Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) recently signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and the Korea Power Exchange (KPX) to establish a joint professional master’s degree program in the study of electricity markets. The hands-on training and research opportunities provided by the IIT Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Argonne will help KPX’s employees better provide a stable electricity supply to the largest competitive market in Asia.
As part of the agreement, KPX will send members of its technical staff to Chicago every two years to enroll in the power engineering program at IIT. KPX staff will take courses from the Master of Electricity Markets curriculum while conducting applied research at Argonne in exchange for credit toward their degree. Students will learn to address concerns including global warming, renewable energy resources, blackout mitigation, security, and planning for future electricity systems. The first class of KPX staff members will enroll at IIT this fall.
The KPX participants will also work on research projects conducted jointly between IIT’s ECE Department and the Center for Energy, Environmental, and Economic Systems Analysis in Argonne's Decision and Information Sciences Division.
“This agreement showcases what IIT does best, integrating applied forward-looking research with formal education to meet the needs of people committed to a brighter world future,” said Mohammad Shahidehpour, IIT ECE department chair and professor. “By working together to advance the education of power engineers in this country and in others, we are helping to build the knowledge and stability of a world-wide community and its power systems.”
“This agreement brings together three organizations committed to stable electricity supplies,” said Al Sattelberger, Argonne associate laboratory director for physical sciences and interim associate laboratory director for applied science and technology. “Argonne has collaborated with Korean energy institutions for more than 25 years, and has collaborated with IIT, employing graduate students to work with Argonne researchers on power systems analysis.
“Given the recent upheavals in global energy markets, the trend toward electricity restructuring, and a generally renewed focus on energy, electricity and environmental issues, it is our hope that this agreement will strengthen our joint research activities in these areas that are so vital to our countries and the world, expand our successful collaboration with KPX and IIT for the benefit of all three institutions, and establish a Trans-Pacific partnership for years to come," Sattelberger added.
Bruce Hamilton, president of ADICA Consulting LLC, the licensed distributor for Argonne's power market analysis tools, was instrumental in establishing the joint training program. Hamilton praised the agreement as “a major achievement which provides an opportunity for professionals from utility companies, electricity system and market operators, and regulatory agencies around the world to develop a deeper understanding of electricity markets through formal education at IIT together with Argonne's innovative agent-based modeling software to analyze the impact of alternative market rules on the behavior of market participants.”
The Korea Power Exchange was founded in April 2001 as part of the newly introduced electricity market following the Korean government's electricity industry restructuring plan. With responsibility for electricity market and system operation in Korea, KPX operates Asia's largest competitive electricity market and the second largest power grid in the region.
Argonne National Laboratory conducts basic and applied scientific research across several disciplines, ranging from high-energy physics to climatology and biotechnology. Since 1990, Argonne has worked with more than 600 companies and numerous federal agencies and other organizations to help advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for the future.
Founded in 1890, IIT (iit.edu) is a Ph.D.-granting university with more than 6,700 students in engineering, sciences, architecture, psychology, design, humanities, business and law. IIT’s interprofessional, technology-focused curriculum is designed to advance knowledge through research and scholarship, to cultivate invention improving the human condition, and to prepare students from throughout the world for a life of professional achievement, service to society, and individual fulfillment.