SMAGRINET Mobility Programme continued with another hybrid roadshow. On November 15-17, students visited Estonia to get familiar with the local electrical system and the challenges that the industry is facing. While some of the students were able to join the site visits on spot, others enjoyed the virtual visits and joined the discussions online.
Future electrical engineers, who have passed the SMAGRINET modules in Technical Universities of Berlin, Dresden and Kaunas and the University of Ljubljana received insights from presentations by national transmission system operator Elering and Estonia's largest network operator Elektrilevi. Visits took us to important sites for Estonian electricity production: Auvere and Iru Power Plants and Paldiski facilities. We acknowledged that many of the challenges are similar in different countries, but the biggest discussion was caused by the challenges of energy production specific to Estonia and how the country is managing to cope with the Green Deal initiatives.
The 3-day visit ended with an introduction to the NATO Cyber Defense Competence Center of Excellence and hands-on simulation - attacking the electrical grid of fictional country Berylia. The students formed two opposing teams - one to protect the electricity grid and keep all 24 areas running, while the others were attacking the grid intending to cause a full blackout. The tension was in the air until the last moment, and only 3 regions with electricity kept us from the complete darkness. Another proof of the importance of cyber defense in the energy sector. We are glad that SMAGRINET can bring such real-life challenges closer to our future engineers and provide them with practical experience.
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