Energy Futures: Smart Grids [Recording]

Experts from the University of Applied Sciences and Management of the Canton Vaud (HEIG-VD) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory share their research and discuss how we may face the complexity of future supply and demand of energy sources.

Photo by HEIG-VD

Event Details


Online Event


Monday, December 7, 2020
09:00am to 10:15am in San Francisco 06:00pm to 07:15pm in Switzerland


Free. RSVP Below.

Experts from the University of Applied Sciences in Engineering and Management of the Canton Vaud (HEIG-VD)  and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory share their research and discuss how we might face the complexity of future supply and demand of energy sources with three focused areas of research. 

Mauro Carpita and Mokhtar Bozorg at HEIG-VD’s new Reine laboratory test these control methods for smart grids, power electronics, and smart meter devices. They present how the transition away from fossil fuels as the main carrier of energy transforms the way the grid functions.

Pierryves Padey from the Thermal Engineering Institute at HEIG-VD, presents his research around new approaches and business models for energy management. 

Massimiliano Capezzali, the Head of the Energy Competence Center at HEIG-VD, speaks  about the new planning tools that manage the complexity of energy supply and demand dynamics. 

Alan Meier of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Davis shares his research and moderates the discussion.

Their research cumulatively looks at how to decarbonize the energy footprint of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, which often have fossil-powered and/or inefficient energy consuming heating and cooling systems and appliances. Tackling how to use “demand side management” to more efficiently control energy use “behind the meter” and turn buildings into a flexibility asset that can help avoid use of fossil-”peaker plants” (gas turbines or gas engines that burn natural gas), or nuclear-based production (which the country is now phasing out since a governmental decision in the days following Fukushima’s accident) is key. As renewable energy becomes cheaper and more prolific, managing the volatility it introduces into the grid when it comes from “prosumers” on the distribution end of the grid is a crucial challenge. Finally, the research addresses how best to control and further modernize the grid, to make it smart, energy- and carbon-efficient.

This event is presented as part of swissnex San Francisco’s Human and Planetary Health series examining the future of ourselves and our planet, bridging research, innovation, and art.


San Francisco
09:00am — Presentations by speakers
09:40am — Moderated discussion
10:00am — Q&A
10:15am — Conclusion

06:00pm — Presentations by speakers
06:40pm — Moderated discussion
07:00pm — Q&A
07:15pm — Conclusion


Alan Meier
Alan Meier is an Adjunct Professor in the Dept. of Environmental Science and Policy at University of California, Davis, and a Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). At LBNL he leads the Electronics, Lighting, and Networks group. He earned a Ph.D. in Energy & Resources from UC Berkeley after completing degrees in chemistry and economics. Meier’s research focuses on understanding how energy is transformed into useful services and the opportunities to use energy more efficiently with the assistance of technical and behavioral solutions. Currently, he is examining methods of using IoT devices, such as thermostats and cable TV networks, to operate as grid sensors. Meier teaches courses on energy efficiency and supervises graduate students on a wide range of projects related to energy and environment in the United States, East Asia, and Europe.

Massimiliano Capezzali
Massimiliano Capezzali is associate Professor of Energy and the Head of the Energy Competence Center at HEIG-VD. He has a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland). In 1999, he was a post-doctoral researcher at Queen’s University in Kingston (Ontario, Canada). Upon his return to Switzerland in 2000, he worked as scientific collaborator at the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police, in Wabern (BE). He joined EPFL in 2001, at first as post-doctoral researcher and then as assistant to the Dean of the Engineering Department. He shared research activities and several teaching duties between EPFL and the University of Neuchâtel during this period.  Between 2007 and March 2017, he acted as Deputy Director of the EPFL Energy Center. You can find a full bio of publications and memberships here.

Mauro Carpita
Mauro Carpita received the M.S. degree in electrical engineering and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering in power electronics from the University of Genova, Genova, Italy in 1985 and in 1989. Since 2003, he has been Professor of Power Electronics at the University of Applied Sciences of Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland and since 2013, he is Head of the Institute of Energy and Electrical Systems and since 2015 is the deputy Dean of the Department of Industrial Automation. He leaded more than 30 applied R&D projects, with institutional, PME and industrial partners. He is member of the SCCER-Furies, the Swiss competence Center on Energy Research – Future Electrical Infrastructures. He is member of the International Scientific Committee of the EPE (European Power Electronics) Association. He is also an IEEE member. His research interests include power electronics and automatic control, particularly in High-Power Converters, High Voltage Converters and Smart Grids applications. He is the author of more than 80 papers in the fields listed above, and he is the holder of seven industrial patents.

Mokhtar Bozorg
Mokhtar Bozorg received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 2008 and 2011, respectively. In 2011, he moved to Switzerland and received the PhD degree from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2015. Following his graduation, he joined Distribution Electrical System Laboratory (DESL) of EPFL as a postdoctoral researcher where he was able to collaborate with major Swiss and international players in the field of power system and smart grids. In 2017, he joined the IESE institute of the HEIG-VD as a research engineer. He has contributed to the development of the new smart grid laboratory (ReIne – REseaux INtElligents, French acronym for “Smart Grids”) while pursuing research activities collaborating with public and private industrial partners. Since 2019, he has been an Associate Professor in energy and power systems with the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland. His research interest includes smart grids and active distribution networks, applications of mathematical modeling, optimization techniques, and data analytics in power systems and power markets, and Integration of renewable energy sources and energy storage systems into power systems. He is the author of more than 30 papers in the fields listed above.

Dr. Pierryves Padey
Dr. Pierryves Padey is a researcher at the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO), School of Management and Engineering Vaud (HEIG-VD). He is part of the Thermal Engineering Institute. Before joining HEIG-VD, he did his PhD in France (Mines ParisTech / EDF) to develop simplified models for the Life Cycle Assessment of electricity production systems. He is now specialized in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA, environmental impact assessment) for energy production and consumption in the building sector encompassing the question of the variability and uncertainty.