Melbourne Energy Institute Symposium


Melbourne School of Design
The University of Melbourne
Parkville VIC 3010


More Information

Ruby Brown

T: +61 3 9035 3641

The Melbourne Energy Institute is holding its inaugural Symposium, showcasing the University of Melbourne’s multi-disciplinary energy research across MEI’s four research programs:

Energy Systems
Energy Technology
Energy, Community and the Region
The Environment and Energy Resources

Meet our wonderful graduate students and research staff working across these areas. Exchange ideas and explore collaborations. Meet prospective hires.

We are honoured to have Audrey Zilbelman, CEO of AEMO, as the opening Keynote, as well as topical seminars that include the following.

Navigating the Transition to the Fourth Revolution
Audrey Zibelman, CEO, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

Power System Resilience and Extreme Weather Events 
Pierluigi Mancarella, Chair of Power System Engineering

The Future of Hydrogen in Australia: some thoughts
Michael Brear, Director, Melbourne Energy Institute

Consumer Response to Road Use Prices
Leslie Martin, Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics

Coal Seam Gas, Conflicted Communities and the Promise of Prosperity
Fiona Haines, Professor of Criminology in the School of Social and Political Sciences

Read the full program Presentation Abstracts


Ms Audrey Zibelman
is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Ms Zibelman leads AEMO, the independent gas and electricity system and market operator in Australia, an organisation that has primarily responsibility of managing and maintaining energy system security for all Australians.

Ms Zibelman has extensive experience in the public, private and not-for profit energy and electricity sectors in the United States, most recently having held the positions of Commissioner and Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC). During her tenure at the NYPSC, Ms Zibelman led the design and implementation of extensive regulatory and retail market changes to modernise and transform the state’s electricity industry.

A recognised national and international expert in energy policy, markets and Smart Grid innovation, Ms Zibelman is a Founder and past President and Chief Executive Officer of Viridity Energy, Inc.

Previously, Ms Zibelman was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of PJM, a regional transmission operator of the power grid and wholesale power market across the eastern United States.

Ms Zibelman also held legal and executive positions at Xcel Energy, served as General Counsel to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, and was Special Assistant Attorney General in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.

During her career, Ms Zibelman has served on numerous industry-related and non-profit boards, and currently serves on the CSIRO (Australia’s national science agency) Energy Advisory Committee and the Melbourne Energy Institute’s Advisory Board. Her former board related appointments include positions as Advisor to Secretary of Energy for the US Department of Energy and Advisory Council, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Planning Board and the New York State Emergency Planning Council.

Pierluigi Mancarella
is Chair Professor of Electrical Power Systems at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and Professor of Smart Energy Systems at the University of Manchester, UK.

Pierluigi obtained the PhD degree in Power Systems from the Politecnico di Torino, Italy, has been a Research Associate at Imperial College London, UK, and has held visiting research positions at Sintef/NTNU in Norway and NREL in Colorado, as well as visiting professorships at Ecole Centrale de Lille in France and the Universidad de Chile.

Pierluigi has been involved in/led, in the last 10 years, some 50 research projects and consultancy and professional activities in the UK, Australia, and internationally, in the area of techno-economics and business cases for smart grid technologies, risk and resilience assessment of future networks, integrated multi-energy systems modelling, and energy infrastructure investment under uncertainty.

Pierluigi is author of four books, several book chapters, and of over 200 research papers. He is an Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, IEEE Systems Journal, International Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems, and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A (guest). Pierluigi is also an IEEE Power and Energy Society Distinguished Lecturer and the past Chair of the Energy Working Group of the IEEE European Public Policy Initiative.

Leslie Martin is a senior lecturer  in the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne. Her primary fields are environmental economics and energy economics. Her secondary fields are industrial organisation and international development.

Leslie's research currently focuses on consumer responses to the availability of smart meter data in markets with retail competition, and interactions between regulation, firms, and environmental outcomes in industrialising countries. Sub-topics include: energy efficiency gains from trade liberalization, and how power cuts affect investment decisions in industrializing countries.

Leslie has a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in applied math from MIT. She spent several years as a research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, studying the impact of climate change-related disasters on developing countries, and as a consultant for the World Bank in Bolivia working on productivity and competitiveness, pension reform, and hydrocarbon taxes.

Leslie is currently teaching Econ30011 Environmental Economics (3rd year Economics undergraduate) and Econ90067 Empirical Environmental and Energy Economics (2nd year PhD).

Professor Michael Brear is the Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute at the University of Melbourne. He guides the Institute’s research on the technical, economic, environmental and social impacts of energy systems. 

His own research is collaborative with industry and government on the technical, economic and environmental analysis of transport and energy systems; systems with reciprocating engines and gas turbines; combustion of conventional and alternative fuels.

Michael is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Energy and he previously established the University’s Master of Energy Systems. Prior to commencing at the University, he worked for ICI Australia (now Orica), then undertook graduate studies at Cambridge University and post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Fiona Haines PhD, BA (Hons) is Professor of Criminology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne and Adjunct Professor at the Regulatory Institutions Network at ANU. Her research, which encompasses work on industrial disasters, grievances and multinational enterprises centres on white collar and corporate crime, globalisation and regulation.

She is an internationally renowned expert in the area of regulation and compliance with published work in the area ranging from occupational health & safety and financial fraud to the impact of criminalisation of cartel conduct and most recently the challenges for regulation in the transformation of the National Electricity Market with the introduction of household solar PV and the capacity of new governance to resolve issues of human rights violations associated with the activities of multinational corporations. Much of this work is interdisciplinary and Professor Haines’ collaborates extensively with colleagues from political science, law, sociology and engineering.

Her recent books include The Paradox of Regulation: what regulation can achieve and what it cannot (Edward Elgar, 2011) and Regulatory Transformations: Rethinking Economy Society Interactions , (Hart Publishing), 2015, co-edited with Bettina Lange and Dania Thomas. Her major current research projects include an analysis of how to hold multinational corporations accountable for human right's abuse, the social impact of coals seam gas exploration and rethinking regulation in an ecologically constrained world.

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