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Keynote Lectures

Smart Energy Systems in a Carbon Neutral Society
Henrik Lund, Aalborg University, Denmark

Enabling Smart Cities for Sustainable and Eco-friendly Smart World
Stefania Santini, Università di Napoli Federico II, Italy

Leveraging Connected and Automated Vehicles, Traffic Shaping, and Reinforcement Learning for Future Traffic Management
Vinny Cahill, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Mobility Solutions Beyond the Autonomous Car
Fernando García, Autonomous Mobility and Perception Lab, SAVIA Technologies, Spain


Smart Energy Systems in a Carbon Neutral Society

Henrik Lund
Aalborg University

Brief Bio
Henrik Lund (born 2 July 1960) is a Danish engineer (M.Sc.Eng.1985) and Professor in Energy Planning at Aalborg University in Denmark. He holds a Ph.D. in Implementation of Sustainable Energy Systems (1990), and a Dr. Techn. in Choice Awareness and Renewable Energy Systems (2009). Henrik Lund is Knight of the Order of Dannebrog and member of the Danish Academy of Thecnical Science.

Henrik Lund is a highly ranked world-leading researcher. He is listed among ISI Highly Cited researchers ranking him among the top 1% researchers in the world within engineering and on the Stanford list of top 2% scientists.

Henrik Lund has many years of management experience as head of department for approx. 200 staff persons (1996-2002), head of section for approx. 50 persons (2014 – 2016) and head of research group of 20-30 persons (2002 – present). During his time the Sustainable Energy Planning research group at Aalborg University has now grown to approx. 30 staff members including 4 professors. 

Henrik Lund is Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier’s high-impact journal Energy with annual 15000+ submissions. 

Henrik Lund is the author of more than 500 books and articles including the book ''Renewable Energy Systems”. He is the architect behind the advanced energy system analysis software EnergyPLAN, which is a freeware used worldwide that have form the basis of more than 300 peer reviewed journal papers around the world.

This presentation focusses on how societies can design and achieve resilient and fully decarbonization energy systems based on renewable energy. The presentation addresses a set of methods and criteria to design Smart Energy Systems, while considering the context of 100% renewable energy on a national level. Countries should handle locally what concerns local demands, and at the same time acknowledge the international context when discussing resources and industrial and transport demands. Following such approach will also lead to a resilient energy solution. To illustrate the method, it is applied to the cases of Denmark and European within the context of a global fully decarbonized energy system.

The goals of the Danish Government supported by the Danish Parliament is to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions by 70% in 2030 and to achieve a net zero emission society by 2050. Moreover, due to the war in Ukraine, there is also a strong wish for a resilient energy supply. This presentation includes a list of theoretical and methodological considerations as well as a concrete proposal on how such targets can be implemented. It is highlighted that already now one must think beyond 2030 to prepare for the next step to achieve a full decarbonization by 2040 or 2050. It is also highlighted that a country such as Denmark must consider how to include its share of international shipping and aviation as well as how to design a solution with Denmark’s share of sustainable biomass resources. 

Moreover, the presentation includes the results of detailed hourly modelling of the EU “A Clean Planet” scenarios for a fully decarbonized Europe in 2050 and compare it to a “smart energy systems” alternative. The case illustrates how the focus on a fully sector-coupling as expressed in a smart energy systems approach will lead to higher energy efficiency and the identification of a more affordable green transition in Europe.



Enabling Smart Cities for Sustainable and Eco-friendly Smart World

Stefania Santini
Università di Napoli Federico II

Brief Bio
Stefania Santini is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, and Information Technologies (DIETI) at the University of Naples Federico II, Napoli, Italy, where she leads the Distributed Automation Systems Lab. She is involved in many projects with industry, including small- and medium-sized enterprises, also operating in the transportation field. Her research interests include nonlinear control of cyber-physical systems and networked control with applications to energy, automotive engineering, transportation technologies. She is currently Associated Editor of IEEE Trans. on Intelligent Transportation Systems. She is the Vice-chair of the IEEE ITSS - Italian Chapter and member of the IEEE TC on Smart Cities (TC-SC).

Smart world is receiving a great attention from academia, industry and government thanks to the flourish and the advance of Internet of Things (IoT) and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). In this context, smart cities are envisioned to be an elementary unit of a smart and sustainable world, where all aspects related to cyber, physical and social world will be interconnected in an intelligent and eco-friendly fashion. Bringing together the physical realm with the cyber one consisting of a wide umbrella of novel computing technologies, the vision of a smart city as a Cyber-Physical System in a networked perspective is enabled, where the communication infrastructure is the core for a smart connectivity among all the involved “things”. By virtue of the above, smart cities can monitor the real world in real time and are able to provide smart services and solutions to local residents and travelers in terms of services. Therefore, the objective of the talk is to deliver the essence of smart cities by focusing  on some of their main constitutive pillars, i.e., i) smart transportation, ii) smart energy, iii) smart community. The combination of these elements will allow an enhancement of operations performance efficiency compared with the ones achievable in a regular city, as well as of the provided quality of services, thus promoting the transition towards a sustainable and eco-friendly smart world. Moreover, the need of moving from IoT to Green-IoT will be pointed out, which is crucial to reduce the harmful effects of IoT in terms of toxic pollution, consumed energy and generation of e-waste. Latest developments in the technical literature on this field will be discussed in order to provide future research insights for researchers and practitioners. Furthermore, open challenges and barriers to the next green world transition will be summarized.



Leveraging Connected and Automated Vehicles, Traffic Shaping, and Reinforcement Learning for Future Traffic Management

Vinny Cahill
Trinity College Dublin

Brief Bio
Professor Vinny Cahill is Professor of Computer Science at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland where he has also served as Vice-President for Research and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science. His research addresses optimization of urban resource usage and service delivery in order to improve the quality of life and sustainability of cities. Of particular current interest is the design of new AI-based techniques for urban traffic control, highway management and ‘mobility as a service’ to support sustainable mobility with the goal of optimizing travel-time reliability for travellers and freight. He is currently leading Trinity’s E3 SUMMIT initiative ( which is bringing together a multidisciplinary team of researchers to reimagine, design, and promote future models of city/region-scale sustainable mobility provision and the governance structures, policies and technologies that will enable them. He is co-PI of the SFI-funded ClearWay project which is developing novel reinforcement learning and swarm intelligence techniques for transport optimisation.

Offering predictable journey times is important to the uptake of sustainable road transportation including future public, shared, and on-demand mobility services and to on-time delivery of goods [1]. The emergence of connected and automated vehicles, the deployment of Internet-of-Things technologies, and the availability of machine-learning based optimization techniques will enable both monitoring of and exercising fine-grained control over individual vehicles either directly or indirectly. This in turn offers the possibility of deploying fundamentally different approaches to traffic management offering high quality of service and, especially, increased end-to-end travel-time reliability [1].

This talk will consider how connected and automated vehicles can enable the use of traffic shaping mechanisms, in particular, our proposed slot-based driving model, to provide predictability in travel times. We will consider how multi-agent deep reinforcement learning can be harnessed to deliver appropriate optimization strategies while taking account of the scale, complexity, and inherent non-stationarity of traffic systems and adapting to the many transient perturbations that effect traffic flow. 

[1] Vinny Cahill and Ivana Dusparic, ClearWay: Advancing Deep Reinforcement Learning and Swarm Intelligence to Optimize Travel-Time Reliability in Mixed Traffic, SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme award number 21/FFP-A/8957 Research Plan, 2022.



Mobility Solutions Beyond the Autonomous Car

Fernando García
Autonomous Mobility and Perception Lab, SAVIA Technologies

Brief Bio
Fernando Garcia Fernandez, Professor at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and head of the Autonomous Mobility and Perception Lab (AMPL). He is also a visiting professor at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and a member of the Board of Governors of the ITSS-IEEE Society, Member of the Transportation Electrification Community Steering Committee, and founder of the SAVIA Technologies a Spin-off from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. During his academic career Fernando have published more than 100 articles in the Intelligent Transportation Systems field, was granted 6 patents, he also has been an advisor of 14 PhD. Theses (6 finished and 9 under development) and acted as a visiting researcher at the University of New York at Buffalo, the University of Parma and Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas de Ecuador. He was granted some awards within this time, such as the Best Spanish automotive research work in Spain by Fundacion Barreriros in 2014 and the Young Professional Award by the IEEE-ITSS Society in 2021.

Fernando is currently the leader scientific in both AMPL and Savia Technologies where he is leading important projects related to the automotive industry, this includes 3 national projects, 2 EU projects and several relevant industrial collaborations with automotive companies. 

The autonomous car has been proposed as a huge breakthrough in modern transport for many years. However, this breakthrough has not yet arrived, and the industry seems to have wasted years and money on providing a solution that is still a long way off. However, sometimes the wood cannot be seen for the trees, and we forget how the autonomous vehicle is already today solving important mobility problems of the 21st century, a century where mobility advances are moving in precisely the opposite direction to that of the vehicle, whether private or public.