Summer and winter schools

SAINT Summer School 2, Toulouse, June, 24th, till July, 5th, 2019

The second summer school of the H2020 Innovative Training Network (ITN) SAINT (Science and innovation with thunderstorms) is organized in the city of Toulouse, in the South West of France, from 24 June  to 5 July 2019. The University Paul Sabatier of Toulouse (UPST) is involved in SAINT, together with 9 other beneficiaries and 9 partner organisations in Europe. SAINT aims at training 15 Ph.D. students of the network on the physics and effects of atmospheric electric discharges related to thunderstorms, from micro- to macro-scales; on the development of knowledge and numerical algorithms for lightning detection/protection, for new applications in atmospheric physics.

More information can be found on the school webpage:


SAINT Summer School 1, Barcelona, June, 2nd, till June, 13th, 2018

After one year of the start of the SAINT action, the first summer school will be held at the UPC in Barcelona (Spain). The school has a two-week program that includes the ESR Workshop, participation of the 2018 campaign, invited scientific and industry lectures, meetings, tutorials, experiments and field activities. On behalf of the organizing committee we hope you will enjoy it.

More information can be found on the school webpage:



SAINT Winter School 1 DRAFT 1.1

15-19 January 2018

The Winter School is the first time that the network is brought together and that all the Ph.D. students get a chance to meet each other. The purpose of the school is therefore two-fold: to introduce the students to the basic physics and methods of the SAINT network, and to have students and scientists get to know each other. To remind us all about the boundary conditions for the school, I extract the research objectives of SAINT from the proposal and the learning objectives of the school.

From The Proposal

Research objectives

[Scientific Research Objectives]

RO1. High-energy (0.2-40 MeV) radiation from atmospheric electric discharges: to identify the generation mechanism(s) of TGFs; to characterize their spectral fluency distributions and their global occurrence rates;

RO2. Lightning propagation and the leader-streamer interaction: to understand the interaction/transition between streamers and leaders in lightning propagation; to understand the effect of high-energy processes on lightning propagation; to develop computational models that couple their micro-scale kinetic physics to macro-scale manifestations;

RO3. Electric properties of thunderstorms: to characterize the sub-processes of cloud discharges with unprecedented detail from measurements by a suite of novel sensors in space and on ground to develop and validate models of the physical processes;

[Technological Research Objectives]

RO4. Design of new tools for quantification of the chemistry of discharges: to engineer instruments and models that enable improved characterisation of the chemical reaction paths in atmospheric discharges for use in industrial applications (e.g. gas purification and ozone generation) and for quantification of the production of greenhouse gas constituents by lightning;

RO5. Design of new lightning detection approaches: to engineer algorithms that enhance the data products from lightning detection systems in space (MTG) and on the ground;

RO6. Design of new lightning protection/mitigation strategies: to engineer numerical models and instruments toward new designs of lightning mitigation systems for wind turbines and aircraft.

Winter School 1 course description.

SC1: Introduction to the science and technologies of atmospheric electric discharges [3 days]

The aim is to provide the ESRs with an introduction to the main topics of SAINT. These include lectures on the basics of the atmosphere and ionosphere, thunderstorm meteorology, lightning, high-altitude lightning, electric discharges, high-energy radiation in electric discharges, aircraft safety, wind turbine safety, lightning detection and power switches. The course will allow the ESRs to understand their own project in the larger context of SAINT and give them a broad knowledge base on which to build their project, extending from basic science to issues facing industry. The ESRs will (1) learn the main scientific and technological topics of SAINT; (2) understand the scientific and technological advances that are the aim of SAINT; (3) understand the role of their own project in relation to the goals of SAINT; (4) understand the interconnection of the ESR projects, (5) understand the academia-industry connection.

TS1: Scientific & technical report writing course [2 days]

The aim is to examine the structure of scientific papers and to practice techniques for presenting clear logical arguments in a concise and well-structured text. The ESRs will be able to: (1) identify the key aspects of making scientific and technical writing effective; (2) understand what referees expect to see in good journals; (3) know how to respond to referees comments; (4) learn to plan and write the different components of a research paper; (5) learn to prepare clear informative tables and figures; (6) edit the typescript of a research paper critically to enable acceptance; (7) correct a proof accurately using British Standard Institute marks, (8) understand the reviewing process of technical documents; (9) learn a document control system. The ESRs will learn to use written language effectively to present scientific data and ideas at a quality level appropriate for scientific publishing or technical reporting.

Lecture Plan

We propose to have the first three days devoted to the science section of the school and the last three days to the technical section, which is focused on teaching writing skills. This split allows the senior science participants to limit travel to the first three days. The schedule we propose is shown in the table below.

The proposed plan fulfil the formal requirements. If you feel there is not enough time for network-wide scientific discussions and planning, I suggest we pull in Thursday and possibly Friday. Please let me know.

The Science Section Plan

The proposed science section has six lectures a day each lasting 30 min. Four presentations are in the morning and two in the afternoon. The rest of the afternoon is devoted to group work of the students on assignments given by the speakers of the day.

It is the intention that each lecture is based on the lecturer’s research interest and role in SAINT. It is limited to 30 min in order to limit the workload of preparation for the speakers. What is required, though, relative to the usual way that you give talks, is that you must decide on the key points you want to talk about and to prepare your talk such that the students will understand them. In addition, you should prepare an assignment for group work in the afternoon corresponding to no more than 20 min of workload. Remember that this is not a conference so the presentations should be tutorial in nature.

Each European partner is given a slot; we save the US partners to the summer schools. Since this is the first network-wide meeting, I hope that all speakers will be able to come. The schedule is structured such that one afternoon is free for each of the three working groups: Modelling, Ground Observations and Laboratory Experiments, allowing them to have splinter meetings in the afternoon (they are not required to attend to students). Otherwise, the schedule is mixed up on purpose to give variety and to allow the students to revisit topics from a different viewpoint and perhaps to understand aspects they did not catch the first time around. The schedule can of course be remixed to accommodate travel restrictions of the speakers, or if you feel it is mixed too much.

You may think that there are too many breaks and that we should load up with more talks. I do not think so. The breaks are intended for students and scientists to connect and discuss … and to clear your head. The speakers should be present during the afternoon of their talk, to mingle with the students and discuss questions related to the assignments handed out during the talk or other questions related to the talk.

We will not ask you to produce lecture notes. Rather, your presentation, exercises and solutions will be uploaded on the SAINT web page. Feel free to add extra course material, for instance key papers or extra slides that we can upload in connection with your talk.

The Technical Writing Section

The course session structure presents specific aspects of scientific writing comprised of a presentation, an exercise and a follow-up discussion in plenum. The themes covered are as follows:

Session 1

  • 1st & 2nd hrs.

    • Introduction to the course

    • Oxford test

    • Forming working groups (4 groups of 5)

    • Introduction to the IMRAD system

      • Article structure – Introduction

      • Article structure – Method

      • Article structure – Results & discussion

      • Article structure – Conclusion

      • Article structure – Abstract

  • 3rd hr.

    • Written English Language

      • Word classes in English

      • Sentence construction

  • 4th hr.

    • Written English Language

      • Using prepositions correctly

      • Using definite and indefinite articles correctly

Session 2

  • 1st hr.

    • Punctuation rules

  • 2nd & 3rd hrs.

    • Transition words

  • 4th hr.

    • The use of the active and passive voice

Session 3

  • 1st & 2nd hrs.

    • Tenses in the English language

    • Use of the continuous tenses

  • 3rd hr.

    • Coordinating and subordinating conjunctions

  • 4th hr.

    • Parallel structures in writing

Session 4

  • 1st hr

    • Paragraph structure

    • Sentence analysis and optimisation - the paramedic method

  • 2nd hr.

    • Unity and coherence in writing – the article ‘checksum’

    • Building a section text

    • Planning & building a scientific text

    • Summary/questions

  • 3rd and 4th.

    • Technical Reports

      • The phases of a project

      • The living document

      • The structure of a document

      • Document review

      • Document updates

      • Document tracking

ECTs Points

We wish the students to get credits for their attendance to the SAINT schools. In the proposal, we propose two ECTS point for a winter school and three for a summer school. More precisely, we want the total of one winter and one summer school, which in all amounts to three weeks, to give 5 points credit. That means 5/3 points for a winter school and 10/3 points for a summer school. To get credits we must describe the content of the school in terms that our universities accept. Therefore, in the case of Winter School 1, we will write a note describing the content in a way that DTU will accept. I do not know at this point the detail they require. The same should be done for the coming schools.


The two formal meetings that we are required to convene are those the ESR Committee and of the Supervisory Board (SB). We will invite the Advisory Board to attend but not expect that they come. My thinking is that their attendance is more relevant at the Summer Schools.

The ESR Committee

This will be the constitution of the ESR Committee. They need someone to take the initiative to bring them together and inform them of the role of the committee. Keri Nicoll and Chris Köhn should take care of this. The meeting is scheduled early during the school on Monday after the student exercises because the must select participants to the SB meeting.

The Supervisory Board

The SB will meet on Tuesday. We avoid Wednesday in case some need to return home early. Note that almost all speakers are also in the SB. This meeting will follow the student exercises. We suspect that one hour will be enough. This depends of course on the agenda. We will circulate a draft agenda in good time.

The SAINT Dinner

Evenings are free and people can decide where and with whom they want to dine. But perhaps it is good to have one dinner all together. We propose on Tuesday evening.
16 JULY 2019