Opening Session

Tuesday April 5, 2016

9:00 Opening of the conference (Prof. Dirk Van Hertem)

9:15 Welcome from IEEE and IEEE R8 (Costas Stasopoulos)

9:30 KU Leuven: An innovative university, also in energy research (Prof. Koen De Backere)

9:00 Opening of the conference

General chair IEEE EnergyCon and vice chair of the IEEE Benelux section and IAS/PELS/PES chapter


Dirk Van Hertem graduated as a M.Eng. in 2001 from the KHK, Geel, Belgium and as a M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the KU Leuven, Belgium in 2003. In 2009, he has obtained his PhD, also from the KU Leuven. In 2010, Dirk Van Hertem was a member of EPS group at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), in Stockholm. Since spring 2011 he is back at the University of Leuven where he is an assistant professor in the ELECTA group. His special fields of interest are power system operation and control in systems with FACTS and HVDC and building the transmission system of the future, including offshore grids and the supergrid concept. He is an active member of both IEEE (PES and IAS) and Cigré. Dr. Van Hertem is the general chair of the IEEE EnergyCon 2016 conference, which will be held in Leuven.


9:15 Welcome from IEEE and IEEE R8

IEEE Region 8 Director 2015-2016


Work experience

Upon completion of my studies in the US I worked for a year at the Agence France-Presse (AFP), an international news agency as an Electrical Enginner and then for three years at the Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques (SITA), the world’s leading service provider of integrated IT business solutions and communication services of the air transport industry.

In 1991 I moved on to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), the major electricity provider of Cyprus, responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Cyprus. There I held various Engineering Specialist and Management positions in various departments acquiring experience and knowledge from different areas and disciplines. I currently hold the position of Acting Area Manager having under my management more than 430 employees. In the recent years I was the Manager for the Forward Planning, issuing of Terms for Electricity Supply and for the Methods and Programming Departments. I have managed successfully several projects including GIS and large Photovoltaic and Wind Farm plants. I have formed policy regarding renewable energy, grid connections and took part in many working groups and committees. My main interests include Renewable Energy, Smart Grids, Innovations and Start-ups.

IEEE accomplishments and activities

I have been an active volunteer member of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) which is the world’s largest association of technical professionals with more than 430,000 members. IEEE is a non-profit organization with members in more than 160 countries around the world. I started volunteering from 1992 as a founding member of the Cyprus Section, moving through the levels of hierarchy to the position of Chair. Inspired by IEEE’s vision and successful global presence, I have been active, holding various roles of responsibility in committees, chapter and Region activities and IEEE conferences. I have also been privileged to hold the position of IEEE Region 8 Secretary from 2007-2012 and the very prestigious position of the IEEE Region 8 (Europe, Africa and Middle East) Director-Elect position for 2013-2014.

As IEEE Region 8 Director-Elect I have been active participating in various committees trying to find ways to influence decisions and form policies that would help IEEE members and humanity in general. As a member of the IEEE Africa initiative committee I have tried to find ways to increase the presence of IEEE in Africa and to benefit the general population through various technology projects. My interests include efforts to develop closer ties of IEEE and European Commission and to take advantage of projects offered through the Horizon 2020 program. I have participated actively in the following IEEE committees: IEEE New Initiatives Committee 2013, 2014, IEEE Smart Tech Metro Area Committee 2014, IEEE Europe Committee 2014, IEEE Africa Initiative Committee 2014, IEEE Committee on Entrepreneurship

As the Regional Director from January 2015 until the end of 2016, I am a member of the Board of Directors of IEEE and a member of the MGA Board and participate in various committees. Some of the committees that I am a member and have active role are the IEEE Ad Hoc Committee on Activities in Africa, IEEE Ad Hoc Committee on Engagement in Europe, MGA Strategic Direction & Environmental Assessment Committee and others. As the Regional Director I have participated in numerous events and represented IEEE in Conferences, Award Ceremonies and Milestone Events.


9:30 KU Leuven: An innovative university, also in energy research

Executive Director KU Leuven Research and Development

Koen Debackere is executive director of KU Leuven Research and Development and president of the Gemma Frisius Fund KU Leuven nv. Since November 1999, he is president of Leuven.Inc (Leuven Innovation Networking Circle). In February 2005, he became general manager of KU Leuven. Prof. Debackere is involved in different projects with the EU Commission, the Belgian and Dutch government and multinationals.

Koenraad Debackere holds a master en doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering en Management. He studied at UGent and MIT, Cambridge, VS. Currently, he lectures about Technology and Innovation Management at KU Leuven, is a guest lecturer at Nijmegen Business School and faculty member of Vlerick Business School. Hij is professor Technologie- en Innovatiemanagement aan KU Leuven, gastdocent aan de Nijmegen Business School en faculteitslid van Vlerick Business School. He is guest lecturer at different European business schools and his work has been rewared by multiple international prizes.