Farewell ABB

(by Gonçalo Guerreiro)

In what felt like a blink of an eye since my last post, my internship at ABB through Blind Applying has just come to an end. The time spent at the Corporate Research Center in Krakow allowed me to have a glimpse into all the work behind innovation at ABB, meet great people, and have my first experience of full-time work.

The Project

I previously wrote about the project I was working on - developing a proof-of-concept for a “new” type of predictive controller. Before I left, I managed to have a working version of the software for the controller. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to proceed with testing it in real situations. The work I developed showed that the usage of parallel processing is likely to bring an improvement for this type of controllers but further testing will be necessary. I am happy with the outcome!

Final Weeks

My final week was particularly interesting. Besides giving the final touches to my project, I got to know more about its possible applications. Turns out that the type of controller I was developing is very similar to the ones used in ABB’s ENVILINE products. The ENVILINE consists of a range of devices aimed to reduce power consumption in railways by recovering some of the energy when the trains are breaking. It was very nice to see that my work was not very detached from real applications.



It is a very culturally-rich city, full of people from everywhere and overall a nice place to live. I definitely enjoyed spending this period living here and is for sure a destination to re-visit in the future!

What’s next?

After this short experience, it’s now time for me to “start” my career (maybe it has started already…). I am looking forward to starting working in engineering either in the Power/Energy or Transport industries in the near future. I have been sending applications for quite some time, attended interviews and will keep doing so until I find a nice fit.


I will be back home in Lisbon for now with two main purposes: to enjoy the sunny warm weather and explore another interest I had for some time now which are tech startups. By looking at the weather forecast, the first will be quite easy to achieve. About the second: I will be working part-time in a tech startup, mainly doing operations and business development and I am quite excited to see what this three-month-long drift from pure engineering will bring.

With these lines it’s time to say goodbye. I enjoyed sharing my experience with you all, I hope you enjoyed reading!

Time flies… and things get done

(by Gonçalo Guerreiro)

I started my internship at ABB in the beginning of March and it has been an incredible experience so far. From the first steps in the office, to the opportunities of wandering around Krakow, a lot has happened and, as my project moves forward, I realised I haven’t shared much about it yet.


Since I joined ABB, I have been working to develop a proof-of-concept for a “new” type of controller. This means I am building a simple version of a controller to test the feasibility of a new approach. If successful, the technology can then be improved, scaled, and may be applied in future products.

What can it be used for?

Controllers are very common in today’s technology: industrial processes, automotive applications, aerospace industry, among others. They are capable of monitoring a system’s operation and control its future behaviour. The controller I am working with could end up being used in almost any application but, for now, the plan is to test it in a water-pumping system and in a servomotor to assess its efficacy.


Control has been around for quite some time and it’s widely used. The novelty in my project comes from the usage of parallel processing in a predictive controller. Predictive controllers calculate the input for a certain system by comparing its actual state to a programmed desirable behaviour in order to match them. Predictive control problems can easily become very complex and difficult to handle. However, it is very likely they could be solved more efficiently with the use of multiple processors rather than a single processing unit (the usual approach). This possibility has motivated my research and I have been exploring it for the past two months.

How am I doing it?

In order to develop the project I have been using as a main tool, one FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) in which I implemented a multiprocessor architecture. I am programming the system using the C language. While I was not a stranger to some of the tools / concepts I am using, the amount of learning  has been incredible.

The status

I am happy with the developments so far. I already have a basic working version of the controller and the next steps will be its improvement and testing in a real situation.

That was the sum-up of my project so far. I hope it has some appeal for the engineers out there and that I didn’t geekify it too much for the others!

Some other updates: I have just received a video camera from ABB to do some video diaries from my experience during the internship and next weekend I will be travelling to Zurich for a week of workshops at the global headquarters together with global trainees from all over the world. I will keep you in the loop!