UCD postgraduate wins out in ESB International-hosted ‘Thesis In Three Challenge’

  • Ireland’s top postgraduates in the energy sector present research in quick-fire format
  • Real world 'elevator pitch' challenge marked on context, clarity and charisma
  • NUI Galway postgrad and Belfast native Anna Phoenix scoops audience prize 

8 September 2016

ESB International is proud to announce UCD postgraduate Valentin Rigoni as the  winner of the 2016 'All-Ireland Energy Thesis in Three Challenge’, a heat in the national Thesis in Three competition. This unique event which saw postgraduate researchers in the energy sector from around Ireland present their research in three minutes using just three slides.

Originally from Córdoba Argentina, Valentin focussed his thesis on securely integrating new techologies such as solar into low voltage electricity networks. His presentation today managed to impress the judges under the three key criteria of context, clarity and charisma. The exercise is seen as an important, real-world challenge where researchers are often required to seek backing in so-called elevator pitches.

Now in its third year, this event is hosted by ESB International, sponsored by the UCD Energy Institute and run by the UCD IEEE Power & Energy Society, and attracts entries from postgrad researchers from all over the country.

The judging panel at the event was made up of ESB International’s John Quinn, Richard Crowley of Eirgrid, and Dr Ronan Meere from Science Foundation Ireland. Topics on the day centred around the social, renewable and environmental issues affecting the energy market.

Belfast native Anna Phoenix, a postgraduate in NUI Galway, won the audience award for presenting her research findings on optimising tidal turbine arrays.

Speaking at the announcement of the winning presentation, Managing Director of ESB International Ollie Brogan commented that “events like this provide a fantastic opportunity to meet the brightest and the best within our sector, and to see how they perform under the pressure of condensing complex research into bite-size persuasive presentations.”

“As an organisation ESB International and the wider ESB Group invests hugely in attracting and developing the brightest talent. It is hugely satisfying for us to see how promising the future looks in terms of talented post-grad researchers who will drive the next wave of innovation in our sector.”