IEEE Smart Grid Year End From the Chair

By Peter (Pete) Wung

2020 has been a very difficult year globally and for everyone, and IEEE Smart Grid (SG) is no exception. I am happy to report that the Smart Grid volunteers have risen to the challenges the year has presented.

Having to deal with the uncertainties of the pandemic as well as reacting to all the interconnected parts reacting to the pandemic has exacted a toll on everyone. I am proud of the members of IEEE Smart Grid, in particular the committee chairs, the volunteers who have worked tirelessly on pushing this program forward faithfully with great aplomb and dedication. I would like to thank Ms. Phyllis Caputo for managing the chaos and keeping the work moving forward.

In addition to all the chaos, we also suffered the loss of a great leader, champion, and friend of the IEEE Smart Grid, a man who made this program possible: Mr. Pat Ryan, Power, and Energy Society (PES) Executive Director. IEEE Smart Grid (SG) would have been just another good idea that was lost in between cracks if Pat had not stepped in, and helped put the program on the footing that it presently enjoys. The program started as an initiative and graduated to a program under Pat’s guidance, for that, IEEE Smart Grid is forever grateful. Rest in Peace, Pat.

The committee chairs will be updating on the happenings going on in their committees, so I will not report on their activities. It is better that those who are the most intimately involved in the missions of each committee report on their activities, but I do want to highlight a few things.

This year, IEEE Sales and Marketing put together a trial to offer Resource Center content packages to institutions. The initial customers are existing IEEE Xplore® Power and Energy customers, and two Resource Centers were included- PES & SG – and has resulted in at 7 sales this year, and more to come next year!

Further highlighting the content in the IEEE Smart Grid Resource Center: this repository includes over 140 Webinars and slides, 40 Tutorials and slides, all with continuing education credits, eNewsletters, white papers, etc. Every month, IEEE SG adds at least two webinars and an eNewsletter. In addition, the Resource Center can be used for registration for workshops and virtual events. This year, we held our first joint panel event with the International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE). And finally, the IEEE SG Resource Center surpassed revenues and downloads from last year by the end of October. The IEEE Smart Grid committees will continue to produce high-quality content- most complimentary to members of IEEE SG participating societies.

I would like to make you aware of a new initiative that is very exciting for IEEE Smart Grid initiated by the IEEE Board of Directors Ad Hoc Committee on Life Long Learning and Continuing Education. The ad hoc committee was created and empowered by the current President of IEEE, Toshio Fukida, to create educational opportunities that are both affordable and effective for IEEE members. The ad hoc committee initiated a survey distributed to mid-career professionals, and the results were enlightening. The majority of the respondents to the survey indicated that they were more interested in topics that appeal to their engineering thirst for knowledge, rather than as a means for advancement. So the gauntlet was set for this effort: to provide and create learning “paths'' for technical areas will maintain that level of interest.

The survey also allowed the ad hoc committee to identify three major subject areas of high interest from the IEEE members. The ad hoc decided to design three academies in the top technical areas. These academies are being designed to provide learning paths in salient and succinct topics to the practicing engineer. Three areas were created: Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Smart Grid. Because of the amount of content on IEEE Xplore®, the Resource Center, and the website, as well as the organizational committee structure that already exists, IEEE Smart Grid is uniquely positioned to use that content to create these paths or “learning packages” for an IEEE Academy on Smart Grid.

Since September, the IEEE Smart Grid volunteers have been working very hard with the ad hoc committee- planning the direction of the effort, internally reviewing the material available for application in creating the learning paths, soliciting leaders the effort, and initiating the creation of the roadmap based upon material that is already available, as well as the resources from the fourteen organization units that comprise IEEE Smart Grid. Another key player, IEEE Educational Activities(EA), has also been empowered by President Fukuda to support this project with assistance in instructional design, animation, artwork, program presentation, and planning. In addition, EA will help produce additional content to fill in gaps in the learning path identified by the team.

In addition, I have been named the Educator-in-chief of the Smart Grid Academy. I am humbled and honored to be given this responsibility and I am excited about this fantastic opportunity for IEEE Smart Grid to showcase our existing treasure trove of webinars, tutorials, and written material that exists in our possession.

The collective IEEE Smart Grid brain trust has identified two initial topics; there will be other topics as we evolve during this Smart Grid Academy.  Our two initial topics for the initial learning paths are microgrids and distribution automation. In addition, we have named 2 Technical Editors, one for each of the above topics. I believe these Technical Editors are very strong in their organizational abilities, in the depth of their knowledge in the two topics, and they are both very well regarded in the industry.

Professor Massoud Amin, someone who needs no introduction to this group, is the Technical Editor for Microgrids topic. You may know Professor Amin as my immediate predecessor as the Chair of IEEE Smart Grid, and he is the person responsible for recruiting me to IEEE Smart Grid.

Mr. Satish Saini is the Technical Editor for the Distribution Automation topic. Satish also serves as the Technical Activities committee and he has been instrumental in reviving the activities within that committee. Satish is absolutely passionate about the topic of Distribution Automation.

At the present, the committees and Educational Activities are working on creating a storyboard for the learning path for each of the topics, which are using the vast resources available to them through the IEEE Smart Grid as well as throughout IEEE.

We are starting at the topics level, which will be populating the Academy; but there will also be a holistic view of the Smart Grid to give each learner an overall view of the ever-changing landscape of the smart grid. Armed with this knowledge, the learners can tackle each of the topics with the IEEE Smart Grid domains and subdomains structure. We hope to reach as many lifelong learners as possible and provide them with applicable knowledge about the smart grid, presented in the best learning path possible.

So it has been an exciting year for IEEE Smart Grid! We will continue in 2021 to further our mission as a trusted resource for smart grid.  If you are interested in participating/contributing to any activities, please contact the IEEE SG Program manager at p.caputo@ieee.org.

 

For a downloadable copy of the December 2020 eNewsletter which includes this article, please visit the IEEE Smart Grid Resource Center.

Pete
Peter (Pete) Wung PhD has been the Chair of the IEEE Smart Grid Program since 2018. He is also concurrently serving as the Educator-In-Chief of the IEEE Smart Grid Academy. Prof. Wung is an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton, specializing in the fields of Electrical Energy, Renewable Energy, Power Systems, and Electric Machines and Drives. He has also served on the IEEE Smart Grid Program since 2014, serving as the Chair of the Research and Development Committee from 2015-2018. He was awarded his PhD in Electrical Engineering in 1993 from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Master’s in 1984 in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s in Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1983. Peter is a Senior member of IEEE.

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