Cyber-enabled Optimization of Critical Infrastructure

Monday, May 04, 2015
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
UTA 7.532
Free and open to the public

A key challenge for modernizing our infrastructure is in capturing the close interplay of three major elements that affect their operations: physical control mechanisms, information technology, and economic and social aspects. This is essential for ensuring reliability of newly introduced control schemes. This talk examines this important challenge in the context of smart power and transportation systems coupled through electricity Demand Response (DR) programs. DR schemes offer electricity end-users the ability to have a more flexible and price-aware consumption behavior. This would help increase market efficiency and margins of safety in power systems, particularly under high levels of renewable energy integration.  I start by discussing the increasing dimensionality that is inherent to residential and commercial electricity DR efforts by using the example of large Electric Vehicle (EV) populations. Then, I present my solutions to tackle this curse of dimensionality in controls and in economics. First, I highlight a systematic framework for aggregating individual loads into what we refer to as population models. I use this framework to introduce control and economic mechanisms that enable an electricity retailer to directly schedule large populations of electric loads in a scalable, near-optimal, and privacy-friendly fashion. Second, l study the role of EVs in coupling smart power and transportation systems and offer a collaborative scheme that would allow power and transportation system operators to move a large population of EV drivers towards a socially optimal traffic pattern and energy footprint.  I conclude by presenting some final thoughts that highlight open questions and future directions for my research.

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Mahnoosh Alizadeh

Mahnoosh Alizadeh

Postdoctoral Fellow
Stanford University

Mahnoosh Alizadeh is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. She is broadly interested in designing control and economic mechanisms for societal cyber-human-physical infrastructure. More specifically, she has worked extensively on electricity load forecasting and control, renewable energy integration technologies, and the effects of large-scale adoption of electric vehicles on power and transportation systems. She obtained her BSc in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 2009 and her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California Davis in 2014, where she was the recipient of the Richard C. Dorf award for outstanding research accomplishment.