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Paul Weigel graduated as a Mechanical Engineer with a specialization in energy and process technologies from the Leibniz University of Hannover. His personal focus during his studies was on renewable energies, which can be seen in the choice of internships and thesis topics. During his studies he spent one year at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil and worked in parallel as an intern for the company Küttner do Brasil in the of biogas area. For his diploma thesis he spent another 8 months at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in China and developed and tested a heat receiver for high temperature solar thermal units. The heat receiver was based on a siliconcarbide foam and the concentration of the solar radiation was achieved via a parabolic dish type mirror. Furthermore, he worked as an intern in the global technical support for Senvion, a manufacturer of wind energy turbines.
After successfully completing his studies Paul worked as a strategy and management consultant for the internal consultancy of the E.ON Group since 2014. During the following 3 years Paul enriched his technical knowledge with a deep understanding of the functionalities along the entire energy value stream.
In his free time, Paul is a member of the environment and civil protection of the voluntary fire fighters in Düsseldorf and is the director of his startup for natural nutrition for athletes based on honey.
In 2018 Paul began his dissertation at the University of Duisburg-Essen in cooperation with the Wuppertal Institute. The topic of the dissertation is the "Holistic Evaluation of future applications of the digitalization in the energy sector".
The digitalization has the potential to have a drastic impact on all steps of the energy value chain as well as on all stakeholders, including the overall society, national economy and the environment. Good knowledge of future digital use cases and their impact on all stakeholders is necessary. On the one hand, it enables a broad societal and political discussion to set the general targets and guidelines for the digitalization process and on the other hand, it is an important piece of information for companies to develop and sustainably implement digital applications. This knowledge needs to be based on a holistic analysis of the benefits and potential risks of respective digital applications.
The dissertation aims at developing and testing a methodology, which offers a basic framework to perform a holistic analysis of technical, ecological, social and economic aspects of digital applications. A combination of a multi-criteria analysis (MCA), a life cycle assessment (LCA) and semi-structured interviews is in particular focus. The multi-criteria analysis provides the basis of the methodology and includes a set of weighted criteria. The assessment of the different criteria is conducted either within the life cycle assessment or via expert interviews. It is the goal to develop an evaluation methodology which is adaptable to the diverse kinds of digital applications and different analysis depths and allows the inclusion of quantitative as well as qualitative criteria. Outcome of the holistic assessment will be an overall evaluation of a digital application with reduced complexity including specific highlights and risks and respective solution options.
The thesis will consist of three main parts. Part 1: Identification and categorization of digital applications in the energy sector. Part 2: Development and weighting of the evaluation criteria. Part 3: testing of the methodology based on real digital applications including LCA and expert interviews.