Benjamin Sanderse, former PhD Student of CWI, has been awarded the Stieltjes Prize 2013, the prize for the best PhD thesis in mathematics in the Netherlands in 2013. In March 2013 Sanderse defended his thesis 'Energy-conserving discretization methods for the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations' at Eindhoven University of Technology under the supervision of Prof. dr. ir. Barry Koren. Sanderse is currently a researcher at Shell.
In his thesis Sanderse developed advanced mathematical methods that are able to produce a reliable simulation of off-shore wind farms. His research was sponsored by ECN, the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands.
Off-shore wind turbines affect each other through their wakes which can be hundreds of meters long and wide. Wind-farm wakes are highly turbulent air flows consisting of numerous large and small vortices. Reliably predicting these air flows was a large challenge in Sanderse’s research. Wakes cause a lower energy production and more fluctuating loads on downstream turbines, but on the other hand cause an extra inflow of high-velocity air, amplifying the amount of wind in the farm. Because of the vast number of vortices, smart computing methods are needed to determine the flow inside the wakes.
The mathematical methods developed by Sanderse are capable of predicting the turbulent air flow in the wakes, and simulating different designs and configurations in a ‘virtual wind farm’. This simulation allows for the efficient design of large-scale wind farms. His research also triggers new research items such as the optimal distance between wind turbines and their optimal adjustment.
Since 1996 the Stieltjes Prize is annually awarded for the best PhD thesis in mathematics that is defended at a Dutch university. In total 74 theses were submitted in 2013. The quality of these theses was so high that two Stieltjes Prizes will be handed out. The other (ex-aequo) award goes to Pavel Zorin-Kranich (University of Amsterdam). Both prizes will be awarded during a meeting of the Wiskunde Onderzoeksschool Nederland (WONDER) on 12 December at Eindhoven University of Technology. The prize consists of 2,500 euros and is sponsored by the foundation Compositio Mathematica.
Cum laude for thesis Benjamin Sanderse
WONDER afternoon 12 December
TU/e PhD Student Benjamin Sanderse wins Stieltjes Award for best mathematics thesis 2013