The consortium comprises 10 beneficiaries (8 academic institutions and 2 companies) and 8 associated partners. Each doctoral candidate will have 1 or 2 PhD supervisors at the recruiting institution and a supervisor at the hosting organization during secondments.

PhD supervisors


Juan Valverde

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Ridha Harzallah

Ridha Harzallah

Ridha Harzallah: is R&D coordinator within the Solar Team. He is Mechanical Engineer and has a PhD in Material Science and Engineering in 2010 from the “Ecole des Mines de Paris”. He has a big experience in R&D, materials selection and manufactring, corrosion testing, molten salt behavior and coatings development. He is responsible for different R&D projects: SolarFocus, SOLAR PERFORM, SOLAR GNEXT…
He has also worked in Processes and Project Management in industry through the projects realized in CEMEF (France), SONACA and Euro Heat Pipes in Belgium. He was responsible for the R&D of new materials, process, surface and heat treatment for mechanical parts in railway (i-Trans Project), aeronautics (TAMBA project) and aerospace (Cwality Project).

Christian Raeder

Christian Raeder

Marco Bernardino

Gioele Di Marcoberardino

University of Brescia

 Gioele Di Marcoberardino is Assistant Professor of “Energy and Environmental Systems” at theDepartment of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Brescia since 2018. He graduated in Energy Engineering at Politecnico di Milano (2012) and he got his PhD in Energy Technology at Politecnico di Milano (2016). He’s been involved in national and FP-7 or H2020 European projects dealing with techno-economic assessment of energy conversion fuel cell based system (REFORCELL; FERRET; FLUIDCELL), hydrogen production with membrane reactor technology (BIONICO, MACBETH) as well as innovative closed power cycle for electricity production from concentrated solar plant (SCARABEUS, DESOLINATION). He was the dissemination manager of BIONICO. He’s author of more than 25 papers (h-index 14).

Paolo Iora

Paolo Iora

University of Brescia

Paolo Iora has been a full professor of “Energy and Environmental Systems” at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Brescia since June 2018. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Brescia (2000) and worked as a postgraduate student from December 2003 to April 2004 at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology of Imperial College (London), focusing on the development of dynamic simulation models for high temperature fuel cells. In 2005, he took his doctorate in Energetics, at the Politecnico di Milano. From January to April 2010, he was a visiting professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), working on the development of advanced hydrogen storage systems for PEMs. In September 2012, he was a visiting professor in the same Department, collaborating on energy policy for cogeneration plants and fossil-renewable hybrid plants. His research activities mainly focus on advanced systems for energy conversion and storage. He is the author of 47 papers published in peer review international journals, and numerous contributions presented in national and international conferences. He participated to several research projects funded by the European Union, Italian Government and private companies. Presently he is the UNIBS responsible for the EU projects DESOLINATION (H2020) and TOPCSP (MCSA).

Celia Sobrino

Celia Sobrino

UC3M. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Celia Sobrino is an associate professor in the Thermal and Fluids Engineering Department at UC3M. She received a doctorate in engineering in 2008 and held a postdoc position at TU Delft.
Her PhD thesis focused on the hydrodynamics of fluidized beds. During her PhD she spent 6 months at the University of British Columbia (Canada), working in the field of industrial turbulent fluidized beds. After the PhD she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at TU Delft in an EU project led by the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands related to biomass combustion.
Her current research lines are concentrating solar energy, thermal energy storage and heat transfer. She has supervised two PhD thesis and is currently supervising an industrial doctorate focused on 3D printed heat pipes and a PhD thesis on novel materials to be used under high temperature and extreme conditions, in collaboration with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical Engineering.

Antonio Acosta Iborra

Antonio Acosta-Iborra

UC3M. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Antonio Acosta-Iborra is full professor at the Department of Thermal and Fluids Engineering in UC3M. PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Organization from UC3M (2004). He has made two postdoctoral stays at the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Cambridge.
His research lines are high temperature thermal systems (e.g. receivers and heat exchangers) in concentrated solar power (CSP), fluidized beds, heat and mass transfer processes of industrial interest and their computational fluid dynamic (CFD) numerical simulation. In these research lines he has supervised 3 doctoral thesis and he is author or co-author of more than 40 papers published in high-impact factor journals indexed in JCR, and numerous contributions to international and national conferences and book chapters. He is also the inventor or co-inventor of several patents. He has participated in European research projects, Spanish research agency projects and regional research projects. He is currently the coordinator of a research project on tubular solar receivers, heat exchangers and thermal storage of Solar Power Towers granted by the Spanish government.

Cristina Prieto

Cristina Prieto

Universidad de Sevilla

Cristina Prieto is Associate Professor in the Energy Engineering Department at the University of Seville, Spain. Former director of R&D at Abengoa, she has been dedicated to developing thermal storage solutions for concentrated solar thermal applications. She has led more than 20 international R&D projects related to thermal storage. Cristina has more than 50 papers in journals of the citation index and holds 13 patents. She earned her PhD through research in molten salts storage solutions, and she has participated in the “SET-Integrated plan” of renewable technologies of the European Commission and acts regularly as external evaluator of the European Research Programmes


Samuel Mer


Samuel Mer is an associate professor at the University of Perpignan and has been working in the PROMES laboratory since 2019. He obtained his PhD in 2016 at LEGI – Grenoble and held a postdoc position at the Institute of Fluid Mechanics in Toulouse for three years. His main research interests concern two-phase flows and heat transfers in the context of CSP development. His work combines numerical and experimental approaches.


Manuel Blanco

The Cyprus Institute

Manuel Blanco has more than thirty-eight years of experience as a solar researcher and engineer, leading research teams, and advancing the state-of-the-art of Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) technologies. Holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Applied Physics for the University of Massachusetts, USA, and a Doctor of Industrial Engineering degree for the University of Seville, Spain. Expert on Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Optics, and Modelling of Energy Systems. 

Full Professor (part-time) at the Cyprus Institute (CYI), Senior Scientist at the Institute of Solar Research of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and Technical Advisor of the startup company BlueSolar Filters. Also, Vice-Chair of the EU-SOLARIS European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) – a new instrument of the European Commission to articulate the support to European Concentrating Solar Thermal Large Research Infrastructures. 

Former holder of the European Research Area (ERA) Chair in Solar Thermal Technologies for the Eastern Mediterranean at CYI and former Chair and Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of SolarPACES, the Technology Collaboration Program of the International Energy Agency responsible for promoting the development and deployment of solar thermal power technologies and the solar-assisted manufacture of fuels and chemicals. Earlier, he served as Science Leader of the Solar Energy Systems Research Group of CSIRO (Australia’s National Research Agency); Director of the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative (ASTRI); General Coordinator of the EU-SOLARIS Preparatory Phase; Director of the Solar Thermal Energy Department of CENER, the National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain; Chair and Full Professor of the Engineering Department of the University of Texas at Brownsville; Director of the Plataforma Solar de Almería of CIEMAT; and Principal Investigator of the EC SOLGAS and SIREC solar tower technology R&D projects, which paved the way towards PS10, the first commercial solar tower power plant.

Author of numerous scientific publications and several patents, and participation in a senior capacity in many national and international expert groups and committees. Co-recipient of the City of Seville’s Energy Research Prize 2003, for outstanding contributions to the field of renewable energies and finalist of the René Descartes Prizes 2000 -the highest-level scientific distinctions awarded by the EC for collaborative research across scientific disciplines.

Marco Binotti

Marco Binotti

Politecnico Milano
Manfred Wirsum

Manfred Wirsum


Manfred Christian Wirsum is a full professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, specifically in the field of Energy Engineering. He is also the head of the Institute Of Power Plant Technology, Steam and Gas Turbines. The work at the institute specializes in research centered on turbomachines, hydrogen and emission-reduced energy conversion systems.
He has a diploma in engineering from the University of Stuttgart, a Master of Science from the University of Wisconsin/Madison, and a Ph.D. and Habilitation from the University of Siegen. He worked for Alstom Power Switzerland for nearly ten years where he led the R&D department for 5 years. Since 2010, he has been with RTWH Aachen University. He is also an honorary professor at Tsinghua University Beijing and at Shenyang Institute of Engineering. She earned her PhD through research in molten salts storage solutions, and she has participated in the “SET-Integrated plan” of renewable technologies of the European Commission and acts regularly as external evaluator of the European Research Programmes


The selection of fellows is currently in process.

Members of the associated partners



Marcello Garavaglia



Andrés Núñez

Ciemat. Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas


Eduardo Zarza

europa media


Gabriella Lovasz



Patrick Hilger


Agencia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l’energia e lo sviluppo Economco sostenible (ENEA)

Salvatore Sau



Egoitz San Miguel

Université Perpignan


Samuel Mer