Monthly Archives: August 2020

CIGRE UK Webinar Series – September 2020

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Coordination of Transmission and Distribution data exchanges for renewables integration in the European marketplace through Advanced, Scalable and Secure ICT Systems and Tools (TDX-ASSIST)

An Online Technical Webinar

Wednesday 9th September 2020 | 12.30 to 13:30

Webinar image

This project aims to design and develop novel Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools and techniques that facilitate scalable and secure information systems and data exchange between Transmission System Operator (TSO) and Distribution System Operator (DSO). The three novel aspects of ICT tools and techniques to be developed in the project are: scalability – ability to deal with new users and increasingly larger volumes of information and data; security – protection against external threats and attacks; and interoperability –information exchange and communications based on existing and emerging international smart grid ICT standards.

First Presentation : Coordination of Transmission and Distribution Data Exchanges for Renewables Integration in the European Marketplace

Within the TDX-ASSIST project, twelve partners from UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal and Slovenia aim to design and develop novel ICT tools and techniques to facilitate scalable and secure information systems for data exchange between TSOs and DSOs. The tools are designed to support active distribution network developments such as the Energy Internet of Things (IoT). TSOs and DSOs around Europe have in-country particularities, but they all face several common challenges. This presentation presents the TDX-ASSIST project with an overview of challenges such as grid observability and controllability; increasing hosting capacity for renewable energies and flexibility services with consumer participation in electricity markets.


Second Presentation : Energy Data Flow Mechanisms in Smart Grid Infrastructure to Enable TSO-DSO Interaction

The increase in decentralized renewable energy sources has created the need for greater coordination between both market actions and grid operations. The transitioning process for the distribution network from passive mode to active mode requires more coordination between the DSOs and TSOs in order to enhance renewables integration through advanced, scalable and secure ICT systems. Smart grid infrastructure is based on unrestricted data flow between the different parts of the grid in order to ensure flexible and reliable services through the different stages of the operation of the network and different time scales. An energy data flow mechanism is proposed in this presentation for the data flow within the smart grid infrastructure to organize the integration process of the renewable energy within the existed energy utilities.


To Register for this event

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Speaker Profile’s

Ioana Pisica is senior lecturer in Electrical and Power Systems at Brunel University London, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering. She received her MSc in Information Systems from the Faculty of Cybernetics at the Academy of Economic Studies from Bucharest and her PhD in Intelligent Energy Networks from University Politehnica of Bucharest. Her research interests include modern optimization techniques for energy systems, machine learning for power systems control, power quality, smart metering and ICT infrastructures for future power networks and energy efficiency

Mohammed Radi received the M.Sc. degree with distinction in Sustainable Electrical Power and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Power Engineering from Brunel University, London, United Kingdom, in 2012 and 2017, respectively. Since then, he has been with the College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences at Brunel University, U.K., where he is currently a full time Research Fellow in TDX-ASSIST project that is funded by EU Horizon 2020 and works on the coordination of transmission and distribution data exchanges for renewables integration in the European marketplace. His main areas of research interest are Power Systems, Power Electronics, Renewable Energy Integrations and Smart Grids.


This Webinar series is kindly sponsored by Burns & McDonnell


Distinguished CIGRE experts sharing their insights on energy challenges and opportunities

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Rob Stephen, President of CIGRE, previously master specialist for T&D technologies at Eskom and Adam Middleton, chair of CIGRE UK, CEO at Siemens Energy B.V., shared their insights on energy challenges and opportunities with young engineers through an online webinar on 19th August 2020. There were about 70 people attending the event.

The webinar is the first session of Birmingham Power Systems Young Professionals Seminar Series, organised by the CIGRE UK NGN (Next Generation Network) and hosted by the University of Birmingham. The Theme for the webinar is Global and UK Energy Challenges and Opportunities for Young Members.


Jingyi Wan, Chair of CIGRE UK NGN, cable system specialist at Mott MacDonald, in her opening address introduced CIGRE, CIGRE Paris and key benefits of joining the CIGRE NGN, including her journey with CIGRE Young Member Showcase and CIGRE Paris.

Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang, Chair in Electrical Power Systems, Director of Smart Grid at the University of Birmingham, gave an opening address. He welcomed two very distinguished speakers Dr Rob Stephen, President of CIGRE and Mr Adam Middleton Chairman of CIGRE UK. Also welcome all the participants to take the time to join this webinar.


Prof Zhang then highlighted the Energy research at Birmingham including smart grids, HVDC and FACTS, renewable energy control, energy storage, energy materials, transport, and energy policies. Prof Zhang mentioned that Birmingham is a great city very much related to the 1st industrial energy revolution, i.e., triggered by the development of commercial steam engines by James Watt in Birmingham in 1776. In recent years, Birmingham was named as the National Energy ‘Capital’. This would certainly encourage exciting low carbon energy technology developments as well as international collaborations.  Finally, he pointed out that the energy challenges could not be tackled by a single country alone. International collaborations become essential for successfully implementing the Paris agreement on Climate Change. CIGRE is certainly an excellent platform to facilitate international collaborations, propose innovative smart grid solutions and support individual career developments.


Rob Stephen first highlighted the conflicting nature between ‘high reliability and security of supply’, ‘most economical solution’ and ‘best environmental protection’ aspects of power system. Rob then introduced the CIGRE’s technical activities (16 Study Committees, around 230 Working Groups with over 3800 experts from all over the world) and the structure of CIGRE. He then moved on to share his view on the challenges and opportunities from an extensive range of power system aspects, including active distribution networks, massive exchange of information, integration of HVDC/power electronics, significant installation of storage, new systems operations /controls, new concepts for protection, new concepts in planning, new tools for technical performance, increased use of existing infrastructure and new T&D developments and stakeholder awareness. Finally he highlighted the Power to Gas technology as the ‘Next Disruptor’, the potential of ‘e-Hydrogen Future Network’ and the grand vision of North Sea Wind Power Hub.  During Q&A session, he explained how CIGRE Steering Committee interacts with Technical Council and provided advice to young professionals on how to get involved in CIGRE and engage with the wider power community.


Adam Middleton started off his presentation on his understanding of global megatrends – Decarbonization, Decentralization, Digitalization, Demand Growth and Diversity of Solutions. Adam highlighted the importance of considering effectiveness, sustainability of solutions, societal acceptability, and the need to act now to tackle the challenge. He also pointed out that the key to energy transition is ‘about how we get there and the only way we get there is to start with what we have’. He moved on to share his view of the impact of COVID-19 by adding new volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity to energy transition. He mentioned the important role of national governments under COVID-19 in supporting the recovery and transition of energy industry to move into a more sustainable future – ‘do not waste a good crisis’, said Adam. Finally, he emphasised the important role of considering sector coupling, the need of green hydrogen (from electrons to molecules) and the technical and economic challenges associated with it. During Q&A, Adam pointed out the importance of considering whole life cycle process when assessing the ‘Green level’ of a specific solution.


The webinar was moderated by Dr. Ying Xue, Secretary & Treasurer of CIGRE UK NGN and Lecturer of Electrical Power Networks in the University of Birmingham.

CIGRE UK NGN Intro and Mentoring Scheme

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‘Career Management and Grid Modernization Workshop – With a relaunch of the CIGRE UK Young Members Mentoring Program’ was held successfully, with 163 registrations and 237 participants. We hope you enjoyed our workshop.

Our guest speaker, John McDonald from GE and CIGRE USNC shared his abundant experience about his life and work. The technological details about Grid Modernisation, data management, Smart Grid were also introduced during the workshop.

Mentoring during the career has also been heavily discussed during the workshop. CIGRE UK NGN mentoring scheme is a fantastic opportunity for the young professionals to get involved in CIGRE and connect with leaders in the power system industry.

Special thanks to John McDonald for sharing his knowledge with CIGRE UK members. Great work from our young member team Jingyi Wan, Zong Wen Yan, Haichuan Yu and Zhenkun Yang.

Recording for the session:

CIGRE UK NGN Intro and Mentoring Scheme Slides:

Grid Modernization Slides:

Key Insights Slides:

Additional Resources:
Q&A answered during the workshop (verbally, see recording for answers) and answered after the workshop in writing:

Form to show preliminary Interest for CIGRE UK NGN Mentoring Scheme:

Joining CIGRE

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Benefits and Applying to Join

There are many benefits in belonging to and participating within the world of CIGRE.  Our members tell us that there are nine major benefits that stand out.  For individual professionals, collective members and their wider organisations each benefit is enabled and substantiated by the CIGRE organisation, programme and outcomes it delivers.


1. Be prepared for the future

CIGRE’s unique structure and approach plugs members in to a future focused industry perspective simply not accessible from within a single organisation.

– CIGRE’s knowledge programme is derived from the latest collaborative expertise of thousands of industry professionals.

– CIGRE draws all this together into a strategy firmly focused on addressing the key issues, challenges and trends of the power system of today and tomorrow.

– CIGRE’s Technical Council channels the strategy into a comprehensive, pragmatic, constantly evolving technical programme of work.

– Using state of the art technology and techniques, CIGRE Working Groups systematically develop the workable, on the ground solutions the industry needs to succeed.

2. Learn from real world experiences, lessons and successes

As a collaborative, global community of pragmatic professionals, CIGRE members share best practice, technical expertise and solutions, openly and inclusively discussing and debating their real-world experiences, lessons and successes.  By connecting and learning in this way they save time and money and reduce risk.

3. Inform your decisions with diverse perspectives from every corner of the globe

To make optimal power system decisions at home it is essential to take a world view about approaches to the environment, legislation, regulation, technologies and markets.  CIGRE’s unique global network of practitioners allows experts to be deliberately selected to ensure a wide geographical representation.  Each Working Group usually has experts from each continent, not just Europe or USA.

4. Solve local challenges

At the heart of CIGRE are its 59 National Committees (NCs) spanning over 90 countries.  NCs are on the ground, local volunteer driven organisations.  They implement CIGRE’s global strategic and technical plans to develop solutions to power system challenges.  The solutions are shared across CIGRE’s global network, but ultimately applied locally.

NCs are where you’ll find the most motivated, knowledgeable power system professionals in your local industry. CIGRE gives you access to them and therefore the greatest opportunity to solve your local challenges, whether they be known or emerging.

5. Source the most authoritative reference information

Like the organisation itself, CIGRE publications stand alone as an authoritative technical source of power system knowledge and real-world solutions.  The continuously growing body of thousands of CIGRE publications available at is consistent in its unbiased, rigorous, pragmatic, applied nature.  Around the world power industry professionals use CIGRE publications to inform their planning, decision making, product, service and solution development.

6. Get unbiased facts

Another unique aspect about CIGRE is its not for profit, volunteer based, global make up.  CIGRE’s fact-based approach is completely unbiased, vendor neutral and open to inclusive, frank discussion and debate about any issues, trends and challenges facing the power industry.  There are no hidden agendas at CIGRE.

7. Gain access to world leading experts

The calibre of CIGRE members is very high.  Key CIGRE positions are filled by top technical people who have built their expertise over many years of power system experience, often internationally recognised by senior peers as world leaders.  This applies at all levels of CIGRE, from Working Group members to Study Committee and Technical Committee chairs.

The Technical Council is peer elected to the level of leadership in their particular domain, thereby forming a group of experienced experts covering all aspects of power delivery.

Access CIGRE experts as your peers in inclusive, collegial situations, learning from them at a nominal cost.

8. Grow your skills

Grow your individual and organisational skills through CIGRE’s unique peer to peer environment and broad training and educational opportunities.

Professional team development is made easy through CIGRE participation, particularly relevant for smaller or isolated organisations, who can’t easily access a peer to peer relationship.

9. Connect with your industry in a technical setting

Grow your individual and organisational network, profile and influence by participating at CIGRE events, on Working Groups and by writing and revising of reports and brochures.

Transmission and distribution utility professionals can connect with product and consulting firms and learn their innovations in a non-commercial environment where the technical side is their focus.

To apply to join CIGRE UK go to:


For further information click the link below:-

Working Groups: August 2020

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Recently Announced Working Groups

We are pleased to announce that CIGRE has approved new Working Groups during July 2020 (see below).  The Study Committees are seeking one expert and one NGN person from the UK interested in serving on this Working Group. CIGRE is committed to building a diverse and inclusive organisation and we invite all members to consider these opportunities.

If you or one of your colleagues are interested in participating in these Working Groups, please send a name, email address, and a brief current CV to the appropriate UK Study Committee Regular Member indicated below, with a copy to  The Working Group will be staffed quickly so your prompt response is necessary.

Please note that Working Group members should have their Organisation’s support to cover the time and expenses, including travelling to meetings which can be anywhere in the world.

The final choice of the members of a WG will be made by the SC Chair and the WG convener.
The Working Groups and the appropriate UK RMs are shown in the table below and the Terms of Reference can be obtained by clicking on the TOR link

Working groups UK Regular Member UK RM email
TOR-WG C2.18_Wide Area Monitoring Protection and Control Systems – Decision Support for System Operators Ronan JAMIESON
TOR-WG B4.89 _Condition Health Monitoring and predictive maintenance of HVDC Converter Stations Carl BARKER




CIGRE UK Women’s Network: Event Summary

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Clean Technologies

CIGRE UK Women’s Network, 25th June 2020, 13:00 – 17:00


“Clean Technologies”, kindly sponsored by BakerHicks, was the second event of the Zero Carbon 2020 series organised by the CIGRE UK Women’s Network (CUKWN).  This was the first fully online and interactive event by CUKWN.

Around 60 delegates joined the event which was opened by Biljana Stojkovska, Chair of CUKWN and facilitated by our Master of Ceremonies, Robert Kahn, CEO of LeaderLike You!, who is also delivering the soft skills workshops for all our 2020 events.

The first session was a technical discussion focused on clean technologies and the impact of COVID-19 on the clean energy sector.  Our main speaker, Danielle Lane, Vattenfall UK Country Manager, presented challenges and opportunities of offshore wind.  Our panelists, Gianluca Peviani, CEO of O2G, Dr. Heinz Sittler, CEO of Kukburg and Sina Beckmann, Head of BMW Group Green Logistics Strategy 2050, discussed a range of clean technologies, including future uses of redundant oil platforms, the future role of hydrogen and low-carbon automotive supply chains.  This session included Q&A with lots of interesting and challenging questions.

The second session was another essential communication skills workshop delivered by Robert Kahn.  Building up on the LeaderLike model introduced during our March event, this workshop focused on the impact equation: Where high quality work needs to pair with acceptance and vice-versa to generate impact’.

The final session was dedicated to online networking.  The attendees were split into breakout rooms with each speaker and panelist for a deep-dive session into the different clean technology topics allowing time for questions.

For more information please visit CUKWN News or the CIGRE UK LinkedIn page.

Paris sessions home page image

E-Session 2020 & Centennial Session 2021

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The CIGRE e-session will be delivered using the CIGRE Academy webinar technology and run over nine days from Monday 24 August, to Thursday 3 September, 2020. This unprecedented event will offer a vast wealth of power system expertise, digitally shared from across the global CIGRE community.The e-session is a must see event for the serious professional that allows delegates to customise their experience to support their own ‘power system expertise’ requirements.The event will be opened on the Monday by current President Rob Stephen. Rob will update us on the exciting progress CIGRE is making across the global power system. This will be followed by Anne Olhoff’s keynote address ’Emissions gap report 2019’. Anne is Head of Strategy; Climate Planning and Policy at UNEP DTU Partnership. The opening ceremony will then conclude with CIGRE’s 2020 awards presentations. This will be followed by nearly two weeks of webinar presentations, tutorials, and workshops for delegates to choose from. These will be delivered over four parallel webinar channels.

e-session registration

CIGRE 2020 e-session & CIGRE 2021 Centennial Session registration – View More

e-session programme

Register to the Study Committee paper presentations, tutorials, workshops, and other side events – View More

Webinar: Chartership and Career Path

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Webinar: Chartership and Career Path
Date: 5th August 2020
Time: 2pm -3.30pm (UK Local Time)
Type: Webinar
The webinar has been hosted via the Zoom Online Conference Platform and has been recorded.

Event agenda:
Opening by a brief introduction of organisers – IEEE Student Branch PES Chapter at the University of Manchester and CIGRE UK NGN – 15min
Career path in Academia and IEEE fellowship:
Talk #1 by Prof Xiao-Ping Zhang, University of Birmingham– 10min + 5min Q &A
Talk #2 by Dr Panagiotis Papadopoulos, University of Strathclyde – 10min + 5min Q &A
Career path in  industry and Chartership:
Talk #3 by Dr Stephanie Hay, TNEI – 10min + 5min Q &A
Talk #4 by Dr Dechao Kong, National Grid Electricity Transmission – 10min + 5min Q &A

CIGRE UK NGN and IEE PES SBC UoM successfully hosted the event with 70 participants. A lot of inspiring discussions about the career and chartership during the Q&A sessions.

Webinar: Energy Challenges and Opportunities for Young Members

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We are excited and honoured to have the President of CIGRE and the Chair of CIGRE UK to share their insights.

Decarbonisation and the current pandemic has created challenges to power industry, but they have also created opportunities.  Here in the UK, the carbon intensity of the electricity system has halved over the last five years.   We have seen the longest period of coal-free operation in Britain (67 days) and an impressive 83.77% share of zero carbon sources on June 21.  These are underpinned by new technologies and more intelligent ways of using energy to tackle the challenges that decarbonisation brings.   These are the exciting areas where young engineers and professionals can get involve and contribute to the global effort of decarbonisation.

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Wednesday 19th August, 2020 02:00 PM (BST)

Platform: Zoom/Youtube

To register

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Topics & Speakers

  • ‘Electricity Supply Systems of the Future – Challenges and Opportunities’ by Rob Stephen, President of CIGRE
  • ‘Energy Transition, Decarbonization and the Impact of COVID-19 on Our Industry and Implications for Our Next Generation Engineers’ by Adam Middleton, Chair of CIGRE UK, CEO of Siemens Energy B.V.

This event is organised by CIGRE UK NGN and will be kindly hosted by the University of Birmingham. It is also the first webinar of the Birmingham Power Systems Young Professional Seminar Series.  The series will invite leading experts worldwide to share their technical expertise and career advice with young professionals in the energy sector. It provides a platform for young professionals to learn and engage with peers around the globe.


Polly Osborne

Member Profile: Polly Osborne

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Polly Osborne – a passionate champion for a sustainable world

Polly is a passionate individual who is all about making a difference to those around her and driving a better future for society through championing sustainable choices in her personal and professional life.  From small things like mandatory adoption of reusable cups through to delivering two industry leading net-zero projects in the energy sector, her influence extends way beyond her current position.  She is recognised in her Burns & McDonnell corporate HQ 5,000 miles away as a sustainability leader and has helped establish diversity policies in the UK organisation to achieve 33% of senior leaders as women.

She has made positive choices in her education and in her career, firstly a physics degree and then working at the Carbon Trust before embarking on an engineering degree so she could make practical differences to the way society engineers a lower carbon future.  Never accepting second best she achieved a distinction and a special merit prize.

She is a strong influencer for her family, friends and colleagues, holding all to account and leading by example.  It’s not always been easy, as she has had to battle institutional and everyday sexism in the workplace, from male bravado to ill-fitting PPE for women on construction sites.

As an assistant electrical engineer Polly would be expected to knuckle down and complete the work she is assigned, working predominantly inside the business with minimal client facing activity.  But Polly has done anything but.  She has been an outspoken advocate for Burns & McDonnell pursing projects that support net-zero outcomes and developing the engineering solutions that society desperately needs.  She asked to be the project manager and through mentoring now leads two projects, E-Port Smart Energy and Zero2050, both radical in their ambition, creating whole energy system roadmaps to decarbonisation.  At the professional level she is active in the sector’s women’s network and has recently presented two lectures, one to CIGRE and one to the IET on net-zero solutions.

As Burns & McDonnell UK STEM ambassador Polly leads initiatives to get the whole company engaged and active.  From the Big Bang Fair through to school engagement, with a focus on encouraging young women to overcome prejudice about what an engineer looks like and does.  Back in the office she supports the recruitment of female engineers through 1-to-1 engagement outside of the formal interview process and advocates for policies in the workplace that support flexibility and diversity.