Eric’s experiences in PRONTO

First of all, I would like to express my thanks for all the opportunities being part of the PRONTO project has given me. The close links between industry and academia enable innovative research topics to be investigated that are relevant for the chemical industry.

The fundamental concept of the programme is based on scientific exchange and collaboration. During my 3-year PhD I was able to interact with students of many different nationalities at the PRONTO meetings. Each member of the project hosted one of these meetings making it possible for me to get a first-hand insight into the work of the industrial and university partners. I feel very privileged to have been able to travel to places such as London, Krakow, Terni, Valladolid where we could sample the local food, do some sightseeing and generally broaden our horizon. These meetings provided an excellent source of inspiration as well as training.

The support of the EU further made it possible for me to attend and speak at numerous control conferences in Spain, in China, in Cyprus, in United States, in Brazil – just to name a few. Participation in these conferences was also good for networking within the research community.

The placement for my PhD was spent at BASF SE, which allowed me to obtain valuable feedback for my work from an industrial perspective and establish a more realistic case study with the help of experts. Moreover, being part of the advanced process control department gave me an appreciated insight into how control theory can be applied in a real industrial setting.  This placement, along with the support I have received throughout from my supervisor at NTNU Trondheim, has certainly added to my productivity – not to forget the friendships that have also formed along the way. 

All in all, the ITN-EID Marie-Curie Program PRONTO offered a fantastic opportunity to work on a challenging PhD project with real applications in industry, which is sure to help ESRs embark on exciting careers in either academia or industry.