Business Administration and Management

COORDINATOR

Fernandez Alarcon, Vicenç

CONTACT

Doctoral Area, UTGAEIB-ETSEIB, Pavelló I (South Campus)
Tel.: 934 016 586
E-mail: doctorat.ade.utgaeib@upc.edu

https://doe.upc.edu/ca/recerca/doctorat

The aim of the interuniversity doctoral programme in Business Administration and Management is to foster, develop and provide a framework for research in fields of business administration and management at the participating universities. As in all doctoral programmes, one of the objectives is to enable students to train as researchers by producing a doctoral thesis.
In the course of their training on the programme, doctoral students must:

• acquire advanced knowledge at the frontier of their discipline and demonstrate, in the context of internationally recognised scientific research in the field of business administration and management, a deep, detailed and well-grounded understanding of theoretical and practical issues and scientific methodology in one or more research fields;
• make an original and significant contribution to scientific research in the field of business administration and management that is recognised as such by the international scientific community;
• design a research project, involving critical analysis and assessment of imprecise situations, in which they can apply their contributions, expertise and working method in a way that allows the scientific community in business administration and management to advance its knowledge of the research context in which they work;
• develop sufficient autonomy to set up, manage and lead innovative research teams and projects and scientific collaborations (both national and international) within their subject area, in multidisciplinary contexts and, where appropriate, with a substantial element of knowledge transfer;
• carry out their research activity in a socially responsible manner and with scientific integrity;
• participate in scientific discussions at the international level in their field of expertise and disseminate the results of their research activity to audiences of all kinds;
• make cultural, social or technological advances within their specific scientific context and promote innovation in all areas within a knowledge-based society.

Other Universities

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
Technical University of Cartagena (UPCT)
Technical University of Madrid (UPM)

General information

Access profile

Two distinct aspects of the background of applicants will be considered: (A) knowledge of the field, and (B) knowledge of research


A1) Applicants with an official degree in business administration and management or a related field. Applicants in this group have acquired the competencies needed to undertake studies in the doctoral programme. Therefore, applicants with this background do not need to complete bridging courses on topics related to their chosen research area.
A2) Applicants with an official degree in the research area in which they plan to develop their doctoral thesis. Applicants in this group have acquired the competencies needed to undertake studies in the doctoral programme. Therefore, applicants with this background do not need to complete bridging courses on topics related to their chosen research area.
A3) Applicants with an official degree in another area which includes a concentration that provides training related to business administration and management and that is related to the research area in which they will develop their doctoral thesis. Applicants in this group have acquired the competencies needed to undertake studies in the doctoral programme. Therefore, applicants with this background do not need to complete bridging courses on topics related to their chosen research area.
A4) Applicants with an official degree in another area who have proven professional experience that is related to the research area in which they will develop their doctoral thesis. In this case, the academic committee of the doctoral programme will determine whether applicants have acquired the competencies needed to undertake studies in the programme. If it is determined that they have acquired the necessary competencies, applicants in this group will not be required to complete bridging courses on topics related to their chosen research area.

B1) Applicants with research training and/or experience. Applicants in this group have acquired the competencies needed to undertake studies in the doctoral programme. Therefore, students with this background do not need to complete bridging courses on scientific methodology.
B2) Applicants who do not have any research training or experience. Applicants in this group have not acquired the competencies needed to undertake studies in the doctoral programme and will therefore have to complete bridging courses on scientific methodology. Specifically, if admitted, these applicants must participate in the Introductory Programme on Management Research (IPMR) offered by the coordinating university.

Output profile

Doctoral candidates who complete a doctoral degree will have acquired the following competencies, which are needed to carry out quality research (Royal Decree 99/2011, of 28 January, which regulates official doctoral studies):

a) A systematic understanding of the field of study and a mastery of the research skills and methods related to the field.
b) An ability to conceive, design or create, put into practice and adopt a substantial process of research or creation.
c) An ability to contribute to pushing back the frontiers of knowledge through original research.
d) A capacity for critical analysis and an ability to assess and summarise new and complex ideas.
e) An ability to communicate with the academic and scientific community and with society in general as regards their fields of knowledge in the manner and languages that are typical of the international scientific community to which they belong.
f) An ability to foster scientific, technological, social, artistic and cultural progress in academic and professional contexts within a knowledge-based society.

The award of a doctoral degree must equip the graduate for work in a variety of settings, especially those requiring creativity and innovation. Doctoral graduates must have at least acquired the personal skills needed to:

a) Develop in contexts in which there is little specific information.
b) Find the key questions that must be answered to solve a complex problem.
c) Design, create, develop and undertake original, innovative projects in their field.
d) Work as part of a team and independently in an international or multidisciplinary context.
e) Integrate knowledge, deal with complexity and make judgements with limited information.
f) Offer criticism on and intellectually defend solutions.

Finally, with respect to competencies, doctoral students must:
a) have acquired advanced knowledge at the frontier of their discipline and demonstrated, in the context of internationally recognised scientific research, a deep, detailed and well-grounded understanding of theoretical and practical issues and scientific methodology in one or more research fields;
b) have made an original and significant contribution to scientific research in their field of expertise that has been recognised as such by the international scientific community;
c) have demonstrated that they are capable of designing a research project that serves as a framework for carrying out a critical analysis and assessment of imprecise situations, in which they are able to apply their contributions, expertise and working method to synthesise new and complex ideas that yield a deeper knowledge of the research context in which they work;
d) have developed sufficient autonomy to set up, manage and lead innovative research teams and projects and scientific collaborations (both national and international) within their subject area, in multidisciplinary contexts and, where appropriate, with a substantial element of knowledge transfer;
e) have demonstrated that they are able to carry out their research activity in a socially responsible manner and with scientific integrity;
f) have demonstrated, within their specific scientific context, that they are able to make cultural, social or technological advances and promote innovation in all areas within a knowledge-based society;
g) have demonstrated that they are able to participate in scientific discussions at the international level in their field of expertise and disseminate the results of their research activity to audiences of all kinds.

Number of places

15

Duration of studies and dedication regime

Duration
The maximum period of study for full-time doctoral studies is four years, counted from the date of first enrolment in the relevant programme until the date on which the doctoral thesis is deposited. The academic committee of the doctoral programme may authorise a doctoral candidate to pursue doctoral studies on a part-time basis. In this case, the maximum period of study is seven years from the date of first enrolment in the programme until the date on which the doctoral thesis is deposited. To calculate these periods, the date of deposit is considered to be the date on which the thesis is made publicly available for review.

If a doctoral candidate has a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%, the maximum period of study is six years for full-time students and nine years for part-time students.

For full-time doctoral candidates, the minimum period of study is two years, counted from the date of an applicant's admission to the programme until the date on which the doctoral thesis is deposited; for part-time doctoral candidates it is four years.

When there are justified grounds for doing so, and the thesis supervisor and academic tutor have given their authorisation, doctoral candidates may request that the academic committee of their doctoral programme exempt them from the requirement to complete this minimum period of study.

Temporary disability leave and leave for the birth of a child, adoption or fostering for the purposes of adoption, temporary foster care, risk during pregnancy or infant feeding, gender violence and any other situation provided for in current regulations do not count towards these periods. Students who find themselves in any of these circumstances must notify the academic committee of the doctoral programme, which must inform the Doctoral School.

Doctoral candidates may request periods of temporary withdrawal from the programme for up to a total of two years. Requests must be justified and addressed to the academic committee responsible for the programme, which will decide whether or not to grant the candidate's request.

Extension of studies
If a doctoral candidate has not applied to deposit their thesis before the expiry of the deadlines specified in the previous section, the academic committee of the doctoral programme may, at the request of the doctoral candidate, authorise an extension of this deadline of one year under the conditions specified for the doctoral programme in question.

Dismissal from the doctoral programme
A doctoral candidate may be dismissed from a doctoral programme for the following reasons:

  • The doctoral candidate submitting a justified application to withdraw from the programme.
  • The doctoral candidate not having completed their annual enrolment or applied for a temporary interruption.
  • The doctoral candidate not having formalised annual enrolment on the day after the end of the authorisation to temporarily interrupt or withdraw from the programme.
  • The doctoral candidate receiving a negative reassessment after the deadline set by the academic committee of the doctoral programme to remedy the deficiencies that led to a previous negative assessment.
  • The doctoral candidate having been the subject of disciplinary proceedings leading to their suspension or permanent exclusion from the UPC.
  • A refusal to authorise the extensions applied for, in accordance with the provisions of Section 3.3 of these regulations.
  • The doctoral candidate not having submitted the research plan in the period established in Section 8.2 of these regulations.
  • The maximum period of study for the doctoral degree having ended, in accordance with the provisions of Section 3.4 of these regulations.

Dismissal from the programme means that the doctoral candidate cannot continue studying at the UPC and that their academic record will be closed. This notwithstanding, they may apply to the academic committee of the programme for readmission, and the committee must reevaluate the candidate in accordance with the criteria established in the regulations.

A doctoral candidate who has been dismissed due to having exceeded the time limit for completing doctoral studies or due to an unsatisfactory assessment may not be Academic Regulations for Doctoral Studies Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Page 17 of 33 admitted to the same doctoral programme until at least two years have elapsed from the date of dismissal, as provided for in sections 3.4 and 9.2 of these regulations.

Legal framework

Organization

COORDINATOR:
ACADEMIC COMMISSION OF THE PROGRAM:
Other Universities:

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
Technical University of Cartagena (UPCT)
Technical University of Madrid (UPM)


STRUCTURAL UNITS:
  • Department of Management (PROMOTORA)
SPECIFIC URL OF THE DOCTORAL PROGRAM:
https://doe.upc.edu/ca/recerca/doctorat

CONTACT:

Doctoral Area, UTGAEIB-ETSEIB, Pavelló I (South Campus)
Tel.: 934 016 586
E-mail: doctorat.ade.utgaeib@upc.edu


Agreements with other institutions

Collaboration agreement between the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, the Technical University of Madrid, and the Technical University of Cartagena

Access, admission and registration

Access profile

Two distinct aspects of the background of applicants will be considered: (A) knowledge of the field, and (B) knowledge of research


A1) Applicants with an official degree in business administration and management or a related field. Applicants in this group have acquired the competencies needed to undertake studies in the doctoral programme. Therefore, applicants with this background do not need to complete bridging courses on topics related to their chosen research area.
A2) Applicants with an official degree in the research area in which they plan to develop their doctoral thesis. Applicants in this group have acquired the competencies needed to undertake studies in the doctoral programme. Therefore, applicants with this background do not need to complete bridging courses on topics related to their chosen research area.
A3) Applicants with an official degree in another area which includes a concentration that provides training related to business administration and management and that is related to the research area in which they will develop their doctoral thesis. Applicants in this group have acquired the competencies needed to undertake studies in the doctoral programme. Therefore, applicants with this background do not need to complete bridging courses on topics related to their chosen research area.
A4) Applicants with an official degree in another area who have proven professional experience that is related to the research area in which they will develop their doctoral thesis. In this case, the academic committee of the doctoral programme will determine whether applicants have acquired the competencies needed to undertake studies in the programme. If it is determined that they have acquired the necessary competencies, applicants in this group will not be required to complete bridging courses on topics related to their chosen research area.

B1) Applicants with research training and/or experience. Applicants in this group have acquired the competencies needed to undertake studies in the doctoral programme. Therefore, students with this background do not need to complete bridging courses on scientific methodology.
B2) Applicants who do not have any research training or experience. Applicants in this group have not acquired the competencies needed to undertake studies in the doctoral programme and will therefore have to complete bridging courses on scientific methodology. Specifically, if admitted, these applicants must participate in the Introductory Programme on Management Research (IPMR) offered by the coordinating university.

Access requirements

As a rule, applicants must hold a Spanish bachelor's degree or equivalent and a Spanish master's degree or equivalent, provided they have completed a minimum of 300 ECTS credits on the two degrees (Royal Decree 43/2015, of 2 February).

Applicants who meet one or more of the following conditions are also eligible for admission:

a) Holders of official Spanish degrees or equivalent Spanish qualifications, provided they have passed 300 ECTS credits in total and they can prove they have reached Level 3 in the Spanish Qualifications Framework for Higher Education.
b) Holders of degrees awarded in foreign education systems in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), which do not require homologation, who can prove that they have reached Level 7 in the European Qualifications Framework, provided the degree makes the holder eligible for admission to doctoral studies in the country in which it was awarded.
c) Holders of degrees awarded in a country that does not belong to the EHEA, which do not require homologation, on the condition that the University is able to verify that the degree is of a level equivalent to that of official university master's degrees in Spain and that it makes the holder eligible for admission to doctoral studies in the country in which it was awarded.
d) Holders of another doctoral degree.
e) Holders of an official university qualification who, having been awarded a post as a trainee in the entrance examination for specialised medical training, have successfully completed at least two years of training leading to an official degree in a health sciences specialisation.

Note 1: Regulations for access to doctoral studies for individuals with degrees in bachelor's, engineering, or architecture under the system prior to the implementation of the EHEA (CG 47/02 2014).

Note 2: Agreement number 64/2014 of the Governing Council approving the procedure and criteria for assessing the academic requirements for admission to doctoral studies with non-homologated foreign degrees (CG 25/03 2014).

Legal framework

Admission criteria and merits assessment

The minimum score that applicants must obtain on suitability and excellence criteria is 60 out of 100.

Suitability criterion:
Fit with a research group [0–100]

Excellence criteria

Motivation [0–25]

Academic record [0–50]

Equivalent to A: 55 points.

Equivalent to B: 25 points.

Equivalent to C: 10 points.

Equivalent to D: 0 points.

Research experience [0–25]

Experience and authorship or co-authorship of scientific publications (papers or conference proceedings): 15–25 points.

Research experience without publications: 5–15 points.

No research experience: 0 points

Training complements

The academic committee for the programme may require that doctoral students pass specific bridging courses. In such cases, the committee will keep track of the bridging courses completed and establish appropriate criteria to limit their duration. Bridging courses may provide research or cross-disciplinary training, but in no case may doctoral students be required to enrol for 60 or more ECTS credits. Taking into account the doctoral student activity report, the academic committee for the programme may propose measures that complement those specified in these regulations and which result in doctoral students who do not meet the specified requirements being excluded from the programme. Bridging courses must be completed in the first year of study, and students will be encouraged to take them in the first semester.

Applicants with training and/or experience in management research (B1)
Applicants with this kind of background will not be required to take bridging courses on research.

Applicants without training or experience in management research (B2)
Applicants in this group will have to take bridging courses on research. Specifically, if admitted, these applicants must participate in the Introductory Programme on Management Research (IPMR) offered by the coordinating university. The IPMR programme is structured in three modules and taught in afternoon sessions to facilitate the participation of all doctoral students. All doctoral students, regardless of the university they are enrolled in, may enrol for the IPMR programme free of charge. The Introductory Programme on Management Research will also be offered as a series of webinars for doctoral students who are unable to travel to the university where it is taught. IPMR trainers are researchers associated with the joint doctoral programme. They may be from any of the universities involved in the programme.

Enrolment period for new doctoral students

The enrolment period for new doctoral students will be in September.

More information at the registration section for new doctoral students

Enrolment period

After the first year, the enrolment period for doctoral students will run from September to mid-October.

More information at the general registration section

Monitoring and evaluation of the doctoral student

Procedure for the preparation and defense of the research plan

Doctoral candidates must submit a research plan, which will be included in their doctoral student activity report, before the end of the first year. The plan may be improved over the course of the doctoral degree. It must be endorsed by the tutor and the supervisor, and it must include the method that is to be followed and the aims of the research.

At least one of these annual assessments will include a public presentation and defence of the research plan and work done before a committee composed of three doctoral degree holders, which will be conducted in the manner determined by each academic committee. The examination committee awards a Pass or Fail mark. A Pass mark is a prerequisite for continuing on the doctoral programme. Doctoral candidates awarded a Fail mark must submit a new research plan for assessment by the academic committee of the doctoral programme within six months.

The committee assesses the research plan every year, in addition to all of the other activities in the doctoral student activity report. Doctoral candidates who are awarded two consecutive Fail marks for the research plan will be obliged to definitely withdraw from the programme.

If they change the subject of their thesis, they must submit a new research plan.

Formation activities

- Activity: Specialisation courses and seminars.
- Hours: 30.
- Type: optional.

- Activity: Initial defence of research plan.
- Hours: 4.
- Type: compulsory.

- Activity: Annual Doctoral Conference.
- Hours: 8.
- Type: optional.

- Activity: Summer School.
- Hours: 150.
- Type: optional.

- Activity: Workshops.
- Hours: 30.
- Type: optional.

- Activity: Mobility for research days or stays for International Doctorate mentions – Conferences.
- Hours: 480.
- Type: optional.

- Activity: Publications.
- Hours: 360.
- Type: compulsory.

- Activity: Training in information skills.
- Hours: 1.5.
- Type: optional.

- Activity: Research methodology.
- Hours: 12.
- Type: optional.

- Activity: Innovation and creativity.
- Hours: 8.
- Type: optional.

- Activity: Language and communication skills.
- Hours: 18.
- Type: optional.

Procedure for assignment of tutor and thesis director

The academic committee of the doctoral programme assigns a thesis supervisor to each doctoral candidate when they are admitted or enrol for the first time, taking account of the thesis supervision commitment referred to in the admission decision.

The thesis supervisor will ensure that training activities carried out by the doctoral candidate are coherent and suitable, and that the topic of the candidate’s doctoral thesis will have an impact and make a novel contribution to knowledge in the relevant field. The thesis supervisor will also guide the doctoral candidate in planning the thesis and, if necessary, tailoring it to any other projects or activities undertaken. The thesis supervisor will generally be a UPC professor or researcher who holds a doctoral degree and has documented research experience. This includes PhD-holding staff at associated schools (as determined by the Governing Council) and UPC-affiliated research institutes (in accordance with corresponding collaboration and affiliation agreements). When thesis supervisors are UPC staff members, they also act as the doctoral candidate’s tutor.

PhD holders who do not meet these criteria (as a result of their contractual relationship or the nature of the institution to which they are attached) must be approved by the UPC Doctoral School's Standing Committee in order to participate in a doctoral programme as researchers with documented research experience.

The academic committee of the doctoral programme may approve the appointment of a PhD-holding expert who is not a UPC staff member as a candidate’s thesis supervisor. In such cases, the prior authorisation of the UPC Doctoral School's Standing Committee is required. A UPC staff member who holds a doctoral degree and has documented research experience must also be proposed to act as a co-supervisor, or as the doctoral candidate’s tutor if one has not been assigned.

A thesis supervisor may step down from this role if there are justified reasons (recognised as valid by the committee) for doing so. If this occurs, the academic committee of the doctoral programme will assign the doctoral candidate a new thesis supervisor.

Provided there are justified reasons for doing so, and after hearing any relevant input from the doctoral candidate, the academic committee of the doctoral programme may assign a new thesis supervisor at any time during the period of doctoral study.

If there are academic reasons for doing so (an interdisciplinary topic, joint or international programmes, etc.) and the academic committee of the programme gives its approval, an additional thesis supervisor may be assigned. Supervisors and co-supervisors have the same responsibilities and academic recognition.

The maximum number of supervisors of a doctoral thesis is two: a supervisor and a co-supervisor.

For theses carried out under a cotutelle agreement or as part of an Industrial Doctorate, if necessary and if the agreement foresees it this maximum number of supervisors may not apply. This notwithstanding, the maximum number of supervisors belonging to the UPC is two.

More information at the PhD theses section

Permanence

The maximum period of study for full-time doctoral studies is four years, counted from the date of first enrolment in the relevant programme until the date on which the doctoral thesis is deposited. The academic committee of the doctoral programme may authorise a doctoral candidate to pursue doctoral studies on a part-time basis. In this case, the maximum period of study is seven years from the date of first enrolment in the programme until the date on which the doctoral thesis is deposited. To calculate these periods, the date of deposit is considered to be the date on which the thesis is made publicly available for review.

If a doctoral candidate has a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%, the maximum period of study is six years for full-time students and nine years for part-time students.

If a doctoral candidate has not applied to deposit their thesis before the expiry of the deadlines specified in the previous section, the academic committee of the doctoral programme may, at the request of the doctoral candidate, authorise an extension of this deadline of one year under the conditions specified for the doctoral programme in question.

Dismissal from the doctoral programme
A doctoral candidate may be dismissed from a doctoral programme for the following reasons:

  • The doctoral candidate submitting a justified application to withdraw from the programme.
  • The doctoral candidate not having completed their annual enrolment or applied for a temporary interruption.
  • The doctoral candidate not having formalised annual enrolment on the day after the end of the authorisation to temporarily interrupt or withdraw from the programme.
  • The doctoral candidate receiving a negative reassessment after the deadline set by the academic committee of the doctoral programme to remedy the deficiencies that led to a previous negative assessment.
  • The doctoral candidate having been the subject of disciplinary proceedings leading to their suspension or permanent exclusion from the UPC.
  • A refusal to authorise the extensions applied for, in accordance with the provisions of Section 3.3 of these regulations.
  • The doctoral candidate not having submitted the research plan in the period established in Section 8.2 of these regulations.
  • The maximum period of study for the doctoral degree having ended, in accordance with the provisions of Section 3.4 of these regulations.

Dismissal from the programme means that the doctoral candidate cannot continue studying at the UPC and that their academic record will be closed. This notwithstanding, they may apply to the academic committee of the programme for readmission, and the committee must reevaluate the candidate in accordance with the criteria established in the regulations.

A doctoral candidate who has been dismissed due to having exceeded the time limit for completing doctoral studies or due to an unsatisfactory assessment may not be Academic Regulations for Doctoral Studies Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Page 17 of 33 admitted to the same doctoral programme until at least two years have elapsed from the date of dismissal, as provided for in sections 3.4 and 9.2 of these regulations.

Legal framework

Learning resources


Doctoral Theses

List of authorized thesis for defense

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

  • PRAT ORTELLS, JAUME: Espai núvol: una anàlisi de l¿arquitectura de RCR arquitectes a través de les seves atmosferes.
    Author: PRAT ORTELLS, JAUME
    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: 07/02/2024
    Reading date: 19/04/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Presencial Sala de Graus ETSAB. Planta Baixa
    Thesis director: COLL LOPEZ, JAIME | MASIP BOSCH, ENRIC
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: BATLLE DURANY, ENRIC
         SECRETARI: CALLÍS FREIXAS, EDUARD
         VOCAL: PRIETO GONZÁLEZ, NURIA
         VOCAL: LACASTA CODORNIU, MIGUEL
         VOCAL: BAILO ESTEVE, MANUEL
    Thesis abstract: The work of RCR arquitectes is recognizable and recognized, based on intense interventions almost always represented from the inside out, deep, somber, which often incorporate this outside, this environment, in their expression: works, therefore, woven through their relationships with this environment, with the inhabitants, works that define deep spaces, gradations through architectural elements converted into filter systems; more an environment, a scene, an atmosphere, than an object. This atmospheric consideration is the basis of the understanding of the work of this study proposed by this thesis, and it does so through a journey through three scales of relationship between the work of architecture and its environment -with the atmosphere they generate- through a project associated with each of these stairs: The Entremurs House by the relationship scale of the person, the Espai La Lira for the city, the Pavelló del Baño -the smallest- for the territory. The analysis of the projects -carried out through a consultation of the original documentation deposited in the studio archives, much of it unpublished-, their relationship both with their own architecture and with many others, and an interpretation of each of these projects -all accompanied by a revisit of each of them- will allow us to introduce ourselves to the logic of the work of RCR arquitectes until we can question ourselves about a possible definition of the spaces proposed by this Study in this atmospheric key.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN ARCHITECTURAL, BUILDING CONSTRUCTION AND URBANISM TECHNOLOGY

  • NARVÁEZ MONTOYA, JOFFRE SANTIAGO: Desarrollo de técnicas acústicas como ensayo no destructivo para evaluar la adherencia de distintos revestimientos arquitectónicos alicatados a su soporte: casos de aplicación.
    Author: NARVÁEZ MONTOYA, JOFFRE SANTIAGO
    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, BUILDING CONSTRUCTION AND URBANISM TECHNOLOGY
    Department: Department of Architectural Technology (TA)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 25/03/2024
    Reading date: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    Thesis director: ZAMORA MESTRE, JOAN LLUIS
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT NO PRESENCIAL: DELGADO MENDEZ, LUIS
         SECRETARI: DIAZ GOMEZ, CESAR
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: CARDENAS HARO, XAVIER RICARDO
    Thesis abstract: The present research is aimed at deepening the evaluation of adhesion in architectural tile coverings in the building sector; despite the improvement of new cementitious adhesives and new ceramic tiles, detachment failures still occur in tile coverings, which can be due to external forces (shocks, earthquakes, vibrations, etc.), inadequate prescription of the cementitious adhesive, incorrect installation, or lack of preparation of the substrate. How to recognize in an inspection the defective state of adhesion of a tiling of this type, in order to prevent detachment?At present, this adhesion is usually evaluated in the laboratory by means of destructive horizontal surface tensile testing systems described in the current regulations on cementitious adhesives. No non-destructive systems have been described for use on site in any layout. The objective of this research is to develop a non-destructive procedure for the evaluation of the state of adhesion of an architectural tiling that is of practical use at the construction site. Several existing alternative techniques, such as thermography or ultrasound, have been considered in the research, but finally it has been decided to focus on the analysis of the acoustic signal obtained by standardized percussion of a tiled tiling on site. This percussion technique has its antecedents in the traditional practice of the experienced architect who manually percussed the tiling with the knuckles of his hand and who, based on his experience, established the lack of adhesion as a defect associated with a "hollow and more vibrant" sound, compared to that of well-bonded tiles. Digital percussion recording analysis is a technique that is already being developed in the field of mechanics to assess the condition of fasteners.The methodology developed in this research is based on successive experimental campaigns in which the PhD student architect has been able to participate, evolving from the understanding of the different vibration phenomena of a free-standing tile depending on the support bonds, through the evaluation of the main vibration frequency of a percussive tiling to the analysis of the correlation between various proposed parameters related to energy, time and their frequency with respect to the values reached in standardized pull-off tests, before and after accelerated aging processes.It is concluded that the results achieved are very promising, although further work is needed to focus on how the acoustic signal emitted by the percussion is modified when it passes through not only the tile and the cementitious adhesive that binds it to the substrate, but especially when it passes through the contact interface between the two.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN ARCHITECTURAL, CIVIL AND URBAN HERITAGE AND REFURBISHMENT OF EXISTING BUILDINGS

  • ZHANG, ZHIHUI: Linking architecture and emotions: sensory dynamics and methodological innovations
    Author: ZHANG, ZHIHUI
    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, CIVIL AND URBAN HERITAGE AND REFURBISHMENT OF EXISTING BUILDINGS
    Department: (RA)
    Mode: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 25/03/2024
    Reading date: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    Thesis director: FORT MIR, JOSEP MARIA | GIMÉNEZ MATEU, LUIS
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: FONSECA ESCUDERO, DAVID
         SECRETARI: NAVARRO DELGADO, ISIDRO
         VOCAL: VENTURA RODÀ, ORIOL
    Thesis abstract: This study delves deeply into the complex relationship between the field of architecture and human emotions, aiming to fill a significant gap in existing research. It extensively explores the profound impact of architectural design elements, such as lighting, colour schemes, and the integration of natural landscapes, on emotional responses. This research goes beyond traditional focuses on aesthetics and sustainability, striving to innovate methods for assessing the emotional impact of architectural spaces.In this study, we adopted a technological pathway from the laboratory to virtual reality, and finally to AI, combining theoretical analysis with practical experiments and case studies. The main research includes examining the effects of lighting and spatial dimension variations on people's emotions, as well as the application of facial emotion recognition technology in virtual reality architectural environments, exploring AI's perceptual capabilities as a tool in architectural design. These studies aim to narrow the gap between theoretical research and practical application, providing new perspectives and empirical data for the field of architectural design.The study concludes with a reflection on the methodologies used and their broader implications for architectural design practice. It offers specific strategies for architects and designers, aimed at creating spaces that resonate emotionally and add substantial value to human experiences. By prioritizing emotional factors in the design process, this research seeks to enhance overall quality of life and promote well-being in thoughtfully designed architectural spaces.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN AUTOMATIC CONTROL, ROBOTICS AND VISION

  • MARTÍ SAUMELL, JOSEP: Agile aerial manipulation: an approach based on full-body dynamics and model predictive control
    Author: MARTÍ SAUMELL, JOSEP
    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 AUTOMATIC CONTROL, ROBOTICS AND VISION
    Department: Institute of Robotics and Industrial Informatics (IRI)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 26/03/2024
    Reading date: 30/04/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Sala de Juntes de la Facultat Matemàtiques i Estadística (FME) de la UPC, C/Pau Gargallo, 14, 08028 Barcelona
    Thesis director: SANTAMARIA NAVARRO, ANGEL | SOLÀ ORTEGA, JOAN
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: MANSARD, NICOLAS
         SECRETARI: MORCEGO SEIX, BERNARDO
         VOCAL: LIPPIELLO, VINCENZO
    Thesis abstract: Aerial manipulators, which commonly take the form of multirotors with attached robotic limbs, primarily employ their limbs for pure manipulation tasks and do not rely on them during aerial locomotion. Besides, their movement tends to be slow. This thesis aims to enhance an aerial manipulator¿s agility by harnessing its limb¿s capabilities to augment its overall motion. This objective involves investigating various modes of utilizing the limb: as a tail for aerial locomotion, as an arm for aerial manipulation, or as a leg for hybrid aerial-contact locomotion. The present thesis contributes to two specific domains: 1. Generation and control of agile motions for aerial manipulators, 2. Design and construction of a specialized aerial manipulator for executing agile motions.Generating agile motions requires predicting the movement of the robot considering its dynamics so that these dynamics can be used to favor the robot¿s motion. Hence, we can achieve complex maneuvers with relative ease. Optimal control is a trajectory-generation technique that meets these requirements, and that is central to this thesis. We encode the robot¿s tasks as cost functions of the optimal control problem (OCP) and use the whole-body dynamics as the constraints of the dynamic system. On the control side, to deploy such trajectories in a real robot, we use model predictive control (MPC) techniques, which is the closed-loop control extension of optimal control. To get the control command, an MPC controller solves the OCP in which we have encoded the agile trajectory, and then the controller applies the first command of the solution control trajectory. Thus, MPC requires solving an OCP at the control rate, i.e., within a few milliseconds. This forces us to use fast, specialized solvers based on the dynamic programming principle, such as differential dynamic programming (DDP). In their original form, these solvers cannot consider the control bounds. These bounds are important to create trajectories compatible with the real robot. To tackle this problem, in this thesis, we propose two DDP-based methods to consider the control bounds: one is based on a squashing function, and the other is based on a projection method. Even with these solvers, we face challenges in meeting the solving rate and are forced to reduce the MPC horizon. Reducing the MPC horizon implies that the MPC can only see a portion of the original OCP, possibly leaving out some of the tasks. This affects the predictive capability of the controller and compromises the accomplishment of the tasks, especially those that require an elaborate and dynamic maneuver. To overcome this difficulty, in this thesis, we propose to update, at each MPC iteration, the terminal cost function in the MPC with a function that encodes the part of the trajectory that remains unseen by the controller.Regarding robot design, deploying agile motions becomes difficult with existing aerial manipulators, which are generally big-size multirotor platforms with non-compliant, high-gear ratio limbs. In this thesis, we present Borinot, an open-source aerial robotic platform designed to research hybrid agile locomotion and manipulation using flight and contacts. This platform features an agile and powerful hexarotor that can be outfitted with torque-actuated limbs of diverse architecture, allowing for whole-body dynamic control. We present experiments with this robot showcasing different agile motions.In addition to the stated contributions, this thesis contributes in other areas required to operate the robot, such as a procedure for identifying the dynamical parameters based on factor-graph estimation or a hardware enhancement that allows for direct thrust control of Borinot¿s rotors.
  • ORTI NAVARRO, JOAN: The Surface Defect Identification Problem in The Industry: A Novel Approach with Semantic Segmentation and Generative Adversarial Networks
    Author: ORTI NAVARRO, JOAN
    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 AUTOMATIC CONTROL, ROBOTICS AND VISION
    Department: Department of Automatic Control (ESAII)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 18/03/2024
    Reading date: 10/05/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Sala Actes de la Facultat de Matemàtiques i Estadística (FME), Campus Diagonal Sud, Carrer de Pau Gargallo, 14, 08028 Barcelona
    Thesis director: MORENO NOGUER, FRANCESC D'ASSIS | PUIG CAYUELA, VICENÇ
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: SERRATOSA CASANELLES, FRANCESC ASSIS
         SECRETARI: GRAU SALDES, ANTONI
         VOCAL: VENTURA ROYO, CARLES
    Thesis abstract: Surface inspection of coated surfaces in the automotive industry, traditionally has been a manual process in charge of keen eye operators in charge of inspecting the whole car body. However, as might be deducted, manual inspections often lack repetitiveness and reliability, very much desired in a such a strict sector. Computer vision tackled this problem with the first automated defect detection systems, pinpointing the defects in the car body and their size. Nevertheless, as these systems are constrained to just detection, the operator is still in charge of properly labelling the defects to rework them correctly. Additionally, there is a lack of traceability between the process and the defects themselves, taking longer to identify the root causes of faulty paint shop facilities.In this thesis, we address the multidisciplinary problem of defect identification in specular surfaces, with two main research lines. In the first one, we developed a novel illumination approach based on indirect diffuse lighting, in contrast with the conventional specular reflection. Together with a high resolution camera, we demonstrated an important improvement in terms of defect recognition with respect to the existing defect detection systems. These results are assessed with specialized auditors from the SEAT Martorell factory.The second research line, oriented to computer vision, explore the possibilities of implementing a deep learning solution for industrial defect identification. We developed a fast and reliable context aggregation model, featuring dilated convolutions and residual connections between opposite layers. This model is then trained following a loss leverage between classification and segmentation, for a smoother training procedure. Additionally, in order to cope the frequent class imbalances in the industrial datasets, we developed a guided-crop image augmentation strategy, based on cropping real defect randomly into non-defective images to generate synthetic new samples. The results state that the combination of this model with this augmentation strategy is able to outperform well-known segmentation models.Eventually, for data scarcity situations, we resorted to image synthesis methods to generate new fake samples. Models like Pix2pix have proven to be able to generate close to real im- ages, helping the segmentation model to converge faster than with the previous guided-crop image augmentation technique. Later, this generative method will be surpassed by a more sophisticated one, which features spatially-adaptive normalization layers that help to synthe- size images even without an encoder. Overall, it demonstrated good capabilities in multiple industrial datasets.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING

  • FERNÁNDEZ BOSMAN, DAVID: PyMCGPU-IR: a new tool for patient dose monitoring in interventional radiology procedures
    Author: FERNÁNDEZ BOSMAN, 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: Institute of Energy Technologies (INTE)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 27/02/2024
    Reading date: 24/04/2024
    Reading time: 11:30
    Reading place: Aula Capella, Escola Tècnica Superior d'Enginyeria Industrial de Barcelona (ETSEIB), Av. Diagonal, 647. 08028 Barcelona
    Thesis director: GINJAUME EGIDO, MERCE | DUCH GUILLEN, MARIA AMOR
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: SANS MERCE, MARTA
         SECRETARI: SEMPAU ROMA, JOSEP
         VOCAL: SÁNCHEZ CASANUEVA, ROBERTO MARIANO
    Thesis abstract: Interventional radiology procedures are associated with potentially high radiation doses to the skin. The 2013/59/EURATOM Directive establishes that the equipment used for interventional radiology must have a device or a feature informing the practitioner of relevant parameters for assessing patient dose at the end of the procedure. Monte Carlo codes of radiation transport are considered to be one of the most reliable tools available to assess doses. However, they are usually too time consuming for use in clinical practice. This thesis has been developed at the Institute of Energy Technologies of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya within the framework of the European project "Implications of Medical Low Dose Radiation Exposure" (MEDIRAD). The main objective of this work is to develop a software tool based on the Monte Carlo program MC-GPU for assessing the skin dose in patients undergoing interventional radiology (IR) procedures. The achievement of this objective can be divided into two main blocks: the validation of MC-GPU and the development and validation of PyMCGPUIR, a skin dose calculation tool for IR procedures based on MC-GPU. For the validation of MC-GPU, simulations were conducted and compared with the well-validated code PENELOPE/penEasy and then compared against thermoluminescent measurements performed on slab phantoms, both in a calibration laboratory and at a hospital. MC-GPU demonstrated excellent agreement in organ dose distribution, with differences below 1%, despite reducing the calculation time by a factor of 2500. Comparisons with thermoluminescent measurements indicated agreements within 10%, validating MC-GPU¿s ability to provide accurate dose estimates in real clinical setups in very short times. In this work we have also developed PyMCGPU-IR, a new software tool based on the Monte Carlo program MC-GPU for assessing skin dose and organ doses in patients undergoing an interventional radiology (IR) procedure. PyMCGPU-IR has been validated through skin and organ dose measurements in an anthropomorphicphantom and showed differences below 6% in skin dose measurements and mostly below 20% in organ doses in clinical procedures. PyMCGPU-IR offers both, high performance and accuracy for dose assessment when compared with skin and organ dose measurements. It also allows the calculation of dose values at specific positions and organs, the dose distribution and the location of the maximum dose per organ. In addition, PyMCGPU-IR overcomes the time limitations of CPU-based MC codes.In this thesis we have shown that PyMCGPU-IR is an innovative Skin Dose Calculation (SDC) tool that offers higher performance and accuracy for skin dose calculations compared to most available SDCs. Currently, PyMCGPU-IR provides dose values only after the procedure has finished. In the future, PyMCGPU-IR could be adapted to provide real-time dose calculation if real-time radiation source information is available.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT

  • HINOJOSA I RECASENS, JOSEP DOMINGO: Investigación sobre la persistencia, el cambio y la materialidad de la identidad organizacional: entrevistas a expertos y el caso de una empresa centenaria
    Author: HINOJOSA I RECASENS, JOSEP DOMINGO
    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: 05/03/2024
    Reading date: 30/05/2024
    Reading time: 11:30
    Reading place: Lectura públicaa l' Aula 28.8 de l'Escola Tècnica Superior d'Enginyeria Industrial de Barcelona (ETSEIB)- UPC
    Thesis director: SUNYER TORRENTS, ALBERT
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: GARCÍA ÁLVAREZ, MARIA ERCILIA
         SECRETARI: PONS PEREGORT, OLGA
         VOCAL: SELVA OLID, CLARA
    Thesis abstract: ContextThis thesis investigates organizational identity, its persistence and change, and the relationship between identity and material objects. Organizational identity is what the members of an organization answer when they ask themselves: Who are we? and what do we do as an organization?. As a field of research, organizational identity has been gaining relevance in recent decades, especially since the authors Albert and Whetten (1985) established the academic foundations to characterize this concept through the attributes that identity must have: centrality, endurance and differentiation. This characterization was generally accepted by the scientific community and was not questioned for years; it is still considered relevant today. Organizational identity is a broad and complex topic that has been explored by various researchers using qualitative methods. Identity can evolve as organizational practices and narratives are reinterpreted. Some authors consider that identity is dynamic and that it can change as the organization evolves. In this thesis we develop an exploratory research on organizational identity, paying special attention to how identity can adapt, change and be instantiated by material objects. Specifically, this thesis has been structured based on two lines of research: The first line of research studies the persistence of organizational identity and its changes over time, the second line explores the possible relationships between the organizational identity and material artifacts.JustificationThere remains an interesting path to follow in research on organizational identity. Currently, organizational identity is part of the strategic debates and communication plans of many organizations, highlighting the relevance of this concept that can be considered the DNA of an organization. The purpose of this research is to deepen the understanding of organizational identity by exploring how it evolves when the environment changes, when new strategies or different events occur in which identity may face internal or external tensions. Finally, a single in-depth case study is developed exploring the relationships between the identity of an organization and some of its material artifacts.ContributionsThis study has shown that physical objects are part of an identity system that, including other intangible elements, such as verbal communication and narratives, support, instantiate and communicate organizational identity over time. This research results extend the literature on identity, and on the influence and use of material identity objects. The in-depth case study has shown that physical objects has been used to support, instantiate and communicate organizational identity. The data induction process has characterized three different categories of physical objects that provide identity meanings: primal artifacts, identity markers and artifacts created ad hoc.LimitationsThis work provides an exciting opportunity for future research to extend these findings by examining the persistence, change, and materiality of identity in other organizational contexts and industries.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN CIVIL ENGINEERING

  • RIVET FERNÁNDEZ, IVÁN: Computational Multiscale Analysis for Additive Manufacturing
    Author: RIVET FERNÁNDEZ, IVÁN
    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: 18/03/2024
    Reading date: 22/04/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Sala de Seminarios O.C. Zienkiewicz del Centro Internacional de Métodos Numéricos en Ingeniería - CIMNE Campus Nord de la UPC, Edifici C1 - 2a Planta, 08034 Barcelona
    Thesis director: CERVERA RUIZ, LUIS MIGUEL | DIALAMI SHABANKAREH, NARGES
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: AURICCHIO, FERDINANDO
         SECRETARI: LLOBERAS VALLS, ORIOL
         VOCAL: DOMINGO-ESPIN, MIQUEL
    Thesis abstract: This thesis aims towards the understanding and optimization of Additive Manufacturing (AM) components through the application of accurate computational multiscale simulations. The research is guided by three primary objectives: (1) the development of a multiscale orthotropic material model tailored for Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) components, (2) the formulation of an optimization strategy to enhance the mechanical performance of FFF parts, and (3) the comprehensive characterization and modeling of their failure mechanisms.To address the first objective, a printing pattern-based orthotropic material model in the framework of multiscale analysis is constructed. This model accounts for the intricate interactions occurring at both filament and component scales in FFF, offering a nuanced representation of the material's behavior. By bridging these scales, the model ensures a comprehensive understanding of the mechanical response of FFF parts, enabling accurate predictions of their performance and failure modes.The second objective focuses on the optimization of the mechanical performance of FFF components. Leveraging the developed multiscale material model, an optimization strategy based on a novel statistics-based algorithm and an orthotropic failure criterion is formulated. The computational domain generation strategy is also tackled, analyzing different approaches and taking advantage of an Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) technique to reduce the computational cost of the simulations. The developed methodology is fully embedded into the AM workflow.The final objective involves the characterization and modeling of the different failure mechanisms present in FFF parts. The different failure modes exhibited by FFF components are identified for each printing pattern present in the component, and a Mechanism-Based (MB) damage criterion is developed to model their stiffness degradation. In addition, an MB cracking model that accounts for the orthotropic brittleness of FFF parts is presented and validated against experimental tests.The central motivation driving this thesis is to alleviate the dependency on costly experimental procedures for characterizing and/or predicting the mechanical behavior of FFF components by performing high-precision and inexpensive multiscale simulations. The outcomes of this study aim to improve the current Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) guidelines.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE

  • ALBUQUERQUE PORTELLA, FELIPE: A paradigm shift of HPC for geosciences: a novel HPC service model for geosciences applications
    Author: ALBUQUERQUE PORTELLA, 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 COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE
    Department: (DAC)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 25/03/2024
    Reading date: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    Thesis director: BERRAL GARCÍA, JOSEP LLUÍS | CARRERA PÉREZ, DAVID
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: FONTOURA DE GUSMAO CERQUEIRA, RENATO
         SECRETARI: TOUS LIESA, RUBÉN
         VOCAL: DE MORAES, RAFAEL JESUS
    Thesis abstract: The Oil and Gas (O&G) industry ranks prominently among the leading commercial users of powerful supercomputers worldwide, as indicated by global High-Performance Computing (HPC) ranking lists, such as TOP500 and Green500. Geoscience applications, particularly flow and geomechanical simulators, pose demanding workloads for HPC in adressing complex engineering challenges in the O&G industry, together with seismic processing. The rise of hybrid on-demand and cloud HPC environments presents new challenges to end users. Beyond expertise in their fields, users must navigate the intricacies of computer architecture to select the optimal hardware and parallelization option. They also need to consider the business model decisions of the cloud providers, such as managing spot instances, selecting different cloud regions, or even different cloud providers.Furthermore, users struggle with the complexities of configuring their own geoscience software due to the multitude of tunable numerical parameters. Default values may not be optimal for specific reservoir models, requiring geoscientists¿ expertise in both the physics and mathematics behind the simulators and in computer science. A deep understanding of application performance is challenging, as it can vary based on input parameters. Many users end up relying on default configurations or decisions by system administrators for geoscience software, missing opportunities to optimize speed and cost-effectiveness.This thesis aims to shift the paradigm in utilizing HPC for geoscience by entrusting computer architecture decisions to domain-aware optimization algorithms. Such an approach not only enhances usability for the end user, but can also translate into substantial reductions in both time and cost. These algorithms could lead to better utilization of on-premises supercomputers and cost optimization of cloud resources. We evaluate the feasibility of this approach through the contributions of three algorithms. The first algorithm of this work was named TunaOil, which is a novel methodology that uses previous reservoir simulation executions to train an oracle that proposes near-optimal numerical parameters for subsequent simulations within a History Matching (HM) workflow. This allows the simulation parameters to be adjusted without additional executions, saving valuable time. Experiments show that the contribution of this algorithm is an improvement of up to 31% in the overall runtime of the HM workflow.The second algorithm, named MScheduler, is a metascheduler framework designed for reservoir simulations in the cloud. It effi-ciently executes SLURM jobs by utilizing spot Virtual Machines (VMs) to minimize costs and ensure job completion even in the event of VM termination. Key contributions include a novel methodology for reservoir simulation checkpointing, a cost-based scheduler, and an analysis of the strategy using real production jobs. MScheduler significantly reduces financial costs with a slight increase in makespan. On average, it reduces monetary costs by up to 32%, with only an 8% increase in the makespan compared on-demand executions. In the best case, the monetary savings reach 66%, with a 19% increase in makespan.The third algorithm utilizes Machine Learning (ML) algorithms in job schedulers to predict execution times of reservoir job, improving cluster resource efficiency. The developed model classifies the duration time interval of SLURM reservoir simulation jobs with an accuracy of more than 70%, exceeding the standard performance described in the job scheduling literature, thus contributing to improved scheduling decisions.Together, these algorithms mark a paradigm shift in HPC utilization for geoscience applications. They liberate end users from complex computer architecture choices, contributing to improved decision-making and significant time and cost benefits.
  • MATSUMURA, KAZUAKI: Advancing the state of the art of directive-based programming for GPUs: runtime and compilation
    Author: MATSUMURA, KAZUAKI
    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: 20/03/2024
    Reading date: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    Thesis director: PEÑA MONFERRER, ANTONIO JOSE
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: CASTELLÓ GIMENO, ADRIÁN
         SECRETARI: AYGUADÉ PARRA, EDUARD
         VOCAL: EL HAJJ, IZZAT
    Thesis abstract: The rapid development in computing technology has paved the way for directive-based programming models towards a principal role in maintaining software portability of performance-critical applications. Efforts on such models involve a least engineering cost for enabling computational acceleration on multiple architectures, while programmers are only required to add meta information upon sequential code. Optimizations for obtaining the best possible efficiency, however, are often challenging. The insertions of directives by the programmer can lead to side-effects that limit the available compiler optimization possible, which could result in performance degradation. This is exacerbated when targeting asynchronous execution or multi-GPU systems, as pragmas do not automatically adapt to such mechanisms, and require expensive and time consuming code adjustment by programmers. Moreover, directive-based programming models such as OpenACC and OpenMP often prevent programmers from making additional optimizations to take advantage of the advanced architectural features of GPUs because the actual generated computation is hidden from the application developer.This dissertation explores new possibilities for optimizing directive-based code from both runtime and compilation perspectives. First, we introduce a runtime framework for OpenACC to facilitate dynamic analysis and compilation. Especially, our framework realizes automatic asynchronous execution and multi-GPU use based on the status of kernel execution and data availability while taking advantage of an on-the-fly mechanism for compilation and program optimization. We add a versatile code-translation method for multi-device utilization by which manually-optimized applications can be distributed automatically while keeping original code structure and parallelism. Second, we implement a novel flexible optimization technique that operates by inserting a code emulator phase to the tail-end of the compilation pipeline. Our tool emulates the generated code using symbolic analysis by substituting dynamic information and thus allowing for further low-level code optimizations to be applied. We implement our tool to support both CUDA and OpenACC directives as the frontend of the compilation pipeline, thus enabling low-level GPUoptimizations for OpenACC that were not previously possible. Third, we propose the use of a modern optimization technique, equality saturation, to optimize sequential code utilized in directive-based programming for GPUs. Our approach realizes less computation, less memory access, and high memory throughput simultaneously. Our fully-automated framework constructs single-assignment forms from inputs to be entirely rewritten while keeping dependencies and extracts optimal cases. Overall, we cover runtime techniques and optimization methods based on dynamic information, low-level operations, and user-level opportunities.We evaluate our proposals on the state-of-the-art GPUs and provide detailed analysis for each technique. For multi-GPU use, we show in some cases nearly linear scaling on the part of kernel execution with the NVIDIA V100 GPUs. While adaptively using multi-GPUs, the resulting performance improvements amortize the latency of GPU-to-GPU communications. Regarding low-level optimization, we demonstrate the capabilities of our tool by automating warp-level shuffle instructions that are difficult to use by even advanced GPU programmers. While evaluating our tool with a benchmark suite and complex application code, we provide a detailed study to assess the benefits of shuffle instructions across four generations of GPU architectures. Lastly, with sequential code optimization, we demonstrate a significant performance improvement on several compilers through practical benchmarks.Then, we highlight the advantages of computational reordering and emphasize the significance of memory-access order for modern GPUs.
  • NESTOROV, ANNA MARIA: Optimizing serverless architectures for data-intensive analytics workloads
    Author: NESTOROV, ANNA MARIA
    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: 25/03/2024
    Reading date: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    Thesis director: CARRERA PÉREZ, DAVID | BERRAL GARCÍA, JOSEP LLUÍS
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: SANCHEZ ARTIGAS, MARC
         SECRETARI: GUITART FERNANDEZ, JORDI
         VOCAL: TAHERKORDI, AMIRHOSEIN
    Thesis abstract: Recently, serverless computing has garnered attention from academia and industry due to its on-demand resource provisioning, allowing users to focus solely on their core business logic by breaking down tasks into small stateless functions.Serverless offers benefits like a 'pay-per-use' cost model, greater flexibility, and transparent elastic resource auto-scaling.Researchers in academia and industry are increasingly exploring serverless computing's potential in complex, data-intensive analytics. These tasks, resource-heavy and highly parallel, involve significant inter-function communications. However, this shift presents challenges, requiring alignment with the specific needs and constraints of such applications. This research area is currently considered one of the most compelling areas of study. This thesis shows that it is possible to efficiently execute modern data-intensive analytics workloads, traditionally deployed in managed cloud clusters, within serverless computing environments using direct data inter-function communication and optimized performance-cost efficient resource allocation policies. To demonstrate this thesis, we first build a performance model for serverless workloads, considering data sharing, volume, and communication technologies. The model, with a relative error of 5.52%, evaluates the performance of a representative workload in serverless, analyzing task granularity and concurrency, data locality, resource allocation, and scheduling policies. Our results indicate that the performance of data-intensive analytics workloads in serverless can be up to 4.32x faster depending on how these are deployed. Furthermore, this characterization highlights inefficiencies in centralized object storage and stresses the primary importance of efficient resource use.We then introduce Floki, a data forwarding system that tackles the centralized object storage bottleneck. It enables direct communication between producer-consumer function pairs using fixed-size communication methods. Floki establishes point-to-point data channels for intra- and inter-node data transmission, allowing transparent data transfer and reducing network data copying. This workflow-oriented approach boosts performance and minimize resource requirements without restricting function placement.Our experimental evaluation, performed on the principal communication patterns in distributed systems, shows that Floki reduces the end-to-end time up to 74.95x, decreasing the most extensive data sharing time from 12.55 to 4.33 minutes, saving almost two-thirds of time. Additionally, Floki achieves up to 50,738x of resource-saving, equivalent to a memory allocation of approximately 1.9MB instead of an object storage allocation of 96GB.Finally, we investigates how to achieve efficient resource utilization in modern serverless environments and proposes Dexter, a novel resource allocation manager, leveraging serverless computing elasticity. Dexter continuously monitors application execution, dynamically allocating resources at a fine-grained level combining predictive and reactive strategies to ensure performance-cost efficiency (optimizing total runtime cost). Unlike black-box Machine Learning (ML) models, Dexter reaches a sufficiently good solution, prioritizing simplicity, generality, and ease of understanding. The proposed experimental evaluation demonstrates that our solution achieves a significant cost reduction of up to 4.65x, while improving resource efficiency up to 3.50x, when compared with the default serverless Spark resource allocation that dynamically requests exponentially more executors to accommodate pending tasks. Dexter also enables substantial resource savings, demanding up to 5.71x fewer resources. Dexter is a robust solution to new, unseen workloads, achieving up to 2.72x higher performance-cost efficiency thanks to its conservative resource scaling approach.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN COMPUTING

  • ALONSO ALONSO, JESUS: Dynamic Terrain Modeling
    Author: ALONSO ALONSO, JESUS
    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 COMPUTING
    Department: Department of Computer Science (CS)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 18/03/2024
    Reading date: 08/05/2024
    Reading time: 12:00
    Reading place: Sala de Teleensenyament del 'ETSETB, edifici B3, Barcelona Diagonal NORD
    Thesis director: JOAN ARINYO, ROBERT
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: CHOVER, MIGUEL
         SECRETARI: ARGUDO MEDRANO, OSCAR
         VOCAL: BOSCH GELI, CARLES
    Thesis abstract: This work explores terrain modelling techniques that provide a comprehensive experience in terms of graphical representation, physics interaction and dynamic updates in real-time. In particular, our focus revolves around the creation of a system able to: 1) capture any possible feature we find on terrains, 2) maintain an accurate level of detail, 3) offer rendering and navigation in real-time, 4) include the option of performing dynamic updates in real-time, and 5) support physical interactions of entities also in real-time.Once previous models from the literature are reviewed, two models are proposed that take a digital elevation model as the base structure. The former follows a strategy in which we mimic the geotectonic events we find in nature. The latter uses a sculpting approach with convex polyhedra as a carving tool. To this end, several works are presented.While the first option introduces some gains with limits, the second option is a proposal that accomplishes the five required constraints. On the one hand, it can model tunnels, caves and overhangs, and terrain features can be captured with pixel-perfect accuracy. On the other hand, it is not demanding regarding processing and storage requirements and offers scalability. Finally, rendering, physics and dynamic updates can be performed in real-time.As a result, this work represents a significant contribution, offering an integrated solution capable of addressing the most challenging aspects of dynamic terrains. Our approach introduces a novel terrain model comprising diverse data structures and a suite of algorithms designed to capture a wide range of terrain formations accurately. A scene composed of tens of millions of triangles can be continuously updated to the extent of simulating a completely devastated terrain, rendered, and subjected to real-time physics computations involving tens of thousands of physical entities. The proposed model holds great potential for computer graphic applications, particularly in scenarios such as simulators and games, where dynamic landscapes play a paramount role.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

  • BAS CALOPA, PAU: Partial discharges in low-pressure atmosphere: an experimental approach to improving electrical protection
    Author: BAS CALOPA, PAU
    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 ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
    Department: (DEE)
    Mode: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 21/03/2024
    Reading date: 06/05/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Edifici TR5, sala conferències, ESEIAAT-UPC
    Thesis director: RIBA RUIZ, JORDI ROGER | MORENO EGUILAZ, JUAN MANUEL
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: MONTAÑA PUIG, JUAN
         SECRETARI: ABOMAILEK RUBIO, BASEL CARLOS
         VOCAL: URRESTY BETANCOURT, JULIO CÉSAR
    Thesis abstract: This thesis contributes to the field of partial discharges in low-pressure environments, aiming to improve electrical wire interconnecting systems (EWIS) protection in aerospace applications. A series of experimental studies have been conducted to evaluate the potential of corona and surface discharges as indicators of electrical insulation degradation. To this end, the influence of variables such as pressure, pressure drop, frequency, and geometry on corona discharge behaviour has been examined. Furthermore, the performance of various sensors, including CMOS image sensors, photoelectric UV sensors, and acoustic cameras, in detecting corona discharges has been investigated and compared. Additionally, by employing RGB image processing techniques, this thesis presents a novel method for the quantification of corona discharges. This method allowed studying the correlation between the light intensity of electrical discharges and the dissipated electrical energy, with a particular focus on how pressure and frequency variation impacts on this relationship. The feasibility of utilizing corona and surface discharges as an indicator for the degradation of wire insulation has also been explored, providing foundational knowledge for the future development of electrical protection tools aimed at predictive maintenance. The findings from this research contribute to the advancement of predictive maintenance strategies, offering potential for early detection of insulation failures, thereby enhancing the safety and reliability of aerospace electrical systems.

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: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    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.
  • COLL VALENTÍ, ARNAU: Advanced c-Si solar cell structures: application of laser processes and optical nanostructures
    Author: COLL VALENTÍ, ARNAU
    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: 08/03/2024
    Reading date: 26/04/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: Defensa: Aula de Postgrau, edifici C5-116, ETSETB
    Thesis director: BERMEJO BROTO, ALEXANDRA | MARTIN GARCIA, ISIDRO
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: VOZ SANCHEZ, CRISTOBAL
         SECRETARI: GARIN ESCRIVA, MOISES
         VOCAL: HERNÁNDEZ GARCÍA, DAVID
    Thesis abstract: This thesis works towards efficient and cost-effective methods to improve the performance of thin silicon solar cells. Focusing on two principal objectives, the Thesis develops novel techniques to enhance the production of colloidal crystals and the possibility to apply these crystals to improve the light trapping efficiency, as well as creating a unique structure for lased doped solar cells. Both advancements focus on improving the production solar cells using low-temperature processes and thin wafers, thus circumventing the dependences of high temperature procedures, while bolstering light trapping capabilities. This approach is motivated by the restarting trend to reduce silicon wafer thickness, therefore this work is pushed by the need to overcome the actual technical and physical constrains. The initial part of the Thesis focuses on the implementation of an electrospray system for the creation of colloidal crystals. These colloidal crystals are intended for application as photonic light trapping structures in solar cells. Afterwards, these structures are tested within a laser firing process to double check the viability to be used within the laser firing technique commonly used in solar cell fabrication.The main achievements within the electrospray deposition technique are the development of polystyrene and SiO2 colloidal crystals with areas in the range of 1-2cm2 and up to 17 layers of ordered particles while keep good optical quality. These layers are created at room temperature and with a process that could be adapted to batch processing and parallelized to increase the area. The technique has also been adapted to be used in non-even surfaces like C-Si pyramids or black silicon. At the same time, these structures had been used to create inverse colloidal crystals from Al2O3 and Al2O3 /TiO2 shells while getting rid of polystyrene nanoparticles. The final Al2O3 /TiO2 structure obtains high reflectivity values up to 98.2%. Finally, these inverse opals are created on top of Al2O3 passivated C-Si wafers. These structures are able to withstand a laser firing process while keeping the passivation, demonstrating the capability to be used with in the solar cells fabrication process.The second part of the thesis focuses in the creation of a process to achieve low temperature solar cells by means of highly-doped regions that are punctually defined through laser processed dielectric films. This technique call ¿DopLaCell¿ stand for doped by laser solar cell. In the initial stages of the process and as a proof of concept, 1x1 cm2 solar cells were created on both p- and n-type substrates with efficiencies of 11.6% and 12.8% respectively. In a second step, 1x1 cm2 n-type c-Si solar cells are created using the ¿cold¿ p+ emitters used in the ¿DopLaCell¿ structure. This second batch of solar cells uses a Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin layer (HIT) in the front face. This approach avoids the use of Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO) on the back side of the cell thus improving the reflectivity especially with IR photons. These cells reach efficiencies up to 18.1%. Finally the process is being improved towards a pure texturized ¿DopLaCell¿. In this final step, totally ¿cold¿ 2x2 cm2 solar cells are fabricated with and efficiency up to 17.0 % .This work represents a one big step forward towards a future path of thin silicon solar cells fabrication, addressing the actual technology limitations and enabling the possibility to overcome the principal issues. This research lays the ground towards thin, affordable and efficient solar cells improving the path towards a more viable and eco-friendly energy future
  • RALLIS, KONSTANTINOS: Novel Nanoelectronic Circuits and Systems
    Author: RALLIS, KONSTANTINOS
    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: 13/03/2024
    Reading date: 09/05/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: ETSETB - Multimedia room Building B3 at Campus Nord UPC
    Thesis director: RUBIO SOLA, JOSE ANTONIO | SIRAKOULIS, GEORGIOS
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: JIMÉNEZ JIMÉNEZ, DAVID
         SECRETARI: ABADAL CAVALLÉ, SERGI
         VOCAL: CUCU LAURENCIO, NICOLETA
    Thesis abstract: Lately, in the rise of the era of 2D materials, Graphene is one of the materials that has been extensively investigated for its possible integration in computing devices and thus computing circuits. This is mainly attributed to its very wide set of appealing properties. The combination of its electronic properties with others, such as mechanical, optical or chemical properties, can extend the range of use of computing devices and lead to groundbreaking interdisciplinary applications. However, this integration of Graphene in switching and computing elements is not easy. In this dissertation, the Non-Equilibrium Green's Function method (NEGF), along with the Tight Binding Hamiltonians, are fitted on experimental data from fabricated Graphene devices. Although as a computational method, NEGF is appropriate for the simulation of small-scale devices in the regime of nanometers, its ability to be efficiently expanded for the description of larger devices is presented. The aforementioned electronic properties of the material are highly related to its shape and structure. Consequently, it requires a very precise fabrication method that can guarantee the minimum presence of defects on the Graphene grid. For that reason, the effect of defects is deeply investigated. The NEGF method is further enhanced in order to be able to incorporate lattice defects. The most common lattice defects are included, meaning the single and double vacancy. A framework has thus been created, so that for the first time the user can select areas of interest on the grid, in which the defects will be concentrated. Those concentrations can also be variable. Moreover, an extensive study is conducted on defective grids with different concentrations of single and double vacancies. The investigated grids are non-rectangular and have regions with different widths. The effect of those vacancies on the electronic properties of Graphene is investigated, and more specifically their effect on the conductance and the energy gap of the device, as well as the effect on circuit-centered characteristics such as the leakage current and ON/OFF current ratio. Having a functional, robust, versatile, and accurate model, the focus of this thesis is extended to the level of circuits. The model is imported into SPICE through Verilog-A. In this part, the thesis emphasizes on the investigation of the switching capabilities of L-shaped Graphene Nanoribbons (GNRs). These structures have been proven to be able to operate as switches, without the use of a back gate, and here, the properties that are dependent on their dimensions are explored and optimized for the first time. The optimized structures are then used for the realization of a set of computing topologies. Initially, a novel area-optimized 2-branch comb-shaped topology is introduced for the realization of a universal computing set that consists of an AND, OR, NOT gate, and a Buffer. All these logic operations can be mapped on the same topology through appropriate biasing. Then, an extension of this, the 3-branch comb-shaped topology is proposed, which is able to operate as a 2-XOR, 3-XOR and 3-MAJ gate. The circuit of a 1-bit full adder, is also presented. For the evaluation of the performance of the topologies, several related metrics are employed such as the area, delay, power dissipation and the power-delay product. The operation of these topologies relies of the principles of Pass Transistor Logic (PTL) and reconfigurable computing. Finally, in an attempt to go beyond the conventional Boolean logic, the compliance of Graphene with Multi-Valued Logic (MVL) circuits and applications is investigated. The ability of a Graphene Quantum Point Contact (G-QPC) device to encode the digits of the radix-4 numeral system is presented and as a proof of concept, the operation of an arbitrary radix-4 adder is explained.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING

  • KILIÇ, EYLEM: Advancing the use of waste streams in plastic composites
    Author: KILIÇ, EYLEM
    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 ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
    Department: (DECA)
    Mode: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 18/03/2024
    Reading date: 30/05/2024
    Reading time: 12:00
    Reading place: Place: ETSECCPB UPC, Campus Nord Building C1. Classroom: 002 C/Jordi Girona, 1-3 08034 Barcelona
    Thesis director: PUIG VIDAL, RITA | FULLANA PALMER, PERE
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: MÉNDEZ GONZÁLEZ, JOSÉ ALBERTO
         SECRETARI: GASSO DOMINGO, SANTIAGO
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: EL BACHAWATI, MAKRAM
    Thesis abstract: The leather industry faces global challenges related to its sustainability credentials due the significant waste generated throughout the leather production processes. In the context of contemporary environmental policy, which is increasingly focused on sustainable production and consumption, the need to understand and mitigate environmental impacts associated with leather has become a strategic and economic imperative. In this respect, a comprehensive "gate-to-gate" life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted following the newly released Leather Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR). The analysis aimed to evaluate the environmental impacts of leather production, with a specific focus on New Zealand's leather production industry, mainly due to its agriculturally oriented economy and large size of livestock sector.This thesis builds upon this foundation by addressing the issue of solid waste in the leather industry. Therefore, a waste valorization strategy was investigated to convert unavoidable waste into valuable resources through the production of new, value added composites, which involves incorporating leather waste (BF) into virgin and recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The focus of this thesis is to analyze environmental impact of these novel composites, to improve the implementation of circular economy principles, within the context of their use in automotive bumper production. The environmental impact of these novel composites was compared to conventional polypropylene (PP), bumpers, by performing a cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment (LCA). The thesis also aims to provide a contribution to LCA methodology applied to composite materials, by adopting various functional units, such as mass, volume, and the volume of raw material fulfilling a specific impact strength requirement.The in-depth analysis of mechanical and thermal properties of the BF/HDPE composites highlights the composite¿s potential for industrial applications that require high mechanical strength and low thermal conductivity. The incorporation of leather waste not only enhances material properties, but also contributes to environmental sustainability by converting unavoidable waste into a value added product. The environmental assessment, adopting a cradle-to-gate LCA with various functional units, indicates that composites made from recycled HDPE and leather waste have a lower environmental impact than those from virgin materials. The only exception is when the material's impact strength is a key factor in the functional unit, due to the higher impact strength of HDPE-BF composites. In all cases, increasing the content of recycled materials in the bumpers increases its environmental performance, supporting the advancement of circular economy principles in the automotive sector.The research highlights the significance of choosing an appropriate functional unit, based on specific applications such as automotive bumpers, in comparing the environmental footprint of innovative composite materials with that of traditional materials. Broadening the scope of evaluation to include various functions yields a more realistic scenario, but it leads to higher uncertainties in the results as well.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

  • ELIZALDE HUITRÓN, SERGIO ALBERTO: Study on the forming limit on shear spinning process
    Author: ELIZALDE HUITRÓN, SERGIO ALBERTO
    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: 27/02/2024
    Reading date: 16/04/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: EEBE (Escola d'Enginyeria Barcelona Est), Sala Polivalent de l'Edifici A, planta baixa, Campus Diagonal-Besòs
    Thesis director: CABRERA MARRERO, JOSE MARIA
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: GARCÍA CANO, IRENE
         SECRETARI: CALVO MUÑOZ, JESICA
         VOCAL: SORGENTE, DONATO
    Thesis abstract: Shear spinning is an incremental sheet metal forming process where a flat metal blank or pre-form is usually converted into an axisymmetric hollow part. Several ductile metals and alloys can be shear formed either at cold and hot conditions, and the most common include steel, aluminum, copper, and nickel alloys. The shape of the shear-formed parts may be conical, concave, convex, or a combination, with wide-ranging applications across industries like aerospace, automotive, and more.The main focus of this research was the study of the forming limit at room temperature in the shear spinning process through experimental trials and finite element simulations. Traditionally, a successful part produced by shear forming is highly dependent on the operator's experience, and usually, the right conditions are found after several trials.The forming limit of any metal forming process is essential data that helps to predict defects appearance in advance, guaranteeing product quality. Accordingly, processing maps to failure were derived for a mild steel DC04, stainless steel AISI 420, precipitation hardening aluminum alloys AA2024 and AA7075, in which the failure limits were found as a function of the thickness reduction, roller attack angle, spindle speed, and feed rate. The experimental findings revealed a convincing relationship between the maximum allowable thickness reduction and the feed rate ratio with the roller nose radius. As the feed rate increased, the maximum allowable thickness reduction exhibited an exponential decrease, described by a parametric equation. Also, it was found that the maximum allowable thickness reduction was 84% for the DC04 and 80% for the rest of the materials.Furthermore, numerical simulations based on the finite element method have been demonstrated as an efficient tool to accurately predict the mechanical response and appearance of defects in metal forming operations. The prediction capabilities of the numerical simulation are based on the evolution of field variables through the operation, i.e., displacements, strain, strain rate, stresses, and ductile damage. Different models of shear spinning were built with the ABAQUS commercial software. First, the efficiency of the different kinematic strategies and solving methods used to model the shear spinning were compared. An efficient segment model was proposed that reduces the computing time up to 300 times compared to conventional models.Further, different uncoupled ductile damage models were implemented via the user materials subroutine (VUMAT). It was found that the ductile damage models can accurately predict failure conditions using a non-linear damage evolution formulation.This research enhances the understanding of material deformation in the shear spinning process and provides a framework for improving operational efficiency in incremental forming processes.
  • GORDON POZUELO, SANDRA: Mechanical integrity of coated PcBN systems: Mechanics and mechanisms involved under service-like conditions
    Author: GORDON POZUELO, SANDRA
    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: Article-based thesis
    Deposit date: 19/02/2024
    Reading date: 10/05/2024
    Reading time: 11:00
    Reading place: EEBE (Escola d'Enginyeria Barcelona Est), Aula A2.14, planta 2, Campus Diagonal-Besòs
    Thesis director: LLANES PITARCH, LUIS MIGUEL | ROA ROVIRA, JOAN JOSEP
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: MARI, DANIELE
         SECRETARI: FARGAS RIBAS, GEMMA
         VOCAL: BOTERO VEGA, CARLOS ALBERTO
    Thesis abstract: Polycrystalline cubic boron nitride (PcBN) is a composite competitive cutting tool material that excels performance when machining difficult-to-cut materials (e.g. hardened steels, superalloys, etc) due to its exceptional mechanical properties. In practice, PcBNs are coated with a ceramic film to prevent and prolong the onset of tribo-oxidation and abrasive wear. Although there is not a unique consolidated opinion regarding the benefits of coatings in PcBN, most of the bibliography agrees on their use when involving hard turning operations. Most of the research address the tool performance and wear mechanisms, whereas information involving materials science aspects of PcBN and coated PcBN tools, on the basis of understanding microstructure ¿ mechanical properties correlations, is quite limited. In this regard, this thesis focusses on studying hardness, fracture toughness and wear resistance as they are key mechanical properties controlling the mechanical integrity and reliability of the tool, which are related with the contact response, fracture resistance (e.g. premature chipping) and effective tool life, respectively. Four distinct substrates of the coated PcBN grades are studied and first characterized, including the development of characterization and testing protocols. In doing so, focus ion beam tomography and three-dimension (3D) image reconstruction was implemented to study the bulk microstructural characteristics of a PcBN grade with high cBN content and metallic binder. It was found to be a powerful and useful method to gain in-depth knowledge and understanding the microstructural characteristics of PcBN composite materials, additionally to those gathered by conventionally 2D method. The study then focuses on the assessment of the micromechanical properties of PcBN composite materials, as they are known to be key for optimizing their performance through microstructural design. High-speed nanoindentation is successfully implemented to characterize and correlate microstructure with local mechanical properties of such hard and stiff composite materials; where two different methodologies, 1D and 2D Gaussian, are used for statistically deconvoluting the data. It is found that the harder PcBN grade is clearly related with the high cBN content. A scaled-up method was employed to evaluate the contact response of uncoated PcBN grades. The higher cBN content and metallic binder grade, exhibits higher resistance to crack nucleation and a more gradual transition through different damage scenarios due to the concomitant increase of hardness and fracture toughness of this grade. Regarding fracture toughening mechanisms, crack path changes from propagation across the ceramic binder to transgranular fracture through cBN particles, as the cBN content increases. Very interesting, fracture toughness is enhanced by crack interaction with intrinsic sub-grained or twin boundaries within the individual cBN particles as well as by crack deviation through nano cBN particles dispersed in the binder. Afterwards, research was aimed to characterize coated PcBN (with different chemical nature and bias voltage), mainly in terms of coating adhesion strength and mechanical integrity of bulk coated systems as a function of the PcBN substrate microstructural assemblage. Mechanical response of the coated system, assessed by using Rockwell C indentation technique and scratch testing, is strongly dependent on the underneath substrate microstructural assemblage; and therefore, its different intrinsic hardness-toughness correlation. Finally, TiAlN-coated PcBN inserts were used to mill a hardened cold work tool steel. It was proposed as an exploratory study of milling performance of coated PcBN systems to assess the onset of coating failure without involving the emergence of other wear phenomena (e.g. thermally-driven ones).
  • JOHANSSON, LINH HA HUONG LOVISA: 3D-printed biomimetic bone grafts: Clinical validation and improvement strategies
    Author: JOHANSSON, LINH HA HUONG LOVISA
    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: 26/03/2024
    Reading date: 06/05/2024
    Reading time: 10:00
    Reading place: EEBE (Escola d'Enginyeria Barcelona Est), Aula A0.02, Edifici A, planta 0, Campus Diagonal-Besòs.
    Thesis director: GINEBRA MOLINS, MARIA PAU | RAYMOND LLORENS, SANTIAGO
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: MONTERO MARTÍN, JAVIER
         SECRETARI: DÍEZ ESCUDERO, ANNA
         VOCAL: OLDE DAMINK, LEON
    Thesis abstract: Bone defects pose a major clinical and socio-economic burden and there is a clear need for new bone grafting strategies that take into account the physical-chemical properties of the native bone, to help treat bone defects in a time- and cost-effective way.Autografts are considered the gold standard due to their biological performance, however, additional surgical procedures for bone harvesting poses drawbacks. For this reason, the industrial- and scientific communities have focused on the development of synthetic bone grafting solutions. The present PhD thesis advances in the development of biomimetic personalised bone grafting solutions, including the clinical validation and the development of new material formulations with improved mechanical performance. Chapter 1: Gives an insight into the general context of bone regeneration and the materials used as bone substitutes, emphasising the need for innovative personalised synthetic bone grafts. This chapter offers an overview of additive manufacturing techniques and frequently employed ceramics in bone tissue engineering and their consolidation strategies. Further, a global presentation is given on their clinical translation, especially emphasising calcium phosphates and MimetikOss® 3D. Chapter 2: Focuses on evaluating the clinical performance of the 3D-printed bone graft MimetikOss® 3D in a horizontal vestibular augmentation. The ridge in the anterior maxilla is reconstructed with a synthetic patient-specific bone graft with a staged approach for dental implant placement. 3D-printed bone grafts permit a perfect fit in the surgical site without any additional shaping, which reduces surgery time compared with other bone augmentation techniques (e.g., guided bone regeneration, standard blocks). The bone graft is completely osseointegrated and its macropores colonised by newly formed bone at 10-months post-surgery without signs of encapsulation. A stable bone gain is achieved, resulting in a fully restored bone width. Dental implants were placed without the need for regrafting and stayed stable at 1- year post-loading, demonstrating the clinical relevance of these bone grafts in vestibular bone augmentations. Chapter 3: Encompasses two routes for incorporating PLGA, as a binder or as a coating, to 3D-printed self-setting scaffolds, taking advantage of their low-temperature hardening, to enhance their mechanical performance. The addition of PLGA increases the capacity for plastic deformation, which significantly improves their toughness (by a 2.6-fold and 4.2-fold change in flexion for PLGA as a binder and as a coating, respectively; and by an 8-fold and 1.6-fold change in compression, respectively), while preserving the in vitro cell viability of MimetikOss® 3D (with MG-63 and hMSC cells). The configuration with PLGA as binder is the better option regarding the enhancement in mechanical performance and osteogenic differentiation (2-fold and 1.5-fold change increase for ALPL and RUNX2 expressions, respectively). Screwability tests demonstrate that the enhanced mechanical properties increase the fixability of the scaffolds in a complex fixation indication in the jaw. Chapter 4: Discusses the impact, limitations, and challenges of 3D-printed biomimetic bone grafts and emphasises the steps remaining before transferring the new technology to the market. It is shown that the developments made in this PhD thesis can be beneficial for the patients and have a positive impact on society. Composite patient-specific bone grafts have an impact on cost, time and performance of the future bone grafting solutions, and they strive towards added value in personalised medicine. This will help treat complex and large bone defects in a way that benefits both the clinician and the patient and encourages sustainable healthcare based on synthetic biomaterials. This technology was protected by a filed patent application, however, there is still work left before it can be translated to the market.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN MECHANICAL, FLUIDS AND AEROSPACE ENGINEERING

  • AZIZIAN, POOYA: MICROFLUIDICS FOR BIOSENSING WITH ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING:SIMULATION MODEL AND FABRICATION
    Author: AZIZIAN, POOYA
    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: 26/03/2024
    Reading date: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    Thesis director: CASALS TERRE, JASMINA | CABOT CANYELLES, JOAN MARC | ORTEGA NOVILLO, ADRIAN | RICART CAMPOS, JORDI
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: BENITO LÓPEZ, FERNANDO
         SECRETARI: RODRÍGUEZ VILLARREAL, ÁNGELES IVÓN
         VOCAL: BORTOLOTTI, CARLO AUGUSTO
    Thesis abstract: Over the last decade, biosensing has been moving towards the miniaturized and cost-effective point-of-care (POC) testing. Even though microfluidics is becoming a key enabling technology for POC testing, the need for robust peripheral equipment has been a notable limiting factor in extending its prevalence. By manipulating microchannels' geometry and surface properties, capillary-driven microfluidics can control fluids spontaneously, reducing the need for external instrumentation. This advantage is becoming more accessible, considering that additive manufacturing technologies are reaching a high level of maturity that allows cost-effective and rapid fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) features down to the sub-millimeter scale. Therefore, capillary-driven microfluidics are achieving higher technological readiness.A key component within the field of capillary-driven microfluidics is the capillary valve. The capillary valve can automatically stop and actuate fluid flows depending on the molecular interactions between the liquid and the microchannel surfaces. However, a major concern for these valves is the presence of unwanted diffusion and mixing during the valve function, leading to cross-contamination between reagents or even with the sample. This thesis studied different methods in the literature to stop and actuate the flow as the two main stages of these valves. Then, passing over the state-of-the-art, a novel 3D diffusion-free capillary valve was developed: the ¿-valve. This valve incorporates an air gap between solutions to eliminate diffusion between them. Based on the valve's distinctive configuration, the capillarity of the microfluidic circuit displaces the air gap at a predefined time to actuate without producing bubbles into the circuit. The proposed valve's design and study were performed via numerical simulation and experimental assays, while 3D printing (3DP) was employed to fabricate the microfluidic devices.The ¿-valve's functionality, single and in array, was proven and compared with the conventional capillary valves. Then, it was applied to the precise control of reagents for biosensing, demonstrated by two different competitive immunoassays via (i) the subsequent washing step for the lateral flow assay of cortisol, and (ii) the valve array for the sequential delivery of sample and three reagents to detect benzodiazepine quantitatively. The sensitivity was enhanced by avoiding the reagent diffusive premixing when using the ¿-valve by approximately 40%. As a result, the proposed capillary valve is a promising capillary component for conducting automated immunoassays at POC.In conclusion, the novel capillary valve addresses a current biosensing sensitivity issue coming from reagent diffusive premixing, and together with other disruptive capillary-driven circuit components, paves the way for truly packing lab-on-a-chip without requiring a lab around the chip. In this regard, the next generation of capillary-driven microfluidic devices will be promising tools offering (i) miniaturized features needing fewer samples and reagents, (ii) non-costly POC testing without peripheral instrumentation, (iii) automated, preprogrammed, and easy-to-use for non-expert users, as well as (iv) sensitive, precise and reliable based on novel 3D designs employing surface properties. This is owing to the recent advancements in microfabrication based on additive manufacturing extending 3D forming freedom.
  • FAKHRAEI, JAVAD: Contributions to meshless methodologies for the simulation of acoustic radiation and scattering problems
    Author: FAKHRAEI, JAVAD
    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: Normal
    Deposit date: 16/02/2024
    Reading date: 19/04/2024
    Reading time: 11:30
    Reading place: Sala de conferències del TR5 de l'ESEIAAT (Terrassa)
    Thesis director: ARCOS VILLAMARÍN, ROBERT | PÀMIES GÓMEZ, TERESA
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: CORTESÃO GODINHO, LUIS MANUEL
         SECRETARI: CLOT RAZQUIN, ARNAU
         VOCAL: DENIA GUZMÁN, FRANCISCO DAVID
    Thesis abstract: Meshless methodologies have emerged as a valuable tool in the field of computational acoustics, offering an efficientapproach to model complex acoustic phenomena. These innovative numerical techniques offer a promising alternative totraditional mesh-based methods to deal with scattering and radiation acoustic wave propagation problems. Unlikeconventional mesh-based approaches, meshless methods do not rely on structured grids of the domain or its boundary,enabling more flexible and adaptive discretisation. The absence of a mesh eliminates the need for time-consuming gridgeneration and refinement, simplifying the simulation process and reducing the computational effort. This efficiency isespecially valuable in addressing large-scale acoustic simulations, such as those encountered in environmental noiseassessments and underwater acoustics.This dissertation is particularly centred on the study and development of a novel group of numerical meshless methodsrelated to boundary collocation approaches. These methods are employed to address problems involving the propagation ofacoustic waves in unbounded domains. The novel approaches presented in this research offer several benefits with respectto existing methodologies, in terms of robustness, accuracy and computational efficiency. Furthermore, in contrast to a fullythree-dimensional analysis, the approaches presented in this dissertation are formulated in the two-and-a-half-dimensionaldomain. This domain is particularly suited for scenarios where the system is subjected to longitudinally moving loads orsources and where the geometry of the system remains longitudinally invariant.The meshless methodologies developed in this thesis mainly rely on two of the most well-established meshless methods inthe field: the singular boundary method and the method of fundamental solutions. In the first instance, an approach based ona two-and-a-half-dimensional version of the singular boundary method is proposed and studied to address acousticradiation and scattering problems. Subsequently, its applicability for real case acoustic scenarios is evaluated throughsimulations involving point source diffraction in the presence of thin noise barriers. As probably representing the mostsignificant novelty of this dissertation, a hybrid method that combines the singular boundary method and the method offundamental solutions is introduced. It is specifically devised to tackle acoustic wave propagation problems featuringcomplex boundary geometries with corners and sharp edges. Finally, two modification techniques are proposed to enhancethe previously mentioned approach based on the two-and-a-half-dimensional sin- gular boundary method. The Burton¿Millerformulation in a first instance, and a dual surface scheme in the second. These modifications aim to overcome the issue ofspurious eigensolutions, which arises from the non-uniqueness solution problem associated with boundary collocationmethods. To comprehensively assess the capabilities and performance of the proposed meshless methods, the availableanalytical solutions and alternative numerical strategies such as the well-known boundary element method are also utilisedin various designed benchmark problems.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN PHOTONICS

  • HÖSCHELE, JONATAN: A strontium quantum-gas microscope
    Author: HÖSCHELE, JONATAN
    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: 25/03/2024
    Reading date: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    Thesis director: TARRUELL PELLEGRIN, LETICIA
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: SCHRECK, FLORIAN EBERHARD
         SECRETARI: DE RIEDMATTEN, HUGUES
         VOCAL: WEITENBERG, CHRISTOF
    Thesis abstract: The development of quantum-gas microscopes has revolutionized the field of quantum simulation with ultracold atoms. More specifically, their ability of direct observation and manipulation of degenerate quantum gases in optical lattices on a single particle level has brought novel ways of probing and engineering quantum degenerate many-body systems. So far, most of these setups have focused on alkali atoms. Combining quantum-gas microscopy with the properties of alkaline-earth atoms such as strontium gives rise to exciting research directions. In this thesis, we report on the design and construction of a strontium quantum-gas microscope. The findings in this thesis can be divided into three parts.In the first part, we focus on the accumulation of atoms in the science cell and develop a scheme to enhance the atom number in magneto-optical traps of strontium atoms operating on the 461-nm transition. This scheme resonantly populates a short-lived reservoir state, partially shielding the atomic cloud from losses in the cooling cycle. We demonstrate a factor of 2 enhancement in the atom number for the bosonic isotopes Sr-88 and Sr-84, and the fermionic isotope Sr-87, showing the efficient capture of these isotopes in our experiment. Our scheme can be readily implemented in the majority of strontium experiments, given that the shielding transition at 689 nm is commonly used for further cooling. In our case, the shielding scheme facilitates the generation of Bose-Einstein condensates.The second part of the thesis reports on the generation of degenerate quantum gases of Sr-84 with up to 200000 atoms. After summarizing the required cooling steps, we study the formation of Bose-Einstein condensates during evaporative cooling in our experiment. Analyzing the evolution of the horizontal and vertical size of our quantum-degenerate clouds in free fall leads to the characteristic asymmetric expansion, which we compare to theory for our experimental parameters. We also show the generation of smaller Bose-Einstein condensates of less than 20000 atoms with the help of a light-sheet potential. With this highly-anisotropic confinement we can consider our Bose-Einstein condensates two-dimensional for atom numbers of the order of 1000.In the third part we demonstrate site-resolved imaging of a Sr-84 bosonic quantum gas in a Hubbard-regime optical lattice potential. We confine the quantum gas by a two-dimensional optical lattice and the aforementioned light-sheet potential, both operating at strontium's clock-magic wavelength. A high-NA imaging objective enables single-atom and single-site resolved fluorescence imaging by scattering photons on strontium's broad 461-nm transition, while performing efficient attractive Sisyphus cooling of the atoms on a narrower transition at 689 nm. We reconstruct the atomic occupation of the lattice sites from the fluorescence images, obtaining imaging fidelities above 94%. Finally, we realize a Sr-84 superfluid in the Bose-Hubbard regime and observe its characteristic interference pattern after free expansion in the light sheet with single-atom resolution. Our strontium quantum-gas microscope provides a new platform to study dissipative Hubbard models and cooperative effects in atom-light interaction at the microscopic level. Moreover, the ability to capture also the fermionic isotope Sr-87 paves the way to generate degenerate Fermi gases with SU(N) symmetry and study SU(N) quantum magnetism.
  • RIVERA DEÁN, JAVIER: Non-classical states of light: generation via strong-field processes and applications in quantum key distribution
    Author: RIVERA DEÁN, JAVIER
    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: 25/03/2024
    Reading date: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    Thesis director: ACÍN DAL MASCHIO, ANTONIO | CIAPPINA, MARCELO
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: KAMINER, IDO
         SECRETARI: DE RIEDMATTEN, HUGUES
         VOCAL: AHUFINGER BRETO, VERÓNICA
    Thesis abstract: The dawn of the last century marked the onset of the first quantum revolution, a period characterized by groundbreaking discoveries culminating in the establishment of quantum mechanics. Over time, the abstract concepts introduced by this new branch of Physics, evolved into indispensable practical devices shaping our daily lives. This technological evolution spurred our actual era, centered around information exchange and acquisition, laying the foundation for what is now termed the second quantum revolution. This phase aims to leverage quantum information science, which harnesses quantum mechanics' properties to propel advancements in information processing, communication, and computation, leading to revolutionary quantum technologies.At the heart of advancing quantum technologies lies the exploration of what are known as non-classical states --physical manifestations exhibiting behaviors diverging from classical physics, necessitating the framework of quantum mechanics for explanation. Manipulating and generating these states delineates the frontier of progress in quantum technology. Therefore, it is crucial to devise methodologies for generating and controlling non-classical states. Photonics emerges as a promising platform within this context due to its robustness and exceptional manageability of this kind of states.For the above reasons, this Thesis adopts a dual focus. Firstly, we delve into the generation of non-classical states of light through strong-field processes. These processes entail interactions between light and matter, where light intensities contend with the binding forces that keep electrons bound to their respective nuclei. Our exploration demonstrates the utility of strong-field phenomena in generating non-classical states of light, exhibiting intriguing features dependent on specific process dynamics and the materials involved in excitation. Secondly, we investigate the constraints and prerequisites of non-classical states of light sources --beyond those derived from the aforementioned strong-field processes-- for the advancement of quantum communication. In particular, we analyze quantum key distribution, aiming to create a secret key exclusively known by the communicating parties for encrypting and decrypting messages.Therefore, this Thesis can be understood as a zeroth step towards leveraging strong-field physics as a prospective tool for quantum information science applications, as well as an exploration about the advances and limitations of photonic-based setups for quantum key distribution.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN POLYMERS AND BIOPOLYMERS

  • MARTÍ BALLESTÉ, DÍDAC: Advanced molecular modelling techniques for immunosensor nanointerfaces
    Author: MARTÍ BALLESTÉ, DÍDAC
    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: 13/03/2024
    Reading date: 03/06/2024
    Reading time: 11:30
    Reading place: Sala Polivalent de l'Edifici I, Edifici I, planta baixa, Campus Diagonal-Besòs
    Thesis director: TORRAS COSTA, JUAN | ALEMAN LLANSO, CARLOS ENRIQUE
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: POATER TEIXIDOR, ALBERT
         SECRETARI: SASSELLI RAMOS, IVAN
         VOCAL: CREHUET SIMON, RAMON
    Thesis abstract: Viruses and their infections have always affected human lives throughout history. Globalization contributed positively to the progress of human society in science and medicine which permited to deal with viruses, but the reality is that the number of infections does not decrease over the years. Globalization itself is here agin one of the main factors, as people move in more densely populated areas, which favors the spread of viruses. Another important factor is the viruses themselves, which over the years have shown a constant evolution that allowed them to adapt to new hosts. For these reasons, human-led efforts such as vaccines, antiviral treatments, sensors etc. are critical tools for human survival, and like viruses, humans must continue to innovate. This thesis focused on providing different understandings of a series of biochemical processes at molecular the level to facilitate the design of plasmonic resonance sensors, currently used for detecting diseases such as cancer, to enable a similar detection improvement in other viruses and diseases such as HIV and SARS-Cov-2.This thesis is divided into two parts, with the first focusing on the characterization related to the HIV virus. Several studies have been carried out using a combination of different molecular simulation techniques, classical dynamics, quantum mechanics and hybrid QM/MM-MD methods. These studies characterize the behavior of the antibody chosen in the design of the sensor, IgG1 , as well as its interactions with the silica surface that compounds the sensor and its orientation once functionalized on top of the surface. Additional studies were performedm focusing on the interaction between the immunoglobulin G and the glycoprotein that forms part of the HIV virus spike, and permited to identify the interactions helping the antibody to attach to the virus for the virus inhibition.In the second part, the same molecular simulation techniques have been used to study the virus which completely changed the world in 2020, SARS-CoV-2 known for the disease COVID19. As this virus was new at the time of the thesis, there was a dramatic lack of knowledge. Molecular modelling techniques were used to study the behavior of the virus spike in presence of heat or solvated in water. Similar studies to the case of HIV-IgG1 were performed between SARS-CoV-2 spike and different promising antibodies with the goal to identify the best candidate for sensor functionalization or virus inhibition. In this section, the interaction between the virus spike and the ACE2 enzyme, the target cell that SARS-CoV-2 use to infect human body, was also characterized. Finally, new antibodies were designed combining the previous ones with IgG1 and their behavior was studied in the presence of the sensor¿s silica surface and the nanoparticles gold surface used in the detector

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN SIGNAL THEORY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • UDAONDO GUERRERO, CARLOS: Analysis of Q factor degradation mechanisms in BAW resonators
    Author: UDAONDO GUERRERO, CARLOS
    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: 22/03/2024
    Reading date: pending
    Reading time: pending
    Reading place: pending
    Thesis director: COLLADO GOMEZ, JUAN CARLOS | MATEU MATEU, JORDI
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT NO PRESENCIAL: AIGNER, ROBERT
         SECRETARI: VALENZUELA GONZALEZ, JOSE LUIS
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: VILLANUEVA TORRIJO, LUIS GUILLERMO
    Thesis abstract: The emergence of smartphones not only changed the way people uses its phone for, but it also changed the traffic amount that networks need to carry, increasing the demand of higher data rates. The overall result was the appearance of 4G networks, and nowadays, the current development of 5G, implying the need for more frequency bands, and the application of new techniques such as Carrier Aggregation (CA), MIMO antennas, and so on. All these market driven necessities suppose a great challenge for the radiofrequency (RF) industry, which have been facing the necessity of miniaturization and band coexistence on its devices since the beginning of mobile communications.Microwave filters based on Bulk Acoustic Wave (BAW) resonators, have been able to this day to overcome these limitations. These devices consist in a thin piezoelectric layer comprised by two metal electrodes, and an acoustic confinement method, which can be simply made of air or a Bragg reflector. The use of electroacoustic technology enables to reduce the filter size up to five orders of magnitude, allowing the integration of multiple filters in handsets. This thesis focuses on modelling some of different physical phenomena at the resonator level that affect the performance of the filters.The first part of this thesis is the one regarding the spurious response of BAW resonators. This response is originated by acoustic waves traveling in the lateral dimension of the resonator. These waves couple electromechanically, degrading the filter response. BAW filters have been capable of overcoming this limitation suppressing them by the use of different electrode geometries (Apodization), or by surrounding the electrode by a decreased, or increased frame (Border Ring). The nature of these waves is studied through the thesis and several equivalent models are proposed in order to accurately predict them, helping to the design of the correspondent suppression structures. One of this thesis contributions regarding the lateral spurious resonances, consists in making use of a modified Mason model to determine the origin of the additional spurious resonances generated by the Border Ring. These resonances can be attributed to an acoustic mode, different from the fundamental, propagating across the resonator stack. By adding nonlinear sources to that model, the second harmonic (H2) emissions and the impact of the spurious resonances in them, is also studied.Finally, a new equivalent model based in the Transmission Line Matrix (TLM) method is proposed for the acoustic cavity of a BAW resonator. This new approach is able to model resonators with different electrode geometries, in a much faster way than traditionally used methods like the Finite Elements Method (FEM). In addition, by determining different propagation regions, it can be used to model both the apodization and the Border Ring at the same time.The second family of contributions are the ones regarding to the thermoelastic behavior of the BAW resonators. A solid heats up when compressed and vice versa. In a harmonic oscillation, when heat is able to flow through the solid regions, this flow from hotter to colder regions generates a relaxation of the acoustic wave. This is the thermoelastic damping. A thermo-electro-mechanical Mason model is used for quantifying this source of losses on BAW resonators. The model is compared with experimental data taken at cryogenic temperatures and an analysis of losses of the broadband spurious resonances of the Bragg reflector has been performed.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN STATISTICS AND OPERATIONS RESEARCH

  • LORENTE GARCÍA, ESTER: A Simulation-based intermodal assignment accounting for public transport and ride-pooling services
    Author: LORENTE GARCÍA, ESTER
    Thesis file: (contact the Doctoral School to confirm you have a valid doctoral degree and to get the link to the thesis)
    Programme: DOCTORAL DEGREE IN STATISTICS AND OPERATIONS RESEARCH
    Department: Department of Statistics and Operations Research (EIO)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 13/02/2024
    Reading date: 17/04/2024
    Reading time: 15:00
    Reading place: Sala de reunions C5202. Campus NORD, Dep. Estadística i Investigació Operativa. Ed. C5 2 planta
    Thesis director: CODINA SANCHO, ESTEVE | BARCELÓ BUGEDA, JAIME
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: FAULIN FAJARDO, FRANCISCO
         SECRETARI: MONTERO MERCADÉ, LIDIA
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: FRIEDRICH, BERNHARD
    Thesis abstract: Shared mobility, including Mobility as a Service (MaaS), has emerged as a potential solution for city congestion. However, recent studies have revealed unintended con-sequences such as increased travel times and reduced public transport usage. The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) emphasises the need for a complementary integration of shared mobility and public transportation to achieve positive outcomes. This thesis focuses on the intermodal integration of a ride-pooling service (RP) as a feeder to public transport (PT) stops, enabling combined trips with multiple legs. Unlike previous studies, it explores all the intermodal types, considers a wide range of intermodal combinations beyond the constraints of the closest vehicle and stop, and analyses the performance in a large metropolitan area with an extensive transit network. In this thesis, a dispatching strategy is developed that significantly improves the performance of a ride-pooling system in intermodal combination with public trans-port. It is implemented within the intermodal dispatcher, the key component of the system. The most important characteristics of the strategy are that it uses a batch dispatching approach for optimising requests-to-transport vehicles (RP and/or PT) assignment, and introduces delayed dispatching, which postpones request dispatching until their time window approaches. This strategy enables precise vehicle selection, avoiding premature choices when most vehicle tours are empty. In particular, this affects trips with a last leg (LL) of ride-pooling, which are divided into two parts and treated in two separate iterations. The first part excludes the ending RP leg and is dispatched initially using an estimate for the LL. The second part of the trip is momentarily left pending and is dispatched with a given anticipation to the time window of the LL. To guarantee the availability of vehicles in this second part, the system implements a vehicle reservation mechanism.In order to evaluate the performance of the proposed dispatching strategy, a simulation-based system has been developed that accurately models both the operation of the ride-pooling system in the field (the movement of vehicles and customer request reception) and the processing of requests and vehicle location updates by the dispatcher. Compared to actual field experiments, the simulation allows experiments in which all parameters of the dispatching strategy and of the demand are systematically varied. This simulator is the second significant result of the thesis. The simulation results indicate that implementing a delayed dispatching strategy plus vehicle reservation can lead to higher served demand and improved profitability out-comes compared to a non-delayed strategy, particularly in fleet-saturated scenarios. This strategy optimises the allocation of system resources, specifically the limited fleet of vehicles, as these are more properly selected. As a result, the system may efficiently identify and include alternatives with a high shared proportion of en-route passengers without imposing excessive restrictions on future requests.

Last update: 13/04/2024 04:45:36.

List of lodged theses

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
    Deposit END date: 16/04/2024
    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.
  • RADHAKRISHNAN, SARATH: NON-EQUILIBRIUM WALL MODELING IN LES OF HIGH-SPEED TRANSITIONAL FLOWS
    Author: RADHAKRISHNAN, SARATH
    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: 05/04/2024
    Deposit END date: 18/04/2024
    Thesis director: LEHMKUHL BARBA, ORIOL | MIRA MARTÍNEZ, DANIEL
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: VINUESA MOLTIVA, RICARDO
         SECRETARI: RODRIGUEZ PEREZ, IVETTE MARIA
         VOCAL: ALCÁNTARA ÁVILA, FRANCISCO
    Thesis abstract: Wall-modeled large eddy simulation (WMLES) is a practical tool to perform the wall-bounded large eddy simulation (LES) with less computational cost by avoiding explicit resolution of the region near the wall. However, its use is limited in flows that have high non-equilibrium effects, like separation and/or transition. In this work, three wall modeling strategies are presented, two of them based on high-fidelity data. First, a technique is presented to improve the robustness of the state-of-the-art algebraic wall shear stress model. Second, an equilibrium-data-driven wall shear stress model is developed using the LES of the channel data. The key purpose of this is to estabilish the methodology of model development using high-fidelity data. The model is built using a machine learning technique that uses gradient-boosted regression trees (GBRT). The objective of the model is to learn the boundary layer of a turbulent channel flow so that it can be used in significantly different flows where the equilibrium assumptions are valid. The importance of selecting the appropriate data for training and the importance of choosing the input of the model are described. The model is validated a priori and a posteriori. A posteriori tests are conducted by implementing the model in a multiphysics solver and using it in the turbulent channel flow and in the flow over a wall-mounted hump. The performance of the model is compared with an algebraic wall shear stress model to understand the strengths and shortcomings of the data-based models and further improve the same. In the next step, the model is upgraded to a non-equilibrium wall model by using non-equilibrium data for the training. The high-fidelity data chosen for training include the Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) of a double diffuser that has strong non-equilibrium flow regions and LES of a channel flow. The ultimate purpose of this model is to distinguish between equilibrium and non-equilibrium regions and to provide the appropriate wall shear stress. The ML system used for this study is also GBRT. The model is tested a priori and a posteriori. A posteriori tests are conducted on the diffuser, channel flows, flow over the hump, and junction flows. These tests showed that the model is very effective for corner flows and flows that involve relaminarization, while it performs rather less effectively in recirculation regions.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN ARCHITECTURAL, BUILDING CONSTRUCTION AND URBANISM TECHNOLOGY

  • BENINCA, LETIANE: Multi-objective optimization for social multifamily housing: Minimizing heating and cooling demand
    Author: BENINCA, LETIANE
    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, BUILDING CONSTRUCTION AND URBANISM TECHNOLOGY
    Department: Department of Architectural Technology (TA)
    Mode: Change of supervisor
    Deposit date: 11/04/2024
    Deposit END date: 24/04/2024
    Thesis director: CRESPO SÁNCHEZ, EVA | PASSUELLO, ANA CAROLINA
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: DE MOURA FERREIRA DANILEVICZ, ANGELA
         SECRETARI: CÓSTOLA, DANIEL
         VOCAL: KAMPOUROPOULOS, KONSTANTINOS
    Thesis abstract: The field of architecture and engineering is currently experiencing significant changes due to advances in technology and the growing role of Artificial Intelligence. This shift is largely driven by the growing urgency of promoting more efficient buildings, especially considering its substantial impact on global greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage. Consequently, it is becoming important to focus on practical design choices and utilize effective strategies to enhance energy efficiency and overall building performance. This thesis presents a comprehensive approach to optimize the shape, solar orientation, and envelope configuration of social residential buildings in a humid subtropical climate (Koppen classification: Cfa) in the southern region of Brazil. The main objective is to simultaneously minimize both heating and cooling demands, and present optimal performance design and parameter ranges to improve efficiency energy in multifamily buildings. To achieve this, the study utilizes multi-objective optimization techniques with the support of a non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II). The simulations are conducted using the EnergyPlus while the optimization process is implemented through Python programming. This extensive computational effort involves a total of 480,000 simulations. The results of the optimization process demonstrate that by carefully selecting the optimal solar orientation, significant reductions in energy demand can be achieved. For instance, optimizing the solar orientation alone can lead to energy demand reductions of up to 5% for linear buildings and 11% for H buildings, when linked to the surroundings. Furthermore, when the envelope is properly addressed the energy demand between shapes achieves almost the same value. Moreover, the optimization of the building envelope configuration further enhances energy efficiency, resulting in remarkable reductions in total energy demand. In particular, linear buildings can achieve up to 60% reduction in energy demand, while H buildings reach up to 63% reduction. These findings highlight the potential benefits of considering solar orientation, surrounding shadows, and envelope design simultaneously during the early design stages of a project. The proposed three-phase optimization framework evaluates different parameter alternatives and presents a pratical guidelines to make informed decisions about the most energy-efficient configurations.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING

  • SAYOLS BAIXERAS, NARCÍS: Cognitive Robot Control Strategies for Complex Surgical Environments
    Author: SAYOLS BAIXERAS, NARCÍS
    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: Department of Automatic Control (ESAII)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 11/04/2024
    Deposit END date: 24/04/2024
    Thesis director: CASALS GELPI, ALICIA | HERNANSANZ PRATS, ALBERTO
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: DALL\'ALBA, DIEGO
         SECRETARI: FRIGOLA BOURLON, MANEL
         VOCAL: AVILÉS RIVERO, ANGÉLICA
    Thesis abstract: This thesis aims to contribute to the development of robotics autonomy in complex tasks based on the cognitive control paradigm. Cognition is a multidisciplinary approach aimed to provide robotic systems with intelligent and autonomous behaviour that should learn and reason about how to respond in front of complex tasks and environments.Cognition involves aspects as perception, awareness, interpretation of human actions, learning, planning, anticipating and dynamic response to changes in the working conditions and in the interaction with humans. Autonomy is intended to partially substitute and/or complement the human faculties at the level of perception, analysis and execution. Increasing the level of autonomy of robots allows focusing the humans cognitive load on high level decisions and actions, in aspects where the human factor is essential: contextualisation of information, specific expertise, medical knowledge and complex decision-making among others. Furthermore, robots improve the properties of humans in certain aspects such as precision, repeatability, absence of fatigue or response efficiency in terms of time and accuracy.This thesis addresses different key aspects of robotic autonomy: perception, planning and dynamic execution of actions and, finally, the control structures required for efficient control and their integration in robotic systems.This thesis combines a global theoretical approach supported by practical applications based on the field of robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery. This field has been chosen for two main reasons: the social impact involved in the improvement of surgery and, secondly, because this field of application is highly demanding from both, human and robotic perspective.The experimental phases have focused on various surgical robotic. First, a teleoperated platform with a single robot has been used aimed at minimally invasive fetal surgery in which a cognitive system offers a certain level of autonomy to generate trajectories in collision-free spaces, increasing patient safety and decreasing the cognitive load of surgeons in navigation and interaction tasks within the intra-uterine region. Second, a multi-robot architecture to execute auxiliary actions in a human-robot cooperative system: the main surgeon performs the surgical actions while the auxiliary robots perform, autonomously, auxiliary surgical tasks. With this configuration the experimentation focuses on minimally invasive radical prostatectomy surgery.Thus, the thesis addresses the perception of the anatomical environment, considering the limitations of data acquisition in terms of quality and quantity, as well as the absence of anatomical markers. The next topic that the thesis addresses is the dynamic planning of actions. Different application paradigms have been studied, such as direct human-robot interaction using haptic guidance, movement planning in pseudo-structured environments and, active planning and control in dynamic environments. These proposed environments respond to different surgical scenarios within minimally invasive techniques.Finally, cognitive control applied to robotic platforms is addressed. The followed approach is based on the multi-level decomposition of complex tasks (e.g. surgical procedure) defining all potential states and transitions. This decomposition translates into the use of deterministic and robust control structures that restrict falling into uncontrollable or unexpected situations that put at risk, in the application case, the patient, the surgeons or the auxiliary personnel.Control structures also consider human-robot interaction, robots coordination and cooperation, interaction with the work environment and restrictions imposed by surgery and patient safety.The integration of all these modules: perception, planning and cognitive control, demonstrates the advances achieved in cognitive robotics and their applicability towards a more autonomous robotic surgery.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN CHEMICAL PROCESS ENGINEERING

  • 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
    Deposit END date: 24/04/2024
    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

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN CIVIL ENGINEERING

  • 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
    Deposit END date: 22/04/2024
    Thesis director: ROSSI BERNECOLI, RICCARDO | BAIGES AZNAR, JOAN
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: LEHMKUHL BARBA, ORIOL
         SECRETARI: MARTINEZ FRUTOS, JESUS
         VOCAL: 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 COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE

  • FERRIOL GALMÉS, MIQUEL: Network modeling using graph neural networks
    Author: FERRIOL GALMÉS, MIQUEL
    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: 10/04/2024
    Deposit END date: 23/04/2024
    Thesis director: CABELLOS APARICIO, ALBERTO | BARLET ROS, PERE
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: PESCAPÈ, ANTONIO
         SECRETARI: ARIAS VICENTE, MARTA
         VOCAL: RÉTVÁRI, GÁBOR
    Thesis abstract: Network modeling is central to the field of computer networks. Models are useful in researching new protocols and mechanisms, allowing administrators to estimate their performance before their actual deployment in production networks. Network models also help to find optimal network configurations, without the need to test them in production networks. Arguably, the most prevalent way to build these network models is through the use of discrete event simulation (DES) methodologies which provide excellent accuracy. State-of-the-art network simulators include a wide range of network, transport, and routing protocols, and are able to simulate realistic scenarios. However, this comes at a very high computational cost that depends linearly on the number of packets being simulated. As a result, they are impractical in scenarios with realistic traffic volumes or large topologies. In addition, and because they are computationally expensive, they do not work well in real-time scenarios.Another network modeling alternative is Queuing Theory (QT) where networks are represented as inter-connected queues that are evaluated analytically. While QT solves the main limitation of DES, it imposes strong assumptions on the packet arrival process, which typically do not hold in real networks.In this context, Machine Learning (ML) has recently emerged as a practical solution to achieve data-driven models that can learn complex traffic models while being extremely accurate and fast. More specifically, Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) have emerged as an excellent tool for modeling graph-structured data showing outstanding accuracy when applied to computer networks. However, some challenges still persist:1. Queues and Scheduling Policies: Modeling queues, scheduling policies, and Quality-of-Service (QoS) mappings within GNN architectures poses another challenge, as these elements are fundamental to network behavior.2. Traffic Models: Accurately modeling realistic traffic patterns, which exhibit strong autocorrelation and heavy tails, remains a challenge for GNN-based solutions.3. Training and Generalization: ML models, including GNNs, require representative training data that covers diverse network operational scenarios. Creating such datasets from real production networks is unfeasible, necessitating controlled testbeds. The challenge lies in designing GNNs capable of accurate estimation in unseen networks, encompassing different topologies, traffic, and configurations.4. Generalization to Larger Networks: Real-world networks are often significantly larger than testbeds. Scaling GNNs to handle networks with hundreds or thousands of nodes is a pressing challenge, one that requires leveraging domain-specific network knowledge and novel architectural approaches.This dissertation represents a step forward in harnessing Graph Neural Networks (GNN models) for network modeling, by proposing a new GNN-based architecture with a focus on addressing these critical challenges while being fast and accurate.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING

  • JATIVA GUZMAN, ANDRES: APLICABILIDAD DE LA CENIZA VOLCÁNICA DE BAJA ACTIVIDAD COMO NUEVO RECURSO PARA MATERIALES CEMENTICIOS SOSTENIBLES.
    Author: JATIVA GUZMAN, ANDRES
    Thesis file: (contact the Doctoral School to confirm you have a valid doctoral degree and to get the link to the thesis)
    Programme: DOCTORAL DEGREE IN CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING
    Department: (DECA)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 03/04/2024
    Deposit END date: 16/04/2024
    Thesis director: ETXEBERRIA LARRAÑAGA, MIREN
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: MAURY RAMIREZ, ANIBAL CESAR
         SECRETARI: CASANOVA HORMAECHEA, IGNACIO
         VOCAL: GIRÓ PALOMA, JESSICA
    Thesis abstract: Volcanic ash (VA), abundantly available in various regions globally, serves as an effective supplementary cementitious material (SCM) for partially substituting Portland cement (OPC). However, its inherently low reactivity presents a challenge for its broader utilization. This challenge can be overcome by enhancing VA's reactivity via several approaches: 1) employing mechanical and thermal treatments; 2) adding alkali activators; 3) using corrective additives to balance VA's chemical shortcomings; and 4) applying appropriate curing methods to stimulate pozzolanic reactions.According to ASTM C618 standards, VA falls into the Class N category. The study explored various activation strategies, including VA calcination (CVA) at temperatures ranging from 500 to 900 °C, alkali activation using Na2SiO3 (NSi), CaCl2 (CaCl), Na2SO4 (NS), and Na2CO3 (NC) at 1 to 4% dosages (relative to binder weight), and the strategic inclusion of SCMs like lime (L), fly ash (FA), and slag (EC) in amounts of 10, 20, and 30% (relative to VA weight). The curing process's influence was examined under different conditions: moist and heated environments (40 and 70°C for 3 days). The best mortar mixes underwent evaluations for compressive strength at intervals of 7, 28, and 90 days, alongside assessments of physical characteristics (e.g., porosity, water absorption, density) and microstructural properties. The mortars' durability was further gauged through shrinkage and acid resistance tests (against HCl, H2SO4, HNO3).For mortars comprising 35% VA (VA35) and subjected to moist curing, calcining VA at 700 °C coupled with a 20% lime addition resulted in achieving mortars boasting a peak strength of 49 MPa at 28 days, alongside a 9% reduction in water absorption compared to mortars with unmodified VA (VA35). Similarly, employing alkali activators, particularly NSi and CaCl at 1% and 2% dosages respectively, led to mortars demonstrating superior mechanical and physical properties.In mortars with a 50% VA content, the optimal alkali activator dosages were identified as 2% for NSi and 1% for CaCl. The addition of 20% FA and 10% EC emerged as the most effective corrective additives. Thermal curing (70°C for 3 days) significantly boosted early strength gains, curtailed mortar shrinkage, and enhanced resistance to H2SO4, especially notable in mortars prepared with CVA and 1% CaCl. Notwithstanding, at the 90-day mark, moist chamber curing was found to facilitate greater strength increases. A specific mix utilizing mixed activation (1% CaCl with CVA and 10% EC) notably outperformed, achieving 56 MPa, which is a 32% improvement over mortars with untreated VA (VA50). The presence of hydrated phases (C-S-H/C-S-A-H) and minerals such as portlandite, strätlingite, kuzelite, and Friedel's salt attested to the mortars' commendable performance.For mortars containing 75% VA, the best results were achieved with 2% NSi and 1% CaCl as activators, and the addition of 10% FA and 10% EC as correctives additives. Under moist curing, a mixed-activated mortar (1% CaCl-CVA-10%EC) exhibited the highest compressive strength at 90 days, reaching 44 MPa¿a 29% increase over mortars with untreated VA (VA75). Thermal curing expedited early strength development, minimized shrinkage, and bolstered resistance to H2SO4, along with improving porosity and water absorption rates, with the exception of CaCl-containing mortars. Notably, the VA75 mix showed limited portlandite formation and an absence of strätlingite.This investigation confirms the feasibility of achieving satisfactory compressive strengths in mortars with high VA content. Furthermore, by leveraging the studied activation and curing techniques, it's possible to tailor the mortar mix for specific applications, optimizing for properties such as minimal shrinkage, reduced water absorption, enhanced early-age strength, or heightened resistance to particular acid exposures.
  • LIPA CUSI, LEONEL: Metodología numérica automatizada para la evaluación de la respuesta dinámica de construcciones prehispánicas de piedra de junta seca en el Perú.
    Author: LIPA CUSI, LEONEL
    Thesis file: (contact the Doctoral School to confirm you have a valid doctoral degree and to get the link to the thesis)
    Programme: DOCTORAL DEGREE IN CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING
    Department: (DECA)
    Mode: Change of supervisor
    Deposit date: 03/04/2024
    Deposit END date: 16/04/2024
    Thesis director: PELA, LUCA | TARQUE, SABINO NICOLA
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: GOICOLEA RUIGÓMEZ, JOSÉ MARÍA
         SECRETARI: ROCA FABREGAT, PEDRO
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: SANDOVAL MANDUJANO, CRISTIAN
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: SANTA CRUZ HIDALGO, SANDRA CECILIA
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: SALOUSTROS, SAVVAS
    Thesis abstract: The study and the conservation of stone heritage is a global concern, mainly when these constructions are in seismic zones. Due to its great cultural and historical diversity, Peru has many stone constructions in different archaeological sites, covering different construction typologies. Unfortunately, many of these constructions have not yet been structurally evaluated, so their structural behaviour is unknown. In addition, there is no classification of the stone structural typologies (taxonomy), so the different characteristics of existing constructions are unknown. One way to study the non-linear dynamic behaviour of these stone structures is to use a rigorous -but fast- numerical methodology to adequately reproduce the different failure mechanisms based on the dynamics of rigid bodies within the finite element method.Then, this work presents a taxonomic classification of prehispanic stone constructions in Peru, derived from a field study, as the first contribution. Based on this taxonomy, several archaeological sites in Puno and Cusco were classified, and the most common typologies of these regions were identified. The research also proposes novel algorithms developed in Python to obtain the geometric model of dry-joint stone structures using images taken by a camera, a mobile phone, or an existing photograph (including identification of stones and joints, named image segmentation). These routines allow the creation of a 3D model of each block (stone), assembling them, and exporting them to a finite element program for further evaluation.Regarding developing a numerical methodology, the dynamic of rigid bodies within the finite element method is proposed here. Each stone block is considered a rigid body interconnected with other blocks through nonlinear interfaces. This methodology was validated using Abaqus, based on the results of experimental tests developed in this thesis. The experimental campaign was carried out on three walls built with concrete blocks, simulating the geometry of the Inca structures. The walls were built on a tilting table and tested by rotating them out of the plane of the wall. Then, numerical models of the tests were developed by considering each stone as a rigid body and calibrating the contact properties to simulate the experimental behaviour correctly. The numerical results in weight, collapse angle, relative displacements at different points of the structure and collapse mechanisms were very similar to those obtained in the experimental campaign.As a case study, a section of an Inca stone wall from Sacsayhuaman, Cusco, was numerically evaluated using various seismic records. The complete geometric model of the stone wall was automatically obtained using the Python routines. Furthermore, discrete element particles represented the soil behind the wall. The properties of the numerical model were obtained from the experimental campaign, and the predominant frequencies of the structure were obtained using the vibration approach. As a result, the structure can adequately support these seismic records scaled up to a peak acceleration of 0.1 g. However, it suffers significant residual displacements for scaled records greater than 0.2 g.The proposed numerical methodology allows the rigorous evaluation of dry-jointed stone structures, knowing if the structure should be intervened to ensure its functionality. Therefore, it is expected that the results of this research will be used to study other stone constructions, opening possibilities for improving the methodology for different structural configurations.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN PHOTONICS

  • DÍEZ MÉRIDA, JAIME: Probing Magic-Angle Twisted Bilayer Graphene with Gate Defined homo-Junctions
    Author: DÍEZ MÉRIDA, JAIME
    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: 09/04/2024
    Deposit END date: 22/04/2024
    Thesis director: EFETOV, DMITRI | LEWENSTEIN, MACIEJ
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: WEITZ, THOMAS
         SECRETARI: RUBIO VERDÚ, CARMEN
         VOCAL: RIBEIRO PALAU, REBECA LISSETTE
    Thesis abstract: In 2018, following a theoretical prediction from 2011, it was found that stacking two layers of graphene with a relative twist angle of 1.1° between them leads to multiple new properties. At this so-called magic angle, the electronic band structure of the material reconstructs, creating a narrow flat band at the Fermi level. The formation of a flat band enhances electron-electron interactions, resulting in the emergence of states of matter not present in the original graphene layers, including correlated insulators, superconductivity, ferromagnetism and non-trivial topological states. The understanding of the origin of these correlated states could help unravel the physics of highly correlated flat band systems which could potentially provide key technological developments. The main objective of this thesis is to study magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene (MATBG) by creating monolithic gate-defined Josephson junctions. By exploiting the rich phase space of the material, we can create a Josephson junction by independently tuning the superconductor and the weak link state. Studying the Josephson effect is a first step towards understanding fundamental properties of a superconductor, such as its order parameter. First, we have optimized the fabrication of these gate-defined junctions made of all van der Waals materials. We have made double-graphite-gated hBN encapsulated MATBG devices where the top gate is split into two parts via nanolithography techniques. This configuration allows to independently control the three regions of the Josephson junction (superconductor, weak-link and superconductor). Then, we have studied the gate-defined Josephson junctions via low-temperature transport measurements. After demonstrating the Josephson effect in the fabricated devices, we focus on the behavior of one of these junctions in great detail. In particular, we have observed an unconventional behavior when the weak link of the junction is set close to the correlated insulator at half-filling of the hole-side flatband. We have observed a phase shifted Fraunhofer pattern with a pronounced magnetic hysteresis, characteristic of magnetic Josephson junctions. To understand the origin of the signals, we have performed a critical current distribution Fourier analysis as well as a tight binding calculation of a MATBG Josephson junction. Our theoretical calculations with a valley polarized state as the weak link can explain the key signatures observed in the experiment. Lastly, the combination of magnetization and its current-induced magnetization switching has allowed us to realize a programmable zero-field superconducting diode.Finally, we have shown the flexibility of these devices by studying a MATBG p-n junction under light illumination. We have studied the relaxation dynamics of hot electrons using time and frequency-resolved photovoltage measurements. The measurements have revealed an ultrafast cooling in MATBG compared to Bernal-bilayer from room temperature down to 5 K. The enhanced cooling in MATBG can be explained by the presence of the moiré pattern and corresponding mini-Brillouin zone. In summary, we have demonstrated that by integrating various MATBG states within a single device, we can gain a deeper insight into the system's properties and can engineer innovative, complex hybrid structures, such as magnetic Josephson junctions and superconducting diodes.

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
    Deposit END date: 16/04/2024
    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) ¿-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.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN SIGNAL THEORY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • MAJORAL RAMONEDA, MARC: A Flexible System-on-Chip FPGA Architecture for Prototyping Experimental GNSS Receivers
    Author: MAJORAL RAMONEDA, 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 SIGNAL THEORY AND COMMUNICATIONS
    Department: Department of Signal Theory and Communications (TSC)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 03/04/2024
    Deposit END date: 16/04/2024
    Thesis director: FERNANDEZ PRADES, CARLOS | ARRIBAS LÁZARO, JAVIER
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: CAPARRA, GIANLUCA
         SECRETARI: BARTZOUDIS, NIKOLAOS
         VOCAL: FONT BACH, JOSEP ORIOL
         VOCAL NO PRESENCIAL: VILÀ VALLS, JORDI
    Thesis abstract: The rapid evolution in satellite navigation technology (GNSS) requires advanced prototyping tools for exploring new signals and developing innovative systems. Prototyping is essential in the design and development process, as it allows researchers to test and refine their ideas before implementing them on a large scale.Prototyping using commercial GNSS receivers poses several challenges. Currently, these receivers are primarily based on application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), which are characterized by low power consumption, compact dimensions, and low cost, but offer limited flexibility. Although some commercial devices incorporate software-defined radio (SDR) techniques, they often contain proprietary code that restricts reconfiguration through an application programming interface (API) established by the manufacturer.GNSS receivers based on free and open-source software have become very valuable resources in the field of research and development, especially in satellite navigation. These receivers are highly valued for their adaptability and flexibility, allowing researchers to tailor the software to specific experimental needs or develop new signal processing algorithms. However, software-defined receivers tend to be less energy-efficient compared to hardware-based receivers, as they operate on general-purpose processors, which are not optimized for low power consumption.This thesis focuses on the design and development of a low-cost architecture for prototyping experimental GNSS receivers, based on System-on-Chip Field Programmable Gate Arrays (SoC FPGAs). This architecture overcomes the limitations of commercial GNSS receivers in terms of adaptability, flexibility, and reprogramming capacity, and offers improved energy efficiency compared to software-based receivers that rely on general-purpose processors. The strategy consists of combining the versatility of software-defined radio with the intensive parallelism and optimized energy consumption of programmable logic devices, providing the best of both worlds. This fusion allows the development of compact, portable GNSS receivers, thus facilitating the prototyping of embedded devices suitable for field testing. In addition, the GNSS processing core is based on a free and open-source software implementation, which provides detailed access to the signal processing chain and allows unrestricted exploration and modification of the algorithms used.This thesis also presents a design methodology for the development of new prototypes and new GNSS signal processing algorithms based on the proposed SoC FPGA architecture. This methodology places special emphasis on code reuse, a key aspect for reducing development costs and time.The practical applications of this architecture have been demonstrated through three prototypes: a GNSS receiver for low Earth orbit (LEO), a GNSS signal repeater, and a high-sensitivity GNSS receiver.The innovative approach presented in this thesis facilitates the development of experimental prototypes of flexible and portable GNSS receivers and signal generators, suitable for both laboratory experiments and field testing.

DOCTORAL DEGREE IN SUSTAINABILITY

  • CAICEDO MAFLA, MARÍA ANGÉLICA: Design of bike networks adaptive to heterogeneous demands and the needs of social groups. Case study: Bike mobility networks for the cities of Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador.
    Author: CAICEDO MAFLA, MARÍA ANGÉLICA
    Thesis file: (contact the Doctoral School to confirm you have a valid doctoral degree and to get the link to the thesis)
    Programme: DOCTORAL DEGREE IN SUSTAINABILITY
    Department: University Research Institute for Sustainability Science and Technology (IS.UPC)
    Mode: Normal
    Deposit date: 11/04/2024
    Deposit END date: 24/04/2024
    Thesis director: ESTRADA ROMEU, MIGUEL ANGEL | MAYORGA CÁRDENAS, MIGUEL YURY
    Committee:
         PRESIDENT: DE OÑA, ROCÍO
         SECRETARI: MARTÍNEZ DÍAZ, MARGARITA
         VOCAL: MOURA BERODIA, JOSE LUIS
    Thesis abstract: Bike¿s recognition as a vital form of urban transportation underscores its capacity to enhance mobility, improve quality of life, and address several urban challenges such as air pollution, traffic congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions. This thesis explores bike¿s potential, emphasizing the importance of developing infrastructure, involving the community in mobility planning, and promoting policies to maximize its benefits.The study employs a dual-pronged approach to investigate the complexities of integrating cycling into urban transportation systems. It applies a sociological perspective to identify and assess barriers to bike use and their relationship with urban characteristics. Using ordered probit models, factors such as road insecurity, linked to the lack of adequate bike infrastructure, and topography, are highlighted. Concurrently, an engineering perspective guides the design of cycling networks to cater to varied demand, user types (differentiated by bike ownership and vehicle type), and topographies, reflecting real-world conditions. The optimal bike network results from minimizing the general system costs, including both agency and user costs. For flat terrains, continuous approximation techniques optimize network efficiency and accessibility, considering the heterogeneous demand and various user types, based on bike ownership and travel chains. In contrast, for cities with varied topographies, discrete approaches incorporate topographical elements into the model. Network performance and structure are evaluated based on two route selection criteria based on vehicle type: minimizing energy for traditional bike users and minimizing time for e-bike users. This engineering perspective aims to develop cycling networks that are practical and responsive to the diverse needs of urban dwellers.The methods are empirically validated through case studies in Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador, showcasing their efficacy in developing adaptive bike networks tailored to diverse urban contexts, thereby significantly enhancing bike mobility across varied settings.The study's findings indicate that the network's layout, including lane spacing and station locations, is primarily influenced by the concentration of trip origins and destinations rather than topography. However, topography does affect route selection, which in turn influences flow distribution and infrastructure utilization. Moreover, the variation in trip distribution across different user types has a minimal impact on the network's lane configuration but significantly affects the number of bike-sharing stations and fleet size. The necessity for a safety stock at each station leads to an oversized fleet, increasing agency costs. Despite being an individual mode of transport, the study highlights that bike-sharing systems benefit from economies of scale. As demand increases and becomes more concentrated, the cost per user decreases, resulting in denser lane networks and improved network efficiency. E-bikes emerge as a viable solution for overcoming topographical barriers, offering a significant advantage in areas with steep slopes. For instance, where users of traditional bikes might need to walk, thereby increasing overall journey times, e-bike users experience reduced travel times and physical exertion, making e-bikes efficient in urban contexts with varied topographies.Future research directions and policy recommendations are proposed, highlighting the importance of a holistic and adaptive approach to bike mobility planning. This includes integrating diverse weather-related variables, exploring other personal mobility vehicles (PMVs), and employing robust datasets to inform sustainable urban transport strategies.

Last update: 13/04/2024 04:30:34.

List of defended theses by year

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Last update: 13/04/2024 05:01:05.

Theses related publications

Research projects

START DATEEND DATEACTIVITYFINANCING ENTITY
01/05/202330/04/2026Renforcer les mécanismes nationaux et régional d’assurance qualité par un processus conjoint d’évaluation et d’accréditation, ERASMUS-EDU-2022-CBHE-STRAND-3101083175Commission of European Communities
01/01/202331/12/2025Xarxa R+D+I en Tecnologies de la Salut (Xartec Salut)AGAUR. Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca
01/11/202231/10/2026Unite! University Network for Innovation, Technology and EngineeringEuropean Commission. Education Audiovisual and Culture Agency Executive Agency (Eacea)
01/09/202231/08/2026La gestión del talento en las grandes empresas españolas: integrando variables sectoriales y organizativasMinisterio de Ciencia e Innovación
24/05/202231/12/2022TECNOLOGIES ORIENTADES A LA COMUNITATUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
01/05/202230/06/2022Contracte de col·laboració I+D per el desenvolupament i disseny de processosVOLOTEA SL
01/01/202231/12/2024Contrato de colaboración proyecto de industria alimentaria inteligente del siglo XX1 (ALIMENTE 21)CODORNIU, S.A.
01/01/202231/12/2022Citizen, Teaching, Industry, Cities for Future MobilityEUROPEAN INST OF INNOV.& TECHNOL.
01/01/202231/12/2022New Trends on Urban MobilityEUROPEAN INST OF INNOV.& TECHNOL.
28/10/202128/10/2021Social Capital Twitter Data Extractor (SCTDX) - https://github.com/umairtehami/Twitter-Social-Capital
06/10/202104/11/2022Captació de talent tècnic per als governs locals. Estratègies contextualizades de captació de talent tècnic per als governs locals de la demarcació de Barcelona.ESCOLA D'ADMINISTRACIÓ PÚBLICA DE
01/10/202130/09/2024Movilidad en la ciudad del futuro. Preparar a las ciudades para la nueva movilidad 2030 a través de las 4 universidades politécnicas españolasAGENCIA ESTATAL DE INVESTIGACION
01/09/202130/09/2021Desarrollo de un algoritmo para la asignación de plazas de los planes de movilidad interna y de selección internaHOSPITAL CLINIC DE BARCELONA
01/09/202131/08/2024Bienestar Social y Gestión de los NegociosMINECO. Secretaria de Estado de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación.
01/06/202131/05/2023Digital Technologies for Lecturing and LearningEuropean Commission
01/01/202131/12/2021WUM- Women in Urban Mobility (WUM).EUROPEAN INST OF INNOV.& TECHNOL.
01/01/202131/12/2021Boosting Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge ProjectEUROPEAN INST OF INNOV.& TECHNOL.
01/01/202131/12/2023Planing the Future of R&I in European University Alliance UniteEuropean Commission
01/12/202030/11/2024Nou Model Integrat de Distribució Urbana de Mercaderies a la ciutat de Barcelona: convivint amb l’espai públicAGAUR. Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca
02/11/202001/05/2023Accelerating the transition towards Edu 4.0 in HEIsCommission of European Communities
15/08/202031/12/2022Xarxa R+D+I en Tecnologies de la Salut (XarTEC SALUT)AGAUR. Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca
06/05/202001/07/2022Programa Campus MDAD Liderazgo para el cambio educativo en las universidadesRed Estatal de Docencia Universitaria
01/05/202030/04/2022Asesoramiento y elaboración de informes de competitividad empresarial de empresas mejicanas.PROVEZA CONSULTORES, SC
01/01/202031/12/2020PRO-MaaSEUROPEAN INST OF INNOV.& TECHNOL.
01/11/201931/10/2022University Network for Innovation, Technology and EngineeringEuropean Commission
16/09/201925/09/2023Customer Quality 4.0.AGAUR. Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca
01/07/201931/12/2021Contracte de suport tècnic entre la Universitat Poiltècnica de Catalunya i la Fundació Politècnica de CatalunyaFUNDACIÓ POLITÈCNICA DE CATALUNYA
15/01/201914/01/2022World Pendulum AllianceEuropean Commission. Education Audiovisual and Culture Agency Executive Agency (Eacea)
15/01/201914/01/2022Promoting Modern Talent Management Practices in Asian Higher Education InstitutionsEuropean Commission
01/01/201930/09/2022Monitorizacion mEdiante Sensores vestibles de UsuaRios de Andador Robotizado con problemas de movilidadAGENCIA ESTATAL DE INVESTIGACION
01/01/201931/12/2019EIT Urban Mobility Start-up phaseEIT Urban Mobility
01/01/201931/12/2021Master's Degree in Urban MobilityEuropean Institute for Innovation and Technology
01/01/201931/12/2021Summer schools and team buildingEuropean Institute for Innovation and Technology

Teaching staff and research groups

Research groups

Research projects

START DATEEND DATEACTIVITYFINANCING ENTITY
01/05/202330/04/2026Renforcer les mécanismes nationaux et régional d’assurance qualité par un processus conjoint d’évaluation et d’accréditation, ERASMUS-EDU-2022-CBHE-STRAND-3101083175Commission of European Communities
01/01/202331/12/2025Xarxa R+D+I en Tecnologies de la Salut (Xartec Salut)AGAUR. Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca
01/11/202231/10/2026Unite! University Network for Innovation, Technology and EngineeringEuropean Commission. Education Audiovisual and Culture Agency Executive Agency (Eacea)
01/09/202231/08/2026La gestión del talento en las grandes empresas españolas: integrando variables sectoriales y organizativasMinisterio de Ciencia e Innovación
24/05/202231/12/2022TECNOLOGIES ORIENTADES A LA COMUNITATUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
01/05/202230/06/2022Contracte de col·laboració I+D per el desenvolupament i disseny de processosVOLOTEA SL
01/01/202231/12/2024Contrato de colaboración proyecto de industria alimentaria inteligente del siglo XX1 (ALIMENTE 21)CODORNIU, S.A.
01/01/202231/12/2022Citizen, Teaching, Industry, Cities for Future MobilityEUROPEAN INST OF INNOV.& TECHNOL.
01/01/202231/12/2022New Trends on Urban MobilityEUROPEAN INST OF INNOV.& TECHNOL.
28/10/202128/10/2021Social Capital Twitter Data Extractor (SCTDX) - https://github.com/umairtehami/Twitter-Social-Capital
06/10/202104/11/2022Captació de talent tècnic per als governs locals. Estratègies contextualizades de captació de talent tècnic per als governs locals de la demarcació de Barcelona.ESCOLA D'ADMINISTRACIÓ PÚBLICA DE
01/10/202130/09/2024Movilidad en la ciudad del futuro. Preparar a las ciudades para la nueva movilidad 2030 a través de las 4 universidades politécnicas españolasAGENCIA ESTATAL DE INVESTIGACION
01/09/202130/09/2021Desarrollo de un algoritmo para la asignación de plazas de los planes de movilidad interna y de selección internaHOSPITAL CLINIC DE BARCELONA
01/09/202131/08/2024Bienestar Social y Gestión de los NegociosMINECO. Secretaria de Estado de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación.
01/06/202131/05/2023Digital Technologies for Lecturing and LearningEuropean Commission
01/01/202131/12/2021WUM- Women in Urban Mobility (WUM).EUROPEAN INST OF INNOV.& TECHNOL.
01/01/202131/12/2021Boosting Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge ProjectEUROPEAN INST OF INNOV.& TECHNOL.
01/01/202131/12/2023Planing the Future of R&I in European University Alliance UniteEuropean Commission
01/12/202030/11/2024Nou Model Integrat de Distribució Urbana de Mercaderies a la ciutat de Barcelona: convivint amb l’espai públicAGAUR. Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca
02/11/202001/05/2023Accelerating the transition towards Edu 4.0 in HEIsCommission of European Communities
15/08/202031/12/2022Xarxa R+D+I en Tecnologies de la Salut (XarTEC SALUT)AGAUR. Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca
06/05/202001/07/2022Programa Campus MDAD Liderazgo para el cambio educativo en las universidadesRed Estatal de Docencia Universitaria
01/05/202030/04/2022Asesoramiento y elaboración de informes de competitividad empresarial de empresas mejicanas.PROVEZA CONSULTORES, SC
01/01/202031/12/2020PRO-MaaSEUROPEAN INST OF INNOV.& TECHNOL.
01/11/201931/10/2022University Network for Innovation, Technology and EngineeringEuropean Commission
16/09/201925/09/2023Customer Quality 4.0.AGAUR. Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca
01/07/201931/12/2021Contracte de suport tècnic entre la Universitat Poiltècnica de Catalunya i la Fundació Politècnica de CatalunyaFUNDACIÓ POLITÈCNICA DE CATALUNYA
15/01/201914/01/2022World Pendulum AllianceEuropean Commission. Education Audiovisual and Culture Agency Executive Agency (Eacea)
15/01/201914/01/2022Promoting Modern Talent Management Practices in Asian Higher Education InstitutionsEuropean Commission
01/01/201930/09/2022Monitorizacion mEdiante Sensores vestibles de UsuaRios de Andador Robotizado con problemas de movilidadAGENCIA ESTATAL DE INVESTIGACION
01/01/201931/12/2019EIT Urban Mobility Start-up phaseEIT Urban Mobility
01/01/201931/12/2021Master's Degree in Urban MobilityEuropean Institute for Innovation and Technology
01/01/201931/12/2021Summer schools and team buildingEuropean Institute for Innovation and Technology

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