Engerst Yedra: a doctoral student from Madrid carried out research at Bialystok University of Technology25-08-2021
From this article you’ll learn:
- how a doctoral student from Madrid got to Bialystok University of Technology;
- why Bialystok University of Technology turned out to be a perfect place for scientific work;
- what research he conducted at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences, at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, and at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering;
- how a doctoral student from Spain perceives the potential of Bialystok University of Technology.
Engerst Yedra carried out research on the behaviour of concrete as well as reinforced concrete beams using microsensors. Since the research is interdisciplinary, he had the opportunity to use the laboratories of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. It was no coincidence that he came to Bialystok University of Technology.
“I found out about Bialystok University of Technology from the Erasmus+ office at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, the university where I study and do my doctorate”, says Engerst Yedra. – “In the Erasmus+ office they informed me about Bialystok University of Technology – a good technical university in Poland with good relations between our institutions. That was the first reason why I chose this university”.
Engerst Yedra is a doctoral student of Escuela Técnica Superior de Edificación de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
“The faculty that we can cooperate with is the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences at Bialystok University of Technology, as we are carrying out similar scientific topics” – says the doctoral student from Spain.
Changes in the properties of the mix and hardened concrete are one area of research that Yedra is conducting. He uses microsensors for this.
“Before the concrete mixture becomes hardened concrete, it undergoes a maturing and hardening process” – reminds Assoc. Prof. Marta Kosior-Kazberuk, DSc, PhD, Eng. In her scientific and research work, she often deals with issues related to monitoring the properties of concrete.
“Concrete maturing is a time when various changes take place in the hardening mixture” – reminds Assoc. Prof. Marta Kosior-Kazberuk, DSc, PhD, Eng. – “Heat is generated, the moisture level changes – all this can be measured with sensors. They are used to monitor changes during the maturation and hardening of concrete, and then to record changes in the properties of concrete during storage of finished elements in various conditions that simulate the operating environment”.
Thanks to the cooperation between Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Bialystok University of Technology, Engerst Yedra was able to conduct his research at both universities. In Bialystok he also gained access to well-equipped laboratories at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering.
“We can do comparative research”, says Yedra. – “In the case of my research, it is about applied sciences like electronics, programming or data science and their application in scientific projects and research”.
“Sensors make it possible to measure the increase in the strength of concrete, changes in Young’s modulus, i.e. the value determining the elasticity of the material under tension and compression”, explains Prof. Kosior-Kazberuk. – “Concrete is a capillary-porous material, so it reacts to the conditions in which it is stored – even the humidity of the environment. The humidity of concrete has an impact on other parameters of concrete – for example, its strength. Figuratively speaking, a sample taken out of water has a completely different strength than when it’s dry”.
Electronics and databases support the development and systematisation of research results.
“This may not be a new application of electronics in concrete research”, says Yedra modestly. – “Some elements are more sophisticated, new. We can apply some open source platforms like Arduino, MicroPython to this kind of research”.
The PhD student tests also models of beams.
“He simulates conditions under which a reinforced concrete beam may operate and analyses – how its deflection changes, how deformations in the stretched and compressed zone change, and determines the destructive force” – explains Prof. Kosior-Kazberuk. – “The sensors used in Engerst Yedra’s PhD thesis can be used to analyse deformations and strains at various points of the beam during loading”.
“We can compare the results obtained during tests with conventional methods, for example using testing machines, with the results recorded using various platforms such as Arduino, MicroPython” – explains his activities at Bialystok University of Technology. – “The compared results are almost identical”.
Why is the use of microsensors so important?
“It is a cheaper and sometimes faster way of acquiring data”, says Yedra. – “With programming, we can manage test results. With a large number of test results, using databases and machine learning, we can predict the behaviour of building elements under load. This is a test space as big as the sea. You can swim in it.”
“When we study concrete, especially concrete modified with additives or admixtures, we often analyse changes in its microstructure”, explains Prof. Kosior-Kazberuk.
“We measure the deflection of reinforced concrete beams using conventional measuring equipment”, says Yedra about his research. – “I, on the other hand, measure deflections with low-cost sensors. Then we compare the results. Sensors are cheaper than conventional measuring equipment.”
With all cement composites, it’s important what the contact zone between the cement slurry and the aggregate or other additives such as some kind of fibre looks like.
“This very zone has a very strong influence on the strength properties of concrete”, reminds Prof. Kosior-Kazberuk.
The research conducted by Engerst Yedra was enriched with the analysis of microstructure images made with the use of a scanning microscope at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of Bialystok University of Technology.
Part of Engerst Yedra’s research was conducted in the laboratories of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering.
“At the Faculty of Electrical Engineering I performed tests on concrete containing recycled optical fibres”, Yedra explains. – “I added them to the recycled concrete.”
We measure parameters such as flexural tensile strength, but also light penetration through the concrete.
The PhD student studied geopolymers with recycled aggregate with the addition of polypropylene fibres, as well as optical fibres.
In scientific work it is not only important to have access to laboratories, but also to have a friendly approach from fellow scientists.
“For me it was more than I expected”, – admits Yedra. – “At Bialystok University of Technology I had a lot of opportunities for research. People are very good and cooperative. For me it was a very good experience.”
But staying at Bialystok University of Technology is not only about scientific work. Spanish doctoral student liked Bialystok very much.
“I like quiet places”, Yedra reveals. – “The city is peaceful and it is green”.
That’s why such exchange of students and doctoral students under the Erasmus + programme build up and strengthen the potential of Bialystok University of Technology. Thanks to such activities, the number of ambassadors of the university and the Podlaskie Voivodeship is growing.
“I have never been here”, admits Engerst Yedra. – “Even if you compare countries from the European Union such as Poland and Spain, there are many differences. Thanks to academic exchange you can show the strengths of the university. You can have more opportunities to develop and be more open to the world. It also allows for a better relationship between the two academic communities.”
“Cooperation with Engerst was very interesting, and at the same time we established cooperation between the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in a completely new scientific and research field”, says Julita Krassowska, PhD, from the Department of Building Structures at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences. – “Thanks to the visit of a doctoral student from Spain, I became convinced that our research capabilities and the potential of Bialystok University of Technology is huge.”
“The research conducted at Bialystok University of Technology will be used to prepare a doctoral dissertation, but it will also serve to prepare joint scientific publications, which will significantly increase the international recognition of Bialystok University of Technology and contribute to its internationalisation”, sums up Professor Kosior-Kazberuk, the Rector of the university. – “Bialystok University of Technology is a welcoming place to carry out research at the international level. We are open to international cooperation – we invite scientists from all over the world to conduct research at our university.”
Author: Jerzy Doroszkiewicz