From its founding on 28 June 1948, when the Yugoslav federal government established a strategic centre for scientific and industrial research, Turboinštitut has grown to become an integral part of hydraulic machine development in this region. It has grown in a country with a long-standing tradition of water turbine design and production (from the mid-19th century). Being an independent institute, without any ownership ties with any turbine or pump producers from its founding to this day, the Institute has been a valuable basic resource for turbines, pumps and ventilator production for many manufacturers.
For Turboinštitut (TI for brevity), who is present on the world market as a developer and even manufacturer of small hydro-machinery (up to 20 MW), it is very important to stay in touch with the latest technology, research and design in its field. Therefore, TI is not only following the trends, but represents a state-of-the-art player in research and design on the global scale. In 2008, TI bought a supercomputer with 2048 computer cores – at that time the most powerful supercomputer in South Eastern Europe. The new infrastructure allowed TI to explore the possibilities how to draw the numerical simulations near the experimental measurements. In 2013 two employees have finished their PhD study, which means that almost all employees in the BRE department of TI are in possession of a PhD degree (either of mathematics, physics or mechanical engineering). The latter indicates the importance of knowledge to TI.
Although the TI is already performing research in cavitation and in other areas, the Marie Curie IAPP call is a unique opportunity, both for TI and its researchers, to acquire the appropriate knowledge much faster than would be possible by standard research (and thus to gain the needed competitive advantage on world markets). In addition, TI and its researchers would establish strong connections with University of Trieste, which is performing more fundamental scientific research on a similar field of engineering.
Founded in 1924, the University of Trieste is a medium-sized university with a student population of approximately 20,000. The university currently has 10 departments: Economic, Business, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences; Engineering and Architecture; Humanities; Legal, Language, Interpreting and Translation Studies; Mathematics and Geosciences; Medicine, Surgery and Health Sciences; Life Sciences; Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences; Physics; Political and Social Sciences. The university is involved in various student and staff exchange programmes with universities in the EU and collaborates with several universities from Eastern Europe and other non-EU countries. It also participates in many research projects at national and international level.
The University of Trieste is among the best universities in Italy for quality of teaching and excellence of research. It was ranked second among the top medium-sized universities in Italy by the 2013 university ranking published independently by Censis and the daily La Repubblica, which takes into account services, scholarships and benefits, infrastructure, web communication, and internationalisation.
According to the Times Higher Education 2013, the University of Trieste is among the top 400 universities in the world and was ranked second in Italy on an overall score for teaching, international outlook, research, and industry income. It is also among the top 300 universities in the world in the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities 2013 published by the National Taiwan University Ranking.
The Applied Physics group of the Dept. of Engineering and Architecture (DEA for brevity) of the University of Trieste, has a long history of expertise in development and application of advanced simulation tools – CFD and Numerical Heat Transfer – in thermal fluids. In the last few years different methodologies and approaches have been employed ranging from DNS (Direct Numerical Simulation) to RANSE (Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes Equations) for the simulation of turbulent flows. Present research fields of the Applied Physics group of the University of Trieste include advanced methodologies for calibration and validation of cavitation models, performance prediction of marine propellers working in uniform or non-uniform (wake) fields, under cavitating regime, hydraulic and thermal characterization of open-cell metallic foams, using microtomography-based CFD simulations. Mentioned research fields are exactly the fields that are critical for gaining competitive advantage of Turboinštitut.