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IEEE PES/IET/EEA Distinguished Lecture 2017 in NZ North

Distinguished Speakers Session was organized by IEEE New Zealand North Section PES/PELS Chapter jointly with IET and EEA on Monday, June 19, 2017, at Owen G Glen Building, University of Auckland Business School, Auckland. The Distinguished speakers were Dr. Edvina Uzunovic from IEEE PES and  Dr. Graham Ault from IET. Hosts were Dr.Nirmal Nair; IEEE PES Chapter Representative (R10 South) and Waqar Qureshi, IEEE PES Chapter Chair NZ North.

The title of the first talk by Dr. Edvina Uzunovic was “Reinventing Power and Energy Education.” It addressed aspects of power systems education, including transforming educational approach to address rapidly changing electrical energy industry, covering the gap between the curriculum and industry needs, engaging and challenging next generation of engineers, creating qualified replacement of aging workforce, and providing continued education to working engineers.

Dr. Edvina Uzunovic has more than 15 years of experience with a range of responsibilities in the power systems industry. She is currently the Associate Director of Power Systems Engineering and an Adjunct Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Edvina has a B.Sc. from the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, M.A.Sc. and doctorate degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Among various awards she received two awards from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) for contributions to the Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) technology – the Innovators Award and the EPRI Technology Award and two recognition awards from the US National Committee of CIGRE (the International Council on Large Electric Systems) for noteworthy technical papers in 2002 and 2006. She is also very active in her volunteer work with the IEEE Power and Energy Society, currently serving as Vice President of Education. In her new role as VP Education she is responsible to co-chair the Scholarship Plus initiative for PES Regions 1-6 (US Footprint), and to initiate new programs within education jurisdiction.

The title of the second talk by Dr. Graham Ault was “Smart Approaches to Distributed Generation Connection and Operation”. The talk reviewed the international distributive generation (DG) developments and assessed several smart grid approaches to integrating DG.

Dr. Graham Ault is Founding Director at Smarter Grid Solutions, UK. He has a strong background in grid modernization, power system planning, utility business models, smart grid and distributed generation, including resilient transitions to modern grid architectures.He has been integral to IET’s Power Network Joint Vision (PNJV) expert group, formed to help ensure national electricity networks are ready to meet significant challenges including EVs, solar and home heat pumps. He is also part of the IET’s Future Power System Architecture (FPSA) project, which is assessing the challenges to be faced in the electricity system by 2030.

After the first leg of her talk in Auckland, Edvina went to Wellington to give a PES keynote on 21 June, at the 2017 Annual Electricity Engineer’s Association conference.  She also gave a DL talk to generation engineers there as part of NZ Central Section coordinated event there hosted by PES Chapter Chair Ramesh Rayudu. Later that week on 23rd June she also participated in a very interesting and thought-provoking panel “We never could have seen that coming”.

You can watch Edvina’s EEA talk and panel here.  She also promoted the IEEE PES ISGT Asia 2017 conference to be held in Auckland between December 4-7, 2017.

In her final leg of this DL tour, Edvina visited New Zealand South section in Christchurch and gave a talk to PES members there at the University of Canterbury.She was hosted there by PES Chapter Chair Neville Watson and Andrew Lapthorne.

It was not all work for Edvina but the PES volunteers of New Zealand’s three Chapters hosted her through several social functions across the three cities. This also provided PES an opportunity to showcase its contributions alongside IET and CIGRE to local utility engineers who are members of EEA.

Nirmal Nair
IEEE PES Chapter Representative (Nirmal Nair)

Waqar Qureshi
IEEE PES New Zealand North Chapter Chair