Job title:  Director of the Building Energy and Environment Group 

Company:  CIMNE

Tell us about your education and working life up to now.

I studied industrial engineering at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and received a Master’s in numerical methods. I went on to obtain a PhD in ICT and engineering at the University of Lleida, Spain. I have been working at the International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE) for the past 20 years of my life, a short period of which was spent combined working as a director of a local energy agency. My experience here introduced me into the field of RES and energy and efficiency, motivating me to found the Building Energy and Environment Group within CIMNE in 2001. The activities we have been performing as an applied research group have been focused on developing software products for the energy efficiency sector. We have since made two very interesting knowledge transfer processes which have become the basis of two start-up companies – INERGY (2012) and Bee Data Analytics (2017).

What is your main expertise?

I previously worked for 10 years in the field of computational fluid dynamics before moving to the world of dynamic analysis of energy systems and buildings based on data-drive methodologies.

What is your work focused on in the Sim4Blocks project?

To coordinate the St Cugat pilot site and the development of the algorithms for the application of DR services in the buildings.

What are the main challenges you face in this work and how are you meeting these challenges?

The main challenge is that we are working with real installations and real people. This leads to many drawbacks related to the stochasticity of user behaviour and of the installation’s performance, which makes it very difficult to gather insights and develop forecasting models.
Another challenge is related to data gathering and data quality of such big installations. To counter this we’ve dedicated a lot of time in calibrating the sensors and ensuring the data is of high quality.

How do you see your work helping the project achieve its main objectives?

Any kind of demand response service needs fast and reliable forecasting models to predict the energy performance of the distributed assets. We are one of the partners in the project contributing to the development of these instrumental models.

What impact do you see Sim4Blocks having in the future?

If the models and systems are successful, the project will be an excellent example of how demand response services can be applied to blocks of buildings across Europe.

“My experience and interest led me to found the Building Energy and Environment Group within CIMNE – our product developments have since been the basis of two start-ups”

What does the future hold for demand response?

In principle, the future should be very promising, but that’s in principle. Knowingly, it will highly depend on how each Member state decides to put similar services and systems in to practice, and that’s very hard to say.

What do you enjoy more about working on a project like Sim4Blocks?

For me, Sim4Blocks offers an excess of knowledge interchange amongst several European research and private company teams – and this is an extremely positive asset.

How would you like to see your work develop after the project ends?

I would like to continue my work and research to follow the successful trend it has up to this point, however, I would love to gain deeper knowledge and broaden my understanding on the real practice of demand response in buildings.

Meet the other brains on the ‘Block.