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AUK RISE Center Holds a Lecture on Safety of Power Generators

The Center for Research in Informatics, Sciences and Engineering (RISE) at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) held a lecture entitled "State of the Art Assessment of Large Rotating Machines: How Embedded Systems Make the Energy Supply Safer". The lecture was conducted by Dr. Bernhard Fruth, Chief Executive Officer of Maser Quartzelec Services, a leading international electrical engineering group based in Malaysia.

Dr. Fruth discussed the main measures and best practices pertaining to the safety and lifetime of power generators. He took the audience through the main stages involved in assessing, diagnosing, and repairing power generators and their accessories. According to Dr. Fruth, power generators operate at very high voltages, which deplete the generators over time. That being the case, the generators require regular assessment and maintenance, as their failure could lead to fatal consequences. "Clients usually ask me 'how is the health of my machines?' We, as 'machine doctors', provide our diagnosis based on specific parameters. Accordingly, we submit reports including our precise evaluations and calculations, that include probabilities of machine failures and recommendations for precautionary measures," said Dr. Fruth.

Throughout his talk, the speaker showed pictures and displayed demos that supported the importance of regular machine evaluations and assessments, especially for machines that have exceeded 20 years of operation. He also provided an overview of the contemporary technology used to monitor and assess power generators. According to Dr. Fruth, power plant monitoring can be performed onsite and remotely. The onsite watchdog system relies on workers to constantly monitor the machines and report any unusual indicators that may require intervention from technical teams. The remote system operates through automated sensors that monitor and detect machine performance and issue assessment reports. The role of computers is extremely important in this process, as they do not only provide statistical data, but also visual and auditory signals that allow engineers to diagnose problems while offsite.

Following the talk, Dr. Fruth spoke about the importance of student research in supporting the engineering industry. He explained that students possess an exploratory spirit and an enthusiastic attitude, which allows them to generate fresh ideas. He also stressed the importance of students' hands-on knowledge and training, explaining that handling machines and equipment requires very skillful craftspeople. Adding to this, Dr. Detlef Hummes, AUK Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, stressed the importance of creating connections between academia and industry. "The talk was very impressive because it showed how modern embedded systems can even affect a conservative technology like power generators. The extensive discussion indicates that demand on such topics is very high. So, we should frequently offer talks which cover subjects of industrial applications," he said.

Dr. Amir Zeid, Director of RISE, was pleased with the audience engagement, expressing that RISE lectures are meant to cover a wide range of multidisciplinary topics in order to encourage research and development across different departments at AUK.

Khaled M Al-Abdulqader, an undergraduate student seeking a degree in Computer Engineering, found the lecture relevant to his field of interest. "As the speaker talked, I started generating ideas for my future capstone project. We need student innovators here in Kuwait who understand the requirements of the country to be able to provide customized solutions that can be proposed to the industry," he said.

Dr. Bernhard Fruth has a PhD in High Voltage Technologies (Dr.-Ing. 1986) from the University of Technology, Aachen, Germany. Between 1987 and 1992, he held the position of Manager of the High Voltage Systems Group at ABB Corporate Research, Baden, Switzerland. In 1988 Dr. Fruth developed the first commercial partial discharge pattern recorder. He has entrepreneurial activities in the field of rotating machine diagnostics/partial discharge testing and monitoring systems and was Managing Director and CTO of PD Tech Power Engineering AG, Switzerland. Dr. Fruth is now the Chief Executive Officer of Maser Quartzelec Services Sdn Bhd, based in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, since 2011. He has published more than 60 papers and contributions to international conferences and has been a member of the IEEE and IEC working groups. He is a member of ELECTROSUISSE and Swiss Engineering Society.

The AUK Center for Research in Informatics, Sciences, and Engineering (RISE) serves as AUK's primary source for research and development activities, a bridge to industry, and an important venue for community outreach. RISE adapts an integrative model by forging connections between academic disciplines, local & international innovators, academia & industry, as well as technology & society

Dr. Bernhard Fruth, CEO of Maser Quartzelec Services

Dr. Detlef Hummes, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering

The speaker explaining the signals of machine malfunctions

Dr. Fruth receiving certificate of appreciation from Dr. Amir Zeid, Director of RISE


Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 19th November 2014

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2014

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