Keynote Speakers

Keynotes – Tuesday Oct. 22 thru Thursday Oct. 24

Keynote 1:  Networks and Markets for Scheduling Energy Consumption
Tuesday, Oct. 22nd
Professor Anna Scaglione, University of California at Davis, USA


Over the past twenty years power systems and economic theory have merged to co-design market architectures that can competitively price and dispatch in real time generators power, so as to follow the random daily electricity demand. Designed for reliability and to work with poor telemetry, lack of real time situation awareness and to harness limited computational capabilities, these markets favor fossil fuel generation over wind and solar power. What is still lacking are technologies and incentives that would make it possible to use opportunistically abundant renewable energy, without compromising reliability. Responsive and controllable consumption could be used to compensate for the volatility introduced by intermittent resources on the generation side. This would require harnessing the flexibility of large population of responsive appliances and electrical vehicles, connected in an Internet of things that is  the grid to respond to their real service needs. What kind of networks communications and computations would be required?

This talk will discuss ongoing research on modeling electrical load demand that can both aid the direct management of these loads as well as facilitate the integration of deferrable loads at the planning stage of the optimal power flow dispatch. We specifically focus on Electrical Vehicle charging and indicate how planning and real time decision can use data that come from these dispatchable loads to optimally schedule their charging. We also will indicate paths to extend this to other loads and challenges that lie ahead in the design of scalable and secure architectures for demand side management in the power grid.


Prof. Anna Scaglione (M.Sc.'95, Ph.D. '99) is currently Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of California at Davis. She was before a Associate Prof. at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, where she joined in 2001 as tenure track faculty, after one year in the same role at the University of New Mexico.

She is a Fellow of the IEEE since 2011. Dr. Scaglione is the first author of the paper that received the 2000 IEEE Signal Processing Transactions Best Paper Award; she has also received the NSF Career Award in 2002 and she is co-recipient of the Ellersick Best Paper Award (MILCOM 2005) and of the 2013 IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award. Her expertise is in the broad area of signal processing for communication systems and networks. She currently studies  enabling communication technologies for data processing in networks of sensors and, in particular, for the demand side management and reliable energy delivery.

Keynote 2:  Transforming Our Business with Technology
Wednesday, Oct. 23rd
Kip Morison, Chief Technology Officer at BC Hydro, Canada


The technology landscape is evolving rapidly in the utility space.  In particular, the deployment of ubiquitous telecomm networks, the availability of sensors and intelligent end-point devices, and the development of advanced analytics have opened a new world of system intelligence, optimization, control and automation. In addition, there is a plethora of other new technologies such as those associated with generation, storage, asset management, load control, and transportation. Some new technologies may offer significant value if deployed at scale, while others may be disruptive and pose risks if we are not prepared for their emergence into the mainstream.

This presentation will discuss how BC Hydro evaluates new technologies prior to deployment, how we are using technology to transform the way we do business, and what we are doing to manage the risk of emerging “disruptive” technologies.  Some of the current initiatives discussed will include the smart metering program, advanced distribution automation, electric vehicle deployment, workforce mobility, and a number of on-going demonstration projects.


Kip Morison has over 30 years of experience in the electric utility business and is currently the Chief Technology Officer for BC Hydro in Vancouver, Canada.  From 1979 to 1992 he worked for Ontario Hydro in Toronto as a transmission system planner specializing in advanced stability and control of power systems. In 1993 he relocated to Vancouver and became the Director of Power System Technologies at Powertech Labs, the technology subsidiary of BC Hydro, where he managed a business unit providing international consulting services in the field of power system design, operation, technology innovation, software development, and equipment testing.  In 2008 he joined the British Columbia Transmission Corporation (BCTC) as Manager of Long Term Planning and Research & Development.  At BCTC he led the technical team on the Provincial Inquiry into British Columbia’s 30 Year Transmission Infrastructure and Capacity Needs.  In 2010, Kip became the Chief Technology Officer for BC Hydro.  He holds a MaSc degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and is a registered professional engineer and an IEEE Fellow.

Keynote 3: Who says what to whom and why? Challenges for Smart Communications in Distribution Systems

Thursday, Oct. 24th
Dr. Alexandra von Meier, Co-Director, Electric Grid Research, California Institute for Energy and Environment
Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UC Berkeley


While sensing, communication and control technologies are advancing in leaps and bounds, their integrated application in electric power systems, especially at the distribution level, remains anything but straightforward. This should come as no surprise, since the process in which we are engaged today is nothing short of a re-invention of the grid and its mission. Multiple design goals – from high-quality, reliable and affordable power to decarbonization, customer involvement and infrastructure resilience – press against each other, and against survival strategies of a legacy system in which information was remarkably scarce. With examples from the integration of distributed renewable resources and advanced high-resolution monitoring of distribution circuits, this talk will illustrate the challenges of evolving and sometimes competing objectives in managing the grid, to open a conversation about what this may mean for designing and implementing intelligent communications.


Dr. Alexandra “Sascha” von Meier is Co-Director for Electric Grid Research at the California Institute for Energy and Environment (, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley. She currently studies technical and operational issues related to the integration of high levels of renewable resources in “smart grids,” particulary through through advanced instrumentation of power distribution circuits that increases their visibility to operators. Her past research has addressed engineering and cultural dimensions of energy technology, including electric power distribution, grid-connected photovoltaics, electric demand response, nuclear power plant operation, nuclear materials management, and green building performance. Her textbook, Electric Power Systems: A Conceptual Introduction (Wiley-IEEE, 2006), has been used in university courses and industry to help explain the complexities of operating the electric grid. An award-winning educator, she regularly presents tutorials on electric power delivery to academic and professional audiences. Sascha received her Ph.D. in energy and resources (1995) and her B.A. in physics (1986) from the University of California, Berkeley. Away from the office, she enjoys cycling, rock climbing and the mountains whenever possible.