The IEEE PES Task Force on Innovative Teaching Methods for Modern Power and Energy Systems

By Panos Kotsampopoulos and Nikos Hatziargyriou

A new IEEE PES Task Force has been formed to investigate, create, and promote the use of innovative teaching methods and material in modern power and energy systems.

Modern energy systems are faced with the decentralization of energy production, the integration of storage (stationary or mobile), the interconnection of different energy carriers, new market models, and the wide use of ICT in all areas. In order to respond to the emerging industrial needs in a complex multi-domain environment, new skills and expertise are necessary in different fields. The role of education and training is of great importance for the new generation of professionals and innovators who will address the current and future challenges. Luckily, recent technological advancements can revolutionize education by providing a plethora of new tools and possibilities. E-learning receives unprecedented attention with the roll-out of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), webinars, and advanced tools, such as interactive notebooks. New ways of laboratory education are emerging, such as remote (distance) labs, hardware-in-the-loop simulation, and augmented/virtual reality. Classroom education is also transformed with the advent of e-learning, while the boundaries between classroom and laboratory education are becoming more flexible. At the same time, engineering educational research proposes methods that can increase student engagement and enhance student performance. Active learning, problem-based learning, and experiential learning, among others, are increasingly gaining interest, while the importance of addressing different skill levels (e.g. according to Bloom’s taxonomy) has been recognized.

In this framework, the IEEE PES Task Force on innovative teaching methods for modern power and energy systems successfully kicked off during the virtual IEEE PES General Meeting 2020. The TF operates in the framework of the University Education Activities Subcommittee of the IEEE PES Power and Energy Education Committee (PEEC) and will investigate, create, and promote the use of innovative teaching methods and material in modern power and energy systems. Blended learning, innovative laboratory exercises, and e-learning tools will be in particular focus, complemented with interdisciplinary and efficient teaching methods based on engineering educational research. Moreover, the TF will serve as a forum for sharing and disseminating educational content, tools, and best practices, while exploring the cooperation with other PES Committees.

In more detail the Task Force will address:

  • New trends in laboratory education for modern power and energy systems: remote/virtual labs, hardware-in-the-loop simulation, and augmented/virtual reality.
  • Transforming the power and energy classroom: blended learning and e-learning tools (e.g. interactive notebooks, animations, MOOCs etc)
  • Advanced teaching methods for power and energy systems: problem-based learning, active learning, interdisciplinary approaches, while addressing different skill levels. Moreover, metrics to evaluate the educational outcomes will be addressed.
  • Identification of gaps between the current skill/competence needs of the industry and the output of universities.

The Task Force will produce a PES Technical Report in summer 2022. A paper on using real-time hardware-in-the-loop simulation for education and training is also planned in cooperation with the Task Force on Real-Time Simulation of Power and Energy Systems, along with the organization of panel sessions in IEEE PES sponsored conferences.

You are warmly invited to join this effort. Don’t hesitate to contact Panos Kotsampopoulos at


This article edited by Mehrdad Rostami

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

photo panos
Panos Kotsampopoulos received the Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece in 2010 and a PhD degree in distributed energy resources in 2017 from the same school. He graduated from the School of Education at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 2020. Since 2010 he has been working on research projects at the Smart RUE research group of NTUA, where he is currently a Senior Researcher. He was a guest researcher at the Austrian Institute of Technology AIT (Vienna) in 2012 and 2013. He has participated in several European research projects as principal investigator for ICCS-NTUA and he is responsible for the development of the laboratory infrastructure of the Electric Energy Systems Laboratory. He is chair of the IEEE TF on “Innovative teaching methods for modern power and energy systems” and active member of the IEEE TF on “Real-Time Simulation of Power and Energy Systems”, the IEEE WG P2004 “Recommended Practice for Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation Based Testing of Electric Power Apparatus and Controls” (chapter co-leader) and others. He is Editor of the “IEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy” and a member of the Editorial Board of “Energies”. He is chair of the IEEE Young Professionals Greece and co-founder of the energy community “Collective Energy”. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of the Technical Chamber of Greece.
hatziargyriou photo
Nikos Hatziargyriou is a professor of Power Systems at the National Technical University of Athens, founder of the Smart Grids Research Unit (SmartRue) of the Energy Systems Laboratory. He has over 10 years of industrial experience as Chairman and CEO of the Hellenic Distribution Network Operator and as executive Vice-Chair of the Public Power Corporation. He was chair and currently vice-chair of the EU Technology and Innovation Platform on Smart Networks for Energy Transition (ETIP-SNET) representing E.DSO. He is an honorary member of CIGRE and past Chair of CIGRE SC C6 “Distribution Systems and Distributed Generation”, Life Fellow Member of IEEE, past Chair of the Power System Dynamic Performance Committee (PSDPC), and currently Editor in Chief of the IEEE Trans on Power Systems. He has participated in more than 60 RD&D projects funded by the EU Commission, electric utilities, and manufacturers for both fundamental research and practical applications. He is the author of the book “Microgrids: Architectures and Control” and of more than 250 journal publications and 500 conference proceedings papers. He is included in the 2016, 2017 and 2019 Thomson Reuters lists of the top 1% most cited researchers.

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