In our next interview, we delve into the world of civil engineering with a focus on structural dynamics, numerical modeling, and nonlinear analysis. Meet Juan, a civil engineer pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Nottingham, with his project hosted by SLPE, shares insights into his involvement in the FRONTIErS DN. Driven by a profound belief in the pivotal role of wind energy in sustainable development, Juan discusses the challenges encountered, his motivation to join the FRONTIErS DN, and the indispensable role of collaboration in addressing the intricate issues within the industry.

Can you provide a brief introduction of yourself and your project within the FRONTIErS DN?

I’m a civil engineer specialized in structural dynamics, numerical modelling, and nonlinear analysis. The project aims to extend FEM updating techniques to nonlinear and mass and damping estimation.

What motivated you to apply to FRONTIErS DN?

I truly believe that wind energy is crucial for sustainable development: nonetheless, there are many challenges to solve. FRONTIErS program is a great opportunity to apply my abilities and expertise in the development of alternative energy sources.

What drives your passion for the work you have done so far and the work you will do within FRONTIErS?

Curiosity has been my fuel in research. Now, I’m very curious about wave and wind loading, soil-structure interaction, nonlinear behaviour of soils, and all topics treated in the PhD..

How do you believe collaboration enhances the effectiveness of FRONTIErS DN?

The analysis of wind turbines foundations is so complex that would be infeasible to develop and research it alone. Collaborative networks allow us to try new approaches, learn of others’ achievements and mistakes, be creative, and construct better methodologies and models.

Can you share any personal stories or experiences that have shaped your decision to apply?

I am very cautious; so sometimes, I force myself to take risk to compensate it. This happened when applying to the program. Then, I was between two projects in the FRONTIErS program, #7 (numerical modelling of monopile driving) and #11 (estimation of added soil mass and damping for offshore wind turbines). I chose the project #11 because it seemed more complex, and therefore, a bigger challenge.

What are your future goals and aspirations as a member of the FRONTIErS DN?

The main is goal is to develop a FEM updating technique that allow engineers to better characterize and understand soli-structure interaction of wind turbines. Moreover, I also would like to construct and strengthen the collaborative network of the program so that we can continue approach and research other challenges in the topic.

How do you envision your role evolving and contributing to the FRONTIErS DN success?

I will be very active. I am very open to discuss and help with the team the challenges that appear.

How do you anticipate your MSCA fellowship will impact your broader career aspirations?

The fellowship is big boast for my career. The collaborative focus of the PhD will provide me a wide and practical learning of several topics that are of interest in the academic and professional fields.

What message or key takeaway would you like to convey to the public about FRONTIErS?

Wind energy is very important and necessary in forthcoming years. FRONTIErS aim to solve or improve challenges related to it through collaboration and innovation.

Can you provide insights or advice for individuals interested in pursuing similar programs and fellowships?

Researching could be challenging, but it is also very nurturing and exciting. Collaboration and tuition are crucial. Therefore, I strongly recommend fellowships that offer such tools, and I also encourage students and professionals to apply to such programs.

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