Every year 11 top companies from various sectors where engineers are active award a prize to KU Leuven-students who have delivered an excellent master's thesis. This year, three master's students associated with KU Leuven/EnergyVille won prizes. Ellen Beckstedde and Elisabeth Deketelaere wrote their master's thesis on the electrification of the aviation sector. Louis Brouyaux wrote his thesis on the modeling and control of electric boilers to prevent imbalance in the electricity grid.

Ellen and Elisabeth worked together on an analytical model of an Airbus A320 with passengers flying from Brussels to Barcelona. They investigated various battery technologies, namely lithium-ion, Licerion and lithium-air, next to adaptation of the flight trajectories. Their research shows that improvements in terms of battery technology, airport infrastructure and cost parameters are required in order to achieve a breakthrough in electric civil aviation. However, these advancements could be achievable in the future and in this way, significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions can be realized. Siemens Industry Software rewarded their research with a master's thesis prize and a cash prize of €1500.

Masterproefprijs Siemens Industry Software

In his thesis, conducted in collaboration with the company Thermovault, Louis investigated the potential of electric boilers to prevent grid imbalance. Because of their capacity to absorb heat and then release it again (thermal inertia) and their high capacity, they form the ideal candidate to provide, through demand response, the much needed flexibility for the electricity grid. Louis investigated existing modeling and control strategies and created extensive simulations to map the advantages and disadvantages of each control method. His work was rewarded with a master's thesis prize and a cash prize of 1500 euros as well, this time awarded by ArcelorMittal.

Masterproefprijs ArcelorMittal