CEIDP YP Best Paper Award Winners’ Experiences

Daniel Háže
Department of Materials and Technology, University of West Bohemia, Pilsen, Czech Republic
It was early September 2023 when I received an email from the 2023 IEEE Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena (CEIDP) organizers telling me I had been nominated for the Best Student Paper Award. Little did I know then what an experience it would be for me a month later in the USA.
I attended the 100th anniversary edition of the CEIDP 2023 conference held in New Jersey in mid-October. At the time of the conference, I was a newly minted second-year PhD student. This was my first time attending an international conference, and I did not know what to expect. In addition, I had been nominated for the Best Student Paper Award, which was a great honor. However, it also meant presenting my research results in a 15-minute presentation to experts from academia and industry from around the world.

Daniel Háže giving his best-paper presentation.

This brings me to the topic of my research, which focuses on innovative solid electrical insulating materials with advanced properties, in particular self-healing polymers. In my conference paper, I wrote about a comprehensive analysis of the dielectric, thermal, and mechanical properties of one representative of this still-evolving group of materials in the electrical engineering industry.
I must admit that presenting my results was one of the most powerful moments of the conference for me. It was a unique opportunity to share my research results with the professional community. Presenting at such a conference can strengthen your ability to communicate your work, an essential aspect of scientific research. I also had the opportunity to present in a poster session research results that I collaborated on with colleagues from our department, so I actively used my time at the conference. I received a lot of feedback and valuable advice for further research. Several interesting invited lectures during the conference covered the whole portfolio of topics that fall under the dielectric and insulating materials. I had the opportunity to network with colleagues who are interested in similar topics, and attending the conference was also beneficial from this perspective. The icing on the cake of the conference was winning the student competition, which gave me feedback that research into self-healing materials for electrical engineering has a future and is worth continuing.
Finally, I thank the organizers of CEIDP 2023 for organizing the conference and the IEEE Young Professionals for giving me the opportunity to share my experiences with others.

Phichet Ketsamee
The Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

My work focuses on experimental research on nanoscale dielectric materials for high-voltage cable applications, with the aim of advancing toward a sustainable electric power grid. This work is supervised by Dr. Thomas Andritsch and Professor Alun Vaughan.
My doctoral journey began in autumn 2019 with unforeseen challenges lying ahead—the COVID-19 pandemic. With the full support of my supervisors, in October 2023, I had the opportunity to participate in CEIDP. A paper, titled “Dielectric Permittivity and Breakdown Strength of Thermally Aged Polypropylene/Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Nanocomposites,” was chosen as one of the top five finalists for the Student Paper Award competition. It was presented during an oral session as part of the centennial celebration of the CEIDP, held in East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA.

Receiving the Best Student Paper Award certificates presented by Professor Brian Stewart and Professor Kai Wu.

The thrill of being recognized for my contributions was heightened when I was awarded the Best Student Paper Award.
This paper highlights the significance of nanotechnology in high-voltage cable insulation materials by investigating the effect of thermo-oxidative aging to evaluate the long-term performance of polymer nanocomposites. The study demonstrates that the addition of magnesium oxide (MgO) nanoparticles in polypropylene (PP) blended with ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) nanocomposites slows down the aging process. This is indicated by a mitigated impact on thermal stability, oxidation reactions, and the degradation of dielectric properties when compared to unfilled PP/UHMWPE blends.
Participating in the CEIDP not only allowed me to present my work but also gave me a chance to connect with fellow researchers in the Dielectric and Electrical Insulation Society (DEIS). The conference became a joyful event, offering me opportunities to share experiences, engage in idea exchange, and inspire myself for more active participation in the global academic community. In December 2023, following the significant achievement at CEIDP, I successfully navigated the final hurdle of my PhD journey—the viva voce. As I reflect on the twists and turns of my PhD journey, I recognize that unexpected challenges have shaped my academic journey. However, the opportunities I actively pursued in academic conferences represent a transformative experience that goes beyond the mere presentation of research. All presentations, discussions, and question-and-answer sessions have honed my skills in delivering complex ideas and navigating challenging questions. These experiences have been invaluable in preparing me for the viva, providing a solid foundation to defend my research work with confidence.