On the afternoon of September 22nd 2021, Dr. MIN Jiesheng, Vice President of Zhejiang Yuansuan Science and Technology Co., Ltd. and Nuclear Power R&D Director of Electricite De France (EDF) China, delivered a lecture in person to the third-year students of SJTU Paris Elite Institute of Technology (SPEIT) titled “Digital Nuclear Power: A Boost to Power Plant Performance”. He shared his thoughts on the application of digitalization in traditional industries, with a focus on the use of industrial software in digital twin systems.
On May 27th this year, SPEIT signed a memorandum of cooperation with Zhejiang Yuansuan Science and Technology Co., Ltd. at the 5th Forum on the Development of Chinese-French Engineering Specialists, in a bid to jointly educate interdisciplinary elites for the future through complementary cooperation between scholars from the academia and experts from the business community. Prior to the lecture, French Dean of SPEIT Mr. Frédéric TOUMAZET expressed his warm welcome to Dr. MIN, saying he had confidence in Dr. MIN‘s lecture to help the students think big and benefit a great deal with his extensive project experience in the nuclear power industry.
Given China’s pledge to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, new energy and energy efficiency services are set to become one of the country‘s priorities in the next three decades. Based on his project experience in EDF China, Dr. MIN said digital information systems could be applied together with digital tools, virtual reality and machine learning to predict the unknowns. For many sophisticated areas that make it impossible to conduct experiments, such as aeronautics and astronautics and nuclear power, simulation software has what he called unparalleled value and is one of the best ways to consolidate knowledge. In a digital twin structure, the software system (analog machine, simulation software and visualization), the hardware system (high performance computing, control and automation), as well as design and operational data can be synergized to integrate platforms and offer systematic solutions.
The gap between China and the developed world is not that wide in the hardware system and data, but it can be ridiculously yawning in the software system, especially so in the industrial software applied in sophisticated areas. As Dr. MIN said, only around 3% of industrial software is developed by China, with the remaining all from commercial software titans in Europe and the US. This grim picture, he said, highlights the urgent need to accumulate as much industrial practice as possible and strive to turn the tables as early as possible by enhancing deeper integration of the academia, industries and engineering technologies.
In the Q&A part, Dr. MIN shared the internship experience this summer in Yuansuan of 9 undergraduates who had entered SPEIT in 2018. He said SPEIT students were fairly capable of both adapting and learning in the face of unknowns. And he advised the students to avoid being too specific early in their study and instead keep an open mind and explore further. He said he believed that SPEIT’s model of blending studies with industries and research institutions would help students become interdisciplinary talents who can solve practical problems.