There are many challenges facing current electrical distribution grids in the U.S., including the market demand for renewable energy sources and the rapid deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. To address these and other issues within the energy industry, the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) created the Workshop on Energy Systems and Optimization in 2017.
The original workshop was such a success that it has now become an annual event. This year it was held on November 14 and 15 at Georgia Tech and was attended by more than 80 participants from Europe, Canada, and across the U.S. The goal of the workshop is to bring together researchers, practitioners, and students from electric energy systems and operations research — typically separated communities — to have focused discussions on the nation’s electric systems. The conference was organized by ISyE Anderson-Interface Early Career Professor and Associate Professor Andy Sun and featured more than 20 speakers from industry, academia, and research labs.
“It is encouraging to see the enthusiasm from the attendees of the past three workshops,” said Sun. “We need a focused platform to bring together power engineering and optimization experts to help solve these problems. I think that’s why we see people coming back every year from practical day-to-day operations of power markets and the most prestigious academic institutes.”
ISyE Associate Chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck welcomed the group and reiterated the significance of a multidisciplinary approach to solve problems. Van Hentenryck also noted the importance of the informal discussions and networking that takes place during the workshop, in addition to the formal talks.
Workshop themes included the challenges in operations of large-scale electricity markets; new approaches for managing risks and stochasticity in electric markets; contingency analysis, probabilistic operation, and machine learning; recent advancements in optimal power flow control and computation; distributed energy resources and storage; and dealing with uncertainty, contingency, and health considerations in power grids.
“The most gratifying response is from students who attended and presented posters of their extremely high-quality research,” added Sun. “We hope that the students are as inspired as we are about the future of research in energy systems.”
Following the workshop, Professor Warren Powell from Princeton University, who was also one of the speakers, praised the event. “Fabulous workshop,” said Powell. “I think you have established this event as the best energy systems workshop in the country.”
The 2019 Workshop on Energy Systems and Optimization was made possible by the generous support of sponsors, including ISyE, the Georgia Tech Strategic Energy Institute, and the ISyE Anderson-Interface Chair. The team plans to host the workshop again in 2020.
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering