HySchool Days 2023 in Bergen
HySchool Days are the annual networking events organised by HySchool ̶ Norwegian Research School on Hydrogen and Hydrogen-Based Fuels. Over hundred participants gathered for HySchool Days 2023, including PhD candidates and leading experts from industry, academia, research institutes and non-governmental organizations.
You can read the edited Norwegian version on Hydrogen24
University of Bergen hosted HySchool Days 2023 at hotel Scandic Ørnen on 8-9 March. This was the first of eight annual networking events that will be organised by HySchool over the period 2023-2030. The participants included a mix of PhD candidates and representatives from the labour market.
The Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at University of Bergen (UiB), Gunn Mangerud, opened HySchool Days 2023. She emphasized the importance of HySchool for a sustainable transformation of the energy system towards increased use of renewable energy sources:
“We are very proud to coordinate HySchool, which represents a field that is important in the green shift. A research school is a valuable tool for creating quality and relevance in doctoral education, both academically and as an important networking arena between the seven participating universities – and generally between academia, industry, and authorities.”
The twenty-eight speakers included representatives from a broad range of stakeholders involved in the hydrogen value chain, including companies such as Equinor, Hyundai, NORLED, Corvus Energy, TECO 2030, Vysus Group and Safetec, as well as IFE, SINTEF and NORCE, RCN, and invited speakers from Nagoya University and University of Bologna.
Ms. Xiaoping Li, advisor of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), shared UNIDO’s global vision and activities on the implementation of green hydrogen. She was impressed by the proactive efforts and collaboration on hydrogen energy by Norwegian universities and research organisations, and congratulated the organisers for the initiative:
“The establishment of HySchool is timely in regard to closing critical knowledge gaps, in developed as well as developing countries, and hence to facilitate the accelerated development and deployment of hydrogen-based fuels.”
Relevance for the labour market
The primary objective of HySchool is to contribute to the global energy transition by enhancing the quality of Norwegian doctoral training on the use of hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuel as energy carriers. To this end, HySchool Days shall facilitate networking, offer an arena where PhD candidates can develop competence and skills, expose PhD candidates to real-life challenges from industry and society, and contribute to high relevance for the labour market of Norwegian doctoral education on hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels.
Emil Høj Jensen, a PhD candidate from the University of Oslo (UiO) reflects on his experience:
"Normally we tend to form our own little bubble and forget all of the other aspects that are important in a system using hydrogen. To further getting to know more people in Norway and around the world that work with hydrogen is a great plus for someone that wants to build a professional network. Moreover, as a presenter, I got to experience another important aspect of research, which is the ability to talk about your own research in a way that make people from completely different fields understand what you are working with and be able to answer questions in a similar fashion.”
Lucas Cammann, a PhD-student from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), praises the learning opportunities during HySchool Days:
“During the event, I especially appreciated the diverse range of topics discussed and presented. This allowed me to broaden my scope about the chances and challenges of the future hydrogen economy, as well as to get a closer look at technical advances which are outside of my own field. It was a great pleasure for me to get to know many other young researchers and industry professionals in the facilitated social activities or during the coffee breaks. I received invaluable feedback from experienced people of different background [on my presentation], helping me steer my future research efforts. Altogether, HySchool Days left me ever more motivated to continue my research and have enriched me both professionally and personally.”
Several participants from the labour market commented on the role of HySchool in facilitating networking, opportunities, and knowledge-sharing related to hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels.
“Hyschool brought together academia, governmental organizations and industry working on hydrogen technologies, from production and transport to safety and public acceptance, with both the theoretical knowledge and the practical expertise needed to drive innovation and progress in the Norwegian hydrogen ecosystem,” says technology project manager at Equinor, Alaa Faid.
“HySchool Days 2023 should be a big motivation for the Ph.D.-students in the field of hydrogen: the conference demonstrated both the enormous momentum there is at the moment in the field of hydrogen as well as the numerous challenges related to production, storage, applications and safety!” says Senior Principal Consultant Kees van Wingerden from Vysus Group.
In addition to securing high relevance of the doctoral training for the labour market, HySchool Days represent an important arena for networking between academic partners in national and international collaborative research projects. The scientific director for HySchool, associate professor Trygve Skjold, commented on the ambitious plans for the research school in the coming years:
“In a long-term perspective, HySchool should facilitate pre-competitive and cooperative research on hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels, where state-of-the-art research activities of high importance for the industrial and governmental user partners support the development of innovative technology.”
HySchool Days in 2024 and beyond
Both academia and the labour market showed great interest in HySchool Days, prompting the two-days event to be extended to three days in 2024. NTNU will host HySchool Days 2024 in Norway's national museum for popular music, Rockheim, on 23-25 April 2024. In the coming years, the annual events will be hosted by other partners in the consortium.
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