Advanced Power and Energy Center (APEC)

KU APEC Director Honored as One of the 2020 Mission Innovation Champions 

July 7, 2020

Dr. Ehab El-Saadany, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Advanced Power and Energy Center (APEC) at Khalifa University, has been named as one of the Mission Innovation (MI) Champions for 2020. A virtual awards ceremony for the 2nd cohort of MI Champions was held on 12 June as part of the webinar on “Promoting Clean Energy Innovation in a Post-COVID World.” Dr. El-Saadany is also a researcher in KU’s flagship research institute, Masdar Institute.


Mission Innovation is a global initiative of 24 member countries and the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union) that was launched during the Paris Climate Conference in 2015. It aims to accelerate global clean energy with the objective of making clean energy widely affordable. The MI Champions program celebrates and supports exceptional researchers and innovators from member countries who are developing ways of making energy cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable. This year, 21 leaders in clean energy innovation were recognized as MI Champions. 


“Being chosen as one of the Mission Innovation Champions is a privilege and honor that comes as a reward to more than 420 international publications, 50 graduate student supervisions and over 19,000 citations. This award not only rewards my previous 25 years of research and innovation work, but also it will give me the opportunity to further boost my findings and research contributions to better serve the profession and the community at large,” Dr. El-Saadany commented. 


Dr. El-Saadany’s work is focused on two different areas. The first is directed on the investigation on how to create seamless protocols and controllers to integrate more renewable energy to the modern smart grids while minimizing the impacts on the grid operation practices and efficiency. The second direction is to develop new mechanisms that can ensure that our smart grids are more resilient and immune to cyber-physical attacks that can hinder their safe, resilient and efficient operation.


Within those two areas, Dr. El-Saadany is currently working on several projects that deal with the different operational issues focusing on renewable intermittency, system stability enhancement, hybrid AC/DC system development self-healing and restoration protocols among other important projects. Aside from these, he is also working to develop innovative AI-based techniques that assure the capability of identifying and mitigating different cyber-physical intrusion directed to several key system components such as protection systems, automatic generation control (AGC), and voltage regulators.    


“In an energy-hungry society, the dream that we all have is to develop sustainable, clean and affordable communities where everyone can have access to cheap electricity. This ultimate goal can only be attained through devotion and collaboration of different individuals, utilities, and governmental entities,” Dr. El-Saadany commented. 


“Being the Director of APEC at Khalifa University is already a privilege and a great recognition that is set to address the current and future energy needs. Being a Mission Innovation Champion, I’ll have a continued obligation to make this dream a reality. Starting by the continuation of my current research direction that is focusing on facilitating renewable resources integration, passing through the collaboration with different utilities and energy-centered bodies, and ending up with providing informative recommendations to governmental entities, these goals can be achieved. I will be utilizing my networking capabilities along with my advisory assignment (I’m currently the Chair of the Engineering Advisory Board for Mohamed Bin Rashid Academy of Scientist) to achieve these set of goals. 


“This award will add another domain to my work allowing me to capture more interest on the vital role that renewable energy plays in shaping the future of energy systems worldwide. Also, this recognition will facilitate more international collaborations that will enrich the research environment at APEC, Khalifa University and the UAE at large.” 


Ara Cruz
News Writer
7 July 2020