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Daniel Kirschen

Daniel Kirschen
Close Professor of Electrical Engineering
Smart grids, integration of renewable energy, power system economics,
power system security, blackouts

EEB M326
Box 352500
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: (206) 543-2174

University of Wisconsin-Madison, PhD EE, 1985
University of Wisconsin-Madison, MSc EE 1980
Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, Ingénieur Civil Mécanicien Electricien, (Electro-mechanical Engineer), 1979


Daniel S. Kirschen was appointed Close Professor of Electrical Engineering in 2011. From 1994 to 2010, he was Professor of Electrical Energy Systems and Head of the Electrical Energy and Power Systems research group at the University of Manchester (previously UMIST) in Great Britain. Prior to joining the academic world, he worked for Control Data Corporation and Siemens-Empros on the development of advanced application software for electric utilities.

Research Interests

When running a power system to supply electrical energy to homes and businesses, engineers strive to satisfy three objectives:

Unfortunately, these objectives conflict: improving reliability increases costs and renewable energy sources affect reliability unless costly security measures are put in place. The main objective of my research is to develop techniques that achieve the optimal balance between these three essential goals. In particular, using advanced optimization techniques, my students and I explore how flexibility resources (such as demand-side participation, energy storage and agile generating units) should be deployed and operated. In my view, this is the essence of what has recently been called the "smart grid." In this respect, I am also working with colleagues who are specialists in communications, sensors and control to explore how these rapidly evolving technologies can be harnessed to help meet the objectives mentioned above.

While integrating these objectives is an important part of my work, I also do research on each of these topics taken separately. For example, my students and I have developed probabilistic techniques to assess the operational security of power systems. As part of this strand of work, we are exploring the complex mechanisms that lead to blackouts in large power systems. I have also studied electricity markets and written a widely used textbook on power system economics. The next challenge in this area is to develop mechanisms which will ensure that competitive electricity markets deliver sufficient investments to meet the evolving needs of the electricity supply system.

Research links:

Honors and Awards

2010 Prize Paper Award, 11th International Conference on Probabilistic Methods Applied to Power Systems
2009 IEEE Distinguished Lecturer
2007 Fellow of the IEEE
2006 Significant Reviewer, IEEE Power Engineering Society
1986 Technical Excellence Award, Control Data Corporation
1985 Bacon Fellow, University of Wisconsin - Madison
1984 Member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
1983 First Prize Paper Award, Industrial Drives Committee, IEEE Industry Applications Society
1980 Vilas Fellow, University of Wisconsin - Madison
1979 Fellow, Belgian American Educational Foundation

Visiting Appointments

2009 Guest Professor, Wuhan University, China
2007 Senior Research Fellow, Tsinghua University, China
1999 Tan Chin Tuan Fellow, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Professional Activities

Member of the Editorial Board, IET Generation, Transmission & Distribution
Member of the Editorial Board, Electrical Power Quality and Utilisation Magazine
Chair, IEEE Power and Energy Society, Computer and Analytical Methods Subcommittee, 2004-2009

Invited Lectures and Presentations

March 2008
Tsinghua University, Shenzhen
Invited speaker at the UK-China Workshop on Sustainable Development of Power Technology, organised by the British Consulate-General in Guangzhou
March 2008
Hong Kong University
Invited lecture on demand-side participation in electricity markets
February 2007
Invited speaker at the GRID conference organised by the European Commission
November 2006
Invited speaker at a seminar on "Demand-Side Participation in Electricity Markets" organised by the "Société des Electriciens et Electroniciens" (in French)
July 2006
Ciudad Real
Co-organiser of the exploratory workshop on "Mathematical Models for Electricity Markets" sponsored by the European Science Foundation
November 2005
University College, Dublin
Invited presentation on blackouts
May 2005
Linköping University, Sweden
Invited presentation at the CRIS International Workshop on Critical Information Infrastructures
May 2003
Invited presentation on the Value of Lost Load at the INDES seminar organised by ECN
November 2003
Invited speaker at the OXERA seminar "Trusting the Markets: Security of Supply in a Liberalised Energy Market"
June 1997
Invited presentation on the electricity market in England and Wales at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
July 1996
Madison, WI
Invited presentation at the Wisconsin Public Services Commission on the electricity market in England and Wales
August 1989
Invited participant in the Korea/USA Joint Seminar on Expert Systems in Power Systems

Selected Publications


D S Kirschen, G Strbac, "Fundamentals of Power System Economics", John Wiley & Sons, April 2004. (Chinese translation published in 2007).

N Jenkins, R N Allan, P Crossley, D S Kirschen and G Strbac, "Embedded Generation", IEE Press, 2000. (French translation published by Dunod in 2008).

Book Chapters

M Bilton, C Ramsay, M Leach, H Devine-Wright , P Devine-Wright , D S Kirschen "Domestic electricity consumption and demand-side participation: opportunities and challenges for the UK power system" Chapter 8 in Delivering a Low Carbon Electricity System: Technologies, Economics and Policy, M Grubb, T Jamasb and M G Pollitt (editors), Cambridge University Press, 2008.

D S Kirschen, "Expert Systems Applications in Energy Management Systems," chapter (28 pages) in the book Expert Systems Applications in Power Systems, T S Dillon and M A Laughton, editors, Prentice Hall, 1990.

Recent Papers in Scientific Journals

  1. M. Ortega-Vazquez, D S Kirschen, "Assessing the Impact of Wind Power Generation on Operating Costs", IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, Vol. 1, No. 3, December 2010, pp. 295-301.
  2. J He, L Cheng, D S Kirschen, Y Sun, "Optimising the Balance between Security and Economy on a Probabilistic Basis", IET Generation, Transmission and Distribution, Vol. 4, No. 12, pp. 1275-1287, 2010, (DOI: 10.1049/iet-gtd.2010.0039)
  3. J He, Y Sun, D S Kirschen, C Singh, L Cheng "State space partitioning for composite power system reliability assessment," IET Generation, Transmission and Distribution, Vol.4, No. 7, pp. 780-792, July 2010.
  4. Qixin Chen, Chongqing Kang, Qing Xia, D S Kirschen, "Mechanism and Modeling Approach to Low-carbon Power Dispatch", Automation of Electric Power Systems, Vol. 34, No. 12, pp. 19-23, June 2010 (EI Index: 20102913085670).
  5. C J Zapata, D S Kirschen, M A Ríos, A Torres, "Modeling of Protective System Failures to Operate for Reliability Studies Using Stochastic Point Process," International Review of Electrical Engineering, Vol. 5, No. 1, January-February 2010.

Complete list of publications »

Selected Conference Papers

  1. N Y Dahlan, D S Kirschen and M A Ortega-Vazquez, "Investment Evaluation and Decision Making for Generating Company Under Uncertainty in Deregulated Industry Supply," 11th International Conference on Probabilistic Methods Applied to Power Systems, Singapore, June 2010.
  2. J He, Y Sun, L Cheng, X Ye, D S Kirschen, "Fast and Accurate Online Short Term Reliability Assessment," 11th International Conference on Probabilistic Methods Applied to Power Systems, Singapore, June 2010 (Prize paper award).
  3. C J Zapata, A Torres, D S Kirschen, M A Ríos, "A Method for Studying Loss of Component Scenarios in a Power System using Stochastic Point Processes," in Proceedings IEEE Power Engineering Society General Meeting, Calgary, July 2009.
  4. C J Zapata, A Torres, D S Kirschen, M A Ríos, "Some Common Misconceptions about the Modeling of Repairable Components," in Proceedings IEEE Power Engineering Society General Meeting, Calgary, July 2009.
  5. M Ortega-Vazquez, D S Kirschen, "Should the Spinning Reserve Procurement in Systems with Wind Power Generation be Deterministic or Probabilistic?" in Proceedings of the 2009 International Conference on Sustainable Power Generation and Supply, Nanjing, China.
  6. IEEE Power Engineering Task Force on Understanding, Prediction, Mitigation and Restoration of Cascading Failures, "Vulnerability Assessment for Cascading Failures in Electric Power Systems," in Proceedings of IEEE Power Systems Conference and Exhibition, March 2009, Seattle.

Complete list of publications »

Current PhD Students (The University of Manchester)

Nofri Yenita Dahlan, Malaysia
Juan Ma, China
Matheos Panteli, Cyprus
Edmond Diouf, Senegal
Chomba Tumelo-Chakonta, Zambia

Graduated PhD Students

Chua-Liang Su, Malaysia
Miguel Ortega-Vazquez, Mexico
Yann Rebours, France
Maria Garcia, Spain
Dilan Jayaweera, Sri Lanka
Dusko Nedic, Serbia
Young Ho Kwon, Korea
Kung Jui Lee, Singapore
Tan Yun Tiam, Malaysia
Carlos Goyo Barrientos, Venezuela
Barnaby Pitt, United Kingdom
Dilcemar de Paiva Mendes, Brazil

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