ISE Seminar – Prof. Reza Abhari “A Possible ‘How to’ Approach to Optimize Energy Infrastructure of a Country”

ISE presents Professor Reza Abhari of the Laboratory for Energy Conversion, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich)

Monday, March 3rd, 2:10pm in Bahen 1200 (40 St. George Street)


Abstract: In this seminar, the role of a systematic ‘bottom up’ analysis framework to analyze and perform policy ‘what if’ scenarios for a region or an entire country will be presented.  By fusing through advanced algorithms large amount of data from; GIS maps of the land topology and infrastructure, detailed multi-spectral satellite image processing, real-time electricity grid network, and weather predictive tools on a national scale, financial analysis of viability of different technologies can be performed in order to support regional and national policy framework.  Performing Monte Carlo simulation of the solutions is used to bound the economical uncertainties of the policies.  In this framework, specific role of renewable energies is examined.  As an example, the uncertainties in wind energy power generation and investment is presented and technical risks identified.  Specific technical research projects related to improving the prediction of power from wind turbines due to atmospheric conditions and wake effects will be presented.   In addition, some recent highlights of research activities at Laboratory for Energy Conversion of ETH Zurich will also be presented

Bio: Dr Reza Abhari is professor of Energy Technologies at ETH Zurich as well as the Head of the Laboratory for Energy Conversion (LEC) ( With about 75 highly qualified students and staff, the current research at LEC include; renewable energy technologies, power generation efficiency optimization, thermal management design systems, computational fluid dynamics embedded model development, pulsed laser produced plasmas, advanced sensor and mechatronics, as well as research in energy policy and economics.

Prof. Abhari is or has been: (2005- 2009) Delegate of the Rektor, Dean/Head of department of Mechanical and Process Engineering (2003- 2005) reporting to the university president, Head of Academic and Career Advisory Program (2005- 2009), and Head of Institute for Energy Technologies (2001- 2003, 2011- 2014) at ETH Zurich. In his earlier career, he was an Assistant/Associate Professor at the College of Engineering at Ohio State University (1995-1999). Prior to that, he worked in the aerospace industry in the US, focusing on research and development and its management.

Reza Abhari is a member of the Swiss National Academy of Engineering Sciences ( and a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME). He is the author/co-author of over 220 scientific articles and journal publications. He is currently or has been in the past a member of a number of scientific editorial boards, including the Editorial Board of Journal of Power and Energy. He is the recipient of many scientific awards, including election as the Christensen Fellow of St Catherine`s College, Oxford University and R Tom Sawyer Award of ASME. He has given a number of major keynote speeches in US, Europe and Asia on topics related to energy supply and conversion, climate change mitigation, technology management, innovation management, and start up incubation. He was a speaker and the Chairman of the Forum on Innovation on energy system in the 2010 World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

He has been involved in Management and technology consulting activities for a number of multi-national corporations in US, Europe and Japan, including; Alstom, DaimlerChrysler, General Electric, Honeywell, Mitsubishi Heavy industries, Siemens, and Toshiba. He is a contributing professor to the Renewable Energy Management (REM) program at University of St Gallen executive business school (2011- present). He has been involved in the creation of 7 start up companies in US and Europe. He has created and is responsible for “New Enterprises for Engineers” at ETH Zurich.  This course introduces and supports multiple teams of 30 to 40 Masters and PhD graduate students per year from all the engineering and science departments in their pursuit of the establishment of a technologically focused start up. (

Reza Abhari received his PhD from MIT (1991) in Aeronautics and Astronautics with a minor in Corporate Finance and his MA and BA from Oxford University in Engineering Sciences.