Manchester IEEE PES chapter hosts MEEPS Symposium 2020 online

The IEEE PES Student Branch Chapter at The University of Manchester has hosted its biggest annual event, the Manchester Energy and Electrical Power System (MEEPS) Symposium 2020, via online platforms.

Held between Wednesday, 4 November and Friday, 6 November, the event attracted 244 registrations (118 are IEEE members), including researchers around the world, as well as sponsor representatives and guests from industry and academia.

Themed 'Envisioning the Power and Energy Systems in an Industry 4.0 Era', the event was aimed at solving energy challenges, providing low-carbon affordable energy to the community, and embracing the coming industry 4.0 era.


The event was very smooth, well-organised and well-timed. There was a great variety of sessions with very interesting presentations.
Dr Angeliki Loukatou, Research Engineer, EDF Energy

Day one started with an opening address from Dr Robin Preece, a Senior Lecturer in Future Power Systems and also the academic adviser of the IEEE PES SBC at Manchester. His speech gave an insight into the challenges of modern and future power systems, inspiring young researchers to find solutions to those challenges. 

The presentation session one, with the topic of 'Planning and Operation of Future Power Networks', began with a keynote speech delivered by Dr Gruffudd Edwards from TNEI, stressing the decision-makings in industrial practical cases when facing uncertainties. Afterwards, six research students shared their works through oral presentations, with well-participated questions-and-answers.

On day two, the first session was 'Women in Power', delivered by three invited female guest speakers. Dr Jelena Ponocko, a Lecturer at Manchester, shared her career path and also gave an introduction on the IEEE PES Women in Power (WiP) and the UKRI section. Dr Angeliki Loukatou, from EDF Energy, briefed her experience in both academia and the industry, followed by her lessons from energy storage projects. 

Dr Ivana Kockar of the University of Strathclyde gave a deep insight into utilising power systems flexibility sources, and discussed features of future cyber-physical power systems in the industry 4.0 era. Following the 'Women in Power' session, six PhD students/Research Assistants shared their work, with the common goal of achieving sustainable development, and took part in a question-and-answer session.

The third-day presentation topic 'Advanced Technologies Applied to Power Systems' started with a keynote speech by Carl Barker from General Electric. He discussed the advancement of using HVDC to integrate offshore wind into the AC grid, with illustrations of the latest development from the industry. 

Five young researchers then shared their works, and participated in a question-and-answer session. David Thornton gave closing remarks for the event, and briefly introduced advanced technology in future power systems - especially the application of converters and power electronics. The awards of the best presentations and research for industry were announced by invited guests and the SBC chair, Siwei Liu, at the end of the event.

I was quite glad to see more women and engineers from a diverse set of social and engineering backgrounds participating in the event.
David Thornton, Business Development Manager, PPM Power

Although MEEPS 2020 had to shift online due to the coronavirus pandemic, the passionate and hard-working student branch members and the kind support of its guests and sponsors made the event a success. According to feedback collected after the event, 93% strongly agreed that they were glad to have attended, with many praising it for being "well-organised" with "a good variety of presentations".

The IEEE PES SBC at Manchester would like to thank all participants for attending the event, with special thanks for the industrial sponsors TNEI, General Electric and PPM Power.

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