Keynote Speakers

Prof. Andreas K. Athienitis (Concordia University)

Dr. Andreas K. Athienitis is a Professor of Building Engineering and Director of the Centre for Zero Energy Building Studies that he founded at Concordia University. He obtained a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo (1985). He holds the Concordia University Research Chair in Solar Energy and also held a NSERC/Hydro Quebec Industrial Research Chair (2013 – 23).  He is internationally recognized and a leader in smart net-zero energy solar buildings – a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, Fellow of International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) and Fellow of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning (ASHRAE).  He led as Principal Investigator the NSERC Smart Net-zero Energy Buildings Strategic Research Network and the NSERC Solar Buildings Research Network (total $20 M) with over 30 researchers from 15 Canadian Universities and about 30 industry and public sector partners. He was profiled as one of 25 top innovators in Québec by Actualité Magazine. He has received several awards, including the NSERC- ADRIQ Partnerships Award in 2012. He has published over 300 refereed papers, including eight that received best paper awards, and several books. He played a leading role in the conception and realization of several award-winning innovative buildings such as the Varennes net-zero energy Library. He currently Chairs the Canadian Academy of Engineering “Roadmap to Resilient, Ultra-Low Energy Built Environment with Deep Integration of Renewables”.  In 2022-23 he led the successful Concordia University CFREF proposal for $123M on “Electrification of Resilient and Decarbonized Communities (Volt-Age)” (2023-30) and now Chairs its Scientific Committee and Theme 1.

Henrik Bindner (Technical University of Denmark)

Mr. Henrik W. Bindner received an MSc in Electrical Engineering from Technical University of Denmark, Denmark (DTU), in 1988. Since 1990, he has been with DTU, where he is currently senior researcher and head of the Distributed Energy Systems section at the department of Wind and Energy Systems. He has been working in the field of smart grids and integrated multi-energy systems. His research interests have included characterization and integration of flexibility from consumption in planning, operation and markets, as well as joint operation and planning of power and heat systems. Mr Bindner has been one of the lead developers of the multi-energy research facility SYSLAB/PowerlabDK. Moreover, he has participated in several European and many Danish projects as principal investigator and main contributor. He has also supervised more than 20 PhDs covering different aspects of modelling, control and management of smart grid and integrated energy systems. He is the sub-program leader in EERA JP Smart Grids.

Dr Venizelos Efthymiou (PHAETHON Centre of Excellence) 

Dr Venizelos Efthymiou worked for the Electricity Authority of Cyprus from March 1979 up to November 2013 and he left the Company from the post of Executive Manager Networks / Distribution System Operator of Cyprus. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the ETIP SNET, of ETIP PV, of the DSO committee of EURELECTRIC, of the Steering Committee of the SET Plan and of the Horizon Europe Programme Committee. He is the chairman of the Research Centre FOSS of the University of Cyprus and director of EPL Technology Frontiers Ltd. Through his extensive experience in EAC, the close and continuous cooperation with the University of Cyprus but also through the active participation in the work of EURELECTRIC and the European Technology and Innovation Platforms of SNET and PV, he is the writer of many reports and papers of technical content in relevant scientific journals.

Prof. Klaus Hubacek (University of Groningen)

Dr. Klaus Hubacek is a Professor in Science, Technology and Society at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He is chair of the department Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society. His research focuses on conceptualizing and modeling the interactions between human and environmental systems. Klaus has published over 200 journal articles and is recognized as a highly cited researcher with multiple papers in the top 1% by citations. Klaus conducted studies for several national agencies in Europe, China, Japan, and the U.S., and international institutions such as the World Bank, the Interamerican Development Bank, the World Wide Fund for Nature, and Greenpeace.  Klaus was a lead author of the most recent assessment report (AR6) of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Prof. Carlo Alberto Nucci (University of Bologna)

Dr. Carlo Alberto Nucci is a Full Professor and Head of the Power Systems Laboratory of the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering “Guglielmo Marconi”, University of Bologna. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, of CIGRE, of which he is also an Honorary member, and of the Chinese Society of Electrical Engineering, CSEE. He is presently serving as the Italian Representative in the Horizon Europe Mission “Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities”, as the Chair of the International Conference on Lightning Protection, ICLP, and as co-Chair of the International Conference on Power Systems Transients, IPST. Prof. Nucci is Doctor Honoris Causa of the University Politehnica of Bucharest, a member of the Academy of Science of the Institute of Bologna and a member of the Istituto Lombardo – Science Academy of Milan. He is also distinguished invited Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing (2023-2026).


Prof. Aravind Purushothaman Vellayani (University of Groningen)

Prof. Aravind Purushothaman Vellayani is member of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Chair of Energy Conversion at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. He previously served in various posts, including as Lead of the Interfaculty Negative Emissions Program of TU Delft Climate Institute, and Chairman of both the Department Advisory Board at the SCT College of Engineering, Kerala Technical University, and the KnowHy Foundation (the latter representing a continuation of the educational activities of EU project KnowHy, which he had coordinated). He has been involved in the supervision of research activities related to the development of fuel cell systems, with a special focus on Gasifier-SOFC integrated systems. Prof. Dr. PV Aravind currently runs a laboratory for hydrogen and fuel cell systems and supervises several PhD students and post-doctoral researchers, while teaching courses on hydrogen, fuel cell systems, and thermodynamics of energy conversion.