Professor's portrait: Rebei Bel Fdhila
Rebei Bel Fdhila, Professor in Engineering. School of Business Society and Engineering , Division of Sustainable Energy Systems.
Can you briefly describe your academic career – what choices have brought you to where you are today?
I did my Master and PhD at the “Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse in France” finishing in April 1991. After a post-doc at the French National Research Center (CNRS) and the company EDF (Electricite de France), I have worked in Holland at the university of Twenty and joined ABB Corporate Research in Västerås/Sweden since May 1995.
After spending all this time mainly within fundamental research where the physics of complex flows and heat transfer was my main interest, I decided to discover the industrial R&D and took a researcher position at ABB Sweden in 1995. It was a great experience in a world class research center where I could proudly develop and keep a good contact with academia at national and international level.
In 2005 I joined Mälardalen University as adjunct professor, and this was strongly encouraged by ABB where I continued to fill my main position. I took this decision to be able to do a bit more of research and re-discover the academic life style. This status continued until I became a full professor at Mälardalen University.
Please tell us more about your research area.
My research area is to understand, model and predict complex industrial flows & heat transfer. This is the heart of the majority of industrial processes where we need to understand, harm and improve/transform in a way to fit the energy transformation era towards full decarbonization. This is a very important and challenging area because of it is complexity in terms of physics and mathematics but also very promising with the integration of emerging technologies as those driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
How would you describe your research environment at MDU?
Excellent, ambitious and quickly developing. However, we can absolutely do more and better especially by improving our internal communication and synergy. We need to work cross teams, departments, schools and avoid silos and any fragmented and isolated work. A unified team spirit behind our university flag will make us even stronger.
What is the driving force in your research?
How within my area of expertise I can contribute to the development of renewable energies, reduce the utilization of fossil fuel and reduce emissions. I dream to help create a viable world to our children.
Which research topics are particularly important for you?
How can we electrify the world, improve the quality of our daily life and continue to support the society with zero negative impact on the environment.
How do you feel about becoming a professor given that MDU has just become a new University?
I feel like growing with the university. Many new doors will be open to us. Our impact on the society will be more important, useful and visible. It will be great.
What's the best part about conducting research at MDU?
We have a huge potential and when we will run full speed we will be among the best.