UNSW extends smart grid course

Aims to up-skill future engineers on the technology

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has added an extra session of its newly introduced smart grid short course in an effort to build as skills base of engineers in an area of increasing demand.

The Applied Smart Grids Course, a collaboration between the university, IBM and Ausgrid (formerly EnergyAustralia), turned out its first set of completed participants in February with an aim to provide a second round in June.

Ausgrid smart grid manager, Adrian Clark, saying the course and surrounding education was crucial for the future development of the sector.

“It’s a great opportunity to use energy more efficiently, but key to success are the skills and knowledge of the engineers managing the networks,” Clark said.

“Smart grids have created a new breed of engineer – one that needs a mix of engineering, IT and telecommunication skills. This course helps get that mix right.”

The UNSW’s professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, Vassilios Agelidis, said the course shows the importance that collaboration between industry and academia plays in the sector.

“The collaboration has ensured that different areas and levels of expertise are brought to the table,” Agelidis said.

“Our students and industry professionals are provided with an advanced and comprehensive knowledge and set of skills to apply smart grids concepts to their areas of responsibility.”

The collaboration with IBM is one of a spate of recent partnerships between the tertiary education sector and IT companies.

Huawei recently committed $250,000 in funding to RMIT in Melbourne as part of its memorandum of understanding to up-skill future network engineers of next generation technologies, while UNSW has already inked a similar partnership with Cisco for network systems architecture.

The news comes as houses in the Newcastle and Scone regions of NSW were last month selected by Ausgrid to trial a battery-powered ‘micro-grid’, in an attempt to increase energy efficiency and reduce the impact of outages.

The trial forms part of the $100 million Smart Grid, Smart City trial initiated by the Federal Government and currently being led by Ausgrid.

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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