Meet the future Daan Cederløf

Meet the future - Daan Cederløf

Thursday 03 Dec 20


Daan Jonas Hottentot Cederløf
PhD student
DTU Wind Energy
+45 93 51 08 76

Daan Cederløf is a 3rd year PhD student at DTU Wind Energy where he works with damages in composite materials in wind turbine blades.

Daan came to DTU after a stay in Brazil at the Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica in Sao Paolo where he wrote his thesis for his master’s degree in aerospace engineering. Before that he lived in Delft in the Netherlands where he had spent the rest of his studies and where he also graduated from. He is half Dutch and half Norwegian and therefore lived in Norway during his childhood. A few years ago, he got a Norwegian girlfriend and because she was going to study in Denmark, the idea of moving to Denmark was not far off when he saw an interesting PhD position at DTU Wind Energy. The position was about control of damage initiation and propagation in composite materials for wind turbine blades. Daan was already interested in composite materials for blades from his previous studies, so he immediately applied for the PhD position and got it.

Daan’s research

At DTU Wind Energy, Daan is affiliated with the CAM Section (Composites Analysis and Mechanics), and his PhD project is part of the EU project DACOMAT. Horizon 2020, the EU’s Research and Innovation Support Programme, supports the project. In the DACOMAT project, researchers are working on developing more tough composite materials, for example for wind turbine blades and large building structures. Daan's PhD project is entitled Control of fatigue delamination growth and aims at making wind turbine blades more damage tolerant at the microstructure level and thus extend the life of the blades. This means treating the surface of the glass fibers with plasma to control the formation of cracks in the material. During the project, Daan performs experimental tests to determine if his theses fit. Among other things, he has performed the treatment with plasma. The plan is also to use the tests as a basis for a computer model. Daan says that he is currently working on tests that will show how cracks in the material occur.

Where do you see your research used?
"It's a bit of a niche area I that I work with", Daan admits, "but if my results are to be used in the real world, it will probably be in connection with better being able to predict where damage to wind turbine blades could occur", he explains. Daan's PhD supervisor, Professor Bent Sørensen from DTU Wind Energy, also participates in the DACOMAT project, which in addition to Denmark involves 13 participants from Norway, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain.

The culture at DTU Wind Energy

Daan is happy with his work and his colleagues at the Department of Wind Energy. He appreciates both the other PhD students and the technicians who enjoys talking with over a cup of coffee from time to time. The culture at DTU Wind Energy is very relaxed which is both good and bad, Daan thinks. "The freedom I have to choose which way I want to go in relation to my subject is sometimes a little scary, but it does give me a sense of ownership of the project, because I do not just follow a supervisor's instructions", he says. The relaxed atmosphere has proven to be important for Daan's well-being. "During the Corona shutdown, I found out that it is not only important for me to come to Risø to do my work, but also to relax and talk with other people", he says. He is happy to take the trip from his apartment in Copenhagen to Risø, because he loves the quiet nature of the surroundings.

Do you have any good advice for new PhD students here at the department?
"Communication has probably been the key word for me when I started here," says Daan. It is important to be open and communicate with the others here at the department - and not only when you need help", says Daan. Should he give some good advice for future PhD students, he has two: on the one hand, Daan believes, it is important to be open and clear in his communication with his supervisor and align his expectations for the PhD study reciprocally with her/him. In this connection, Daan recommends that you make sure to hold meetings regularly with the supervisor to avoid surprises. Also, it is a good idea for a newcomer to the department to find out how the department works in a purely practical way: whom, for example, should you talk to when you need help, Daan concludes.
21 JANUARY 2021