After 18 months of secondment at Vibratec, I would like to say that this stay has been fruitful and quite remarkable from a technical and social point of view.
Starting with technical aspects, Vibratec is an expert in structural dynamics, noise, and vibration. Its international reputation is based on a solid experience of 30 years of collaboration in these sectors. This helped me a lot in reaching different targets in my Ph.D. topic efficiently and quickly based on the continuous support of the people in the company. The work environment is dynamic, and the people are very engaged in our subjects by answering all our inquiries. Plus, they provide me with all the necessary tools for the smooth running of the thesis.
Vibratec involved us in their technical Monday meetings, a series of valuable workshops, and technical training where people share their knowledge and expertise.
We also had the opportunity to be included in technical training on our demand, which is extremely helpful for us in our Ph.D. and future career.
Socially speaking, concluding this secondment at VIBRATEC is like leaving a family behind. I was lucky to have all these people around me. I have established many relationships that we don’t only meet at work. But also, we have regular outside activities.
We celebrate birthdays and have big dinners or lunches for special occasions where all the employees get together. There are joyful events, welcomes, and farewells.

Wael Masmoudi – ESR 1

COMPREDICT GmbH, the industrial partner of ERS6, is a new company that develops virtual sensors, that is, software-based sensors that provide further vehicle measurements with no additional hardware. To do that, the company uses existing sensor measurements in the vehicle and combines physics-based (domain expertise), and data-driven (machine-learning) approaches. The virtual sensors allow us to measure, for instance, forces, torques, temperatures, voltages, and displacements, as well as “non-measurable” values, such as the vehicle mass in route. COMPREDICT applies virtual measurements to improve user experience, perform health monitoring of the vehicle’s components, define maintenance schedule, and provide data for lightweight design and value rating.

Therefore, the Industrial partner provided me valuable support, which aims to develop a Digital Twin of the gear transmission. In particular, the advanced knowledge of machine-learning techniques by part of COMPREDICT employees was of fundamental importance, as I did not have such a strong background in computer science. Furthermore, all employees were always solicitous and willing to support me. I also appreciated the effort of the company to integrate her into their activities, including regular team meetings, “after work” events, and “Friday’s presentation,” where specific topics were explained to the entire team, creating opportunities for discussion and networking. This way, I had a good relationship with the team, understood and participated in their activities, and kept the team updated on her progress. Compredict also provided a suitable work environment and facilities, including a computer, access to their servers, and cloud resources.

Barbara Zaparoli – ESR 6

I did the industrial secondment in an SME in Poland named Adaptronica. Adaptronica is a small company working in diverse fields, namely space, aviation, mechanical and civil engineering, mainly in vibration assessments. Close contact with space industry projects was very relevant to me because it is an area where I would like to work in the future.

During my stay in Adaptronica, I performed experimental works to validate the numerical results obtained in Finite Element Method simulations. The experiments consisted in the application of locally resonant metamaterials in the gearbox housing with the intuit of reducing its vibration and noise emission.

All the colleagues in the company were always available for technical discussions and to support the experimental work. They also allowed me to be updated and involved in the projects they were developing, including allowing me to be present in their field experiments. Moreover, this experience gave me insights into the Polish industrial fabric, as well as, the Polish culture and way of living.

Daniel Amaral – ESR 3

An industrial doctoral program is quite different from regular doctoral programs. Within the framework of a European Industrial Doctorate, researchers perform half of their research activities with an industrial partner. This enables the researcher to develop solutions that are not only innovative but also practical, economical, and industrially relevant. As part of the LIVE I project, I had the opportunity of spending 7 fruitful months of my research activity during the first year of my doctorate with the industrial partner of my project, Vibratec SA in France. During my industrial secondment, I was focussing on experimental investigations to understand the noise and vibration behaviour of single-stage gear trains. At Vibratec SA I was able to collaborate with fellow early-stage researchers, Wael Masmoudi and Ranim Najib, from the University of Naples Federico II and gain valuable experience in experimentation and testing methodologies. It was not just our experimental activities, but also the interaction we had and the support we received from the experienced engineers at Vibratec SA that made this a valuable experience.

Our experimental activities focussed on identifying the static transmission error of spur and helical gear pairs, which is essentially the source of whine noise in transmission systems. Countering the transmission error between the gear pair through innovative design solutions and active control strategies can help improve the noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) behaviour of the transmission system. This in turn can have a positive effect on the comfort of the vehicle and enable weight reduction of the transmission system. The first step towards achieving this is to understand how the transmission error of a gear pair changes with different gear parameters and operating conditions. This involved performing multiple experiments in steady state and transient conditions and evaluating the angular position error between the drive shaft and load shaft, and the vibration at the bearings. This was achieved through high-resolution encoders and accelerometers respectively.

The industrial secondment wasn’t all about research. Vibratec SA was an excellent place to work and had warm, welcoming, and friendly colleagues. From working hard on our experiments to competing in table tennis matches during lunch breaks, from running simulations during work hours to enjoying barbeque evenings at the company, the secondment experience had it all. Living in France was by itself a wonderful experience. In addition to exploring the excellent French cuisine, I was inspired by my colleagues and also developed a love for cycling. One of the most popular sports in France and the by far the best way of exploring the beautiful French countryside!

Sidharth Dave – ESR 4

Networking at vibratec is very fruitful. The vibratec team is very skilled and carries strong numerical or experimental experience. They are very supportive and generous with their orientation, feedback, and sharing skills… having a secondment at vibratec has been a big added value on a personal and professional level. I’ve built good friendships there. Besides the technical support, I’ve learned and experienced different challenges that helped me build communication and social skills that added value to my personality and upcoming career.
I also had the chance to communicate with another French company called “B2G”, which was in charge of the metrology tests required for my thesis topic. Together we shared knowledge, experience, and suggestions that helped me orient my topic better.
Vibratec was also a good exposure to the LIVE-I project. On a weekly basis, we have visitors in the company or customers who check the lab, and we’ve been introduced as ESRs in the project. This offered us the opportunity to present ourselves and our thesis topics, especially when we were working on the experimental test bench. We had interesting feedback. Also, I was happy to introduce LIVE-I on Social media platforms and had beautiful feedback. As well as my Italian language class where I explained more about my topic and the Marie-Curie grant agreement. At the conference that we attended in Poland, I met engineers with different backgrounds and introduced them to our project.

Ranim Najib – ESR 5

After doing the literature review and performing some initial investigations on the transmission system in TU-Darmstadt, I travelled to Italy to start my secondment at our industrial partner in the LIVE-I project “Powerflex SRL”. Powerflex is an Italian company with operational headquarters in Limatola (Benevento) which has been operating since 1996 in various sectors such as defense engineering, avionics, aerospace, naval and railways. Powerflex’s engineering includes specific skills in the field of mechanical, structural, electromechanical and electronic design, supported by specific and sensitive validation and qualification activities. 

The first objective for me at Powerflex was to design a proof of concept test-rig that includes a simplified gearbox. The test-rig should be optimized regarding manufacturing costs and weight. This leads to a poor NVH performance yielding a perfect example to demonstrate the efficiency of an active vibration control system, comprising new developed actuators and power electronics. The first step was to design the test-rig and make sure that it can withstand the static and dynamic loads. This was done by designing the test-rig on a CAD software, then do the structural and dynamic simulations on a finite element analysis software. That was done successfully at Poweflex with the help of Dr. Mauro Fontana and Dr. Antonio Lagreca.

The exciting system of the developed test-rig showed great flexibility to induce excitations that simulate any running speed and meshing frequency with its harmonics. These findings are useful to develop the active vibration control system to mitigate the noise and vibrations emitted from the system.

In addition, a cooperation was done with ESR 3, who tested also a passive solution on the developed test-rig. His solution is to use mechanical resonators to mitigate the vibrations of the gearbox housing, and currently the testing results are being investigated.

Sherif Okda – ESR 9