Keynote Speakers

Speaker: David Hill, The University of Hong Kong

Title: Control Architectures for Power Grids with High Renewables

Abstract: This talk will consider the long-term structure of electrical power delivery systems assuming high levels of renewable energy sources (RES). The problems of operating such systems in a whole of system sense go way beyond recent considerations of smart grids and appropriate research is in early stages. The issues and some progress to date will be described with emphasis on the projects led by the speaker in HK-China. The proper operation of an electricity grid involves an intricate set of balancing processes for energy, power and ramping all while achieving the regulation of system variables, e.g. voltages, frequency, line powers, and keeping the system protected and secure following disturbances. This is achieved with layers of system control (and market) processes. These processes all need to be redesigned for high levels of renewable power due to the weather driven variability of the power supply (adding to variability already there elsewhere). Further, the solutions will vary according to interconnection circumstances, i.e. an isolated large island like Australia has a much different problem than the highly interconnected European countries aiming at high RES. Some studies have been made by governments worldwide to answer the question: what percentage levels of renewable energy are achievable? The answer will be dependent on the control architectures in place. It is possible that this is all this development is limited by stability problems caused by the variable generation and network structure. As the recent blackout in South Australia illustrates, questions on the viability of RES for major power production can be very complex (except to the eyes of politicians). The importance of good science playing a role and being seen to have a role will be given some attention.

Biography: David J. Hill received the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Newcastle, Australia, in 1976. He holds the Chair of Electrical Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Hong Kong. He is also a part-time Professor in the Centre for Future Energy Networks at The University of Sydney, Australia.  During 2005-2010, he was an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow at the Australian National University. He has held various positions at the University of Sydney since 1994 including the Chair of Electrical Engineering until 2002 and again during 2010-2013 along with an ARC Professorial Fellowship. He has also held academic and substantial visiting positions at the universities of Melbourne, California (Berkeley), Newcastle (Australia), Lund (Sweden), Munich and in Hong Kong (City and Polytechnic Universities).  His general research interests are in control systems, complex networks, power systems and stability analysis. His work is now mainly on control and planning of future energy networks and basic stability and control questions for dynamic networks. Professor Hill is a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, USA. He is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, USA, the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He is also a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Speaker: Dr Ian Oppermann, CEO and Chief Data Scientist at NSW Data Analytics Centre

Title: Electricity Grids are Exciting (Again)

Abstract: A smart grid works by combining advanced communication, sensing and metering infrastructure with the existing electricity network. Smart grids have enormous potential to improve the efficiency of Australia's electricity sector and transform the way Australians use energy in their homes and businesses. Smart grids - and many of the future smart services which will depend on them - rely on sharing of large volumes of often personal data between individuals and organisations, or between individuals and government. Data sharing comes with a wide range of challenges broadly categorised as: data format and meaning; legal and privacy obligations; data security; and concerns about unintended consequences of data sharing. This presentation explores some of the unexpected challenges which must be addressed to realise the with exciting potential of smart grids.

Biography: Dr. Ian Oppermann is the Chief Data Scientist and CEO and the NSW Data Analytics Centre. Ian has over 20 years’ experience in the ICT sector and, has led organizations with more than 300 people, delivering products and outcomes that have impacted hundreds of millions of people globally. He has held senior management roles in Europe and Australia as Director for Radio Access Performance at Nokia, Global Head of Sales Partnering (network software) at Nokia Siemens Networks, and then Divisional Chief and Flagship Director at CSIRO. Ian is considered a thought leader in the area of the Digital Economy and is a regular speaker on “Big Data”, broadband enabled services and the impact of technology on society. He has contributed to 6 books and co-authored more than 120 papers which have been cited more than 3200 times. Ian has an MBA from the University of London and a Doctor of Philosophy in Mobile Telecommunications from Sydney University. Ian is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, a Senior Member of the Australian Computer Society, and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ian is also president of the Australia National Committee of the IEC and the incoming president of the JTC1.

Speaker: Adrian Clark, Landis&Gyr 

Title: A decade of reflection – implementing smart grids in Australia

Abstract: 2016 marks a decade of my involvement in the Australian energy industry focused on the topic of a smarter grid.  This all started 10 years ago when I was tasked at Australia’s largest utility to define and build a strategy for smart grids.  Much of which has centred around telecommunications.  I aim to provide an industry perspective to the challenges, learnings and opportunities that have come from my experiences over the last 10 years.  These include the findings of the Australian Government’s Smart Grid, Smart City project and my current role as Chief Executive of Landis+Gyr ANZ in a market that is undergoing a major transition.

Biography: Adrian was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Landis+Gyr’s Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) business in December 2014. He is also responsible for the solutions and services businesses more broadly across the Asia Pacific region. Adrian is currently leading a major transformation in the business to keep ahead of industry change brought about by a shift in customer demands, Government policy and advances in new technologies such as telecommunications, battery storage and data analytics. He has recently overseen record performance in the gas business and launched two new growth businesses. These being an Energy Services business in Australia and an Asia Pacific Solutions business. Prior to joining Landis+Gyr, Adrian was the Chief Technology Officer at Ausgrid where he oversaw a range of successful IT&T projects and business change. One of his biggest achievements was winning and then implementing the Australian Government’s Smart Grid, Smart City program. This was a $100 million Commonwealth grant to validate the costs and benefits of smart grid across Australia. He holds both a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (1st Class Honours) and Masters in Engineering Science (Telecommunications) from the University of NSW, and an Executive MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management. In 2009 he was awarded the Young Australian Professional Engineer of the Year by Engineers Australia.

Speaker: Branka Vucetic, The University of Sydney

Title: Wireless communications for smart grid applications

Abstract: Wireless technology has the potential to be applied for machine-to-machine communication in electricity grids. While present day wireless technologies made some preliminary inroads in the metering and monitoring domains, they still have severe limitations especially when real-time, reliable distributed control and protection operations are concerned, due to their high latencies and insufficient reliability. The latency performance in today’s wireless networks is generally geared towards human perception and reflexes. For current high performance networked control, fiber-optic wired networks are exclusively used as their latencies are significantly lower than those in wireless networks. An example is fault detection and isolation to prevent large scale outages in power systems, where fiber optic networks are used in order to meet end-to-end latency requirements of 1ms. Wireless systems, however, provide flexible access, are easy and cost-effective to deploy, extend and maintain. In order to facilitate wireless connectivity in emerging mission critical applications, it is imperative to develop new theories, mechanisms and technologies for wireless networks with consistently ultralow latencies and ultrahigh reliability. In this talk I will present the state-of-the art wireless technologies for smart grid use cases and outline the gap between their current and required performance.  I will describe the main standardisation activities to overcome this gap and recent results in wireless communications research at Sydney University Centre of Excellence in Telecommunications.

Biography: Professor Branka Vucetic is a world leader in wireless telecommunications research. She currently leads the Centre of Excellence for Telecommunications at the University and is recognised internationally for her leadership in general electrical and information engineering research, teaching and strategic development. She is a Fellow of IEEE which recognises her contributions in channel coding theory and its applications in wireless communication systems. She has made international impact by her publications, research training, academic and industry collaborations. This year she was awarded the position of ARC Laureate Professor. She has provided essential R&D support to the federal government’s $100m Smart Grid, Smart City national demonstration project on its wireless solutions. Professor Vucetic was recently awarded one of China's top honours - the Chinese Government Friendship Award. The award is given by the China’s central government for continuous and sustained cooperation in education, science, technology, management, sports and culture. Professor Vucetic's received the award for her long-term cooperation with Chinese tertiary institutions and her contribution to furthering education, science and technology. Professor Vucetic was also named as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering an independent body of 800 eminent Australian engineers and scientists.