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SET2016 Keynote Lectures


Surrogate-Assisted Optimization and Uncertainty Quantification for Geological Carbon Sequestration
Professor Christine A. Shoemaker, National University of Singapore

Estimation of sequestered CO2 and pressure plumes is essential for risk assessment, but difficult because monitoring data is very sparse and the inverse optimization problem has multiple local minima.  Also each objective function evaluation requires an expensive forward simulation of a 3-D, highly nonlinear, multi-phase, multi-constituent set of PDEs (in TOUGH2).  We show that our global surrogate optimization algorithms and appropriate model parameterization enable us to obtain good plume estimates. In addition we use our surrogate-assisted uncertainty quantification method to assess the impact of sensor error and numbers of sensors on the uncertainty of model prediction. Our algorithms and pySOT open source software are highly efficient for computationally expensive nonlinear simulation models and can be used on a wide range of models and problems.



Smart Energy Solutions for Sustainable Future
Professor Ibrahim Dincer, University of Ontario Institute of Technology 
Achieving solutions to energetic and environmental challenges that we face today requires right actions taken in a right manner for sustainable future. It is important to both address the issues with the conventional resources and technologies and develop potential technologies through alternative resources, including renewables. Here, renewable energy sources are treated under smart energy solutions. So, for better environment and sustainable development we need smart energy solutions where renewable energy systems, along with other sustainable options, play a crucial role. There are critical challenges to overcome and make systems and applications more efficient, more cost effective, more commercially viable, more secure, more environmentally-benign and more sustainable. The presentation will address these through introducing smart energy solutions and highlighting their importance through case studies and projects. It will also discuss some other significant aspects, e.g., global warming, climate change, green energy, energy-utilization patterns, policy and strategy development, energetic and environmental measures, technology developments, infrastructure, alternatives, life cycle assessment, etc. Furthermore, there will be a focus on efficiency assessment and improvement in resource management and better practices in energy industry under smart energy clusters.






Energy Storage beyond the Lithium-ion batteries

Professor Jim Yang Lee, National University of Singapore

Lithium ion batteries are the most advanced and omnipresent rechargeable batteries available in the market today. They are, however, not the most effective for implementing the large scale storage of electricity which is of current interest today (electric vehicles and grid-scale storage). This presentation will examine several alternative battery technologies which are in discussion today; their projected functional capabilities and cost relative to the lithium-ion batteries; and the technical challenges that need to be overcome before they can be commercially successful.






Future Clean Energy Systems – 3D Views

Professor Jinyue Yan, Royal Institute of Technology & Malardalen University

Energy, or precisely, "Clean Energy", is at the centre of a highly active and dynamic field which changes and affects not only our current life, but also our near future. Due to the importance Clean Energy currently possess and its transitive characteristics: research, development, implementation, innovation, market penetration of clean energy technologies and systems have expanded in recent course of time. Energy systems have been in transition, extending their boundaries beyond the energy systems themselves. I call this the 3-D interactive extensions, that relate to the dimensions of physical Space,Time scale and Human behaviors--STH extension. STH-3D also defines the scope and trends of R&D in clean energy systems. For example, as it was necessary for us to explore how we could efficiently and effectively use our space to supply, convert and use energy resources; we have introduced new smart grids and intelligent energy systems. These tools aim to solve the challenges of intermittent power generation and mismatching of energy supply and demand over a time scale. Human behavior is also integrated into the energy systems to interactively improve the sustainability. Under the new circumstance of the STH-demission, we need a new approach to solve the challenging issues associated with new transitions of future clean energy systems. Its interdisciplinary and synthetic approach not only reveals the systematic overview, but also detailed components of clean energy systems.




C4T- Carbon Reduction in Chemical Technology - a Cambridge Singapore initiative

Professor Markus Kraft, Cambridge University

In my talk I shall present new insights into the implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies (novel mathematical and computer-based methods) for designing and optimising the eco-industrial park (EIP) of Jurong Island in Singapore. The concept of Industry 4.0 translation to an EIP is introduced, which delivers an expert system allowing users to monitor, control, and optimise the social, economic and environmental repercussions of the industrial activities on Jurong Island. This expert system is a cyber-infrastructure making use of the latest advances in high performance computing (HPC), advanced mathematical modelling, and semantic web technologies. The proposed work addresses end-user driven demands by harnessing HPC resources and advanced data analytics to enable intelligent design, operation, and management of all entities on Jurong Island. The outcome of the work can serve stakeholders from both the private and public sectors.





High Efficient Heat Pump Cycles And Systems With Desiccant Coated Heat Exchangers

Professor Ruzhu Wang, Shanghai Jiaotong Univeristy
An ideal air conditioning system should be capable of good temperature and humidity control, and also with high energy efficiency. With a new concept of desiccant coated heat exchanger being used for evaporator and condenser, the evaporation temperature could be increased from 5 oC to 15 oC, the sensible heat load is thus directly treated by the high evaporation temperature heat exchanger, meanwhile the latent heat will be handled by the coated desiccant for dehumidification. The desiccant can be regenerated when the heat exchanger (evaporator) turns into a condenser at the condensing temperature 45 oC, thus the condensing heat rejected to the ambient can be significantly decreased. With the switch of the function of evaporator/condenser, and also the change of the treated air flows at a fixed cycle time, an efficient air handling unit (AHU) could be built, the estimated cooling COP could be higher than 5, which is nearly 60% more increased in comparison with a conventional room air conditioner. In this paper, the detailed cycle and its operation are described, the optimized desiccant suitable for coating on aluminum fins and could be efficiently regenerated with 30 oC temperature difference are studied, a weak-link coupled temperature and humidity control method has been found for the AHU, the selection of efficient refrigerant for this AHU has been also performed. A test rig has shown that such an AHU is truly capable of high efficient cooling and also heating with good temperature and humidity control.




The Future of Renewable Fuel: The Biodiesel Story
Professor Simon Ng, Wayne State University 
Renewable fuel is experiencing growing pains as a sustainable biofuel. The “fuel vs. food” debate has an unfavorable impact on the biofuel industry, since the majority of biofuel is currently produced using corn and refined edible oils.  Biodiesel is a domestic, renewable, non-toxic, and biodegradable fuel derived from vegetable oils and animal fats.  There is an increasing interest in using biodiesel for diesel engines globally, because of the various environmental and political advantages.  This presentation will give an overview of the supply and demand of biodiesel, fuel properties, production processes, technical barriers, and research and development efforts in the United States; and will examine a number of societal and economic challenges facing the biodiesel industry.  Opportunities to develop a truly sustainable next generation renewable diesel will be discussed.
A major barrier to the commercialization of biodiesel is its high feedstock cost, which is primarily related with using refined vegetable oils as raw material during the production process. Using waste oils and other non-food crop based oil (e.g. microalgae oil) is one of the economical sources for biodiesel production. However waste and microalgae oils generally contain a large content of free fatty acids (FFA), and the current homogeneous catalytic approach is to use a two-step process to handle oils with high FFA content.  A novel one-step process based on mixed oxide catalysts, which effectively converted crude soybean oil, crude coconut oil, crude palm oil, crude corn oil from DDGs, crude algae oil, waste cooking oil brown grease, crude algae oil and waste fishing oil into FAME.  It was found that the acidic groups on catalyst surface played an important role in the esterification reaction; and the base groups catalyze transesterification reaction.  Catalyst structure was characterized by XRD, XPS, BET, FTIR, SEM, and EDS.  Mixed oxides have an effect on the surface acid and base sites which promote the conversion of acidic oils into fatty acid methyl esters (FAME).




Urban Design towards Smart Low-Carbon Precincts
Professor Steffen Lehmann, s_Lab (Sydney – Berlin)
Designing low-carbon cities for the post-fossil era has emerged as the new paradigm in global urban development. Due to our obsession with economic growth and excessive use of finite resources, the urban challenges, including rapid urbanisation and sprawl, require us to think about cities in a new way. Urbanisation in the Asia-Pacific and Middle-East region has become accelerated and much more complex. 
The speed and scope of urbanisation in this region is unprecedented. Currently, more than two billion of the region’s total population live in cities (another one billion will be added by 2040). This historic change, and how it is managed, is arguably the biggest challenge facing the region’s governments and municipalities. As such there rests a great responsibility on the shoulders of the politicians, policy makers, urban managers, engineers and urban designers/planners/architects to introduce sustainable patterns of urbanisation and urban form. 

The need is now widely recognised to identify strategies and holistic approaches for sustainable urban systems of resource-efficient, climate-smart and resilient cities. In this process, the compact, mixed-use, green and walkable city model has emerged as the most promising model in the shift towards low-carbon cities. However, curbing urban sprawl and car dependency will depend on this transition. An urban growth boundary has frequently proven to be an effective instrument in containing the city’s urban footprint, protecting precious agricultural land and forests.  The precinct and neighbourhood scale is the most appropriate scale for action: up-scaling the successful strategies at the neighbourhood scale, e.g. the integration of new types of energy systems, water networks, waste management and local food supply chains.
This presentation will discuss a number of issues in connection to the urban design of climate-smart low-carbon precincts.  To be effective, our strategies for sustainable city transformation have to vary and be adapted from city to city. A new focus on systems’ thinking will link the various systems of the natural, built and virtual - with a shift from the individual single building scale to the urban design of entire low-carbon precincts. 

Prof Steffen Lehmann will argue that we cannot afford isolated approaches; integration and interdisciplinary collaboration have become essential to move forward towards this low-carbon goal. The urban challenges we face are far too big as that one single discipline alone would be able to resolve them. New partnerships and sharing of experiences, evidence and best practice is increasingly important to ensure a basis for better decision making, and to overcome the fragmentation and lack of reliable urban data. The traditional master-planning process appears now too rigid and increasingly out-dated, not able to cope with the speed, scale and new set of urban challenges requiring a more flexible framework. 

Clearly, while we have entered the Age of Cities, we have not yet entered the “Age of the Sustainable and Smart City”.






  Collaborating Organizations