Early Stage Researchers

Fourteen PhD candidates with skills in; structural dynamics, system identification, verification and validation, uncertainty quantification and propagation, joint modelling, modal analysis, Bayesian statistics, real-time dynamic substructuring and modelling wind turbine blades.


The successful candidates are employed as Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) for three years.

Atmaram Muraleedharan (University of Sheffield)

Atmaram Muraleedharan is working on the DyVirt project focusing on developing new methods of dynamic verification and validation for applications with significant non-linear effect.

He did his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the College of Engineering, Trivandrum in India and his Master’s in civil engineering, specialising in offshore engineering from the University of Bologna in Italy. Atmaram was also a visiting researcher at the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems at the University of Western Australia, before moving to the current position in the University of Sheffield’s Dynamics Research Group.

He is also working towards his PhD in Mechanical Engineering on the same topic. His research interests are in the areas of structural dynamics, offshore engineering and renewable energy.

Georgios Tsialiamanis (University of Sheffield)

I studied at the school of Civil Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens during the period 2012-2017. My specialisation was on Structural Engineering and my thesis was about high-performance surrogate models for stochastic finite element problems.

After my studies, I had my internship at Beta-CAE Systems (2017-2018), where I was asked to apply machine learning techniques to various engineering problems. More specifically, I was using machine learning to predict the results of car crash test simulations.

My PhD in the DyVirt project is about decision support in the concept of Virtualisation and also about working with ontologies to build a unifying framework for the various components of Dynamic Virtualisation.

Siddhesh Raorane (AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland)

Neil Armstrong said, “Research is creating knowledge,” and through the completion of my Masters and especially my Masters’ thesis, I realised that I am fascinated, thrilled and in love with this art of creating knowledge, and I want to dive deeper into the beautiful world of research. My passion for aircraft urged me to pursue my Bachelors in Aeronautical Engineering, from NMIT, Bangalore, India, and then my Masters in Aeronautical Engineer at Linköping University, Sweden.

I have worked on CFD projects related to aerodynamics and heat transfer that got me closer to the world of simulations. I was fortunate enough to be given a project by Airinnova AB, Sweden for my Masters’ Thesis, which was based on multi-domain simulations. The aim of my Masters’ Thesis was to develop a tool that numerically designs and simulates aircraft propeller models. The work that I put in my thesis made me realise that I want to work in the field of numerical modelling and simulation.

Presently I am an Early Stage Researcher, as a part of the Dynamic Virtualisation: Modelling Performance of Engineering Structures, at AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Poland, working on ESR3 research project dedicated to multiscale modelling of elastodynamic equations. The goal of this project is to develop a dynamic multiscale framework (of space and time scales) for Acoustic Emission (AE) source and wave propagation, allowing for the prediction of AE signals and correlating AE signal features with particular damage features.

Apart from research, I love humour, writing, music and football.

Shreyas Srivatsa (AGH University of Science & Technology, Poland)

Shreyas Srivatsa received his Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering (2017) from the University of Maryland (UMD), College Park, USA, and
Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (2014) from the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE), Bangalore University,
Bangalore, India. In the past, he held positions of Research Associate (2017-18) and Project Assistant (2015) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.

His research interests include Structural Dynamics, Linear and Nonlinear Finite Element Methods, Smart Structures, Structural Dynamics of Electric Machines, MEMS, and Energy Systems. Prior to joining the DyVirt project, he worked with an interdisciplinary team of researchers at IISc, Bangalore on the “Design, Development and Control of High-speed Switched Reluctance Generator for Direct-coupled Operation with Thermal Turbo-machinery”.

He has a few conference and journal papers along with a few patents lined up as an output from this project work. He has also been a part of the collaboration between IISc, Bangalore, and Sandia National Labs, USA for the development of the “Experimental Test Facility for Supercritical Carbon-di-oxide (s-CO2) Brayton Cycle Loop” at IISc, Bangalore, India.

After joining the DyVirt project research group at AGH University of Science and Technology, he has been working on developing multi-scale and multi-domain models for MXene nanomaterial-based composites. His focus is on developing smart structures and sensors with MXene nanomaterials for the mechanical, aerospace, and energy sectors.

Currently, he is involved in building a computational framework for MXene nanocomposites, modelling them across different length scales. He
is also studying the effects due to dynamic loads on nanomaterial-based smart structures.

Giancarlo Kosova (Siemens Industry Software, Belgium)

Giancarlo Kosova graduated in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Naples Federico II in 2015. His master’s degree thesis “Operational modal analysis of wind turbines in rotating conditions” comes from his internship in Siemens Industry Software on the development and implementation of new methods and techniques to analyse the structural behaviour of operating wind turbines including simulations and testing.

After his graduation, he worked for more than three years as a CAE stress analyst in aeronautical engineering, mainly in Stelia-Aerospace, on aircraft like the Airbus Beluga XL, Airbus A350 XWB and Aermacchi M345. This work on the project of primary structures using finite elements analysis and analytical methods ranges from the conception of the structural configuration, through the evaluation of the loads to the sizing of the components. Thanks to different kinds of work experience, he developed a consistent approach to problem-solving focused on both academic and industrial applications.

He is working within the DyVirt project since September 2018 hosted by Siemens Industry Software. His PhD on the topic of “Modal Analysis in Presence of Nonlinearities” is promoted by the University of Liege. In the technical context of the project, his final aim is to develop new reliable methods for the numerical representation of structural connectors or joints, which account for all their functions concurrently and model the nonlinear behaviour. In this sense, the specific objective of the ESR is to characterise the dynamic behaviour of real structures subjected to operational loads on the base of the results of experimental tests. His intent is to implement all the steps needed for analysing a real structure optimising the process to make it reliable and applicable to most of the cases in nonlinear dynamics. These steps are the following: detection, localisation, nonlinear parameter identification, parameter identification of the underlying linear system. The development of new finite element modelling techniques and the building of finite element models is in this context both a means to study nonlinear systems and a final goal to have a high fidelity model used for simulations and predictions.

Xinyu Jia (University of Thessaly, Greece)

Xinyu studied at the department of mechanical engineering in Hunan University (HNU), China for his Bachelor’s degree from 2011-2015 and Master’s degree from 2015-2018. He was working in the field of uncertainty and reliability analysis in engineering for his Master’s studies, particularly on the topic of uncertainty quantification and propagation based on probabilistic methods.

He has published 3 international papers for those studies in Journals ‘Reliability Engineering & System Safety (RESS)’, ‘Applied Mathematical Modelling (APM)’ and ‘Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering (FME)’.

After his graduation, he joined the Marie Curie DyVirt program for his PhD in 2018. Currently, his research interests focus on Bayesian tools for uncertainty quantification and propagation (UQP) in structural dynamics simulations.

The objective of the project (his PhD thesis) is to develop a Bayesian probabilistic framework for UQP in engineering simulations based on complex physics-based models of dynamic systems, component test data and measurements collected during system operation. A data-driven framework will also be developed to update predictions of safety and risk, taking into account the uncertainties in future loads. High-performance computing techniques will be integrated into the framework to efficiently handle large-order models of hundreds of thousands or millions of degree of freedoms (DOF), including distributed or localised nonlinear actions activated during operation and uncertain/stochastic loads. The framework will be based on the process of assembling the structure from its individual components and substructures.

Tulay Ercan (University of Thessaly, Greece)

The main goal of the project is to develop novel Bayesian optimal experimental design (ODE) methods in order to define the most informative, cost-effective, test campaigns for selecting and validating models through the whole assembling scale from coupon to prototype. OED methodologies will be developed for building and refining models of mechanisms, as well as estimating the model parameters that are activated under disparate loading conditions at the assembled substructure or system level (e.g. models of joint behaviour).

For nonlinear models, tests will be designed to optimise test characteristics to excite all nonlinearities so that all associated model parameters can be estimated.

The project is expected to include:

  • Development of a comprehensive Bayesian OED framework with computational and software tools for cost-effective experimental design at the component, sub-structural assemblies and system levels.
  • Exploration of information-based measures based on expected utility functions to create useful metrics for comparing the value of different experimental designs.
  • Investigation of OED techniques and means of enhancing the prediction accuracy for important output quantities of interest.
  • Development of OED strategies to be robust to uncertainties arising from experimental conditions, operational variations and environmental and manufacturing variabilities.
  • Investigation of asymptotic and sampling algorithms, surrogate models, parallel computing strategies etc. in order to significantly reduce the excessive computational effort arising from a large number of model runs for large-order high complexity structural models.
  • Demonstration and validation examples using virtual and laboratory experiments.
Silvia Vettori (Siemens Industry Software, Belgium)

Silvia Vettori gained her Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” in 2015, where she also obtained her Master’s degree in the same discipline in 2018.

From September 2017 to March 2018, she spent 6 months as an internship student at Siemens Industry Software NV (Leuven, Belgium), during which she developed her Master’s thesis project. The outcome of her work has become part of different conference papers, such as the one that she is going to present at IMAC-37 conference in Orlando (Florida) with the title “Development and validation of data processing techniques for aircraft Ground Vibration Testing”.

She is currently involved in the Marie Curie DyVirt PhD program with Siemens Industry Software NV in Leuven (Belgium) and ETH Zurich. Her research project will deal with the development of Virtual Sensing techniques for structural dynamics applications. In this view, both experimental modal analysis (EMA) and operational modal analysis (OMA) techniques will be exploited in order to augment the information about the response of the structures to dynamic loads in operational conditions. Acquired test sensors data will be used in combination with finite element models, after they have been subjected to a modal order reduction process, for Virtual Sensing applications, ie for reconstructing the full field response of the system (accelerations, displacements or strains of the entire structure) from measured data available at just a few locations. Different Virtual Sensing techniques such as Augmented Kalman Filter or Modal Expansion techniques will be investigated through their application to several types of structure, wind turbines are one of the examples.

Paulo Gonzaga (Siemens Gamesa, Denmark)

Paulo Gonzaga gained his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the State University of Western Parana (Brazil) in 2014, including an exchange period at the Technical University of Denmark (2012-2013).

After a couple of Industry internships including 6 months in the biggest energy-producing dam in the world (ITAIPU dam), he moved to the United States where he obtained his Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2016. His main focus of research was sensor integration and dynamic structural modelling.

Back in Brazil, he started working as a structural and HVAC engineer while working towards a second Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Campinas focusing on Stochastic mechanics and uncertainty quantification.

He is currently involved in the Marie Curie DyVirt PhD program with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and the University of Sheffield. His research project will focus on the development of a framework for uncertainty propagation and risk management for diagnostic and prognostic models of wind turbine blades.

Sebastian Kruse (University of Liverpool)

Sebastian Kruse was born in Berlin/Germany and graduated with Master of Science in mathematics from Leibniz University Hanover, where he also got his bachelor’s degree. Both his theses dealt with the theoretical analysis of iterative solution methods for particular nonlinear optimisation problems
under specific constraints.

During his studies, he worked as a research assistant, inter alia, in the institute for risk and reliability under the leadership of Professor Dr Michael Beer. Further, he spent two years working at MTU Maintenance GmbH. As a student employee in the major project “SFC-optimised Compressor Maintenance”, a cooperation between MTU and the Technical University Braunschweig, he was part of the organisational unit for “Industrial Engineering”, where his assignment was to develop an algorithm for performance-optimized assembly of high-pressure compressors with technical and legal restrictions. These experiences offered him the opportunity to gain deeper insight into various engineering disciplines and sparked his interest in the associated problems and questions.

Now located at the University of Liverpool and primarily supervised by Dr Edoardo Patelli within the context of the DyVirt project, Sebastian’s particular research project aims at the development of complex load models to capture spatial and temporal variations of loads on large, complex structures in dynamic environments. Within his research, he is particularly interested in the (wave, sea current and) wind loads on offshore wind turbines. At the core of the envisaged approach lies a Bayesian model updating in order to combine fragmentary data and available expert knowledge into an appropriate load model. A method to find the best possible point estimate for the Evolutionary Power Spectra representing these complex loading scenarios is also to be developed.

Currently, Sebastian is examining whether and how the technique of compressive sensing to achieve a low dimensionality of the problem and the use of copulas for modelling correlations are suitable in this context.

George Pasparakis (Leibniz University Hannover, Germany)

I am an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) at the Institute of Risk and Reliability in Hanover, Germany as part of the DyVirt European Training Network.

I was born in Athens in 1994 and received my Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Thessaly in 2018 with a specialisation in Mechanics, Materials and Manufacturing Processes. My Diploma thesis employed a dual Kalman filtering scheme for joint input and state estimation in mass chain like models, the results of which were implemented in subsequent fatigue analysis.

During my studies, I also completed my internship at an Engineering-Procurement firm with the main focus on 3 D component design. Currently, my research area focuses on signal processing, stochastic structural dynamics, spectral analysis, wavelet analysis and compressive sensing.

Nikolaos Tsokanas (ETH, Zurich, Switzerland)

Nikolaos Tsokanas received his MS diploma from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, University of Patras, Greece in August 2018. In his MS thesis, he designed and implemented a controller for the automatic landing of a civil aircraft. During his studies, he undertook an internship in Airbus Defence & Space, Germany, in the department of Attitude and Orbit Control Systems.

Before that, he was employed as an intern in the faculty of Aerospace Engineering in TU Delft, The Netherlands. His focus there was on the real-time acquisition, analysis and control of a fatigue machine.

As of September 2018, he is a PhD student in ETH Zurich, in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, in the Chair of Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering. His research focus is on real-time hybrid testing under uncertainties. 

He will be working within WP5, whose objective is to create enhanced and accelerated methods for modelling and testing protocols for validation and verification of models of the dynamic response of structures that incorporate inherent uncertainties of the excitation, operation, and modelling. More
specifically, his task will be to develop methods for hybrid simulation of the dynamic response of uncertain structural systems to uncertain excitation and operating conditions and link them into the general verification and validation framework developed in WP1.

Tom Simpson (ETH, Zurich, Switzerland)

Tom Simpson received his Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering in June 2018 from the University of Sheffield, UK. His thesis focused on the use of manifold learning techniques for non-linear dynamical systems.

During his degree, he also spent a year working at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre as a research assistant investigating novel
machining methods of aerospace alloys.

As of September 2018, he is a PhD student in the DyVirt network at the chair of Structural Mechanics and Monitoring at ETH Zürich. His research topic is regarding the development of hybrid testing with an aim towards supporting the virtualisation of wind energy assets. Hybrid testing involves the combining of both physical experiments and numerical models in order to increase the reliability and complexity of dynamic structural testing. Within this topic, his research interests include dynamic substructuring, model reduction, uncertainty quantification, non-linear dynamics and real-time control and computation.

Iñigo Urcelay Oca (Siemens Gamesa, Denmark)

Iñigo Urcelay Oca gained his Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at the Technical University of Madrid (Spain) in 2017, which included a brief internship at Airbus Defence & Space on the retrofit and maintenance of A400M aircraft. The next step was an MSc degree in Aerospace Engineering at the Technical University of Delft (The Netherlands), specialising in Aerospace Structures.

The degree was obtained in early 2020 after a period that included an internship at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in Braunschweig (Germany) on modelling the additive manufacturing of composite materials, and another internship at ATG Europe Spacelabs in Noordwijk (The Netherlands) working on thermoelastic analysis for space missions. The MSc thesis was focused on the improvement of the blind simulation of delamination in co-cured composite aerospace structures. In particular, the experimental determination of the fracture toughness in coupons to then be used as parameters in the simulation of one structural component, a component employed to study post-buckling in stiffened panels such as those found in the fuselage structure of aircraft.

Currently, Iñigo works as an Early Stage Researcher at Siemens Gamesa in Aalborg (Denmark), within the framework of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network ‘DyViirt’. He will focus on the modelling of damage evolution in composite turbine blades.

DyVirt ESRs have participated in public engagement dissemination events:

  • ESR 4 Shreyas Srivatas attended the MRS Fall Symposium in December 2019 in Boston USA
  • ESR 9 Silvia Vettori and ESR 6 Giancarlo Kosova attended both IMAC 2019 and IMAC 2020 in Orlando and Houston
  • ESR 1 Atma Muraleedharan and ESR 2 George Tsialiamanis attended the Global Engineering Challenge in Sheffield in March 2019
  • ESR 11 Sebastian Kruse and ESR 12 George Pasparakis participated in the 29th European Safety and Reliability conference in Hannover in September 2019.
DyVirt logo with EU flag

Dynamic Virtualisation: Modelling performance of engineering structures

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 764547.