George Maltabarow,
Sydney, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- May 26, 2009 - EnergyAustralia has announced an Au$10 million (US$7.7 million) partnership with Sydney and Newcastle Universities to lead smart grid development in Australia and train the next generation of power engineers.
The five-year partnerships with the two universities – each worth Au$5 million – will create centers of excellence at both institutions for research and development of intelligent electricity networks.

The partnership at Sydney builds on an existing relationship with the university, where a Chair of Power Engineering has been in place since December 2006, which is filled by Professor Vassilios Agelidis.

The partnership with Newcastle is a new one and an international search will be conducted to fill the position of Center of Excellence Chair in Newcastle, said EnergyAustralia managing director George Maltabarow.

The research centers will also be supported by communications and IT giants, including multi-nationals Alcatel-Lucent, IBM and General Electric.

“Smart grids are the biggest change to the electricity network in 100 years,” Maltabarow said. “This means power engineers need broader skills than ever before – they need both IT and engineering skills. And part of building a smart grid involves training a new generation of engineers to operate it.”

EnergyAustralia’s Au$170 million (US$132 million) smart grid program began in 2006.
“Our smart grid program is among the most advanced in the electricity industry worldwide, and we are pleased to create these university think-tanks to push further into this new world,” Maltabarow concluded.