Meet the future Jenna Iori

Meet the future - Jenna Iori

Tuesday 09 Feb 21

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Jenna Iori
PhD student
DTU Wind Energy

Jenna Iori is a Ph.D. student at DTU Wind Energy in the section System Engineering and Optimization and she is just about halfway through her studies.

"The idea of doing the PhD came naturally because I already had an interest in wind energy, from when I took my master's in wind energy here at the department," says Jenna Iori from her home in Roskilde. We met online at Zoom so Jenna can tell about her life as a PhD student at the Department of Wind Energy and she has plenty to tell.

Originally, Jenna comes from Grenoble in France and she took her first master's at the École polytechnique in Paris. At this time, she felt like traveling and experiencing the world, while professionally she started taking an interest in sustainable energy. "I wanted to learn understanding wind turbines and sustainable energy," says Jenna and continues: "So, I chose to take a master's in wind energy based on my interest in the area." Jenna’s studies in mechanics in France were characterised by a “generalistic” approach, and she wished to specialize in the fields of wind energy. She is allowed to do so now in the section System Engineering and Optimization at DTU Wind Energy. "My focus is on optimization – how to find the best wind turbine design," she says. Thus, she works with optimizing wind turbine design based on several disciplines: partly the structure of the wind turbine blades, ie. the length, dimensions and mechanical properties of the blades, partly the aerodynamics and finally, the control of the movements of the wind turbine blades related to the changes in wind speed.

Asked where Jenna thinks her research might be applied, she explains that her research would have the potential to be applied in the wind turbine industry in the design process, where the disciplines interact with each other. “For example, my results could be used for investigating how the design of the wind turbine blades affects the perfomances of the entire system,” she says enthusiastically and adds: “I do not know if my results will ever be used by the industry, but of course I hope, they will.”

How do you experience the culture at the Department of Wind Energy?
“I felt welcome at the department right from the start. This was thanks to researcher Jenni Rinker who was my mentor when I started my PhD. study at DTU Wind Energy. She helped me with many practical issues in the beginning.”

Jenna's section manager Katherine Dykes also helped ensuring that Jenna was happy with the new workplace. Katherine made social arrangements, which contributed to Jenna feeling well, socially, in the section. Jenna appreciates the open communication she encounters among colleagues. She likes the informal tone: No one addresses each other "Sir" or "Professor", and that is liberating, Jenna thinks. “There is no strict hierarchy, and everyone supports each other and talks to each other across the board,” she says, elaborating: “This also applies to the collaboration on research with my PhD supervisor Professor Mathias Stolpe and co-supervisor Michael McWilliam”. At the moment, Jenna's contact with the other PhD students is less compared to when she had her time on campus, because all of the employees at DTU have been sent home due to the corona situation. “We Ph.D. students have often talked together in everyday life or met at the coffee machine and had a chat, and that kind of social interaction is difficult to create when we are not physically present at campus,” says Jenna.

Do you have any good advice for new PhD students here at the department?

“I have two pieces of advice for future PhD students:
Firstly, it is important to remember that a PhD is an education. You are not supposed to be able to do everything a researcher does from day 1. This is why sometimes it can be very difficult, but it is absolutely normal and part of the learning process.
The second advice is about the supervisors. The relationship with the supervisors is like any relationship: it works much better when you communicate! So, it is important to talk with them when things get difficult, and things can very easily get difficult. For example, if you keep falling behind schedule or if the paper you have worked on for months get rejected, it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. I think it is important to be open about these kinds of things, because researchers do face this during their career and you just need to learn how to deal with it in a healthy way. And the supervisors can help!” Jenna concludes.

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