Section News

2023 IEEE President & CEO President Delivers Distinguished Lecture at Strathclyde University IEEE Student Branch

On September 7, 2023, Professor Saifur Rahman, the 2023 IEEE President & CEO, delivered a lecture titled “Decarbonisation Opportunities in the Electric Power Sector to Address Climate Change” at the University of Strathclyde.

Professor Rahman was introduced to those in attendance by Prof Tony Gachagan, Head of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Deputy-Director of EPSRC funded CDT in Future Ultrasonic Engineering.  Also in attendance were Prof Izzet Kale, IEEE UK and Ireland Section Chair, Prof Mike Hinchey, IEEE Region 8 Director Elect, and Prof Tariq Durani, IEEE Ad Hoc Committee Chair for the the Co-ordination of IEEE’s Response to Climate Change (CCIRCC), as well as leaders and volunteers from the local IEEE community, particularly those from the IEEE Student Branch.


There is an unprecedented level of awareness of climate change and the role of decarbonisation in enabling environmental sustainability moving forward.  In particular, there has been a major focus placed on the carbon produced through electricity generation, as it is responsible for roughly 30% of emissions globally.

While industrialised nations are slowly moving away from fossil-fuel based electricity, emerging economies are still heavily reliant on fossil fuels which are the most readily available electricity generation sources for them. Thus, there is a tension that needs to be navigated if we are to meet carbon reduction targets – and they are, to be clear, shared targets.

A nuanced approach to navigating this tension will see industrialised nation states collaborating with emerging economies to deploy a portfolio of solutions with low-carbon generation, storage and demand side management with advanced technology focusing on energy efficiency.

To more efficiently facilitate the global shift towards renewable energy adoption, the below six areas should be our priority to address climate change:

  1. Energy Efficiency Applications
  2. Carbon Capture Systems
  3. Renewable Energy Integration
  4. Hydrogen and Storage Solutions
  5. Cross-Border Energy Transfer
  6. Advanced Nuclear Technologies

The lecture was followed by a networking drinks reception.

About the Speaker

Professor Saifur Rahman is the founding director of the Advanced Research Institute at Virginia Tech, USA where he is the Joseph R. Loring professor of electrical and computer engineering. He also directs the Center for Energy and the Global Environment. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and an IEEE Millennium Medal winner.

Professor Rahman is the 2023 IEEE President and CEO and was the president of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) for 2018 and 2019. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Electrification Magazine and the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy. He has published over 150 journal papers and has made over five hundred conference and invited presentations.

He was the chair of the US National Science Foundation Advisory Committee on International Science and Engineering.  He has conducted several energy efficiency, renewable energy, blockchain and sensor integration research projects for Duke Energy (USA), Tokyo Electric Power Company, the US National Science Foundation, the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Energy and the State of Virginia. He has a PhD in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech.