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Energy Institute Lecture Series: Dr. Panos M. Pardalos

February 7, 2020

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Frederick E. Giesecke Engineering Research Building
Third Floor
Conference Room 315
1617 Research Pkwy
College Station, TX 77845 United States
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Energy Institute Lecture Series

Optimization in Electric Power Distribution Systems

The next presentation in the Texas A&M Energy Institute Lecture Series, featuring Panos M. Pardalos, the Paul and Heidi Brown Preeminent Professor in Industrial & Systems Engineering at the University of Florida, will be held on Friday, February 7, 2020 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM in the Frederick E. Giesecke Engineering Research Building (GERB) Third Floor Conference Room. The topic will be “Optimization in Electric Power Distribution Systems.”


Panos M. Pardalos serves as distinguished professor of industrial and systems engineering at the University of Florida. Additionally, he is the Paul and Heidi Brown Preeminent Professor of industrial and systems engineering. He is also an affiliated faculty member of the computer and information science Department, the Hellenic Studies Center, and the biomedical engineering program. He is also the director of the Center for Applied Optimization. Pardalos is a world leading expert in global and combinatorial optimization. His recent research interests include network design problems, optimization in telecommunications, e-commerce, data mining, biomedical applications, and massive computing.


Planning the operation and expansion of power distribution systems (PDS) is essential to assure that the growing demand can be satisfied with a reliable service at affordable costs. Given the size of these systems, the minimization of overall costs can be a considerable challenge. For instance, finding the topology or overall least-cost plan for a PDS can be a difficult task, since thousands of feasible design options can arise from a feeder design definition. The difficulty in solving PDS optimization problems relies on the combinatorial nature and the large solution space. In this context, the development of models and solution techniques is of great importance for power utilities, and an engineer’s understanding of the system and its costs, performance, and trade-offs can be facilitated with optimization concepts.

Significant changes have been imposed to PDS in recent years, given the growing presence of distributed energy resources and smart grid implementations. The ability to dynamically optimize the operation, integrate diverse distributed generation types, and integrate demand response and energy resources are needed in this modern power system era. As a result, significant research efforts have been dedicated to the optimal expansion and operation planning of modern distribution networks.

Several models and techniques are proposed in the literature, covering the allocation of new substations, reinforcement of the existing ones, reconductoring or construction of new distribution lines, distributed generation placement, network reliability improvement, among other problems. In this lecture, we will discuss some optimization problems applied to PDS, ranging from theoretical contributions to practical applications. Finally, future research problems are presented and discussed.

Reference: Handbook of Optimization in Electric Power Distribution Systems, (Resener, M., Rebennack, S., Pardalos, P.M., Haffner, S., Eds), Springer (2020)