Prof. Varga

Title: Aggregators: a new regime for mobilisation
of distributed energy resources

Distributed energy resources (DERs) such as photo-voltaics and electric-traction car batteries, in the past motivated by local resilience, or by carbon reduction, are not meeting their potential. When aggregated DERs can provide capacity to energy grids, permitting local redistribution of supply and storage, and avoiding expensive grid reinforcement. But aggregation, that provides the scale and certainty of performance, given the nature of intermittent renewables, requires data and algorithms that operate autonomously over digital networks, constantly revising, delivering, balancing, and settling transactions. There is now the ability to unlock digital data-driven economic growth via growth in DERS which offer lower cost, higher resilience, carbon friendly sources to energy markets.
Professor Varga has expertise in trans-disciplinary research projects across infrastructure systems (energy, transport, water, waste and telecoms) and food systems focusing on sustainable outcomes for the environment, society and the economy. Strongly underpinned by complexity science theories, methods and tools, which she is extending, Prof Varga is able to explain how services which rely on interdependencies and which cross boundaries and scales in these critical systems can be delivered more innovatively and resiliently. She does this mindful of trends and uncertainties in climate, societal and institutional change, and business models, by exploring possibilities for system futures through scenarios in order to measure interventions which transform infrastructure systems to provide sustainable consumption. Liz’s skills are in creating abstractions of real-world systems, focusing on wicked problems, recognizing emergent phenomena and co-evolutionary effects, and assessing measurable systemic outcomes. Liz uses mixed and hybrid methodologies embracing both quantitative and qualitative data to lead the design of computational algorithms and visualisations of the dynamics of inter-connected systems. She has experience of system transitions, modeling the effects of interventions from various scales: policy, technology and innovation, and analysing computational results representing economic, environmental and societal effects.
She won the Cranfield University Research Award (2014, 2016). Prof. Liz Varga has recently joined UCL and is developing a new Centre for Infrastructure Systems providing thought leadership through industry and government advisory roles. She supervises a number of doctoral students with theses on resilience, innovation and efficiency. She is a top 7% EPSRC Peer Review College reviewer (2018), an invited speaker on infrastructure systems, resilience and liveable/future cities, invited international reviewer, lecturer in systems, society and sustainability for engineers, and an international journal reviewer for: Emergence: Complexity and Organization (2008-). She has edited special issues on integrated utility systems, complexity and energy, and complexity and supply chain, and has a chapter in the new Edward Elgar Handbook of Research Methods in Complexity Science.


Keynote Speakers


Post-conference Activities

Prof. Brian Fath

Title: Ecological Network Analysis: Methods to reveal 
indirect pathways, application to urban metabolism

Abstract: Ecological Network Analysis is a powerful methodology that provides a simultaneous whole-system investigation.  Almost all complex systems can be conceptualized as a set of interacting nodes and arcs connecting them, based on the transfer of energy/material/information between the nodes.  Once realized as such network methodologies can be applied to assess the direct and indirect influences between compartments and the pairwise interactions between any two nodes.  In this presentation, specifically methodologies that have been developed to explore ecological systems (mostly energy flow in food webs) are used to investigate energy, material and water flow in urban networks.  In comparison with ecological networks we see that urban metabolism networks do not generate as many mutualistic relations, which gives some insight how to better manage our cities.
Keynote Speaker: Brian D. Fath is Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University (Maryland, USA) and Senior Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria). He has published over 180 research papers, reports, and book chapters on environmental systems modeling, specifically in the areas of network analysis, resilience, and sustainability. He co-authored the books Foundations for Sustainability: A Coherent Framework of Life–Environment Relations (2018) and Flourishing Within Limits to Growth: Following nature’s way (2015). He is also Editor-in-Chief for the journal Ecological Modelling. Dr. Fath was the 2016 recipient of the Prigogine Medal for outstanding work in systems ecology, and twice a Fulbright Distinguished Chair (Parthenope University, Naples, Italy in 2012 and Masaryk University, Czech Republic in 2019).

Raluca Leordeanu

            Title:The global Hydrogen market 

BIO: Raluca Leordeanu joined NEL ASA as VP Business Development effective August 2018. She previously held various leadership positions, including VP Corporate Strategy and Planning at Norsk Titanium AS, a startup in Titanium 3D printing for Aerospace. She has an international experience from McKinsey&Co, where she worked mainly on Renewables and Strategy advising companies on four continents. Mrs Leordeanu holds a Master of European Business Law from Lund University.
Nel Hydrogen is a global, dedicated hydrogen company, delivering optimal solutions to produce, store and distribute hydrogen from renewable energy. We serve industries, energy and gas companies with leading hydrogen technology. Since 1927 Nel Hydrogen has proudly developed and continually improved hydrogen plants. Our proven hydrogen solutions cover the entire value chain – from hydrogen production to intermediate energy storage and manufacturing of hydrogen fueling stations, providing all fuel cell electric vehicles with the same fast fueling and long range as conventional vehicles today. The global community demands zero emission solutions. Nel Hydrogen is positioned to build complete, cutting edge hydrogen infrastructure – unlocking the potential of renewables.