$5.2m green energy hub aims for real-world impact

Monday, 20 February, 2023

$5.2m green energy hub aims for real-world impact

Swinburne University of Technology will soon receive a new research-driven hub focused on energy and sustainability. Created in partnership with Siemens, the $5.2m Siemens Swinburne Energy Transition Hub will be located at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus in 2023.

The hub will combine some of the most advanced digital energy technology from Siemens with the technical, R&D and teaching expertise of Swinburne to build a future energy grid laboratory accessible by students and industry. The hub will enable users to create digital twins of energy grids, scenario-map, research new findings, develop original and creative hypotheses, and test results.

“We are incredibly excited about this new collaboration with Siemens, who has partnered with Swinburne over many years to share in our vision of people and technology working together to build a better world,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Professor Karen Hapgood.

“Australia’s ambitious carbon reduction targets need a multipronged approach by industry, research and government. The new Siemens Swinburne Energy Transition Hub will be working on new technologies to improve energy efficiency, supply, integration, storage, transport and use, as well as how we can improve existing technologies and frameworks. We need change fast, and the Siemens–Swinburne team will focus on taking ideas to market — where they can make the most impact as quickly as possible,” Hapgood said.

As well as being a test bench for researchers and industry to work together on solutions for more efficient future energy systems, the hub will be home to a digital twin of Australia’s energy market that commercial-research teams can use to run simulations of new solutions.

“Bringing an industry-led Energy Transition Hub to Swinburne will create a high-end laboratory space to undertake cutting-edge research designed to meet industry needs and help address the global challenge of energy transition,” said Director of the Siemens Swinburne Energy Transition Hub and Swinburne researcher Associate Professor Mehdi Seyedmahmoudian.

“The hub aims to conduct high-impact industry-led R&D projects in line with Australia’s carbon reduction targets. It will also offer new opportunities for Swinburne students and industry professionals looking to upskill for the next generation of energy technologies and future electrical networks,” Seyedmahmoudian said.

In addition to short courses for industry professionals, the hub will give Swinburne students access to Siemens software and the company’s real-world industry experience integrated into engineering technology courses. The hub will feature software and hardware products from Siemens’ Grid Software portfolio.

Dean of Swinburne’s School of Science, Computing and Engineering Technologies Professor Alex Stojcevski said, “We are thrilled to be using leading technology from Siemens’ Grid Software portfolio to test new, creative solutions through digital simulation, allowing for faster and more efficient commercialisation, where advances in energy tech and renewable energy integrations can do the most good: on the grid and in our homes.”

Jose Moreira, Country Business Unit head – Grid Software, Siemens Australia and New Zealand, added, “Tackling the speed and change in the energy landscape to create solutions that help achieve net zero requires a collaborative and co-creative approach. Siemens has a strong history of working with universities to empower the next generation of workforce on energy systems of the future. We’re proud to present the Siemens Swinburne Energy Transition Hub not just to students but the industry as well. The hub features some of the latest and best technology being used by organisations across the world and will hopefully spark new Australian innovations for future energy challenges.”

Image caption: Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn campus. Image credit: iStock.com/CraigRJD

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