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The Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Sustainable Transportation and Electrical Power Systems (STEPS JMD) will provide advanced education to prepare highly qualified electrical and electronic engineers in two areas of the highest technological content and professional requirements in the energy sector: Electrical Transportation and Power Systems, with a strong focus on energy efficiency and on sustainability issues. The two proposed minors in the Electrical Power Systems strand will allow for accommodating the large academic demand on that sector, one of the minors is oriented towards power electronics and their use in power systems applications while the other strand is focused in design analysis and operation of power systems. The first one is more focused in the technologies while the second one provides a vision of the power systems as a whole. There is also a Sustainable transportation minor in focused in power electronics and energy management in electric vehicles and other mobility applications.

Analysis of major needs and challenges in Master related areas

A rapidly changing energy sector. Mastering energy has been the main driver of modern growth and development. World economic development is probably more dependent than ever on energy, and face major energy challenges very closely interrelated: improve energy efficiency, cut down fossil energy consumption to reduce energy dependence and CO2 emissions, and developing alternative renewable energy sources. The outcome of the recent Paris Climate Change Conference will oblige all parties to increase the efforts to curb fossil energy consumption and increase production of energy from renewable sources. The EU has updated the 2020 Climate and Energy strategy and set more ambitious goals for 2030: reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40%; improving energy efficiency by 27%; and generating 27% of energy consumption from renewable energy. By 2050 emissions should be at least 80% below 1990 levels, and by that date, most of European energy must come from renewable sources (1). There has been a rising awareness worldwide that renewable energy and energy efficiency are critical not only for addressing climate change, but also for creating new
economic opportunities and for providing energy access to the billions of people still living without modern energy
services. Europe is leading the path towards low-carbon economy and the deployment of renewable energy sources, which are becoming a thriving economic sector: nearly 7.7 million jobs are direct or indirectly related to renewable energy worldwide, nearly 1.3 in the EU (2); the average annual investment in renewables over the last five years has been more than US$ 250 billion. Although Europe has remained an important market and a centre for innovation, activity is shifting towards other regions. China led the world in new renewable power capacity installations in 2014, and Brazil, India, and South Africa accounted for a large share of the capacity added in their respective regions. An increasing number of developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America became important manufacturers and installers of renewable energy technologies (3).

Renewable Energies and Power Systems. However, the development of renewable energies, both in Europe and worldwide, is still constrained by production, storing, transmission and distribution challenges, and needs new technology breakthroughs. Integration of renewable energy systems in the existing power systems is leading the electrical energy sector in the following areas: 1) Generation. Efficiency and reliability are the key points receiving attention: wind turbines, are particularly interesting when they are installed offshore because it eliminate the need of mechanical gears by means of Multi-pole Permanent Magnet Machines (PMM) and full converter topologies. This technology increases voltage at the machine terminals for reduction in losses during energy transmission, Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) by means of improved control algorithms, reduction in the shutdowns by improving the reliability and diagnostics techniques 2) Transmission. High Voltage Direct Link (HVDC) and Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) for improving the transmission energy efficiency of offshore energy generation, small isolated remote loads, power supply to islands, infeed to city centres and remote small-scale generation. A major challenge here is the development of medium-voltage inverters. Key technologies include the development of multilevel and multiterminal topologies, as well as new power devices that can support higher voltages and to operate at higher switching frequencies with reduced losses and Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI). 3) Distribution. Introduction of Renewable Energy Systems (RES) require new optimization methods for energy dispatch, which take into consideration interconnection standards and operational constraints. The Smart Grids (SGs) paradigm is adequate for the integration of RES. This requires an electricity network that can intelligently integrate the actions of all users connected, including those generating and consumers, in order to efficiently deliver sustainable, economic and secure electricity supply. A key element to boost the integration of RES is the inclusion of Energy Storage Systems (ESS). These results can be achieved by the integration of many different technologies including intelligent control and supervision systems and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) necessary for making the energy
demand and production more predictable and controllable.

Challenges in Sustainable Transportation. The reduction of CO2 emissions and of energy dependence of developed economies also calls for a significant action in reducing fossil fuel consumption in the transportation sector. In parallel with growth in renewable energy markets, 2014 saw significant advances in the development and deployment of energy storage systems across all sectors. The year also saw the increasing electrification of transportation and heating applications, highlighting the potential for further overlap among these sectors in the future (4). The generalisation of full electric and hybrid electric vehicles will also require of substantial investments in research and development in the following areas: 1) Energy storing. Augmented power density in the energy storage systems, including development of batteries and fuel cells. In addition, use of ultracapacitors and flywheels has been proposed to increase the dynamic response of the main storage system. The integration of all these elements will require the use of efficient power converters as well as of adequate energy control strategies. 2) Energy conversion. Traction force is generated throughout several power conversion stages, from the main energy source (fossil fuel, fuel cells), to the auxiliary storing system (batteries, ultracapacitors, flywheels) and finally to the traction machine (engine/electric motor). More efficient power electronics by means of new passive and switching elements, reduced EMI, temperature effects and room constraints have to be understand and optimized. 3) Traction machines. For full electric and hybrid vehicles, electrical machines design and control strategies for maximum torque per ampere production, increased reliability and robustness when a fault occurs are needed. Hybrid vehicles also required adequate integration and power split of the electric machine and the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) are of enormous importance. 4) Grid integration. Significant improvements and changes in the power grid management, such as smart grids, design of rapid charging stations and possible use of on board energy storage systems as a backup of exceeding energy, known
as Vehicle to Grid (V2G), produced by renewable energies are receiving great research efforts. Human Capital Needs and Job Opportunities. Responding to all these challenges requires professionals with solid and updated skills. Energy sector is growing even in a context of economic crisis or slow growth, and is requiring well-trained professionals. Due to the rapid development of technologies and energy sources, mainly because of the inclusion of power electronics and renewable energies in the power systems, the sector is already facing the lack of engineers acquainted with the latest technological developments. Demand for engineering studies has been steadily growing in recent years. The number of engineering undergraduate and postgraduate students (ISCED 5 and 6) has kept rising over in Europe, from 1.5 million students in 2003 to 1.9 in 2012. Annual graduation (ISCED 5) in Engineering have increased from over 300,000 students in 2003 to 380,000 in 2012. The number of students who finishes a master in engineering has also been increasing from 7,400 in 2003 to over 12,200 in 2012, a rise of about 65%. Postgraduate education is becoming a key requirement to have access to better job opportunities in the energy sector (5). The energy sector is experiencing a rapid growth resulting in higher demand from the companies working in the energy and automotive sector, as well as the corresponding demand from Universities of qualified staff to teach the knowledge areas covered by the STEPS JMD in future educational programs. Moreover, the demand for doctorates in the areas covered by STEPS is experiencing a rapid growth, driven by the increasingly technological content in the energy and automotive sector. PhDs are highly demanded by companies with high research and development activities. Both the energy and automotive sectors are strong investors in research and development. According to OECD data, the sectors directly or indirectly connected with the STEPS contents (ISIC Divisions 27, 29, 35 and 36) account for nearly 20% of total manufacturing business investment in R&D. R&D Investment is rapidly growing in the emerging countries (China, Russia...) and keeping the pace with other sectors in the developed countries (6). The STEPS JMD will enable the students to access Doctorate studies, under each University specific requirements. The total employment in the power generation in Europe has grown up to 1.6 million, and employment in the renewable energy sector in the EU has five-folded in ten years, increasing from 200,000 jobs in 2004 to nearly 1 million in 2014, despite the economic slowdown. According to the European Commission, the renewable energy sector will employ nearly 3 million people in 2020 and about 4.4 million in 2030 in the EU, exceeding 6 million jobs by 2050. Different reports highlight the job creation potential of renewable energy and sustainable transportation sectors worldwide and more specifically in the EU. RES and e-vehicles are among the most promising sectors in terms of social return, job creation and relevance to the recovery of the global economy, and other reports highlight the large number of skilled jobs that will be needed on the medium and long term. The renewables energy sector has been identified as one with considerable potential for employment growth. Other reports indicate that the renewables sector has created a strong demand for skilled labour. The renewable energy sector generates more jobs per megawatt of power installed, per unit of energy produced, and per EUR of investment, than the fossil fuel-based energy sector (7).

How is the STEPS JMD responding to the identified Needs and Opportunities?

The STEPS JMD will provide graduates with the academic and practical skills required to meet the needs of a changing and growing renewable energy sector in Europe, contributing to the competitiveness of the European renewable energy industry on the world market, and to the efforts to transform Europe into a highly energy-efficient, low carbon economy. Within the three identified key areas, the approach and contents of the Master respond to challenges faced by the energy sector:
- To master new energy sources and their implications to the power systems.
- To reduce CO2 emissions by increasing energy efficiency and the share of clean energies.
- To gradually incorporate electrical transportation as an alternative to vehicles using only combustion engines.

The STEPS JMD academic programme has been designed to address the previous challenges faced by the electrical energy sector. Using a holistic approach, the topics included in the programme offer an integrated and specialized approach to some of the key issues in this field:
- management of generation technologies, particularly renewable energy sources
- grid connection interfaces including electronic power converters and energy storage systems
- transport and distribution systems, including smart grids and micro grid concept
- impact of electrical transportation systems (EV/HEV) on the electrical network
- power electronics applications for EV/HEV.

Students will be able to build their own curriculum based on their previous background and their professional
interest, although the Master offers two main recommended study tracks: Sustainable Transportation and Electrical Power Systems, with the two minor specializations in Electrical Power Systems. The STEPS JMD prepares students for a job in industry via internships in world leading companies. The Master programme has been designed in close connection with the needs of these companies. At the same time the Master has a relevant scientific dimension. STEPS JMD graduates would be able to access the more prestigious PhD
programmes, some of them taught at the programme associated Universities. 70% of the first graduates of the EMMC STEPS have been employed in industry and research closely connected with the Master fields within six months after graduation. To meet the growing demand for engineering education, Universities and other Higher Education Institutions have been expanding and diversifying their educational offer, both at graduate and postgraduate levels. The STEPS JMD partners are aware of such a wide offer available and have tried to build a differentiated study programme, offering highly advanced and targeted contents that are not covered in other Master programmes. To make sure that the STEPS JMD provides added value to the existing offer, the partnership has carried an extensive research to identify the existing Masters courses in the same or closely related field in Europe and elsewhere, using publicly available information and the website Upon the analysis of their objectives and academic content, and their academic and professional perspective, 30 master course focused on Electrical Power Systems and Sustainable Transportation have been identified as featuring some of the STEPS JMD contents and approaches. The main features of the existing offer are:
• Master courses are either focusing on Electrical Power Systems or Sustainable Transportation, but none of them offer an integrated approach to both key challenges.
• When compared with the STEPS JMD, they lack of a long list of associated partners in Europe and worldwide.
• Only a few academic Masters offer the opportunity of an Internship period in relevant sector companies.
• Most of the courses have been identified in Europe (over 80%), and nearly one third of them in the UK.

Moreover, the STEPS JMD partnership has identified 6 international double degrees taught in English on Electric
Power Systems and Sustainable Transportation specialization, although none of them integrates both topics. Only half of them offer internships and hands-on educational programmes, one of them in France only, and the other 2 in several countries of the EU in grid integration, renewable energy and environmental pathway.

There is no Erasmus Mundus Joint Master on power systems and sustainable transportation.  Therefore, the STEPS JMD will be a unique course offering Electric Power Systems and Sustainable Transportation specialization, taught in different countries and with the opportunity to carry out an internship in a world leading
company. It offers academic and scientific excellence, international approach and a very close link with the energy and automotive industry.

Academic and scientific excellence and high quality education.  The involved professors at the four institutions of the consortium and those belonging to the partner universities or companies develop their main scientific/professional activities in the fields they are teaching in the master (see Master Professors skills and expertise in Section B). The majority of them are recognized internationally. The programme emphasizes both the industrial and the scientific dimension, and prepares students either for a job in industry via internships in world leading companies or to and Power Systems, both from the research and academic point of view, and
will also contribute to building a more sustainable, competitive and knowledge based economy in Europe.

(1) COM(2015) 80 final, Annex, Roadmap for the Energy Union
(2) IRENA. Renewable Energy and Jobs Annual Review 2015; World Energy Outlook 2015
(3) REN21 Renewables 2015 Global Status Report (GSR)
(4) REN21 Renewables 2015 Global Status Report (GSR)
(5) Eurostat. Distribution of graduates at education level and programme orientation by sex and field of education
(6) OECD.Stat. Business enterprise R-D expenditure by industry (ISIC 4)
(7) Cambridge Econometrics and al. Employment effects of selected scenarios from the Energy Roadmap 2050.
October 2013




New admission period self-financing students

In order to facilitate access to students who were not able to process their applications in the first phase of the selection process for the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD), The University of Oviedo has announced a new admission period aimed at 8 self-financing students

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