surfaces, and enhances the tolerance to host immune responses and antibiotics compared to free-floating cells. Metal nanoparticles (NPs) have been suggested as a potential solution to fight resistant bacteria due to their strong antimicrobial activity and versatile mechanisms of action. However, inherent toxicity towards mammalian cells and large variation of physical properties are challenges that preclude the clinical application of such materials. In this thesis, metal NPs have been combined with different biomolecules for enhanced biocompatibility, increased antimicrobial efficacy, and enabling new functionalities to mitigate AMR.The first part of the thesis describes the formation of Ag NPs using bioactive macromolecules to produce multifunctional nanostructures. First, the matrix-degrading enzyme (MDE) α-amylase was used to reduce Ag(I), yielding NPs with antimicrobial and biofilm-degrading activity towards both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Then, chitosan-Ag NPs were decorated with the quorum-quenching enzyme (QQE) acylase I, which combination was able to kill Pseudomonas aeruginosa, hinder biofilm formation, and inhibit bacterial quorum sensing (QS) based on acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs). Finally, adipic acid dihydrazide (ADH) was grafted on hyaluronic acid (HA) and used to form Ag NPs. The modified polymer (HA-ADH) played a crucial role in the interaction of the NPs with bacterial membranes, assessed using Langmuir isotherms, and reduced the toxicity of Ag towards human cells. In the second part of the thesis, HA-ADH and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) were used to produce nanostructured complexes with a scarcely studied antimicrobial Co(II). On one hand, Co(II) formed a complex with the biopolymer, which complex was transformed to antimicrobial nanogels (NGs) using an ultrasonic approach. On the other hand, incubation of EGCG with Co(II) yielded nanostructured metal-phenolic networks (MPN). These cobalt-containing NPs were active towards both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, and were able to inhibit biofilm formation due to the capacity of ECGC to disrupt QS. The last chapter of the thesis validates the use of the novel nanomaterials for antimicrobial functionalisation of medical devices. Coating of contact lenses with NGs hindered bacterial colonisation and unspecific absorption of proteins without affecting the optical properties and comfort of the material. Inclusion of MPN NPs in thiolated hyaluronic acid (THA) hydrogels endowed these materials with properties promoting efficient chronic wound treatment. The antibiotic-free hydrogels were able to control the main factors of wound chronicity by inhibiting the activity of deleterious wound enzymes, scavenging reactive oxidative species, and demonstrating pronounced antimicrobial activity, resulting in similar to commercial products wound management efficacy confirmed in vivo.
  • LOZANO HERNÁNDEZ, NEKANE: Microtexturization of liquid silicone rubber surfaces by injection moulding
    Author: LOZANO HERNÁNDEZ, NEKANE
    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 POLYMERS AND BIOPOLYMERS
    Department: Department of Chemical Engineering (EQ)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 29/05/2024
    Reading date: 03/09/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Sala Polivalent de l'Edifici I, Edifici I, planta baixa, Campus Diagonal-Besòs
    Thesis director: PUIGGALI BELLALTA, JORGE | DEL VALLE MENDOZA, LUIS JAVIER
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: RODRÍGUEZ FERNÁNDEZ, ISABEL
         SECRETARI: CASELLAS PADRO, DANIEL
         VOCAL: TYLKOWSKI, BARTOSZ
    Thesis abstract: Nature is in continuous change and evolution in response to environmental shifts. That is because different micro- and nanotextures have emerged on some plant leaves or insect skins. These surface patterns enable them to possess advanced surface properties. Some examples include the superhydrophobic and self-cleaning leaves of the lotus plant, or the dry adhesion found on gecko feet. There has been a strong trend in recent years to transfer these surface textures to industrial applications to replace various coatings currently in use. The development of transformation technologies and the extensive knowledge of materials developed in recent decades have allowed for the extension of materials onto which these microtextures can be replicated.In the case of Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR), studies on replication focus on laboratory-scale technologies that allow for high replication but low production throughput. However, these materials possess properties of great interest and can have many synergies with microtexturing: good biocompatibility for use in medical devices, weather resistance for self-cleaning or superhydrophobic surfaces, or good mechanical and chemical resistance that can extend the lifespan of microtextures on the surface. In order to extend studies on replication techniques of microtextures on liquid silicone surfaces, this thesis has been developed focusing on replication through injection of microtexturized inserts. There have been some previous works on replication using this technology; however, they fail to achieve good demolding or uniform textures in height due to the use of textured metallic inserts. Therefore, this thesis proposes the use of textured films to facilitate demolding due to the flexibility of the film.This thesis is divided into two main parts: The first part consists of the development of tools and technology for the replication of liquid silicone parts by injection. Firstly, optimization is carried out on the manufacture of textured films by nanoimprint lithography to withstand the injection conditions of this material. After this initial optimization and with the manufacturing of the necessary tools, a study and optimization of different part geometries for the different studied microtextures (pillars, lines, and holes ranging from 1 to 50 microns) are conducted. The second part of the thesis consists of an extensive study of different advanced surface properties due to microtexturing. This includes properties such as surface wettability or roughness studies, as well as different studies of part durability for the application of different mechanical stresses. Additionally, emphasis is placed on the study of biological properties, of interest in the medical sector. The studies focus on the variation of cellular growth and adhesion due to the presence of microtextures. Based on all the results obtained, a use case of an optogenetic implant is proposed.From the results obtained, it can be concluded that the replication method proposed and developed in this thesis is an optimal method for industrial scaling of these microtextures in liquid silicone. Not only because of its high production throughput but also because of the versatility of part geometries and microtextures it allows. This versatility of microtextures enables the acquisition of a wide range of surface properties of high interest at an industrial level. Particularly in the case of the medical sector, where a use case of a microtexturized implantable device with this technology has been demonstrated, which could be extendable to other applications.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN SIGNAL THEORY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • LOPEZ MONTERO, MARIA JOSE: MIMO Radar System for In-Cabin Vehicular Functional Human Biomedical Monitoring
    Author: LOPEZ MONTERO, MARIA JOSE
    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 SIGNAL THEORY AND COMMUNICATIONS
    Department: Department of Signal Theory and Communications (TSC)
    Mode: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 03/06/2024
    Reading date: 01/07/2024
    Reading time: 10:00
    Reading place: Defensa pública a l'Aula Màster, edifici A3, Campus Nord
    Thesis director: JOFRE ROCA, LUIS | ROMEU ROBERT, JORDI
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT NO PRESENCIAL: ESPINOSA, HUGO
         SECRETARI: BROQUETAS IBARS, ANTONI
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: RAMÍREZ ARROYAVE, GERMÁN AUGUSTO
    Thesis abstract: This doctoral thesis is made up of three research papers that have been published in high-ranking Q1 journals. The papers delveinto the innovative integration of a MIMO radar system, signal processing, and machine learning (ML) in applications related tothe monitoring of human dysfunctional breathing, detection of stress levels in drivers, and detection of pain through facialexpressions. The first study, titled “In-Cabin MIMO Radar System for Human Dysfunctional Breathing Detection,”introduces anovel approach using MIMO radar systems for remote, wireless health monitoring. It specifically focuses on the detection ofdysfunctional breathing patterns in humans. The system showcases its capability to remotely identify and track patterns such ashyperventilation and dominant thoracic breathing syndrome. This technology could replace traditional methods that often requirecumbersome and intrusive portable sensors, and is non-invasive and non-obstructive in the context of vehicle cabs.In the secondresearch, Supervised Machine Learning-Assisted Driving Stress Monitoring MIMO Radar System explores the intersection ofMIMO radar systems and machine learning (ML) in the context of vehicle safety. This study demonstrates how supervised MLalgorithms can be trained to interpret physiological signals captured by a MIMO radar system to accurately assess driver stresslevels. The results demonstrate a sleep detection accuracy of 90\%, alertness of 96%, and anxiety of 85%. This research couldcontribute significantly to the development of smarter and safer vehicles that can adapt to the driver’s emotional state, potentiallyreducing the risk of stress-related accidents and improving the overall road safety.The third research, 3D pain facial expressionrecognition using an ML-MIMO radar profiler, represents a significant advance in pain assessment techniques. This researchsuccessfully applies MIMO radar technology to recognize 3D-based facial expressions as indicative of pain. This non-invasiveand objective method compares the measurements of the MIMO radar system with those of the facial action coding system,revealing an accuracy of 92%. This technology is useful in medical settings where self-evaluation is not possible or is not reliable,such as in intensive care units or pediatric care.These three innovative studies using MIMO radar systems and machine learningfor health monitoring, vehicle safety, and pain assessment offer significant improvements over traditional techniques,demonstrating the versatility and potential of these technologies, and opening new avenues for future research.
  • TAGDULANG, NIKKI: Surface Impedance Characterization ofHigh-Temperature Superconducting Coated Conductors for Potential Application in the Future Circular Collider Beam Screen
    Author: TAGDULANG, NIKKI
    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 SIGNAL THEORY AND COMMUNICATIONS
    Department: Department of Signal Theory and Communications (TSC)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 06/06/2024
    Reading date: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    Thesis director: O'CALLAGHAN CASTELLA, JUAN MANUEL | PONT, MONTSERRAT
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: HERNÀNDEZ FERRÀS, JOAN MANEL
         SECRETARI: KOUBYCHINE MERKULOV, YOURI ALEXANDROVICH
         VOCAL: RUMOLO, GIOVANNI
    Thesis abstract: The Future Circular Hadron Collider (FCC-hh) is a proposed hadron-hadron collider, with a center-of-mass collision energy of 100 TeV in an approximately 100-km long circular tunnel, aiming to push the frontiers of particle physics. One of the key elements in such a high-energy accelerator is the beam screen, which shields the cold superconducting magnets from the synchrotron radiation emitted by the proton beams at such high energies, ensures ultra-high vacuum conditions, and provides a low impedance to the circulating beams. Beam impedance depends on the electromagnetic interaction between the fields generated by the proton beam and the beam screen. In the current baseline design, the beam screen is made of 1 mm thick stainless steel plates coated with 0.3 mm of copper (Cu), but its surface impedance may not be low enough to guarantee a stable beam operation. The use of High-Temperature Superconductor (HTS) is thus being considered to improve the beam screen performance, particularly, those based on REBa2Cu3O7−x coated conductors (REBCO-CCs being RE = Y, Gd, Eu). It is therefore essential to estimate the surface impedance of these materials in the range of frequencies (2.1 kHz to 3 GHz), DC magnetic fields (1 to 16 T), and temperature (40-60 K) relevant for their use in the FCC-hh. The experimental characterization at the exact FCC-hh operating conditions is extremely challenging, and the surface impedance has to be inferred at conditions that are feasible with the current experimental capabilities. In this thesis, we have addressed the full characterization of REBCO-CC as possible coatings for the beam screen. The first part presents a system of dielectric resonators to characterize the surface impedance of REBCO-CC materials at conditions as similar as possible to those foreseen in the FCC-hh. Results on representative REBCO-CC samples show the validity of the approach developed, providing surface impedance characterization up to 16 T, in a wide temperature range (4-100 K) and a frequency range between 6 and 15 GHz. The second part evaluates the impact of using REBCO-CC to beam stability by performing calculations of the resistive wall beam impedance using a combination of finite integration techniques and beam coupling impedance theory for beam pipes of general cross-section. To this end, hybrid beam screen models combining REBCO-CC and Cu have been considered. The position of REBCO-CC and the percentage of coverage have been systematically studied to determine the optimum configuration that lowers the resistive wall impedance compared to that presented by Cu, while maintaining the magnetic field homogeneity seen by the beam within the specifications. We demonstrate in this study that it is possible to find a REBCO-CC coverage that improves the performance of the nominal beam screen.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN SUPPLY CHAIN AND OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

  • PORTO SOLANO, ANDRÉS FELIPE: Addressing seasonal and uncertain demand in service companies through a triple labor flexibility strategy based on multiskilling, annualized hours, and overtime
    Author: PORTO SOLANO, ANDRÉS FELIPE
    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 SUPPLY CHAIN AND OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
    Department: Department of Management (OE)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 03/06/2024
    Reading date: 12/07/2024
    Reading time: 14:00
    Reading place: Defensa pública a l'Aula 28.8 de l'ETSEIB - Av. Diagonal, 647, Les Corts, 08028 Barcelona, UPC
    Thesis director: LUSA GARCIA, AMAIA | HENAO BOTERO, CESAR AUGUSTO
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: MULA BRU, JOSEFA
         SECRETARI: OLIVELLA NADAL, JORGE
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: LÜER VILLAGRA, ARMIN MAURICIO
    Thesis abstract: Workforce management in the service sector, especially in the retail industry, faces both predictable phenomena such as demand seasonality and unpredictable phenomena such as demand variability and unplanned employee absences. These phenomena complicate efficient workforce planning because they make it difficult to match the available workforce (i.e., staffing levels and shift schedules) with customer-driven demand (i.e., staffing requirements), resulting in higher labor costs and lower service quality. The main barriers to better workforce management are that employees are typically trained to perform only one type of task and are scheduled within rigid working hours schemes. Therefore, to ensure operational efficiency and customer satisfaction in this and other service industries, it is essential to consider labor flexibility strategies that minimize periods of overstaffing and understaffing.The main objective of this doctoral thesis is to develop, at a strategic-tactical level, a triple labor flexibility strategy to address staffing challenges in service sector firms, considering seasonality and uncertain demand scenarios. The solution methodology proposes to combine: (i) annualized hours schemes, which allow an irregular distribution (e.g., weekly, monthly) of an annual number of hired hours per employee; (ii) multiskilling with 2-chaining, where employees are trained to work on up to two task types, forming closed training chains; and (iii) overtime. A deterministic model followed by a sensitivity analysis and a two-stage stochastic optimization model are presented to determine the optimal staff size, develop a training plan under a 2-chaining approach, and allocate weekly regular and overtime hours, all while considering demand uncertainty first implicitly and then explicitly. For a case study in the Chilean retail industry, both deterministic and stochastic demand scenarios were evaluated using real, processed, and simulated data.The results showed that multiskilling and overtime are complementary sources of flexibility under an annualized hours contract. Specifically, across different numbers of skills (store sizes), seasonal demand patterns, and levels of demand variability, the proposed strategy achieved nearly 100% demand coverage and approximately 0% overstaffing and understaffing. In addition, the expected costs and robustness of the solution, in terms of staff size, training plan, and overtime, overstaffing, and understaffing costs, obtained from the stochastic model were compared to those obtained from the deterministic model. The results showed that the two-stage stochastic model provides more robust solutions than the deterministic model under demand uncertainty, effectively minimizing training costs and expected average costs associated with overstaffing, understaffing, and wages. This study also confirms the complementarity between multiskilling and overtime in managing demand uncertainty. Ultimately, this research provides valuable insights for retail and service workforce managers seeking to manage uncertainty and optimize their staffing and training plans.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN SUSTAINABILITY

  • PAZMIÑO FLORES, YADIRA CARMEN: Evaluación de los usos de suelo y valor ecosistémico del páramo de la Subcuenca Chambo (Ecuador)
    Author: PAZMIÑO FLORES, YADIRA CARMEN
    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: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 17/04/2024
    Reading date: 23/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: ETSECCPB, Sala Conferències C2-212 (C/Jordi Girona 1-3, mòdul C2, Campus Nord, Barcelona).
    Thesis director: FELIPE BLANCH, JOSE JUAN DE | VALLBE MUMBRU, MARC
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: AGUILERA BENAVENTE, FRANCISCO
         SECRETARI: ALCARAZ SENDRA, OLGA
         VOCAL: GUAITA PRADAS, INMACULADA
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: HERNÁNDEZ CLEMENTE, ROCÍO
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: GILABERT NAVARRO, M. DESAMPARADOS
    Thesis abstract: The scarcity of information that allows understanding the importance of natural resources from an economic approach is a limitation to establish parameters related to environmental investment in conservation plans. This research proposes a methodology that allows modeling the variability of páramo land uses and the Ecosystem Valuation (EV) of the Chambo-Ecuador sub-basin from a bioeconomic monitoring that links the economic rent of páramo land uses with remote sensing tools and geographic information systems. The main results of the methodology determined that temporal monitoring of land covers is essential to identify areas of greatest vulnerability to EV degradation. The thresholds, functions and interrelationships determined in the Cart Decision Tree (CDT), Multilayer Perception (MLP), Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS) and Support Vector Machines (SVM) models for land cover recognition were efficient; the models performed 88%, 85%, 83% and 81% respectively. The hybridization of the models, Markov chains and cellular automata was appropriate for predicting future land cover changes in Andean areas in relation to their VE, the methods achieved acceptable accuracy for recognizing páramo land uses. The variables chosen for land cover classification were adequate to identify land cover particularities.The opportunity cost and benefit transfer methods proposed obtained a good performance in the evaluation of food production trajectories linked to environmental services (ES) of carbon supply and concentration associated with indirect and support ES, so it was determined that the information from the dynamics of environmental services is an important indicator to understand the real state of the resource and consequently allows understanding the necessary strategies to undertake sustainable actions for ecological management.The mapping generated allowed us to determine that the páramo decreased by 13% between 2000-2010 and 19% between 2010-2020. It was estimated that the loss of the ecosystem between 2000 and 2030 will increase to 28%. From the first year of the study to the last year considered in the work, the páramo will go from occupying 92% to 64% of the area studied. The changes in the EV reveal that the categories with anthropogenic activity analyzed maintain a constant growth that has a direct impact on the EV of the páramo. The most affected areas are those up to 3500 meters above sea level. The EV of the Chambo sub-basin from 2000 to 2020 will increase from 2.86×108 USD to 2.59×108 USD and it is estimated that by 2030 the EV will decrease to 2.48×108 USD, which leads us to recognize that, although the loss of the EV of the natural resource is not critical, its degradation is increasing.Through this methodology it will be possible to obtain, in a practical way, data on the conservation status of the resource over time, allowing to solve problems related to the scarcity of data and leading to the understanding of changes in the area from a socioecological approach, i.e., covering the environmental impacts of human activities on natural systems. The basis of the developed method allows replication of the methodology.The information generated by this study will be of vital importance to understand the causes of the changes in the Andean systems in monetary and environmental terms, which will allow the development of management plans and conservation policies aimed at protection and sustainable management from an economic approach.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN THEORY AND HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE

  • CAMPRUBÍ PUIG, MELITÓ: Valorar i conservar el patrimoni arquitectònic en un territori perifèric. Continuïtats i discontinuïtats a la Comissió Provincial de Monuments Històrics i Artístics de Lleida, 1844-1938
    Author: CAMPRUBÍ PUIG, MELITÓ
    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 THEORY AND HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE
    Department: (THATC)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 24/05/2024
    Reading date: 18/07/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Defensa pública Presencial (ETSAB. Planta Baixa. Sala de Graus)
    Thesis director: GRAUS ROVIRA, RAMON | NAVAS FERRER, MARIA TERESA
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: PUIGVERT I SOLÀ, JOAQUIM MARIA
         SECRETARI: GARCIA ESTEVEZ, CAROLINA BEATRIZ
         VOCAL: GANAU CASAS, JOAN
    Thesis abstract: The 19th century witnessed both the initial and the most significant steps to be taken by the Spanish government with respect to preserving architectural heritage, in steps that were closely linked to the country's modernisation. The administrative instruments established for this purpose, which were known as the Comisiones Provinciales de Monumentos Históricos y Artísticos, were introduced in 1844.The operation of this Commission in Lleida faced difficulties from the very start, some of which were shared by other commissions and which included a lack of authority, limited support from authorities, insufficient economic resources, and circumstances arising from the unprecedented nature of such ventures. Other issues were more specific to Lleida itself and included the fact that many board members were self-educated, as well as the balance between progressive and conservative political factions, the closed co-optation system, and the Church's control over the Commission itself. Remoteness was also a decisive factor. Madrid was a considerable distance from Lleida, and the provincial region, both vast and poorly connected, exacerbated the perception of cultural and physical difference.Parallel to the birth of the Renaixença, the most dynamic cultural figures from the peripheral society of Lleida (Centre Excursionista de Lleida or Ateneu Lleidatà) organized themselves to promote awareness initiatives within the context of the currents of new, national, and modern culture that were emerging in Catalonia beyond the official scope of the Commission. The most significant elements of heritage were valued as being a "living proof" of a history that was being brought back to the fore. It went from using broad descriptive terms such as "treasures", "jewels", and "beauties" in the 19th century, to shift towards the specific “artistic legacy of our past”, and a common heritage. This was an idea of heritage that was intended to improve the cultural conditions of the populace and facilitate their awareness and progress.This thesis studies the Commission's day-to-day activities in Lleida. Based on records preserved since 1866 at the Institut d'Estudis Ilerdencs, the sluggish creation of an awareness to heritage sensitivity is revealed, demonstrating the Commission's inhibitions, or its incapacity to take action in specific cases, while analysing its relations with other bodies that focused on heritage.In Catalonia, a profound interest in heritage had been fostered by the work of some architects with the rambling associations. While traveling throughout the region, Lluís Domènech i Montaner educated his students in the wealth of Catalan architectural heritage. Some of them would later go on to work with initiatives undertaken by the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya, in the Institut d'Estudis Catalans, and in the Servei de Conservació i Catalogació de Monuments, which was created by the Mancomunitat de Catalunya in 1914. Two important examples here concern the architects Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Jeroni Martorell i Terrats.During this process, architectural styles that had been disregarded up until then due to their lack of ornamentation, such as the Romanesque and the austere Gothic, were to acquire greater appreciation. Simultaneously, the robustness and sobriety of these architectural styles would go on to shape the image of the national construction project.The impact of this project, however, was not uniform everywhere and the initiatives took on characteristics of their own, due to the economic, social, and cultural differences that modified the pace and effects of the transformation.The contrast between the actions of the Commission and of the other entities, based on the content of the records and publications in a peripheral regional context, reveals the positions, conflicts, and failures, as well as those cases that were successful, while providing several lessons on the conservation of Catalan architectural heritage.

Last update: 21/06/2024 06:45:16.