8th International DHC+ Student Awards

  • DHC+ Student Awards
  • 18 June 2020 - 18 June 2020


Winners of the 8th International DHC+ Student Awards were revealed during the online awards ceremony on 18 June 2020, in the framework of DHC+Talks. View the recording here.


This year’s winners are:

Screenshot of the online ceremony. Top row from left to right: Stefan Holler (Vice-Chair of DHC+), Martina Capone (3rd place). Bottom row from left to right: Benedikt Leitner (1st place), Antoine Fabre (2nd place).

•    1st place – Benedikt Leitner from AIT Austrian Institute of Technology / TU Wien (AT) with his research on “Simulating smart coupled district heating and electrical distribution networks
•    2nd place – Antoine Fabre from MINES Paris-Tech (FR) with his research on “Substation malfunction detection indicators to improve the operation of district heating networks
•    3rd place – Martina Capone from Politecnico di Torino (IT) with her research on “Integrated demand-side and production optimization of complex district heating and cooling networks



Launched in 2012, the DHC+ Student Awards highlight outstanding and original contributions to district heating and cooling related research, including economic and technological aspects, energy management, and the environmental consequences of energy utilisation.

Winners are invited to present their research during the official Awards ceremony and to publish their articles in the International EuroHeat&Power Magazine. This year, they were also invited to participate in the International DHC+ Summer School for free.

Additionally, the 1st place winner receives a research contribution of EUR 1000.


The following eligibility criteria are applied to all submissions.

  1. The applicant shall be registered as an undergraduate or post-graduate (i.e. pursuing studies for a MA/MS or PhD) student in an accredited institution of higher education.
  2. The applicant shall submit a short research paper in English language (MAX 8 pages). Please note that 8 pages include a one page summary with key information, all annexes and references. Permitted formatting: font Calibri 11, .pdf, .doc, .docx
  3. The research has to be related to the district heating and cooling technology and/or issues touching upon DHC.
  4. The research report shall not contain any plagiarism of words and ideas. By submitting the paper, the applicant accepts the international research community rules.
  5. No more than one contribution per person (mentioned as an author) is accepted. In case a group work wins the competition, only the person mentioned first receives financial contribution and is invited to the Awards ceremony.
  6. Contributions which have already been praised with the International DHC+ Student Awards cannot be sent again. All other applicants can improve and re-submit their papers.
  7. Papers that have already been published or submitted for a conference in the same form cannot be sent again.



Applications are evaluated by an international panel, comprising 8 academic and industry representatives from the DHC+ Technology Platform. The panel takes into account the information provided in the application form and the submitted paper.

There are 5 assessment criteria with their respective weight in the overall score.
(Note that not all criteria are applicable for each paper)

  1. Overall importance to science and technology (30%)
    • Introduction into the topic
    • Description of the main problem and the underlying motivation
    • Description of the state of the art
    • Scope and objectives of the performed work
    • Clarification of the main target of the work
  2. Methodology and logic of conclusions (20%)
    • Explanation, how to reach the goal and sub goals during work
    • Description of the chosen procedure
    • Communication of the used methods
    • Description of assumptions, external requirements and underlying data
  3. Clarity and preciseness of presentation and topic (10%)
    • Abstract and Summary
    • Presentation of results in tables and figures
    • Quality of scientific performance (references, citations etc.)
    • Format and Structuring of the paper
    • Language and Readability
  4. Expected market impact, DHC improvement and progress (30%)
    • Conclusion of the work and the results
    • Reliability of results
    • Application of results; description, how results can be transferred to the market
    • Analysis of the potential impact of results to DHC sector
    • Recommendations for further research
  5. Creativity of approach and subject (10%)
    • Degree of innovation
    • Complexity of the topic
    • Interdisciplinary approach
    • Combination or variation of methods



Many thanks to the IEA Technology Collaboration Programme on DHC and EnergyVille who have been supporting the competition for many years!




Should you have any questions about the DHC+ Student Awards, please do not hesitate to contact the DHC+ Secretariat at [email protected].

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