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A landmark for Enel Foundation Fellowship program


Milan, May 14th, 2018

A selected group of Enel Foundation Fellows, Enel employees involved pro-bono in research activities, will soon start an Executive PhD at Politecnico di Milano’s PhD School, setting a new landmark for the fellowship program. On May 14th, in a special event with the participation of Enel Chairman Patrizia Grieco, four Enel Foundation Fellows who have been awarded PhD scholarships, had their research projects presented to a distinguished audience including PoliMi’s Rector Ferruccio Resta and Enel Foundation Director Carlo Papa.

Coming from different fields such as Information Engineering, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Energy and Nuclear Sciences and Technologies, the four selected Fellows will now have the opportunity to develop their valuable research projects in a prestigious and high profile academic environment. Massimiliano De Benedetti, Catarina Cavalheiro, Fabio Leonardi and Luigi Lanuzza were awarded the scholarships named after Giovanni Bignami, an Italian Physicist, member of the Enel Foundation’s Scientific Committee and supporter of the Fellowship initiative, who passed away recently.

On the sidelines of the event, Prof. Paolo Biscari, Director of the PhD school, commented, “We are very glad to host the first four Enel Foundation Fellows as Executive PhD candidates. The Fellows submitted very original proposals, characterized by a significantly high degree of innovation and scientific potential. The fruitful research collaborations between Enel Foundation and Politecnico di Milano may raise to an even higher level with the boost of the PhD collaborations.”

The four research proposals to be developed within the Executive PhD are only a piece of the research work involving a broader group of 15 Enel Foundation Fellows who are engaged in co-writing scientific papers with Foundation’s expert support.

In the words of Enel Foundation Director, Carlo Papa, “the Fellows are a group of highly skilled experts from Enel Group willing to cooperate pro bono with ENEL Foundation  to explore the implications of global challenges in the energy domain and investigate solutions to win the race for a clean energy future .”

Fellowship Program background and next steps

 The Enel Foundation Fellowship Program was originally launched at the end of 2016 with an all-Enel employee call for research projects consistent with the strategic and analytic studies run by the Foundation. Numerous employees from diverse countries responded, with a wide range of proposals addressing electricity markets and regulations, HR, sustainable urban development, universal access to energy, alternative energy solutions, energy technology and policies, biotechnology, robotics and other highly innovative topics.

Excellence is testified also by the geographical distribution of applicants and Fellows, as many different countries and the majority of Enel’s Business Lines were represented, with a considerable female participation in an encouraging signal for a Group that prides on its Diversity policies.

Enel Foundation looks forward to the continuation of in-progress works and is currently planning the Fellowship Program next steps. While the first edition proved to be a valuable experience for all involved and contributed with important work, soon it will be time to welcome new members and keep up this relevant, exciting path of mutual enrichment.

Recent publications by Enel Foundation Fellows

 Leonardi, F., De Benedetti, M., Messina, F., Santoro, C., & Vasilakos, A. (2018). Anomaly Detection and Predictive Maintenance for photovoltaic SystemsNeurocomputing

The paper presents a learning approach designed to detect possible anomalies in photovoltaic (PV) systems in order to let an operator plan predictive maintenance interventions. The anomaly detection algorithm presented is based on the comparison between the measured and the predicted values of the AC power production.