This research area focuses on developing digital solutions that improve the energy efficiency and predictability of energy-intensive industrial processes, without compromising process and product quality. The goal is to enhance the sustainability, competitiveness, and resilience of industrial sectors by harnessing the power of advanced digital technologies, data analytics, and automation to optimize energy use and minimize environmental impact.
Key areas of investigation within Smart Industries include:
- Industrial process modeling and optimization: Developing advanced modeling techniques, simulation tools, and optimization algorithms to accurately represent, analyze, and optimize energy-intensive industrial processes, identifying opportunities for energy efficiency improvements, waste reduction, and resource conservation.
- Energy management and monitoring systems: Designing intelligent energy management and monitoring systems that provide real-time insights into industrial energy consumption patterns, enabling the implementation of targeted efficiency measures, predictive maintenance, and demand-side management strategies.
- Advanced control and automation: Investigating the role of advanced control strategies, automation technologies, and robotics in enhancing industrial energy efficiency, productivity, and flexibility, while also reducing human intervention and operational risks in complex, energy-intensive processes.
- Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and edge computing: Exploring the deployment of IIoT devices, sensors, and actuators in industrial settings, as well as the implementation of edge computing solutions that enable decentralized data processing, decision-making, and control, enhancing system responsiveness and adaptability.
- Circular economy and resource efficiency: Examining the potential of digital solutions to support the implementation of circular economy principles in industrial operations, including waste minimization, resource recovery, and the integration of renewable energy sources and energy-efficient technologies.
- Workforce development and skills training: Assessing the implications of digitalization and automation on the industrial workforce, and identifying strategies for workforce development, skills training, and the creation of new employment opportunities in the context of smart, energy-efficient industries.
By focusing on these critical aspects of smart industries, the research aims to contribute to the development of innovative, sustainable, and competitive industrial solutions that effectively manage energy resources, reduce environmental impact, and support the transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy.