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Region 8 Chapters Report

By Costas Vournas
Region 8 Representative

Dear PES eNewsletter readers,

Greetings from the Region 8 Representative to the PES Governing Board! As you know Region 8 is a vast area ranging from Vladivostok to Cape Town with many different countries and cultures in between and very unequal degrees of participation of Power and Energy Engineers in IEEE activities. Our goal in the Governing Board has been to extend PES activities to as much as possible of Region 8, and work closely with our members and Chapters in the Region to make our society truly International and Global.

In 2014 PES organized several events in Region 8 and is scheduling others for 2015.

In March we had the second International Conference in the North of Africa technically co-sponsored by PES. This was the International Conference on Green Energy (ICGE) held on March 25-27, 2014 at the Technopole in Sfax, Tunisia. The conference was very successful and was combined with a PES Chapter Chairs meeting for Chapters in Africa and the Middle East, as well as an invited Distinguished Lecture Program (DLP) speech by Ms. Meliha Selak, former PES VP for Chapter Activities. A follow up Conference is scheduled for 2016 in Marrakech, Morroco. For more information please visit the ICGE Conference web site, http://www.icge.aiem-tn.org.

In the African continent, PES has many members and we are still working towards organizing new PES Chapters. Many volunteers are also working in several Community Solutions Initiatives (CSI) providing energy solutions to the world’s less favored communities. Further information on CSI can be found in their web page: http://communitysolutionsinitiative.org/

Coming back to Europe, the 5th Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference, ISGT-Europe, was held in Istanbul, Turkey, literary on the meeting point of Europe and Asia, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The ISGT series in Europe started in 2010 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and is since held annually. Previous Conferences were held in Manchester, UK in 2011, in Berlin, Germany, in 2012, and in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2013. For more information on the ISGT-Europe 2014 you can visit the web site http://www.ieee-isgt-eu.org/. The next ISGT Europe is scheduled in Warsaw, Poland, in 2015. A second Middle-east ISGT is also planned in the coming year.

Just before the ISGT Europe, a Region 8 Chapter Chairs Meeting and Training Session was held on Sunday October 12, 2014. The PES President, Prof. Miroslav Begovic, and the VP for Chapters, Frank Lambert attended the Chapter Chairs Meeting and gave presentations that have been distributed to all Region 8 PES Chapters, together with the training session material.

Also in Europe the Power Tech Conference will be held next year in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The call for papers has already been circulated and can be found in the following address: http://powertech2015-eindhoven.tue.nl/.

The Eindhoven Power Tech will be the 11th of the series that started in Athens, Greece in 1993 and is now the anchor PES Conference in Europe. Sessions with accepted PES Transactions papers are planned for this Conference and this is a new feature hat was introduced in Grenoble Power Tech of 2013, and provides an opportunity to attract high-quality papers and organize sessions on hot topical subjects.

One important activity that PES is planning to launch during the coming year is the extension of the Scholarship Plus Program (already very successful in North America) to Region 8. As stated above, within Region 8 there exist a vast variety of societal structures and educational systems, and thus the Power and Energy communities in each country are faced with quite different needs.

The Scholarship Plus Program is primarily aiming at increasing the number of Power and Energy graduates in order to replace the large numbers of retiring engineers, which is mainly the case in North America. The very same problem does exist in several countries within Region 8, but also in other countries the principal need is to attract the best of the electrical engineering undergraduate students to the power end energy field. We are thus faced with a problem of combining both quantity and quality. Different ways will be investigated to achieve this twofold goal, including studentl Awards (such as best paper/project/thesis) and special student Contests, in addition to more traditional Scholarship programs.

In all cases the Plus aspect of the program is the opportunity for student internships and the combination with the PES Careers program already available in Europe. Each PES Chapter within Region 8 will be soon asked to choose from the available options of Scholarship Plus Program the one that best suits its needs. Needless to say that sponsorship funds for each program have to be sought by interested PES Chapters. PES will offer some seed money to launch a number of pilot projects within Region 8. All these activities will be coordinated by the Region 8 Scholarship Plus Committee that has already been formed and is chaired by Prof. Carlo Alberto Nucci from Italy.

Please allow me to repeat some more information on the organization of PES in Region 8, for those readers that are not familiar with our structure. In Region 8 we have 45 PES Chapters and more than 5500 active PES members. Region 8 is subdivided into 5 Areas, each of which is coordinated by a Chapter Representative, who helps organize PES activities of the Chapters in each area. The 5 areas are:

  1. Western Europe coordinated byDirk Van Hertem from Belgium (KUL, Leuwen), e-mail: dirk.vanhertem@esat.kuleuven.be
  2. Central and North Europe whose Chapter Representative is Igor Kuzle from Croatia (University of Zagreb), e-mail:Igor.Kuzle@fer.hr
  3. Eastern and South Europe represented by Tasos Bakirtzis (University of Thessaloniki, Greece), e-mail: bakiana@eng.auth.gr
  4. Middle-East and North Africa coordinated by Bander Allaf from Saudi Arabia, (ACWA Power International), e-mail: bander@ieee.org
  5. Africa, represented by Pat Naidoo of South Africa, e-mail: pat@patnaidoo.co.za

Local PES Chapters are responsible for organizing events such as lectures and seminars, local and international conferences, and also give out awards to their distinguished members. One such award is the Chapter Outstanding Engineer Award that can be given once every year. Chapters also receive awards, such as the Small and Large Outstanding Chapter Award, as well as the High Performing Chapter Award, the Membership Growth Contest and the Chapter Website Award. For more information on PES Chapter Awards please contact Ed C. Carlsen, Chairman, PES Chapter Awards and Resources Committee, e-mail: eccarlse@southernco.com

Please feel free to contact me, or the Chapter Representative of your area on any concern you may have regarding PES activities in Region 8.

All the best,
Costas Vournas
Professor NTUA
PES Region 8 Representative
Vournas@power.ece.ntua.gr