University of Minnesota
Institute of Technology
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Electrical and Computer Engineering

Smart Grid: Enable a stronger, smarter, and more secure electric power and energy infrastructure

Prof. Massoud Amin
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Duration: Half day
Course description and outline:
 Recent technological developments and policies combined with potential for technological innovations and business opportunities, have attracted a high level of interest in smart power grids and energy infrastructure.
The smart grid represents a remaking of the electric power system encompassing all aspects of generation, delivery, and consumption.  Benefits will accrue to individuals, societies, and industry:  better use of renewable sources, reduction in carbon emissions from fossil plants, improved efficiencies across the power system, broad-based integration of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, real-time feedback to consumers on their electricity consumption, improved grid reliability, and more. 
But several challenges must first be addressed. Strengthening the backbone for the North American electric power grid to allow integration of dispersed energy sources. These include integration of intermittent renewables and greater variability in load profiles that will result in high uncertainty in both generation and consumption.  Dynamic pricing and demand response will intricately couple economic factors and power flow. 
The potential for a highly distributed system with a high penetration of renewable sources that exhibit variable generation and non-dispatchability poses opportunities and challenges. How to retrofit and engineer a stable, resilient grid with large numbers of such unpredictable power sources? What roles will assets optimization, increased efficiency, energy storage, advanced power electronics, power quality, electrification of transportation, novel control algorithms, cyber security, policies and technologies play in the grid of the future?
With communication technologies providing a systemwide integration infrastructure, the smart grid will represent a prototypical “system of systems.”  Multiple and often conflicting criteria will need to be coordinated: profits, grid reliability, environmental impacts, equipment constraints, policies, technologies and consumer preferences. 
We focus on how does smart grid relate to all of us, and what can we do to our cities, region and Nation as a leader in the development and deployment of smart grid technologies, products and services.
-- "Securing the Electricity Grid," (Amin), The Bridge, quarterly publication of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, Volume 40, Number 1, pp. 13-20, Spring 2010
--For the Good of the Grid: Toward Increased Efficiencies and Integration of Renewable Resources for Future Electric Power Networks," (Amin), IEEE Power & Energy Magazine, Vol. 6, Number 6, pp. 48-59, November/December 2008:
-- "Preventing Blackouts," (Amin and Schewe), Scientific American, pp. 60-67,, May 2007:
Links to pertinent reports/publications from DOE, EPRI, the National Labs, and in public domain, on the Internet, will be provided.  For additional information, downloadable presentations and publications, please see

Intended Audience:
Professionals at all levels (or graduate students).
Biographical sketch of instructor:
Professor S. Massoud Amin
  Director, Technological Leadership Institute (TLI)
  Honeywell/H.W. Sweatt Chair in Technological Leadership
  Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  University Distinguished Teaching Professor
Dr. S. Massoud Amin is the H.W. Sweatt Chair in Technological Leadership, directs the Technological Leadership Institute (TLI), is a distinguished University Professor, and a full Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota.  He leads a staff of 5 endowed chairs and 47 associated senior faculty from across the 8 colleges in the University of Minnesota, and from industry and government, to develop local and global leaders for over 280 technology enterprises.

Before joining the University of Minnesota in March 2003, he directed all Infrastructure Security, Grid Operations/Planning, and Energy Markets at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) after 9/11. Prior to that he led mathematics and information sciences at EPRI, worked on self-repairing energy infrastructures, and led the development of over 24 technologies transferred to industry. Dr. Amin coined the term "smart grid", is leading extensive R&D efforts into its development, and is considered to be its father.

At Minnesota, he researches/teaches graduate courses on smart grids, complex dynamical systems and controls, critical infrastructure security and protection, emerging and pivotal technologies, S&T Policy, and IP valuation and strategy. Dr. Amin serves as the director of graduate studies (DGS) for security technologies (2008-present), served as the DGS for the management of technology (2003-2009) at the University of Minnesota.

His research focuses on two areas: 1) Smart grids and global transition dynamics to enhance the resilience, security, and efficiency of systems of critical national infrastructures, and 2) Technology scanning, mapping, and valuation to identify new technology-based opportunities that meet the needs and aspirations of today’s consumers and companies.

In his leading work on technological infrastructure and security, Dr. Amin has contributed to projects with the United States Air Force, NASA-Ames, Rockwell International, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, MEMC, ESCO, Systems and Electronics Inc., United Van Lines, our nation's electric power industry, the government, universities and other stakeholders including US DOD, DOE, NSF, NAE, NGA, OHS/DHS, and the White House OSTP.

Dr. Amin is the author or co-author of over 190 peer reviewed publications, is the editor of 7 collections of manuscripts, serves on several boards, including the Board of Directors of Texas RE (2010-present), the Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment (BICE) at the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (2001-2007), the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Applications (BMSA) at the National Academy of Sciences (2006-2009), the advisory boards of AISI, Full Spectrum, and on the editorial boards of seven international journals.

He was three times Professor of the Year at Washington University in St. Louis (1992-1995), and received the 2011 Alumni Achievement Award from Washington University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In Minnesota, he has received several awards, including the 2008 University of Minnesota Award for Outstanding Contributions to Post-baccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education, and was inducted into the University's Academy of Distinguished Teachers. At EPRI he received several awards including the 2002 President's Award for the Infrastructure Security Initiative, six EPRI Performance Recognition Awards during 1999-2002 for leadership in three areas, and  twice received Chauncey Awards at EPRI, the institute’s highest honor.