Distinguished Lecture Sparks Student Interest in Smart Grid Technology, Renewable Energy

DAVIS, Calif.; March 27, 2017-Dr. H. Vincent Poor discussed the growing benefits of smart grid technology at a Feb. 16 Distinguished Lecture, “Smart Grid: Energy Meets Information,” hosted by the UC Davis College of Engineering.

“Smart grid” is a term that applies to an emerging generation of electricity grids that have a cyber-layer of sensors, controls, and communication superimposed on a physical or electromechanical layer of a traditional electricity grid, Poor explained. Smart grid technology allows for two-way communication between energy consumers and utility companies, resulting in increased efficiency, reliability, and security of energy systems.

Dr. H. Vincent Poor discusses innovations in smart grid technology to improve energy security, production, and distribution. Poor is a professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University, former dean (2006-16) of Princeton’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, and a leader in wireless communications. Maria Ines Perez-Vargas/UC Davis.

Unlike traditional electricity grids that are prone to failures and blackouts, smart grids are self-monitoring and self-healing. Poor also emphasized the potential for the application of smart grid technology in the U.S., where electricity use currently accounts for approximately 38 percent of the carbon footprint.

The Distinguished Lecture Series is an opportunity to bring academic and industry experts to the College to interact and engage with students. For Martin Allgeier, an undergraduate studying mechanical engineering and energy science technology, Dr. Poor’s lecture further validated his decision to pursue a career in renewable energy.

“I plan to be on the forefront of building renewable energy generation devices,” Allgeier said. “Particularly the possibility of ocean renewables that would allow for offshore production of energy.”

Allgeier explained that he has always been impressed with the level of research and commitment not only of the College but of the entire community to sustainability and renewable energy production.

“I love that I go to a school, where I can walk into a building to study, and then end up attending an event in my field of study,” he added.

Dr. Poor’s complete lecture, “Smart Grid: Energy Meets Information” is available online.

Additional photos from the event can be found online.