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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Smart grid experts from 18 countries share expertise at UOIT conference

Electric vehicles being charged inside ACE at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Electric vehicles being charged inside ACE at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology

International engineers say the efficiency and security of new electricity grids throughout the 21st century will depend highly upon how new technologies are applied to power generation systems.

In many ways, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) is evolving into a key global hub for new research and new developments in smart energy grids. In mid-August, the university brought together leading smart grid academics, authors and speakers from around the world as it played host to the three-day Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Smart Energy Grid Engineering (SEGE).

“From deployment of renewable technologies to the integration of ‘smart’ homes to the creation of electric vehicle networks, smart energy grids with all of these features will improve our economy and support sustainability,” says conference founder and SEGE general chair Dr. Hossam Gaber, Professor, UOIT Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science (cross-appointed to the UOIT Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science). “As older energy systems are replaced around the world by new high-performance technologies, engineers are applying new methods to ensure optimum and high-efficiency energy generation, storage, use and supply, and enhance reliability by improving response to potential outages.”  

SEGE participants are clearly pushing forward with new knowledge – more than 60 research papers were accepted during the SEGE conference. There was also a strong industrial presence from Canadian energy experts at SEGE.

“There are enormous engineering challenges before us in all corners of the world, so that is why it is important to share knowledge and best practices on a global scale,” says Dr. Gaber.

“Industry professionals, researchers and government regulators all have similar questions about how to achieve energy security. We are proud that the University of Ontario Institute of Technology is playing a substantial role in advanced technologies by hosting this important fourm.”

UOIT is seen as a strategic location for SEGE as it is situated in the heart of Durham Region, in close proximity to Ontario’s main energy facilities at Pickering and Darlington, and also relatively close to Bruce Power on the shore of Lake Huron.

During their stay at UOIT, SEGE delegates were impressed by the university’s research capacity during a tour of the high-tech ACE facility.

At the end of the SEGE conference, the best student paper in the Overall and Innovation category went to Master of Applied Science student Mayn Tomal (Electrical and Computer Engineering; supervised by Dr. Gaber) for Key Performance Assessment of Fuel Cell Based Distributed Energy Generation System in Resilient Micro Energy Grid.

What is a smart energy grid?

Smart energy grids are modernized energy networks that use automated digital information and communications technology to control the production and distribution of electricity to maximize efficiency between utilities and interconnected energy grids. Systems are called ‘smart’ due to the allowance of the technology to constantly monitor the behaviour of electricity providers and consumers, and then act upon that information to enhance efficiency, security, reliability and safety with minimum environmental impacts.

Smart energy grids have the capacity for bi-directional distribution and transmission, with applications for numerous energy utilities such as natural gas, thermal energy, hydroelectricity and nuclear energy.