Til hovedinnhold

SINTEF and AIST started a joint research and development project in the field of micro gas-turbine engines in January 2006. The project involved close integration between numerical modelling and simulation (SINTEF) and experimental measurement campaigns (AIST) in the design and optimization of an annular micro-scale gas-turbine combustor.

Gruber had a good opportunity to advertise among the Japanese R&D institutes, industry and academia the advanced research work conducted in the field of turbulent combustion modelling at SINTEF Energy Research. In addition to the successful AIST/SINTEF multidisciplinary seminar held in Tokyo and Tsukuba in October 2006, several visits to other relevant R&D partners and industrial customers like JAXA were arranged by the kind Japanese host researchers.

Andrea Gruber and Dr. Nohiriko Iki also participated at the Japanese Combustion Symposium in Hiroshima. A large conference attended by more than 300 delegates and Gruber got a possibility to meet Japanese researchers and to understand the way industry and R&D institutions interact and work together.

-For open-minded individuals Japan is an easy country to move to, Gruber says. I enjoyed the work place, the private social level and the experience as a visiting tourist, regardless of the language issue. This is also thanks to the fact that the Japanese host researchers from AIST were very helpful in settling all the practical and administrative issues to the prolonged stay in Japan.

Gruber and his accompanying wife noticed at once that in a more and more global world that is increasingly like itself all over the five continents, the ancient culture of Japan has managed to conserve some of the positive aspects and peculiarities that made it so special to the eyes of the first Portuguese sailors that landed on the shores of Kyushu in the 16th century. One of the few others westerners that visited and lived in Japan before World War II, the British sailor William Adams noted in 1600: “Arriving to Japan from Europe is a cultural shock because of the large behavioural and cultural differences.”
- This is still true today, Andrea Gruber claims. At the point that once back in Europe after only a few months in this fascinating country, it is easy to notice the “lack” of refined tastes  and polite manners of the Japanese people. In fact to some extent, it is fairly easy to miss.

Gruber is grateful for the funding from the Research Council of Norway. The collaboration between SINTEF and AIST is a first step toward a closer integration of the Norwegian and Japanese applied R&D. Further relations between the two institutes are already being planned as a result of this first very fruitful collaboration in the field of combustion research and Dr. Nohiriko Iki will join the SINTEF combustion research group in Trondheim for a six weeks research term in the autumn of 2007.

Left: original combustor configuration, 75% of the air enters from the outer liner. Right: new improved design, 80% of the air enters the combustion chamber from the front and inner liners.

Dr. Iki and Andrea Gruber outside the Hiroshima Convention Hall, site of the Japanese Combustion Symphosium

Visit to JAXA: In the background the Fujitsu supercomputer. From left Dr. Matsuyama, Dr. Yoshida, Dr. Gruber, Dr. Iki and Mr. Kazuhiro

Research Scientist Andrea Gruber at the department of Energy Processes at SINTEF Energy Research initiated the joint research and development project together with Dr. Nohiriko Iki from the turbo-machinery research group at the Energy Technlogy Institute of AIST in the field of gas turbine combustion.

The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) is the Japanese homologous of SINTEF. Its aim is to improve our modern society, achieve sustainability by advancing science and technology and contribute to strengthen the international competitiveness of Japanese industry. More than 3000 employees, most of them highly educated scientists, work in many different research fields as biotechnology, information technology, nanotechnology, material science, environmental friendly energy technology, applied geology and meteorology.

In April 2005 AIST became a non-public service organisation and staff members and researchers are no longer government employees. AIST today plays the role of a mediating, innovation hub between the industry, government and academic sector.