HUSTers Talk

Zhou Hewen: My unforgettable experience in Italy

May 24, 2021

On March 16, Ms. Zhou Hewen of Institute of Clean and Renewable Energy (ICARE) published another Sino-European cooperative research paper, Prospective Contributions of Biomass Pyrolysis to China’s 2050 Carbon Reduction and Renewable Energy Goals, in Nature Communications. This study explores the contribution of biomass based negative carbon technology to China's simultaneous achievement of carbon neutral and renewable energy goals.

In 2017, Zhou Hewen entered ICARE to study for a master's degree in new energy science and engineering. In 2019, she entered the School of Energy and Power Engineering to study for a doctor's degree. Since then, she has won a national scholarship for master's degree, second prize in the first Renewable Energy Technology competition, second prize in the thirteenth national Third Dimensional Digital Innovation Design competition, amoung other achievements. In 2018, she went to the University of Perugia, in Italy, for a four-month internship.

Ms. Zhou Hewen went to CRB (Biomass Research Centre) of Perugia University in Italy for an internship, conducting relevant research under the guidance of Professor Francesco Fantozzi and Pietro Bartocci. The main task of the laboratory is to assess the life cycle environmental impact of anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis technology of biomass, which is similar to her research project in the State Key Laboratory of Coal Combustion at Huazhong University of Science and Technology. This is also an important reason why Ms. Zhou chose the internship.

In addition, CRB laboratory has LCA software Gabi, OpenLCA and biomass technology process simulation software BioWin. These provide her with abundant opportunities to use the software for research and evaluation. "The greatest help of this internship is to learn a lot of cutting-edge knowledge, and after the internship, these life cycle assessment software still facilitate my related research work. "

In addition to the excellent scientific research conditions, foreign tutors also try their best to enrich their intern’s life. Especially the main responsible teacher, Pietro. When it comes to what kind of teacher Pietro is: "gentle" is a word repeatedly mentioned. During her internship, Pietro provided her with all kinds of help, such as: helping her find accommodation; taking her to work nearly every day to ensure her personal safety; helping her to carry living materials; introducing the local customs of Italy; etc. This helped her overcome the barriers built up by language differences and unfamiliar surroundings. Moreover, regarding scientific research and learning, Pietro is always ready to answer relevant questions, which also helped her to adapt to the scientific research in Italy.

When talking about her internship experience in Italy, Zhou Hewen said that she had a lot of good memories, especially when Pietro took her to a scientific research party. The enthusiasm of bonding with fellow academics, and the starry night she saw when she sat in the courtyard for academic discussions. "For me, these are precious memories of my life."

In Zhou Hewen's opinion, going to Italy for this internship was an unforgettable experience, which also makes her fully understand the training concept of "seeking common ground while resolving differences." "I am so grateful for the international exchange opportunities provided by ICARE, for the support from Professor Yang Qing, and for the warm hospitality and help from Pietro, which made me experience a completely different scientific research environment and culture."

Written by: Feng Man

Edited by: Scott, Peng Yumeng

Source: Institute of Clean and Renewable Energy

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