Leading Voices

Dr. Massoud Amin

Dr. Massoud Amin is Chairman of the IEEE Smart Grid, a Fellow of the IEEE and the ASME, and a member of the Board of Directors of two utility industry regional entities that oversee reliability and security – the Texas Reliability Entity (as board chairman) and the Midwest Reliability Organization (as a board member). At the University of Minnesota he serves as professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and as director of the university’s  Technological Leadership Institute (TLI).

In January 1998, Dr. Amin conceived and articulated the vision of a smart self-healing grid where the use of computer, secure communications, sensing and control technologies overlay electric power grids to enhance reliability, improve security, increase resilience and to reduce the cost and emissions.

He defined the term “Smart Grid” in the context of the Complex Interactive Networks/Systems Initiative (CIN/SI), which was launched as a joint project of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced in May 1998. What emerged was a $24 million joint EPRI/DoD Complex Interactive Networks/Systems Initiative (CIN/SI). This partnership provided funding, during September 1998- September 2002,  to six university research consortia, comprised of 240 graduate students and 108 professors in 28 U.S. Universities along with 52 utilities and ISOs and the U.S. DoD, to address security and reliability challenges posed by interconnected and complex critical infrastructures.

The vision was to transform the modernized end-to-end electric power system into a “Smart Grid” – an integrated, self-healing and electronically controlled secure and resilient power system, necessitating fundamental advances in R&D into dynamical systems that range from advanced micro sensors-controllers to continental-scale coupled infrastructures. In the case of developing a self-healing power grid, the key components and tools included anticipation of disruptive events, look-ahead simulation capability, fast isolation and sectionalization, adaptive islanding and self-healing restoration.

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