Athanasios Mermigkas’s report

IEEE Pulsed Power and Plasma Science conference in California — June 2013

Athanasios at the conference

I am currently a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. My PhD research is focused on the development of an impulsive micro-electrostatic precipitation technology (?-ESP) for increasing the efficiency of removal of sub-micron particles for small-scale air-cleaning applications. This technology is based on utilizing short plasma impulses and dc voltage in order to charge and remove particles in an efficient way. Shorter impulses allow higher voltages to be applied, which is expected to increase the precipitation efficiency and to reduce power losses. The potential benefits from implementation of the micro-electrostatic precipitation technology in small-scale indoor environments such as homes, schools and hospitals are considerable, passively improving the health of people who use it by acting to eliminate the inhalation of large amounts of PM2.5.

To put the research into context, let me explain a few things about the actual problem, which is in the interest of the Simon Wolff Charitable Foundation (SWCF). Various industrial, agricultural and domestic operations, as well as developing nano-technologies, produce particles of micron and sub-micron sizes. While larges particles tend to settle quickly after their release, smaller ones tend to stay longer in the air, thus increasing their spatial dispersal. According to a recent report “Road transport was responsible for around a quarter of primary PM2.5 emissions in the UK in 2008 (NAEI, 2010), with diesel vehicles accounting for a much higher proportion than petrol.” To make matters worse, small enough particles have the ability to migrate deep into the respiratory system, and exposure of the public to high concentration has been linked to respiratory diseases and increased mortality rates. This is not something new, as there was concern among scientists even many years ago about such risks, one of them being Dr Simon P. Wolff, who forewarned the unsuspecting community that “the switch to diesel which is now taking place may well be a large-scale experiment in lung cancer” and of the danger of transport fumes in general. It may be argued that transport-emitted particle concentrations decline rapidly away from the roads; however, most people nowadays live and work in urban environments, meaning that roads will be close to human activities, residential or commercial. Thus, such particles require monitoring and control.

While electrostatic precipitation is a fairly old application, the voltage management regimes enabled by power electronics has made it possible to use electrostatic precipitators in much more efficient ways. The use of impulses is one way to reduce power consumption compared to DC energisation, and is also very effective when the resistivity of the particles collected is high. Electrostatic precipitators are mainly used in power plants and factories to clean flue gases and exhausts. This means that much research has been conducted on negative-polarity energisation, which is more efficient for larger-scale applications (like electrostatic filters in power plants). However, this type of discharge produces ozone and nitrogen oxides which must be avoided for indoor applications. Thus, positive polarity was used in my research which produces much less ozone and nitrogen oxides (about 10% to that of negative polarity). Apart from the polarity, it was also decided to use impulses of much shorter duration (nanoseconds or 10s of microseconds), despite the fact that longer impulses are usually used in industrial precipitators, in order to further reduce the power losses and be able to have higher electric fields that further charge the particulate matter.

To these ends, various topologies have been tested (single-stage and double-stage cylindrical reactors) as well as different particle sources, like the ones already present in the ambient laboratory air; cigarette smoke; beeswax candle smoke; and various dusts, in order to investigate the effects of different energisation combinations on particles with different size distribution, resistivity and permittivity.

Last month, the generous donation of the SWCF helped me to attend the IEEE Pulsed Power and Plasma Science conference. As you can see, I was fortunate that this year the pulsed power conference, where I submitted my abstract to, was combined with the plasma science conference. This expanded the topics to be presented, adding also very interesting plasma applications into the schedule. However, this also meant that the conference had many parallel sessions running for 5 days, with one plenary session each morning and 6 parallel sessions both mornings and afternoons. As a consequence, frequently decisions had to be made on which presentations to attend and not a few times silent steps have been taken out of a lecture room, just to rush to another one in time during the sessions! According to the conference program, there were more than 1000 submitted abstracts representing 43 different countries.

The first International Pulsed Power conference took place in 1976, and since 1979 the conference is held biennially under the sponsorship of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). It is the principal forum for communicating advances in the areas of pulsed power science, technology, new systems and emerging applications. Additionally, the authors are invited to submit their extended papers for publication in the IEEE Transactions of Plasma Science which is a peer reviewed journal. Thus, this conference leads to a first step towards an all-important journal publication, an opportunity that I’m not intending to miss.

IEEE is the largest association of electronic and electrical engineers, but also includes other scientists, even medical doctors. Its aim is to advance innovation and technological excellence for the benefit of humanity. It is thus no wonder that it hosts more than 300 conferences annually and publishes 130 journals, transactions and magazines on various scientific topics.

On the very first morning of the conference, I was assigned to do an oral presentation on my work titled “The Use of Impulsive Corona Discharges for the Removal of Fine Particles in a Novel Coaxial Electrostatic Precipitator”. This afforded me the opportunity to contact renowned scientists, researchers and industrial engineers present from a variety of backgrounds, due to the diverse topics in the combined conference schedule. This was also an opportunity to get wider feedback in areas adjacent to my research, like a comparison of my results with similar attempts in the industry or particle modeling in the view of their charging mechanisms. Moreover, the paper also highlighted the key findings of two years of my research project, in addition to the results with a new, larger-scale precipitator, thus giving the delegates a chance to see the course taken throughout my PhD and give constructive feedback.

The fact that I had an oral presentation at the international level, with such a varied audience with wide fields of interest and expertise asking diverse questions, not only raised my awareness in view of my PhD defense, by pointing to aspects not known or not investigated yet, but also granted me invaluable presentation experience in an international panel of academics and industrialists.

The EEE (Electronic and Electrical Engineering) department of the University of Strathclyde was represented by my first supervisor, Dr I.V. Timoshkin, the Dean of Engineering, Prof Scott J. MacGregor, and 2 students. The EEE department contributed 3 oral presentations, 3 posters and also a plenary session by Prof MacGregor highlighting the key research activities, past and present, of the High Voltage Technologies (HVT) research group, which I am also part of. This talk, as well as the 3 oral presentations and posters, helped to promote the international profile of the University of Strathclyde, by making visible to the global research community its research aims and achievements, and also by strengthening the links with other research institutes which had its members present in the conference.

Since the conference had such a wide range of topics, it was imperative to choose among the so many interesting subjects presented. Some that were mostly related to my research were the Environmental and industrial applications, including contaminant destruction like NOx; the Basic plasma phenomena and the partially-ionized plasmas, as the plasma generated in my reactor plays a crucial role in particle charging; medical biological and environmental applications including ozone production (in my case it is imperative to have as low O3 as possible); and compact pulsed power and power supplies, needed for energisation of the reactor. Presentations included diverse and exotic subjects as “Growth control of leaf vegetables using pulsed electric field” and algae growth enhancement having possible applications for biofuel industry.

It was also very beneficial that in the conference hall there were presentation stands of leading industrial companies that manufacture pulsed power equipment and pulsed power diagnostic systems. This gave young academic participants like myself a rare opportunity to speak directly to the companies’ representatives, see some of the products that they have available and even to witness a live demonstration of a high voltage pulsed power system, which expanded my knowledge of the state-of-the-art pulsed power equipment available on the market which potentially can be used in my future research work. According to the general chair there were 30 exhibitors from industry and academia presenting their technical wares and products. Additionally, there was an organized job opportunity center, with announcement board and people to contact with. One could also find representatives from the companies / universities / research labs that had job / placement adverts placed on the board at the conference, which was very useful especially for the final-year students!

San Francisco lies in the west coast of the US having a climate similar to the one found in the Mediterranean countries. Despite the busy conference schedule, I had the chance to visit the Golden Gate Bridge, the Chinatown, which used to be one of the biggest in the world, and the environs of the city. The beauty of the town, Victorian style houses, modern skyscrapers and the landscape are breathtaking. Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to visit Alcatraz island, since staying for extra days in San Francisco in the summer proved to be very expensive….so, till next time!

I would like to thank the Simon Wolff Charitable Foundation once more for awarding me the invaluable grant in order to present my research at this renowned international conference, especially now that I am in the final stages of my PhD. I’m really honored at being selected for the travel grant and hope that the Foundation can continue its essential support for young researchers, especially now that many other sources of funding are unavailable.

Athanasios Mermigkas

137 thoughts on “Athanasios Mermigkas’s report”

  1. Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I to find It really
    helpful & it helped me out much. I hope to give one thing back and aid others such as you helped me.

  2. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but,
    I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it
    develop over time.

  3. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.
    I’ll certainly comeback.

  4. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more
    than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and all.
    However think about if you added some great photos or videos to give your
    posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images
    and videos, this website could undeniably be one of the most
    beneficial in its field. Amazing blog!

  5. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?

    Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would
    like to find out where u got this from. thanks

  6. Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Reading
    this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this.

    I will forward this page to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I am impressed!
    Extremely helpful information specially the remaining part 🙂 I deal with such info a lot.
    I used to be seeking this certain info for a very lengthy time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  8. obviously like your website but you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your
    posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I find
    it very bothersome to tell the reality nevertheless I’ll definitely come again again.

  9. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Internet
    explorer. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with
    internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let
    you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the issue solved soon. Thanks

  10. I have read so many articles about the blogger lovers
    however this paragraph is genuinely a nice paragraph, keep it up.

  11. Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble
    with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended
    up losing months of hard work due to no data backup.
    Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

  12. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a
    colleague who had been conducting a little homework on this.
    And he in fact ordered me lunch due to the fact that I stumbled upon it
    for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this topic here on your blog.

  13. This is the right website for everyone who would like to find out about
    this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that
    I personally would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that has been written about for years.
    Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

  14. Thanks for every other informative website. The place else could I am getting that type of info written in such a perfect way?
    I’ve a project that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the glance out for such information.

  15. I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of
    your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  16. My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.

    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a
    variety of websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another
    platform. I have heard fantastic things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  17. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.

    Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our whole community will be grateful to
    you.

  18. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into
    starting my own blog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup?

    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% positive.
    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  19. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your
    site. You have some really great posts and I believe I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some articles for
    your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send
    me an e-mail if interested. Regards!

  20. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your weblog.
    You have some really good posts and I feel I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some articles for your blog
    in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot
    me an e-mail if interested. Kudos!

  21. I have been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting
    article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me.
    In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content
    as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever
    before.

  22. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide
    credit and sources back to your site? My website is in the exact same area
    of interest as yours and my visitors would certainly benefit from a
    lot of the information you present here. Please let me
    know if this alright with you. Many thanks!

  23. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of hard work
    due to no back up. Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?

  24. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you
    aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  25. Howdy very cool web site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Superb ..
    I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally?

    I am glad to search out numerous helpful information here within the submit, we need work out extra strategies on this
    regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  26. This design is spectacular! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start
    my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job.

    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  27. Ι’m no longer certain the plaϲe you are getting your info, һowever gгeat topic.
    Ineeds tօ spend some time finding oᥙt much more or understwnding mߋre.
    Thankѕ fοr wonderful info I wwas օn the lookout fⲟr this info for my mission.

  28. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all folks you really recognise what you’re speaking
    about! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally seek advice from my web site =).

    We could have a link alternate contract between us

  29. Great post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I am
    impressed! Very helpful information particularly the ultimate section :
    ) I deal with such info a lot. I used to be looking for this
    particular information for a very lengthy time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  30. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

    Thanks

  31. The root of your writing while sounding reasonable at first, did not really sit very well with me personally after some time. Someplace throughout the paragraphs you actually were able to make me a believer but only for a very short while. I however have got a problem with your leaps in logic and you might do well to fill in all those gaps. When you can accomplish that, I could undoubtedly end up being amazed.

  32. Howdy are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying
    to get started and set up my own. Do you need any html coding knowledge to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  33. Hey are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m
    new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own.
    Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  34. Hi there! I understand this is sort of off-topic however I had to ask.
    Does running a well-established website such as
    yours take a large amount of work? I am brand new to operating a blog but I do write in my journal everyday.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my personal experience and
    thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for brand new aspiring blog
    owners. Appreciate it!

  35. I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog.

    Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to
    see a nice blog like this one nowadays.

  36. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I to find It really useful & it helped me out a
    lot. I’m hoping to provide one thing back and help others such
    as you aided me.

  37. That is really attention-grabbing, You are an excessively skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and stay up for looking for extra of your
    wonderful post. Additionally, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks

  38. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit
    and sources back to your weblog? My blog site is in the exact same area of interest
    as yours and my visitors would really benefit from some of
    the information you present here. Please let me know if this okay with you.
    Thanks a lot!

  39. of course like your website however you have to test the spelling
    on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very bothersome to tell the reality
    then again I’ll certainly come back again.

  40. It’s amazing to pay a visit this web site and reading the views of all
    friends about this post, while I am also zealous of getting knowledge.
    natalielise plenty of fish

  41. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait
    to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast
    your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..
    Anyhow, fantastic site!

  42. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out
    right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored
    subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command
    get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since
    exactly the same nearly a lot often inside
    case you shield this hike.

  43. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you might be a great
    author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and will often come back down the road.
    I want to encourage continue your great writing, have
    a nice afternoon!

  44. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  45. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made
    good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever
    before.

  46. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was
    wondering what all is needed to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions or advice
    would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

  47. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it
    in two different browsers and both show the same results.

  48. Amazing blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There
    are so many options out there that I’m totally confused ..
    Any ideas? Kudos!

  49. Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m
    having a hard time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.

    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs
    and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  50. Hi there! This blog post could not be written much better!
    Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept preaching about this. I will forward this post
    to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a great read.
    Thank you for sharing!

  51. Attractive component to content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to claim that I get actually
    enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing
    for your augment or even I fulfillment you get entry to persistently
    rapidly.

  52. My spouse and I stumbled over here different website and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to checking
    out your web page yet again.

  53. Superb blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little
    lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free
    platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices
    out there that I’m completely confused .. Any recommendations?
    Thanks!

  54. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who was doing a little research
    on this. And he actually bought me dinner because I discovered it for him…

    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending some time to talk about this matter here on your internet
    site.

  55. You are so awesome! I do not suppose I’ve truly read something like that before.
    So great to discover somebody with unique thoughts on this subject matter.

    Really.. thank you for starting this up.
    This web site is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with
    a bit of originality!

  56. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.
    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  57. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  58. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this site before but after going through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
    Regardless, I’m definitely pleased I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking
    back regularly!

  59. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Genuinely rarely should i encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you may have hit the nail about the head. Your idea is outstanding; the problem is an element that insufficient persons are speaking intelligently about. I am delighted we came across this during my look for something with this.

  60. Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. But imagine if you added some great pictures or video clips to
    give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent
    but with images and videos, this site could undeniably be one of the best in its niche.

    Amazing blog!

  61. Hey there would you mind letting me know which web
    host you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog
    in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say
    this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at a fair
    price? Kudos, I appreciate it!

  62. Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!

    Extremely helpful info specifically the remaining phase 🙂 I care for such info much.
    I used to be looking for this particular info for
    a very long time. Thanks and best of luck.

  63. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact used to be a entertainment account
    it. Look complex to more delivered agreeable from you!
    However, how could we keep in touch?

  64. Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and
    wished to mention that I have truly loved surfing around your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing in your rss feed and I am
    hoping you write once more very soon!

  65. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find
    this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for
    your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  66. My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on a variety of websites for
    about a year and am worried about switching to another platform.
    I have heard very good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import
    all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

  67. Hey There. I found your weblog the usage of msn. That is a really neatly written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to learn extra
    of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

Leave a Reply to http://tinyurl.com Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *