EECS | Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Other Seminar

Professorship Lecture/Reception

Professor Ian A. Hiskens

Vennema Professor of Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering, EECS Department
Thursday, April 02, 2009
3:30pm - 5:00pm
Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Building

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What's Smart about the "Smart Grid"?

About the Event

Power systems are large-scale, highly distributed, complex networks that interconnect huge numbers of dynamical devices. Yet through clever engineering, and inherent robustness, power systems have operated reliably for many decades. The seminar will provide an overview of system design philosophies that have been instrumental in achieving this robustness. Looking to the future, likely trends include significant integration of renewable generation, and wide-spread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles. These changes will challenge various axioms that underlie current practices in power system operation and control. New strategies will be required to cope with the increasingly stochastic nature of generation and load patterns, with non-disruptive load control sure to play an important role. The seminar will discuss these issues, and argue that future power systems will be highly dependent upon wide-area monitoring, reliable and secure information networks, and distributed control.


Prof. Ian Hiskens has been named the Vennema Professor of Engineering. This professorship is given in recognition of Prof. Hiskensí sustained excellence in research, teaching, and service throughout his career. He will deliver a public lecture Thursday, April 2, 2009. Professor Hiskens, who joined the faculty September 2008, brings his deep and extensive expertise in the area of Power and Energy Systems to the division of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has made fundamental contributions to the study of power system dynamics, such as establishing theoretical and practical techniques to predict voltage collapse, and creating trajectory sensitivity analysis techniques for hybrid dynamical systems. Dr. Hiskens' primary research interests lie in the analysis of nonlinear (hybrid) systems, in particular system dynamics and control, and numerical techniques. Power systems form his primary applications focus. Current projects include large-scale integration of wind generation, grid controllability, system integration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), dynamics and control of microgrids, and the development of methods for analyzing the impact of uncertainty on system dynamic performance. His work meshes well with Michigan's interests in wind turbines and PHEVs. As these technologies proliferate in coming years, enhanced grid controllability will be required to mitigate problems resulting from extreme fluctuations in energy production and consumption. He is currently teaching the course, Grid Integration of Alternative Energy Sources. Prof. Hiskens earned bachelor's degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from the Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education, and the doctor of philosophy from The University of Newcastle, Australia. He spent more than a decade with the Queensland Electricity Commission, where he held the positions of EMS Security Applications Engineer and Planning Engineer Transmission Systems, before returning to academia. Most recently he was a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Institute for Research and Education in Power System Dynamics (IREP), Treasurer of the IEEE Systems Council, and a member of the Administrative Committee of the IEEE Power System Dynamic Performance Committee. Professor Hiskens is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of Engineers Australia, and a Chartered Professional Engineer in Australia.

Additional Information

Contact: Stacie Printon

Phone: (734) 764-3317


Sponsor(s): Electrical and Computer Engineering

Open to: Public

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