Summary report of IPID4all exchanges from the University of Colorado Boulder

Over the last year, Prof. Lucy Pao of the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), her postdoc Christopher (Chris) Bay, and PhD students Daniel (Dan) Zalkind and Michael (Misha) Sinner each spent time at Oldenburg University.

Lucy received a Fellowship from the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) and was resident at HWK in Delmenhorst from the end of October 2016 to the beginning of July 2017.  During this time, she spent two to three days each week at the ForWind Center for Wind Energy Research at Oldenburg University.  While at ForWind, she worked with Prof. Dr. Martin Kühn, his postdoc Dr. Vlaho Petrović, and a number of PhD students in the Wind Energy Systems Group on research projects on the control of wind turbines and wind farms.

In addition to working with ForWind researchers, Lucy, Dan, and Misha also attended a couple conferences being held in Europe during their exchanges, including the Wind Energy Science Conference (WESC) in Copenhagen, Denmark in June 2017.  Lucy, Dan, Misha, and Chris enjoyed their exchanges in Oldenburg, learning new methods from their colleagues at ForWind, and they plan to stay in touch with their new collaborators.



During his stay (from end of March to early July 2017) in Oldenburg, Dan Zalkind continued work on his PhD thesis to investigate the impact of control systems on the cost of energy for large-scale wind turbines.  Through interactions with ForWind researchers, Dan was able to target specific areas where control systems can have a significant impact: controlling peak mechanical loads while optimizing power capture. Dan continued developing a controller using methods learned from ForWind PhD student Róbert Ungurán, a former IPID4all exchange student to CU Boulder (during March to May 2016).  Vlaho Petrović, a postdoctoral researcher at ForWind, has previously worked on the problem of reducing peak loads; he shared ideas that Dan hopes to continue developing with Dr. Petrović and other ForWind researchers.

While presenting work at WESC, Dan met researchers with whom he plans to continue collaborating.  Dan has begun working with a scientist from the Fraunhofer Institute who designs wind turbine pitch bearings to investigate the impact of control actions on pitch bearing design and cost.  Dan has also planned a collaboration with the Chief Technology Officer of a Munich-based company that designs blade load sensors, which are critical to the control systems that Dan develops.

In his free time, Dan relaxed with the German family who hosted him, played ultimate frisbee with a local club, and traveled using the Deutsche Bahn to visit colleagues and friends around Europe.



Misha Sinner spent three months (from June to August 2017) at ForWind at Oldenburg University researching control of wind turbines with funding from the IPID4all exchange program. During his time there, he worked on model predictive controllers, as well as collaborating on developing a simulation model of a newly-built scale wind turbine for use in ForWind’s new wind tunnel facility. Misha says that the IPID4all exchange was a fantastic opportunity to experience German culture and meet and share ideas with others working in his field of research, and he looks forward to further collaborative work with the group at ForWind.



Chris Bay traveled to ForWind as a senior researcher for 10 days in August 2017 with funding from the IPID4all research exchange program. One purpose of the trip was to give a presentation regarding updates of the large-scale wind turbine project that Lucy Pao and two other IPID4all recipients (Dan Zalkind and Dana Martin (PhD student at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM))) are also a part of, along with details regarding the planned field campaign at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s National Wind Technology Center near Boulder, Colorado. The other purpose of the exchange was for Chris to learn about the current work being completed by ForWind researchers and to discuss possible future collaborations. While at ForWind, Chris was able to spend a significant amount of time discussing ideas with a resident post-doc, Dr. Petrović, and the students he advises.

Chris Bay (left, post-doc at CU Boulder and CSM) and Vlaho Petrović (post-doc at ForWind) during a weekend visit to the island of Norderney on the Northern Sea.


Lucy, Chris, Dan, and Misha are grateful for the IPID4all program that enabled them to establish collaborations with researchers at ForWind.  They will soon be hosting Prof. Dr. Martin Kühn, who will be visiting Prof. Pao’s group at CU Boulder as part of an IPID4all exchange in October 2017.  Prof. Kühn and his graduate students Frederik Berger, Marc Fromm, and Andreas Rott of the Wind Energy Systems Group at ForWind will be participating in the WindTech2017 conference which is being held at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and they will also visit the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory and CSM in addition to CU Boulder. Lucy, Chris, Dan, and Misha, along with Prof. Kathryn Johnson of CSM and her PhD student Dana Martin, look forward to hosting them and continuing to collaborate with them well into the future. Current plans include hosting Dr. Vlaho Petrović of ForWind at CU Boulder in early July 2018. Further, HWK has offered Lucy an extension of her Fellowship to allow her to return to the HWK from June to August 2019, and she looks forward to another productive exchange then with Prof. Kühn and his Wind Energy Systems Group at ForWind.

Group photo at ForWind in July 2017:  Lucy Pao is on the left in the front row (with her hand on a sheep); Martin Kühn is just behind her. Misha Sinner is on the right in the second row among those kneeling (with sunglasses on his head). Frederik Berger (on right, standing, with white t-shirt with a circular logo on it), Andreas Rott (on Frederik’s right, just behind Misha), Stephan Barth (standing next to wind turbine, with light collared, button-down shirt), and several others (not in photo) from ForWind will be visiting Colorado in October 2017 in conjunction with attending the WindTech2017 conference being held in Boulder. Vlaho Petrović (standing in back right of photo) is planning to visit CU Boulder in early July 2018.

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