Elliot Simon, PhD Student at DTU Wind Energy

Presenting to you Elliot Simon a PhD student at DTU Wind Energy

Wednesday 13 Sep 17


Elliot Simon
PhD student
DTU Wind Energy

Read more about Elliot Simon's PhD Project

Read and get more information Elliot Simon's project on DTU Wind Energy's website
In this interview Elliot Simon tells us about his background and how he became a Phd student at DTU Wind Energy  

Tell me a little about your background?

I was born and raised in Florida. I first experienced life abroad during my bachelor, where I had the opportunity to study at Hiroshima University in Japan. My studies there were focused on nuclear engineering (environmental radioactivity) and economics. That is also where I first got started working in research, and with measurement systems.

Our lab was working on waste disposal and on tracking the impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Collecting the air, water, and soil samples involved field work, which I really enjoyed. Many of my opinions were challenged there about energy system planning and safety.

How did you get an interest in wind energy?

I did not know much about wind energy before seeing the Kamisu nearshore wind farm in Ibaraki, which was undamaged both by the earthquake and tsunami and provided much needed generation after Japan’s nuclear plants were taken offline. This got me interested in other types of energy sources, and I started researching into renewables. I’m a sailor and mechanically inclined, so I quickly became attracted to wind.

How did you come to DTU Wind Energy?

I returned to the US to finish my degree, and sought training for a career in the wind industry. I realized that the field was further along in Europe. So I moved to Germany and began a study program in wind energy systems with Fraunhofer, the German center for applied research.

Next, I applied to Uppsala University’s master in wind power project management, at their wind energy campus on Gotland. I was very fortunate to also receive a scholarship which covered my tuition fees. While studying there I met Jens Nørkær from DTU Wind Energy, who was very happy to entertain my many questions!

During the master I became very interested in lidar measurements. At the time, Uppsala didn’t own any lidars, so I began seeking data from outside partners. My luck came through at EWEA Offshore 2015 in Copenhagen when I met Nikola Vasiljević and Guillaume Léa, who were extremely encouraging and offered to host and supervise my thesis at Risø.

With the help of Uppsala and DTU, I applied for Erasmus+ traineeship funding and moved to Denmark. I learned a lot about lidar hardware, software, how to run a measurement campaign, and how to analyze wind data. In those 7 months I developed a very positive image of DTU.

Ultimately, I applied for a PhD position working in the meteorology and remote sensing group and I got the position!

What about the future?

I enjoy working on challenging problems and being creative in my approach to solving them. My professional goal is to help transition the world towards clean and renewable energy systems.

Would you recommend other young people to do a PhD degree here at DTU Wind Energy?

Absolutely! The relationship with colleagues at DTU Wind Energy really feels like a community. I am also very happy with the structure and working conditions provided here. There is a good mix of courses, research and teaching duties which provides well rounded training. I would say that DTU is one of, if not the best place in the world to do your PhD.