The world and Europe in particular are currently facing an Energy Transition that will substantially change the energy systems. Some of the main key drivers are the crucial and growing role played by electricity in the energy sector, wide integration of distributed renewable sources, increasing accessibility to cheap and efficient ICT systems, and active participation of end consumers. In this context, traditional power grids have been rapidly moving towards smart grids to provide efficient, reliable, secure, and high-quality energy generation, transmission, and consumption.
A modern communication infrastructure with intelligent electronic devices is required to manage, control, and optimize these emerging electric energy systems. The course "Smart grids" shows how ICT practically provides the capability to support bidirectional energy and information flow, self-healing actions to quickly restore systems during faults or outages, facilitate renewable energy resource integration into the grid, and involving energy consumers in optimal energy management.
New ICT approaches (e.g. Internet of Things) or concepts (e.g. Internet of Energy) are being applied to more efficiently link the physical layer of the energy system with the function and operation layer to achieve desired business objectives.
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) play a critical role in the Smart City context, where there is need to reduce traffic congestion, offer alternate transport means, reduce pollution, and in general improve the quality of life in large cities. ICT offer the ability to collect, process and extract useful information from data, so as to optimise the public transport schedule, the traffic light timing and in general the city traffic.
Mobility is facing a revolutionary moment, thanks to ICT that offer novel means to move. Car sharing, bike sharing, car pooling are examples of how the mobility scenario has changed in the recent years. To study and, most importantly, to control this revolution, the course "ICT for smart mobility" is focused at giving to the students a scientific approach to transport engineering with a special focus on ITS, helping them to acquire an integrated vision among transport and ICT.
The course has a mix of theoretical lessons and practical works using real data and specific case studies to let the students solve practical problems.
ICT knowledge and applications enable a better use of resources in buildings hence allowing for a better connection between locally generated renewable energy and the electricity grid helping cities to reduce their carbon emissions. In the course “ICT in building design” we address this challenge, dealing with the integration of building systems, technology and energy systems within a smart control environment.
This is done by describing building components and related technical systems, as well as digital architecture, climate-responsive building envelope, and kinetic façade. In this context, ICT is used for smart control of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, in order to provide thermal comfort and control air quality and illumination.
The related parameters are automatically set by means of BMS control algorithms, also exploiting IoT devices in buildings. Energy simulation is also performed.
Public health is the most important pillar needed to provide a high level of quality of life to citizens. In addition to the conventional medical approach, in the last few years new technologies have become more and more widespread, and are changing the way in which patients and doctors interact to provide medical services. In particular, ICT has become prevalent, as communication and data analysis technologies can be of great help in the medical field. Health can benefit from ICT in many ways.
Remote medical analysis can be performed via telemedicine, exploiting communications and data compression. New medical devices are being developed, which exploit sensors and cameras to gather information, and process this information to infer parameters describing the health conditions of an individual.
Processing can be performed on personal devices such as smartphones, opening the way to a host of new medical services. In this sense, ICT is enabling new access modalities to medical services, which allow a larger number of individuals (e.g., elderly people) to benefit from them.
The course “ICT for health” addresses many of these issues, describing e-health, m-health, and telemedicine applications, as well as supervised/unsupervised machine learning techniques applied to specific health problems.
Nowadays, ICT play an important role in geomatics field, in particular for data acquisition, positioning and mapping. In the smart community, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as GPS, GLONASS and Galileo became a fundamental tool to know the position of the users and their behavior.
Modern smart devices include this technology as well as inertial platforms digital and thermal cameras, and communication interfaces, that can be used for data collection and processing. In the course “ICT for geomatics: Navigation and maps”, starting from the basics of the GNSS receiver signal processing it is explained “how” a GNSS receiver works, “how” it is developed and “how” to improve its performance.
The GNSS receiver is part of the geomatics applications together with the Geographic Information System (GIS) that is introduced in the second part of the course. GNSS receives and ICT solutions for positioning, both in static and kinematic mode, are introduced through labs and practical experiences on the field Methodologies, approaches, techniques will be explained, even realizing a survey on the field. In the last part of the course, we focus on the mapping method based on ICT, mainly based on GIS solution.
During the course, we explain how to visualize the data acquired, to import a digital map and to share these pieces of information. As an example of the experimental activities performed, the students of "ICT for Geomatics" in the above figure are using GNSS receivers, validating distance measurements to verify receiver accuracy.