Pamela Ángela Salinas VElarde


PhD summary

The research project I will conduct within the SDGine program will be focused on analysing the link between the Circular Economy and Supply Chain 4.0, and how this interlink can be applied to close the supply chain loop in the electrical sector through digital value chain ecosystems (i.e., digitalization). A focal point is closing-the-loop of renewable energy generation technologies, mainly photovoltaics (PV), wind energy, hydroelectric, and green hydrogen. For this purpose, information on the current regulation and end-of-life (EoL) collection systems for products like PV panels and wind turbines will be gathered to evaluate if they promote the value recovery (through reuse, recycling, repair, etc.) of such products, or if, in contrast, they favour the traditional linear model where these products are discarded as waste. It has been pointed out that Blockchain technology can help tracking materials through recycling processes; therefore, digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, robotics, smart contracts are key points to be considered in the research project. Some of the preliminary research questions the research project aims to answer are as follows: How can digitalization contribute to a cleaner and circular electrical system, with a focus on renewable generation? What business models are best suited for closing the loop? Does current regulation foster this systemic change? During my research journey, I will rely on the mentorship of Professor Ruth Carrasco-Gallego and the vast experience of Iberdrola within the field of renewable energy.


Pamela Salinas Velarde is currently a researcher and Ph.D. student at the 'Escuela de Ingenieros Industriales' (ETSII) within the 'Universidad Politécnica de Madrid' (UPM). Her field of research is focused on the integration of circular supply chains and digitalization. She holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the 'Universidad Católica Boliviana San Pablo' (Bolivia) and a double master’s degree in 'Production Engineering and Management' from the University of Applied Sciences 'TH OWL Lemgo' (Germany) and the 'University of Trieste' (Italy). Due to her good academic performance, she has been awarded the “KAAD” scholarship (Catholic Academic Support Service for Foreign Students, Germany) and the “Deutschlandstipendium” (German Scholarship). In overall, she has more than seven years of professional experience, including her most recent work position at the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT in Germany, where she conducted research in the subject of circular plastics economy. She is a certified ISO 9001:2015 internal auditor, and besides her mother language Spanish, she can speak fluent English and German to a B2 level. As part of her activities outside the work environment, she is part of the Bolivian non-profit organization “Tu Beca Bolivia” (Your Scholarship Bolivia), where she tutors young Bolivian professionals who dream to study abroad.