A new technical division dealing with system design and engineering has been established by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

AEMO has appointed Dr Alex Wonhas as the inaugural Chief Officer of the division, saying that the transformation that is occurring throughout the energy system requires a multi-level and collaborative approach to all aspects of energy system design, development and operations.

“AEMO has always prided itself on achieving technical excellence in articulating the requirements for the development and design of our energy systems,” Audrey Zibelman, AEMO’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said.

“To achieve organisational excellence in the design and operation of modern energy systems, we must take advantage of advancements in power system engineering, data science, mathematics, artificial intelligence and even behavioural science.

“Broadened capabilities in all of these disciplines will allow AEMO to identify, architect and then operate our increasingly complex and interconnected energy systems. This will enable the reliable and secure integration of new technology into Australia’s energy system while providing the greatest efficiency and cost benefits for consumers.

“We are delighted to have Dr Wonhas join our team and add his substantial experience and understanding of energy systems and applied research to further strengthen and expand AEMO’s capabilities.”

Dr Wonhas will join AEMO from Aurecon, an international engineering and advisory firm, where he was the Global Managing Director Energy, Resources and Manufacturing.

Prior to Aurecon, Dr Wonhas was Executive Director Environment, Resources and Energy at CSIRO, where, among other things, he oversaw the energy research, development and demonstration activities at Australia’s national science agency.

Prior to CSIRO, Dr Wonhas worked for seven years as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. He holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge.

Upon commencement on 14 January 2019, Dr Wonhas will look to design and scope the direction of this new and exciting division. The division will include AEMO’s planning and forecasting departments who will remain under the leadership of David Swift, Executive General Manager Planning and Forecasting, as well as its power systems of the future work. The division will work closely with AEMO’s operations divisions who manage power systems on both the east and west coast of Australia.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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