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At least eleven people work in a room with two rows of tables that contain computer monitors and keyboards, as well as an entire wall covered with computer monitors, all displaying various charts and graphs.
Smart Grid mission control at the Texas A&M University campus is paramount to education and training efforts. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Some of the greatest minds in smart grid research came to Texas A&M University during the first ever Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Smart Grid Synchronized Measurements and Analytics (SGSMA) May 21-23.

During the conference, leaders from academia, research organizations and industry from all over the world facilitated innovation, knowledge transfer and technical progress in addressing synchronized measurements and analytics to advance smart grids. The theme of the conference was focused particularly on synchronized sampling and synchrophasors (time-synchronized measurements that represent both the magnitude and phase angle of the sine waves found in electricity grids).

Prior to the conference, tutorials on synchrophasor data analytics and standards, and workshops on the use of synchrophasors and synchronized sampling in protection as well as on implementation of synchrophasor data analytics were held. Overall, more than 170 participants attended these events.

Gilbert Bindewald addressing a conference at TAMU Hotel and Conference center
Gil Bindewald is the director for Advanced Grid Research and Development within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

The conference featured more than 40 paper presentations selected from the best research teams working on smart grids, along with panel discussions, invited talks and keynote presentations given by Gil Bindewald and Terry Boston.

Bindewald is the director for Advanced Grid Research and Development within the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity. He is also co-chair of the Grid Modernization Initiative. His discussion was on “Driving Grid Resilience with Synchrophasors.” Before joining the DOE, he worked as an engineer at the General Electric Company and Westinghouse Electric Corporation, was on the technical staff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory, and spent time in the Czech Republic and Bangladesh.

Terry Boston addressing a press conference at TAMU Hotel and Conference center
Terry Boston speaks at Smart Grid Center event. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Boston discussed “Repowering Earth, Smart, Secure and Sustainable...The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be.” After serving as president and CEO of PJM since 2008, Boston retired in 2016 and received a 2017 presidential appointment to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council. He is past president of the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies and past president of GO15. Reliable and Sustainable Power Grids, a voluntary initiative of the world’s 18 largest power grid operators that serves 3.4 billion people.

“The conference was a major success because it had met and exceeded all the expectations in attendance (over 20 countries were represented), expertise of individuals (vendors, government, utilities, academia) and extensive discussions (paper sessions, panels, tutorials, workshops),” said Dr. Mladen Kezunovic, SGSMA conference chair, Regents Professor and the Eugene E. Webb Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M and director of the Smart Grid Center at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). “We are particularly proud of the contribution the conference has made to the profession since it was the inaugural IEEE conference on the subject long overdue since the deployment of synchrophasors was going on for over 10 years.“

The next SGSMA conference will be in Split, Croatia, in May 2021.