Section News

Event Report | Manchester Energy and Electrical Power System (MEEPS) Symposium 2021

From Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th November 2021, the IEEE PES Student Branch Chapter at the University of Manchester (UoM) hosted the flagship annual event, Manchester Energy and Electrical Power System (MEEPS) Symposium 2021. This online event via Zoom attracted 215 registrations (90 IEEE members and 62 IEEE PES members), including researchers around the world, as well as sponsor representatives and guests from industry/academia.

The event was themed ‘Power Systems in a Post-Pandemic Era’, with the aim of enhancing power system operations in a post-pandemic era against future crises, whilst also envisioning solutions to energy challenges and also providing low-carbon affordable energy to the demand  community.

On the first day of the conference, after a brief welcome by Mr Keyi Wang (chair of Manchester PES SBC), Prof Ian Cotton (Head of the research in the School of Engineering with The University of Manchester) delivered an opening address, where he addressed the future state of equipment challenges in the power systems.

He provided an insight into the electrification opportunities and challenges in the energy sector. Then, he briefed us on some of the on-going and finished projects within the EEE department such as the Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) project with new HV laboratories and the Deeside project where new power system technologies can be tested and demonstrated.

Finally, Prof Cotton concluded his talk by predicting some future trends, including the increasing power density of energy corridors and knowledge that links power system assets with different futures.

Following the opening speech, Mr Max McFarlane with TNEI delivered a keynote speech with the title “The death of Moore’s Law”. As a data science engineer, Mr McFarlane addressed that Myhrvold’s Laws of Software is replacing Moore’s Law.

As computer hardware development approaches a limit, the effectiveness and efficiency of software tools has become important. He then demonstrated this point using a power system analysis example, where novel data science techniques could reduce simulation time and maximise the hardware potential.

After the keynote speech by Mr McFarlane, six oral presentations were delivered by PhD students/RAs on the topic of “Planning and Operation of Future Power Networks”.

Day 2’s programme was led by a Women in Power (WiP) session, delivered by 4 female guest speakers.

  • Dr Jelena Ponocko, a lecturer with the UoM who is also the IEEE PES WiP representative for UK and Ireland, delivered an introductive talk about IEEE, IEEE PES and the WiP committee.
  • Arianna Griffa, a senior climate & energy consultant at ICF, addressed the importance of policy and technology collaboration towards net zero and shared the latest outcomes from COP26.
  • Rosa Serrano, a researcher with The University of Manchester, addressed the concept of resilience and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on power systems.
  • Vilislava Ivanova, senior researcher on clean economy at E3G, addressed the importance of policy & technical expert collaborations and the role of civil society organisations. Following the WiP session, five student/postdoc presentations were delivered with the topic of “Achieving Sustainable Development Goals”.

On day 3, Prof Haiwang Zhong from Tsinghua University delivered a keynote speech with the title “Implication of COVID-19 for the Electricity Industry in China”. He firstly briefed the influence of COVID-19 on China’s electricity sector on electricity demand and supply and the power grid. Then, he introduced carbon neutrality and emission peeking in China. On achieving these goals, Prof Zhong envisions the future power systems with renewables as the mainstay, including (not limited to):

  • Mixed centralised and decentralised renewable generation;
  • Efficient coordination and interaction of transmission and active distribution networks;
  • Demand response schemes;
  • Significant cost reduction of generation systems;
  • Hydrogen storage may be a promising solution coupled with power systems.

Following the keynote speech, five oral presentations were delivered with the common topic of “Advanced Technologies Applied to Power Systems”. Dr Steve Potts, a chartered engineer and lecturer with The University of Manchester, gave closing remarks by reviewing the MEEPS agenda and encouraging researchers to engineer a better world. Presentation awards winners were announced:

  • Best Presentation Prize with £150 cash: “Electricity Markets in Presence of Strategic Prosumers” by Sepehr Ramyar, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
  • Presentation Runner-Up Prize with £100 cash: “A Hybrid Model for Analyzing System Loadability with multiple VSCs” by Youhong Chen, The University of Manchester, UK
  • Presentation Third Place Prize with £50 cash: “Revenue Stacking for Behind the Meter Battery Storage in Energy and Ancillary Services Markets” by William Seward, Cardiff University, UK

Although the MEEPS 2021 was held online again due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic, the passionate and hard-working student branch chapter members with the kind support of our guests and sponsors made this event a success. We received many positive feedbacks from our attendees. Most attendees felt the presentations from guest speakers and student presenters were informative and interesting. Many student presenters were grateful for the platform to showcase their research works. Some attendees feelt that MEEPS provided them with a chance to connect with researchers on similar topics.

The IEEE PES SBC at UoM would like to thank all participants for attending the event and special thanks again to our sponsors and guests. For more information about MEEPS 2021 and IEEE PES SBC UoM, please visit

Keyi Wang – Chair, IEEE PES Student Branch Chapter at The University of Manchester
Omoniyi Akinpelumi – Vice-Chair, IEEE PES Student Branch Chapter at The University of Manchester