Nayeem Rahman: “At Porto, I gained fresh perspectives that will enhance my research.”

At UPTEC, we have our doors open for new ideas, innovation, challenges and secondments. We welcome startups, big companies, universities and hubs from all over the world. Nayeem Rahman from the University of Vaasa, one of UPTEC’s partners in the OpenInnoTrain community, is the next interviewee of “Open Doors”, and he shares his three months of experience at UPTEC and the main reasons for joining our ecosystem.

Nayeem Rahman || Doctoral researcher

University of Vaasa || Finland || 5618 Students and 611 Personnel

University of Vaasa: A university with a heart

Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your research project.


I am Nayeem Rahman, a doctoral researcher from the University of Vaasa in Finland. My research focuses on the energy transition from a flexible market perspective. Energy flexibility is crucial for integrating more renewable energy into our power systems. Since renewable energy production depends on natural forces, it requires a very responsive power system, especially on demand. In simpler terms, regular energy consumers, such as households, are expected to adjust their consumption patterns according to renewable energy production. This shift impacts our energy architecture technically, economically, and culturally, necessitating innovative solutions to address the resulting challenges. My research examines the business models of electricity sector actors, such as electricity sales companies and system operators, and finds optimal solutions to adapt to this transition.

Why did you choose to come to UPTEC?


I chose UPTEC and Porto for three main reasons: the advanced stage of smart grid development, the high use of renewable energy, and the presence of numerous energy startups. I aimed to understand the intersection of these issues and compare them with my knowledge of the Finnish energy sector.

What expectations did you have before starting your secondment in Porto? 


I wanted to understand the various energy transition activities in Porto, network with a diverse group of people from academia, industry, and entrepreneurship, and gain insights into how these groups address the big questions of energy transition.

Were your expectations met?


Yes, certainly! I networked with various professionals, exchanged ideas, and gained fresh perspectives that will enhance my research.

Which connections to stakeholders in the Porto ecosystem could be made?


I made several valuable connections in Porto, including energy researchers in academia, cleantech startups in entrepreneurship, and industry professionals. These connections are crucial for contextualizing my research in a broader setting.

What aspects of your secondment in Porto did you especially enjoy?


So many aspects! If I start with UPTEC, then first and foremost I have to mention the strong sense of purpose and passion for societal good among its members. The coworking place also provided many opportunities to interact with a diverse group of people, who are always eager to help. Porto itself is a scenic city with rich cultural, historical, and culinary experiences, making my weekends exciting and filled with small adventures 😊

How will your project continue after your time here in Porto?


After the secondment, I will focus on completing my doctoral studies. However, I have gained several ideas from Porto for post-PhD research, particularly on energy poverty and energy literacy in the transition to a smarter grid. I intend to continue investigating these topics as I move forward in my research career.

July 19, 2024

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