Get to know the doctoral student Sylvie
– the faculty staff
In a series of articles, we will introduce the faculty employees. First out is Sylvie Koziel, a doctoral student at the Division of Electromagnetic Engineering and Fusion Science (EMF). Learn about her background, research and why she admires the Swedes.
Sylvie came to Sweden in September 2018 for a PhD in electrical engineering. The reasons for choosing KTH and Sweden were several:
“The main reason was that I wanted to study electricity, and KTH is good at this. KTH is well-known among European universities. I had also heard that Sweden is a nice country, so that was a nice bonus. I knew I would get high-quality education in my field.”
Advised how to reach climate goals
Sylvie holds an MSc in Engineering from AgroParisTech, majoring in energy economics. After graduating, she started working as a consultant, first in France and then in Switzerland, where she worked on energy and climate policy, mitigation strategies and energy system modelling on behalf of national government bodies and international corporations.
After seven years of consulting, she decided to take on doctoral studies.
“Electrification and electrical networks are a bottleneck when it comes to implement climate mitigation strategies and lower carbon emissions. That area wasn’t my focus, and I didn’t have the luxury to develop it as part of my day-to-day job. That’s why I decided to do a PhD in electrical engineering.”
It’s all about the data
Her research’s objective is to reflect on the value of data and to adapt the information and communications technology (ICT) system accordingly so that the physical grid evolves towards a smarter grid. The first step has been to establish the relations between data and grid performance.
Sylvie is looking at the network that is supplying power to, for example, houses.
”At the distribution level, the electrical grid experiences a lot of changes, especially the addition of photovoltaic panels, a technology for converting sunlight into electricity ( PV), and of electric vehicles (EV). This modifies the way the grid is managed, introduces new issues and instability. I’m trying to see how the network operator might use its data efficiently to cope with these changes.”
Grid operators already collect large amounts of data but only use part of it today.
“The idea is to find methods that enable us to exploit the available data more efficiently.”
With her background in climate policy, Sylvie’s research aims to enable the integration of PV and EV to support the transition towards a smarter grid and cleaner electricity supply.
Aikido, hiking and cheese
Sylvie recently returned from a six-month exchange to MIT in Boston and is currently readjusting to life in Sweden.
“I used to do Aikido before, and I’m hoping to pick that up again. I also used to enjoy hiking, being in the forest, and reading. I hope to restart these hobbies now”.
Sylvie also enjoys travelling and food, among the favourites are Mediterranean dishes.
It doesn’t seem like Swedish cuisine has won Sylvie over. She is all about French cheese:
“My favourite cheese is the Reblochon which is made in the Alps. I eat it after lunch or in the morning with some bread and butter.”
Admires how Swedes care for the environment
Sylvie enjoys living abroad and likes getting to know other cultures and customs. She particularly appreciates hanging out with locals or fellow ex-pats. But sometimes, you must take baby steps to get to know a Swede.
“In the north of France, where I come from, people quickly open up to strangers. You get to know people very quickly. It seems to me that it takes more time and effort with Swedish people. Getting to know a Swede can be tricky; you must take small steps”.
She has studied Swedish to get closer to Swedish society and practices Swedish at every chance.
She also points out that she admires the importance that Swedes give to the environment, equality and transparency.
“Everywhere, you can see how projects integrate almost automatically the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These topics are taken seriously in Sweden”.
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