Katharina Karner gewinnt den Young Author Award 2018
Katharina Karner was presented with the Young Author Award 2018 for her work on energy networks.

Katharina Karner wins the Young Author Award 2018

Karin Kuchler,

A spirit of research + motivation = award-winning! This equation certainly sums up Katharina Karner. She was presented with the Young Author Award during the Energy Innovation Symposium at Graz University of Technology. We chatted with her about her Master’s degree in Energy and Transport Management and her professional development in the energy management field.

Katharina Karner is a graduate of the Institute of Energy, Transport and Environmental Management and has been teaching at FH JOANNEUM for four years. Now she has been recognised for her research activity.

Recommendation: energy network – the award-winning paper
“Methods for the flexibilisation of the industry – city energy network: a technical, economic and environmental analysis” - this is the title of the award-winning paper by Katharina Karner, where she analyses how the use of industrial excess heat can be made more flexible. Industry needs lots of energy and produces lots of excess heat. This is generally not used on site but is available as a source of energy and could be used to supply heat to neighbouring cities or towns. At present, however, there is a temporal mismatch between supply of industrial excess heat and urban heat demand. In her paper, Katharina Karner analyses three different options for flexibilising the industry – city energy network. The keywords: use of heat storages, city clusters and load shifting. The analysis revealed a clear recommendation for clusters of two or more cities linked via a district heating network. An increase in demand will enable more flexible use of industrial excess heat.

How long have you been at FH JOANNEUM?
Katharina Karner: “I have been at FH JOANNEUM for over nine years now – first as a student on the Bachelor’s in Energy, Transport and Environmental Management and then on the Master’s in Energy and Transport Management. I was particularly impressed with the interdisciplinary approach and opportunity to specialise in the fields of energy and mobility during the Master’s course. The competent teachers on the course sparked my passion for my field of research – energy management. And so I went on to work at the institute as a research assistant and then a lecturer”.

How did your paper on the ‘flexibilisation of the industry – city energy network’ come about?
Katharina Karner: “It came about as part of my doctoral thesis at Montanuniversität Leoben and was written in collaboration with colleagues from the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology during my educational leave in Karlsruhe. The paper was a great opportunity to collaborate with different people in Austria and Germany and to make a key contribution to energy efficiency in industry. Of course, we hope that the efforts will pay off and energy networks between industrial companies and cities will become even more pronounced”.

What are your plans for the future?
Katharina Karner: “After four years, I will be moving abroad to Germany. In September 2018, I will be starting work as an energy consultant for an international energy consulting company. I will be leaving Austria with mixed feelings. I will miss the students and my colleagues very much. During my time at FH JOANNEUM, I had the chance to be involved in lots of great projects. Developing the new curriculum for the Bachelor’s course at the institute is one of my personal highlights. I was able to make a valuable contribution to updating the course content. Despite that, it’s now time for a new job and new challenges”.


Applications for the Bachelor’s degree programme in Energy, Mobility and Environmental Management and the Master’s degree programme in Energy and Transport Management can be submitted until 21 August 2018.