Speaker Profiles

Keynote Speakers

Rikiya Abe
Professor, Presidential Endowed Chair of Digital Grid, University of Tokyo; Representative Director, Digital Grid Consortium, Japan

Rikiya ABE, Ph.D., graduated from Electronics Engineering at the University of Tokyo. He had worked as an electrical engineer at a whole sale power company, J-POWER in Japan. He has designed, installed, and operated 500MW coal fired power stations. He was once a visiting researcher at US Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Since 2008, he is now a project professor at the University of Tokyo in Graduate Course of Technology Management for Innovation (TMI), School of Engineering. His special fields of interest include renewable energy, energy storage, and smart grid. He developed the Digital Grid concept that represents “Power of Internet”. He established a “not-for-profit organization of Digital Grid Consortium” in September 2011 and is working as a CEO. Since June 2012, he has been a Co-Chair of Presidential Endowed Chair of the “Electric Power Network Innovation by Digital Grid”, at the University of Tokyo. He also started Digital Grid Solutions Inc., to apply digital grid technology to electrify off-grid areas in Kenya, Tanzania and other villages in the world. And now he founded Digital Grid Inc. for total solution of renewable energy in weak-grid and on- grid in the world.

Alice Siu
Associate Director, Center of Deliberative Democracy, Stanford University, USA

Dr. Alice Siu received her Ph.D. from the Department of Communication at Stanford University, with a focus in political communication, deliberative democracy and public opinion. She also received her B.A. in Economics and Public Policy and M.A. in Political Science at Stanford.

Dr. Siu has advised policymakers and political leaders around the world, at various levels of government, including leaders in China, Japan, Brazil, and Argentina. Her research interests in deliberative democracy include what happens inside deliberation, such as examining the effects of socio-economic class in deliberation, the quality of deliberation, and the quality of arguments in deliberation.

Other Speakers and Chairs

Chan-Kook Park
Associate Research Fellow, Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI), South Korea

Mr. Chan-Kook Park is an associate research fellow at the Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI), which is a government-affiliated energy research center. He has been doing research on public policies related to smart grids and electric power industries (from the year 2008 to present). He previously worked for ITthinknet as a researcher in charge of convergence of energy and information & communications technology (ICT) (from the year 2005 to 2008). He received his M.A. in IT Business Management from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

Kenji Tanaka
Project Associate Professor, Organisation for Interdisciplinary Research Project, Department of Systems Innovation, The University of Tokyo, Japan

Professor Kenji Tanaka obtained his BE in Naval Architecture in 1998, his ME in Information Engineering in 2000, and his PhD in Systems Innovation from the University of Tokyo in 2009. He was Assistant Professor from 2007 and has been Project Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo since 2013. His research interests include energy storage systems, systems design, battery life evaluation, demand forecasting, among others. Prof. Tanaka started his career at McKinsey & Co. as Management Consultant and was a former member of an industry sector group engaged in business planning for Japanese manufacturers. From 2003, he worked as an Investment Officer, private equity investment firm, Japan Industrial Partners. In 2012, he was a member of national policy advisory body to the Ministry of Land, Transportation and Tourism and was engaged in planning the policy strategy for the future energy-efficient society.

Daphne Mah
Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Director, Asian Energy Studies Centre, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
Honorary Assistant Professor at the Kadoorie Institute at the University of Hong Kong (HKU)

Dr. Mah obtained her MSc in Environmental Management from the University of Nottingham in the UK, and completed her PhD study in 2010 at HKU, investigating the role of local states, policy capacity and the development of wind energy policies in Xinjiang, Shanghai and Guangdong. Dr. Mah’s research and teaching focuses on three broad domains: sustainable energy, energy governance, and comparative policy-making, mainly in the Asian, Chinese and Hong Kong contexts. She was awarded the Chevening Scholarship for her studies in the UK. She is a recent recipient of Faculty of Social Sciences’ (HKBU) Faculty Award for Early Career Academic (Research) 2014-2015. Before pursuing her academic career, Dr. Mah was a journalist in Ming Pao Daily News, and the head of the campaigns team of Friends of the Earth (Hong Kong).

John W M Cheng
Senior Manager – Group Sustainability, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited, Hong Kong

Dr. John Cheng has over 20 years of industrial experience in energy systems and low-carbon technology development and deployment. His expertise includes climate adaptation, renewable generation, smart grid and end-use technologies. He has also published frequently in peer-reviewed journals and international conferences on clean-tech developments, smart grid and load signature analysis and applications.

He has been a senior member of the CLP Research Institute (CLP-RI) since 2004 and currently serving as Senior Manager – Group Sustainability in CLP. Dr. Cheng is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario and a member of HKIE, IEEE, CIGRE, IERE and the Secretary of WEC Hong Kong Member Committee. Prior to joining CLP in Hong Kong, Dr. Cheng held various senior positions in major Canadian companies and institutions, including Canadian National Railway, Department of National Defense and CAE. He holds a BEng degree from the University of Saskatchewan and a MEng and PhD degree from McGill University in Electrical Engineering.

Pia-Johanna Schweizer
Senior Researcher, ZIRIUS Stuttgart Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies, University of Stuttgart, Germany

Dr. Pia-Johanna Schweizer studied Sociology and English and American Literature at Stuttgart University and University of Aberdeen. She received a Master of Arts degree from Stuttgart University in Sociology and English and American Literature. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Stuttgart University (summa cum laude). Pia coordinates the research unit “Planning & Governance” within the Helmholtz Alliance ENERGY-TRANS (http://www.energy-trans.de/english/104.php) and directs the project “Potentials and Limits of Discursive Approaches”. From 2013 until 2014 she had been a visiting scholar at Michigan State University, affiliated with the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability (CSIS). Pia’s research interests include theories of deliberative democracy, stakeholder involvement and public participation, governance of energy systems and energy transitions as well as climate change governance. Pia has published various peer-reviewed articles on public engagement and risk governance. Also, she has been invited as guest editor for special issues of international peer-reviewed journals. She teaches a master course on stakeholder involvement and public engagement at Stuttgart University. Pia is member of several scientific societies. Since 2012 Pia has been actively engaged in Society for Risk Analysis Europe’s executive committee. Currently, she is treasurer of Society for Risk Analysis Europe.

Elizabeth Wilson
Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy and Law, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, USA

Professor Elizabeth Wilson studies how energy systems are changing in the face of new technologies and new societal pressures. Her work focuses on the implementation of energy and environmental policies and laws in practice. She studies how institutions support and thwart energy system transitions and focuses on the interplays between technology innovation, policy creation, and institutional decision making. Recent research is examining how energy policy stakeholders view the opportunities and challenges of creating smart grids and decision making within Regional Transmission Organizations, which manage the transmission planning, electricity markets and grid operations over 70 percent of North America. Her research has also examined how stakeholders in different U.S. states view emerging energy technologies like wind power and carbon-capture and sequestration and the electric power transmission system. Her recent books include Energy Law and Policy (West Academic Publishing) (with Davies, Klass, Tomain and Osofsky) and Smart Grid (R)evolution: Electric Power Struggles (Cambridge Press) (with Stephens and Peterson). Wilson’s research group is working on an NSF supported grant on decision making in Regional Transmission Organizations. She was selected as a 2015 Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

Robin Smale
PhD Candidate, Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands

Mr. Robin Smale studied Environmental Sciences at Wageningen University, specializing in Environmental Policy with a minor in Development Sociology at Lund University. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Environmental Policy Group. In his PhD project titled is ‘Emerging energy practices in the smart grid’, he aims to shed light on how smart grid innovations will change the daily life of ordinary householders in Europe. How does the smart grid empower sustainable lifestyles and transform the way our energy system is organized? For more information, visit the project website at: www.energyinpractices.com.

Peter Hills
Chair Professor, Kadoorie Institute, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Professor Peter Hills joined the then Centre of Urban Studies and Urban Planning at the University of Hong Kong in August 1982. He had previously held academic posts at the University of Aston in Birmingham and the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. In January 1992, he was appointed Director of the renamed Centre of Urban Planning and Environmental Management (CUPEM) and he held this post until June 30 2008 when, following the reorganization of CUPEM, he was appointed Director of the new-established Kadoorie Institute until 30 June 2012. Since July 2012 he has been a part-time Chair Professor in the Institute.

His research and teaching interests centre on the relationship between energy, environmental and sustainability issues and the policy-making process. More recently he has been working with Dr. Daphne Mah on studies of smart grids. He has served on many of the Hong Kong government’s advisory bodies in the energy and environmental fields including the Energy Advisory Committee and the Advisory Council on the Environment. He has also served as a consultant to various international bodies.