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École Polytechnique scientists awarded grants from the Siebel Energy Institute

L'X is a member of the new Siebel Energy Institute, a global consortium for innovative and collaborative energy research. The Institute marked its official launch on August, 4, 2015, with the announcement of several research grants nearing $1 million.


Frank Pacard, Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Research, at San Francisco for the Institute’s launch event

On August, 4, 2015, researchers, scholars, and industry experts gathered at the Siebel Energy Institute’s launch event in San Francisco to announce and celebrate the Institute’s inaugural grant recipients. The Institute’s Executive Committee, which includes representatives of all consortium member institutions, selected the recipients from a field of nearly 60 submissions, including two winning research proposals involving École Polytechnique scientists. Several research teams thus received either $50,000 or $25,000 seed grants, which will be used to develop research proposals to apply advanced analytics to improve energy efficiency, grid reliability, and customer engagement. The Siebel Energy Institute will grant 40-50 such research awards annually, in addition to providing ongoing financial support to funded projects.

Philippe Drobinski, Research Director at CNRS and Associate Professor at École Polytechnique, received a grant for his project entitled Transdisciplinary approach for Renewable Energy Development (TREND) aiming to see how interdisciplinary expertise may allow better development and optimization of the management of electrical grids, in partnership with Professor Pascal Ortega from the University of French Polynesia. Through this project, transdisciplinary research will be conducted on microgrids under different climatic environments, in order to develop experimental modular microgrids powered by a solar energy mix and / or wind power backed by a modeling system.

Stéphane Gaubert, alumnus from École Polytechnique (X85), Head of a joint research team between INRIA and the Center for Applied Mathematics (École Polytechnique, CNRS), will also be working with Laurent El Ghaoui, Professor at UC Berkeley who is also an alumnus from École Polytechnique (X82) and Giuseppe Carlo Calafiore, Professor at Politecnico di Torino on a project on robust optimization for local and global energy management. The researchers received a grant to develop innovative methods for complex dynamical systems and they hope to establish a collaboration with EDF R&D. The grant will also fund a research internship for an École Polytechnique student.

The Siebel Energy Institute is a consortium of eight research institutions: Carnegie Mellon University, École Polytechnique, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Princeton University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of Tokyo. The Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation established the Institute with a $10 million grant. The Institute is supported by an Industry Advisory Board that initially includes Pacific Gas & Electric, Honeywell, C3 Energy, and other leading energy companies and industry influencers, who have partnered with the Institute to foster active collaboration with the private sector.

“We created the Siebel Energy Institute to stimulate the best minds in engineering and computer science to work collaboratively on the science of smart energy,” said Chairman Thomas M. Siebel. “Our goal is to advance innovations in data analytics and machine learning to improve the safety, cyber security, reliability, efficiency, and environmental integrity of the advanced smart grid.” Specifically, smart-connected devices across today’s energy system collectively generate massive amounts of information. Highly sophisticated statistical algorithms are necessary to integrate and correlate the data, create data-driven statistical models with predictive power, and extract value from this otherwise incomprehensible stream of information.

> Read the press release