The conference organising committee is delighted to have secured several highly experienced, well-known keynote speakers to deliver presentations on topical aspects of future grid operations, challenges and possible solutions.

    • Prof. Saifur Rahman, President 2018-2019, IEEE Power & Energy Society;  Professor, Virginia Tech, USA
      • Title: Smart Buildings in a Smart City Connected Community
      • Date & Time: 23 May 2018, 09.00 am – 09.45 am
      • Venue: MR324-326
      • Bio and Abstract
    • Dr. Damir Novosel, President, Quanta Technology Expert
      • Title: Industry Trends and Innovations for the Grid of the Future
      • Date & Time: 23 May 2018, 09.45 am – 10.30 am
      • Venue: MR324-326
      • Bio and Abstract
    • Mr. Peter Nimmo, Global Vice President, Digital Transformation Utilities at ABB, Australia
      • Title: Writing the Digital Future Together
      • Date & Time: 24 May 2018, 09.00 am – 10.00 am
      • Venue: MR324-326
      • Bio and Abstract
    • Dr. Chen Shiun, Vice President, Research & Development at Sarawak Energy Berhad, Malaysia
      • Title: Smart Grid Innovations and their Applicability from the perspectives of a Utility Company in a Developing Economy
      • Date & Time: 25 May 2018, 09.00 am – 10.00 am
      • Venue: MR324-326
      • Bio and Abstract

Saifur Rahman, PhD

President 2018-2019,
IEEE Power & Energy Society

Joseph Loring Professor of Electrical Engineering,
Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute
Arlington, Virginia, USA


A smart building has a much higher value proposition if it can function in the context of a smart city in a connected community. It can then contribute more to a community and improve the environment its occupants work in. In order to make urban living more safe, secure and environmentally sustainable, we focus on environment governance, public safety, city planning, industry facilitation, resource utilization, energy conservation, traffic control, telemedicine, homecare, interpersonal communications, social activities and entertainment.

A smart city relies on widely distributed smart devices to monitor the urban environment in real-time, collects information for intelligent decision making, and facilitates various services to improve the quality of urban living. The distributed network of intelligent sensor nodes, as well as data centers/clouds where sensor data are stored and shared, constitutes a smart city infrastructure. Participatory sensing plays an indispensable role in emerging initiatives of a smart city, which retrieves sensor data from groups of people or communities. The proliferation of personal mobile devices and development of online social networks make participatory sensing viable at a large scale but introduce many open problems at the same time. Smart cities address urban challenges such as pollution, energy efficiency, security, parking, traffic, transportation, and others by utilizing advanced technologies in data gathering and communications interconnectivity via the Internet. It provides real time and remote monitoring for different aspects of data management in areas such as transportation, communication, video surveillance, and sensors distributed throughout the city.


Professor Saifur Rahman is the founding director of the Advanced Research Institute  at Virginia Tech, USA where he is the Joseph R. Loring professor of electrical and computer engineering. He also directs the Center for Energy and the Global Environment   He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and an IEEE Millennium Medal winner.  He is the president of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) for 2018 and 2019. He was the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Electrification Magazine and the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy. In 2006 he served on the IEEE Board of Directors as the vice president for publications. He is a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Power & Energy Society and has lectured on renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid, electric power system operation and planning, etc. in over 30 countries.  He served as the chair of the US National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering from 2010 to 2013. He has conducted several energy efficiency related projects for Duke Energy, Tokyo Electric Power Company, the US Department of Defense, the State of Virginia and the US Department of Energy.


Dr. Damir Novosel

IEEE PES Immediate Past President
President, Quanta Technology LLC





Reliable and efficient electrical grid operation is critical to society. The electrical power and energy industry in the next decades is changing rapidly to meet the demands of the society and address challenges. New technology trends include development of more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective renewable generation and Distributed Energy Resources (DER), energy storage technologies, Electric Vehicles (EV), monitoring, protection, automation, and control devices, and communications that offer significant opportunities for realizing a sustainable energy future. We are at a crossroads in making business and technical decisions that will allow us to optimally and cost-effectively manage the grid.

The presentation will address some of the challenges and opportunities facing modern grids and how industry trends and innovation will shape the future grid. Topics included are:

  • Industry Trends and Transformation Drivers
  • Opportunities and challenges with distributed energy resources, microgrids, electrical vehicles and the role of storage
  • Technologies for the changing nature of the grid
  • Grid modernization roadmap
  • Education and workforce needs
  • Key success factors to prepare for the grid of the future

It will also address how IEEE provides technical leadership by tapping volunteers to offer an unbiased and independent service to the industry, benefiting from synergies between private and public sectors (utilities, vendors, academia, national labs, regulatory organizations, and other industry participants).


Dr. Damir Novosel, President, Quanta Technology Expert, has over 30 years of experience working with electric utilities and vendors. Damir has created and managed several reputable and successful organizations that developed innovative technology and industry best practices in various areas of power systems. Previously, he was vice president of ABB Automation Products and president of KEMA T&D US. He has led development and implementation of pioneering concepts, methods, and products that improved reliability and efficiency of power grids.

Damir is elected to National Academy of Engineers in 2014. Dr. Novosel, an IEEE Fellow, serves as IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) President and was IEEE PES VP of Technology. Damir is also member of the CIGRE US National Committee and received the CIGRE Attwood Associate award.

Damir holds 17 US and international patents and published over 100 articles in Transactions, Journals and Proceedings, receiving IEEE PES 2011 and 2013 Prize Paper Awards. He has led or participated in numerous IEEE standards, publications and other initiatives. He co-authored a paper in IEEE Spectrum on “Getting a Grip on the Grid” and contributed to four books, including McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology. Dr. Novosel has contributed to a number of IEEE and CIGRE tutorials, guides, standards, reports and other publications. Damir has been a keynote speaker, invited presenter, and a panelist at a number of IEEE, CIGRE, and IEEE conferences and panels presenting topics on sustainable energy, power system automation, and power grid management, etc. One month after the August 2003 North-East blackout, he was invited to be a panelist at the T&D Show in Dallas on Power System Blackouts. The Washington Post interviewed Dr. Novosel on blackouts.

He has been continuing contributor to education, including an adjunct professorship of Electrical Engineering at North Carolina State University, sponsorship of college scholarship programs, and support to industry courses and tutorials.

Dr. Novosel holds PhD and MSc, BSc degrees in electrical engineering from Mississippi State University (where he was a Fulbright scholar), the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and the University of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, respectively. Dr. Novosel was selected Mississippi State University Distinguished Engineering Fellow in 2015.

Mr. Peter Nimmo

Global Vice President,
Digital Transformation Utilities,




The abstract is to pursue a better utility partnership where efforts are optimised around joint capability for greater value & growth, building new ecosystems and value webs that can be quickly created, evolved and realigned to ‘pull’ everything into the experience required by the next generation of Utility customer. The Utility segment is rapidly seeking to become smarter and new infrastructures and technologies are arriving quicker and must come together to fully realise the value in a more timely fashion. New collaborative partnerships and environments where infrastructure and interconnectedness across data and intelligence on which new value can be jointly and increasingly created are needed.


Peter Nimmo, Global Vice President, Digital Transformation Utilities at ABB Australia has over 28 years’ of global leadership, strategic and operational management through a diversity of CEO & Board, Director, Global Division & Subsidiary Head with broad deep expertise spanning global scale. He is an ethical executive, an industry action leader and problem solver, an authentic results-driven innovator and entrepreneur who is passionate, likes to deliver differentiation with special interest in de-carbonization, decentralization, and digitization.

Previously, he was Step-In Executive & Advisor of PJN Global Ventures for more than 11 years, where he has been working with leading organizations, global consultants and start-ups in a capacity to nurture the future, help create and commercialize opportunities, and plan programs to find future economic sustainability. He has also served as a Director in Ergon Energy, Brisbane for about 2 years. He helped in strengthening Ergon’s position as a leading future network provider with Retail, Network, Remote Community, Generation and Tropical operations with over 4000 employees and over a $12billion asset base.

His strategic and operational management knowledge and new-thinking across converging utility sectors of Energy, Waste, Water and Transport combined with unique expertise in zero emission smart futures, battery, charger and technologies continues to drive digital initiatives that are delivering affordability, security and overall better position.

Peter holds an MBA in Business Leadership & Sustainability, from the University of Cumbria, combining economic principals with commercial practicality to deliver a more sustainable outcome. He has obtained numerous sector relevant Certificates with Harvard, Stanford and The University of Queensland and continues to pursue new knowledge.

Dr. Chen Shiun

Vice President,
Research & Development,
Sarawak Energy Berhad,




The last two decades have seen the growing popularity of referencing the term Smart Grid as new innovations in products and services are being introduced to purportedly help improving the production and delivery of electricity to the masses. Much effort, time and investment have been poured into creating new devices and applications, drawing on the much improved computing and info-communication technologies. Despite the oftentimes obvious benefits, the deployment of Smart Grid systems can be considered haphazard at best, especially in developing countries where universal access to electricity is yet to be realised. The four main pillars of electricity supply, i.e. capacity, reliability, quality and affordability, remain a challenge at many locations. Smart Grid solutions, providing better visibility and automation of the power system, and together with the ability to integrate local or indigenous renewable energy resources that are often of intermittent nature, present a much needed vehicle for meeting the energy demand of an expanding economy and growing population, while addressing the concern on the potential impacts on climate and environment.


Dr Chen Shiun graduated from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand with BE (Honours) and PhD in 1992 and 1996 respectively. He spent two more years as post-doctoral fellow at the same university before moving to Singapore to take up an academic position with the Nanyang Technological University. After spending over 10 years with NTU, he left his Associate Professor position to join Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) at the end of 2008. He is now Vice President, Research & Development at Sarawak Energy Berhad, Malaysia. Since joining SEB, he has spearheaded the forming of the R&D division and established the R&D programmes focusing on Energy Systems, Renewable Energy and Grid Technology.  The first programme focuses on sustainability of hydropower, investigation of alternative energy sources and clean energy conversion techniques. The second programme singles out small renewable energy options including solar PV and microhydro, and fosters this portfolio in conjunction with the development of large hydropower in Sarawak. The latter dwells into the transmission, distribution and utilization of electrical power.  In addition, he is also tasked with the responsibility in managing the rural electrification efforts, undertaken by SEB as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility. Since returning to Malaysia, he has actively participated in many professional activities ranging from participation in SIRIM technical committees, government task forces and study panels with EPU and KeTTHA, and speaking at workshops organized by various agencies including Curtin University, GreenTech Malaysia and at various meetings and conferences.