Meet the SEVI research team



Curtin University

Prof Peter Newman

Prof Peter Newman is Professor of Sustainability at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (CUSP) and has written 20 books and over 350 papers on sustainable cities with a focus on the energy transition, transport and their implications for urban design.  Professor Newman sat on the Board of Infrastructure Australia and is the Co-ordinating Lead Author for Transport on the IPCC. His books include ‘Resilient Cities: Overcoming Fossil Fuel Dependence’ (2017), ‘The End of Automobile Dependence’ (2015), ‘Green Urbanism in Asia’ (2013), ‘Green Urbanism Down Under’ (2009), ‘Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence’ which was launched in the White House in 1999 and ‘Cities and Automobile Dependence’ with Jeff Kenworthy in 1989 which has been described as ‘one of the most influential planning books of all time’.

In 2001-3 Peter directed the production of Western Australia’s Sustainability Strategy in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. In 2004-5 he was a Sustainability Commissioner in Sydney advising the government on planning and transport issues. In 2006/7 he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Virginia Charlottesville and also taught the University of Pennsylvania in the 1990’s. In 2014 Peter was awarded an Order of Australia for his contributions to urban design and sustainable transport, particularly related to the saving and rebuilding of Perth’s rail system and in 2018 he was WA Scientist of the Year.

Prof Sumedha Rajakaruna

Sumedha is a Professor in Electrical Engineering at Curtin University. His fields of research are renewable energy in power systems, energy storage technologies and energy transition solutions. Recently he has been involved in industry funded research projects in local DER network solutions, virtual power plants and urban renewable energy zones. He has made lasting contribution to the teaching and research in renewable energy as the founding director of Green Electric Energy Park laboratory at Curtin. Sumedha has published high impact journal papers in the fields of renewable energy, energy storage, power electronics and electric power generators. He also was a Chief Investigator of an ARC linkage grant on designing remote-area renewable energy micro-grids.

A/Prof Charlie Hargroves
(Co-Project Manager and CI)

Dr Charlie Hargroves is an Associate Professor at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (CUSP), and is an experienced industry led research project leader, specialising in urban sustainability transitions involving new technologies in energy, transport, and digital solutions. Charlie has led teams to work with Australian State Government’s, companies, professional bodies and industry groups to research solutions to urban sustainability challenges with the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBEnrc).
Charlie has co-authored 7 international books that have sold over 85,000 copies in 6 languages along with numerous book chapters, academic papers, and industry reports. Two of the books were ranked 5th and 12th among the ‘Top 40 Sustainability Books in 2010’ by the Cambridge Sustainability Leaders Program. Since 2016 Dr Hargroves has provided expert advice to the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD).

Dr Dean Economou
(Work Package 4 Leader)

Dean has an extensive background in applied research having held several director level roles in CSIRO and designing the research program for the Smart Services CRC. He was previously Chief Transport Strategist at Telstra where he led their involvement in Autonomous and Connected (V2X) Vehicles, working closely with Transport for NSW on the electric, autonomous Smart Shuttle. He also co-founded shared on-demand electric mobility provider, Liftango. More recently Dean has been working on electrifying the transport system from both academic and practical angles. As the manager of the Net Zero Corridors project for the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre Dean was in the core team trialling electrified mid-tier public transport for the City of Stirling.
Dean has been active in several research areas within the RACE for 2030 CRC, specifically in advanced energy foresighting, accelerating the transition to renewable, distributed energy resources in the grid, new battery technologies, and how to optimise V2G for all stakeholders. Dean holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering, with further studies in Design Thinking and High Technology Products from Stanford and UC Berkeley respectively. He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Ehsan Pashajavid
(Work Package 3 Leader)

Ehsan Pashajavid is a renewable energy integration specialist and the interim lead of Green Electric Energy Park at Curtin University. He conducted several research studies on demand modelling and charging management of electric vehicles by developing various deterministic and stochastic strategies. His research includes topics such as renewable and distributed generation integration, electric vehicles, microgrids, and the application of power electronics to power systems. Ehsan has demonstrated a strong track record of contributing to these fields throughout his career. With three years of experience in the power industry, he also brings a practical perspective to his academic role at Curtin University. Ehsan is actively involved in several ARC and RACE for 2030-funded research projects.

Dr Redowan Mahmud

Dr. Redowan Mahmud is a Lecturer at Curtin University’s School of Electrical Engineering, Computing, and Mathematical Sciences. He holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne. With prior roles at RMIT, Monash University and the University of Melbourne, his research focuses on Edge Intelligence, Secure Internet of Things and Cyber-physical System Design. He’s known for contributing to the iFogSim simulator, FogBus framework and Con-Pi system. Based on SciVal, the field-weighted citation impact of his publications is 17.94.
Dr. Mahmud has been the investigator for 10+ research projects totalling $4 million, funded by prestigious programs, including the Australian Research Council Discovery Program, Linkage Program, Australian Government Cooperative Research Centres Projects, Australian Defence, Western Australian Health Innovation, RACE 2030 and Victorian Government’s Tech program. He has also served as Guest Editor for several journals and regularly contributes as a PC member for conferences. Dr. Mahmud is an active member of IEEE and the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

Benjamin James
(PhD Student)

Ben’s background is in electrical devices and electricity systems, having designed turnkey solar-battery powered off-grid devices, consulted on building efficiency improvements, and investigating the nexus of electricity and transport systems. Working at Pitronot Solarim in Israel as a Project and Production Engineer, we designed, constructed and deployed solar-battery devices for applications ranging from civil, security and aviation – developing the world’s first solar-battery powered runway closure X-signal system (conventionally diesel powered). Conducting research with the Curtin University Institute of Sustainable Policy we investigated the impact and future of the electrification of transport, and the role of DER in Australia on behalf of various governments and the RACE 2030 CRC.

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

Prof Stuart White

Professor Stuart White is Director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures where he leads a team of researchers who create change towards sustainable futures through independent, project-based research. With over twenty years’ experience in sustainability research, Professor White’s work focuses on achieving sustainability outcomes at least cost for a range of government, industry and community clients across Australia and internationally. This includes both the design and evaluation of programs for improving resource use efficiency and an assessment of their impact. Professor White has written and presented widely on sustainable futures and is a regular commentator on sustainability issues in the media.

A/Prof Kaveh Khalilpour

Dr Kaveh Khalilpour is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and IT. He is an interdisciplinary academic focusing on the intersection of sustainability and socio-technical networks. His research interests lie in the application of operations research (OR), AI, and data science in searching for innovative approaches to address sustainable development goals, particularly those related to the energy-water-food nexus. His published works are majorly related to new product/network/market design and span from carbon capture technology and energy load forecasting, to lifecycle analysis of new products, to examining the techno-economic feasibility of leaving the grid and turning to renewable energy storage systems.

Dr Scott Dwyer
(Co-Project Manager and CI)

Dr Scott Dwyer is a Research Principal at the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology Sydney, working on issues relating to the transitioning energy system. His main interests relate to the opportunities and challenges posed by disruption within the energy sector, especially those relating to markets, customers, technologies, markets, policies, and business models. Scott has +15 years industry experience, working for both the private and public sectors.
Advising on issues relating to the commercialisation of new products and services, he’s supported a diverse set of organisations from energy utilities and original equipment manufacturers to startups and governments. Past and current projects include community microgrid feasibilities, electric vehicle business model development, Vehicle-to-Grid trials, and solar and battery VPP demonstration projects.

Dr Chris Briggs
(Work Package 2 Leader)

Dr Chris Briggs has a combination of climate, energy and labour market expertise developed over 20 years of experience in policy, research and advocacy in Federal, State and City Governments, and university sector. Key areas of specialisation include corporate renewable power purchase agreements, clean energy jobs and supply chains, demand flexibility and the integration of renewable energy. Chris is a co-founder and technical director at the Business Renewables Centre – Australia, a not-for-profit initiative with over 200 members that provides training and information services to support businesses and governments negotiating corporate renewable power purchase agreements.
Chris has worked in climate and energy roles as a political adviser, policy maker, program leader and researcher. As a policy-maker and program-leader, his roles have included the State Coordinator for the NSW Renewable Energy Precincts (large-scale renewable energy community engagement and project facilitation) and Senior Economist (Climate Change Policy Branch, Office of Environment and Heritage), working on the NSW Energy Efficiency Strategy, climate change policy, carbon market strategy and large-scale renewable energy policy and programs. As a political adviser, Chris led the policy unit in the Office of Lord Mayor for Sydney, Clover Moore and worked as the climate and energy policy adviser for Senator Christine Milne (Leader, Australian Greens).

Dr Rowena Cantley-Smith
(Work Package 5 Leader)

Rowena’s international and Australian legal expertise encompasses energy policy, law, and regulation, climate change law, and consumer protections. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the energy-environment human nexus and related issues, e.g., just transitions, climate change, energy justice, energy security of supply risks, and emergent international legal rights. Other current research focuses on regulatory challenges facing emergent, non-traditional energy networks and markets, legal protections for energy consumers, climate change litigation, and the role of bioenergy and other renewables in sustainable energy market transitions.
Before moving to UTS, Rowena’s energy activities at Monash University included being part of the Monash Grid Innovation Hub, member of the Advisory Panel to the Monash Micro-Grid Electricity Market Operator, and responsibility for the regulatory research aspects of Monash Net Zero’s Victorian Market Assessment for Microgrid Electricity Market Operators. (Rowena will lead the project. She will also co-lead the regulatory frameworks review aspects of this Opportunity Assessment with Dr Anne Kallies. Prof Dr Ron Ben-David will support them. Rowena and Ron will co-lead the Beyond Today review aspects set out in Stream 4 of this Opportunity Assessment).

Dr Ibrahim Ibrahim

Ibrahim is a Senior Research Consultant within the Energy Futures team at the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF), University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Prior to joining ISF, Ibrahim was a Research Associate with the School of Electrical and Data Engineering, UTS, and a Visiting Researcher with CSIRO Energy Centre. His main research interests mainly lie in the scope of renewable power systems, distributed energy resources (DERs) systems, flexible demand technologies, energy economics, and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications in Energy.
Ibrahim delivered several power systems and microgrid projects, including capability review and mapping the business-as-usual practices in the assessment of the network visibility and optimising hosting capacity. In addition, Ibrahim developed an open-access decision-support tool to conduct a life cycle cost assessment of various tariff structures with incorporating renewable energy investment alternatives. Currently, he is leading the development of an open-access optimal power flow tool for a techno-economic DERs planning and operation. Ibrahim is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Australian Institute of Energy, the Electric Energy Society of Australia, the Engineers Without Borders Australia, the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and the Jordanian Engineers Association.

Dr Ed Langham

Ed is specialist in low carbon energy transitions, working with new and emerging energy market players to develop Decentralised Energy Resources to accelerate climate action. He works on energy strategy and planning, business model development, open network data and electric vehicle mapping tools and regulatory reform for the new energy landscape. Ed has led much of the Institute for Sustainable Futures work on Network Opportunity Mapping and Local Electricity Trading, as concepts to keep public grid assets viable, and open up neighbourhood scale business models in an era of distributed generation, storage and electric vehicles.
He has worked extensively with local and state governments, universities, utilities and precinct developers, and community groups. His experience includes working on the NSW Government Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) solar program, consulting in planning for energy efficient building design, as well as several years working on energy efficiency and renewable energy with utilities and government in the South Pacific. Ed also holds a PhD on collaborative business model innovation in the clean energy transition and a Master of International Environmental Law.

Kriti Nagrath (Work Package 1 co-Leader)

Kriti Nagrath is a Senior Research Consultant with the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. As an environmental scientist, her experience spans public and private sectors focussing on relevant issues of sustainability. She has extensive project management experience, having managed a range of projects including research projects, policy advocacy initiatives, implementation pilots and large events. Her research interests lie in resource efficiency and cleaner production and waste, water and energy sustainability in the urban and built environment. Kriti has worked with local governments in developing favourable policy environments for accelerated adoption of cleaner technologies, including EVs.
She has extensive experience working with community groups and small-scale enterprises on access to basic services issues in developing countries in Asia and Africa. Previously she was involved in developing Clean Development Mechanism projects on renewable energy.

Jonathan Rispler

Johnathan graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) majoring in Photovoltaic & Solar Energy, and a Bachelor of Arts (Economics Minor). Jonathan has academic experience in modelling the transition of Australia’s National Electricity Market through his honours thesis project assessing the role of offshore wind energy in a future least cost 100% renewable NEM. Jonathan has also previously worked in the solar energy industry, particularly in the fields of asset monitoring and operations. At ISF, Jonathan is working on projects that drive the energy transition in different countries and across sectors. Jonathan is involved in an UNEP-funded project that develops sectoral pathways for the global economy, including the transition of hard-to-mitigate sectors, with the objective to steer capital investments towards complying with the 1.5C Paris target.

University of South Australia

Prof Peter Pudney
(SA Demonstration Project Coordinator)

Peter Pudney is a Professor of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He is also a member of the Industrial AI Research Centre, and an affiliate member of the Future Industries Institute. Prof Pudney leads the Scheduling and Control Group within Industrial and Applied Mathematics. His research focusses on the application of scheduling and control methods to develop practical solutions to real problems. He has led Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and Australian Research Council Linkage projects to develop a driving advice system that are being used by train drivers around the world to help keep trains on time and save energy.
He has worked with the AutoCRC to assess the impact that electric vehicles will have on greenhouse gas emissions and electricity use in Australia, and with the CRC for Low Carbon Living and ARENA on renewable energy projects. Prof Pudney was the Director of the Mathematics in Industry Study Group from 2016–2019. He has worked with engineers and industrial designers to design and build solar cars and low-mass electric cars. In 2013, Assoc Prof Pudney was awarded the “Unsung Hero of South Australian Science Communication” by the Australian Science Communicators (SA) and National Science Week (SA).

Dr Kirrilie Rowe (Work Package 1 co-Leader)

Kirrilie has wide ranging experience across academia, consulting, state and local government, small business, and the mining industry. Her doctoral research degree explored residential electricity demand and the use of PV and batteries. Her research includes matching peak residential demand with PV orientation and the cost-effectiveness of adding batteries; developing a simple method to fairly divide the electricity bill of communities containing distributed PV; and investigating behaviour related to reducing and shifting loads. She has an in-depth understanding of residential electricity demand and the use of distributed renewable energy sources.
Kirrilie has over 20 years’ experience in natural resource management, including developing and implementing water allocation plans and associated policy. Her background is wide ranging, from working as an exploration geologist to reviewing the financial benefits of urban street trees. She is interested in the potential multi-faceted benefits of renewable residential energy, including integration of EV’s and alternative urban forms. Her aim is to help communities be cohesive and sustainable, while maintaining their freedom of choice.

Monash University

A/Prof Roger Dargaville
(Work Package 6 Leader)

A/Prof Roger Dargaville is an expert in the field of energy and climate systems and has deep understanding of the workings of a broad range of energy technologies and the policy challenges of the transition to a low carbon energy future. His research foci are large-scale optimised high penetration renewable electricity networks, including integration of EVs and novel energy storage technologies, and role of climate and weather extremes on the energy system. An experienced educator, he has designed and delivered masters and undergraduate degrees at Monash and Melbourne Universities, and also has extensive experience writing for a broader audience with numerous articles in The Conversation and mainstream media.

He has a long history working with industry having several close partnerships with major energy and engineering companies. Rounding out his experience, Roger has an international view of climate and energy issues, having worked for organisations such as the International Energy Agency, UNESCO and the American National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Dr Changlong Wang

Dr. Changlong Wang is a research fellow at Monash University, specialising in energy system modelling. He played a key role in developing the Hydrogen and Green Steel Economic Fairways Mapper, a project between Geoscience Australia and Monash University aimed at supporting Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy. His work on this project contributed to his team receiving the prestigious 2023 Eureka Prize for Innovative Research in Sustainability. Dr Wang earned his PhD from the University of Melbourne, where his research involved modelling the transition of Australia’s electricity system to lower carbon emissions, focusing on optimised transmission networks and renewable exports.
In his PhD, he developed a detailed model for expanding capacity over multiple decades to assist in transitioning Australia’s National Electricity Market. His current research examines the impact of electric vehicle (EV) integration on the electricity network as part of his involvement in the RACE for 2030 CRC. He has also contributed to the “Supporting the Electrification of Victoria’s Future Fleet” project, funded by the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund.

RMIT University

Prof Mahdi Jalili

Prof. Mahdi Jalili holds a PhD in Computer and Communication Sciences from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, and is currently a Professor of AI and electrical engineering at RMIT. His expertise lies in machine learning applications, energy analytics and synthesis of complex networked systems. Dr Jalili has attracted $18M+ research funding, including 8 projects supported by the Australian Research Council. He is currently an ARC Mid-Career Industry Fellow and was previously an ARC DECRA Fellow and RMIT VC Research Fellow. He has extensive collaborations within the Australian energy industry.
Some of his active industry partners include Citipower/Powercor, City of Melbourne, Siemens, Centre for New Energy Technologies, AGL, Desert Knowledge Australia (Alice Springs), Pacific Hydro, Victorian DELWP and Victorian Department of Transport. He is the winner of 2020 Neville Thiele Eminence Award, the most prestigious award of the ITEE College of Engineers Australia. He is a senior member of IEEE, a Fellow of Engineers Australia and a Chartered Professional Engineer.

A/Prof Lasantha Meegahapola

A/Prof. Lasantha Meegahapola is currently an Associate Professor of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at the School of Engineering, RMIT University, Australia. He has over 15 years of research experience in power system stability with renewable power generation, smart grid technologies, microgrids and electric vehicles. More specifically, in EV research he has expertise in characterisation of electric vehicle impact on power grids, and electric vehicle aggregation and system ancillary services provision. He is a Senior Member of IEEE (SMIEEE) and a Member of the IEEE Power Engineering Society (PES) and the IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS).
He is also an active member of the IEEE PES Power System Dynamic Performance (PSDP) committee task force on microgrid stability analysis and modelling and the working group on voltage stability. He made key contributions towards identifying and classifying stability issues in microgrids. A/Prof. Meegahapola is also serving as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems and IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications journals. Also, he was the lead researcher of the RMIT team for the RACE for 2030, CRC ‘Opportunity Assessment: N1 Electric Vehicles and the Grid’ project. He is an active member of IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES), and he represents various international task forces and working groups in IEEE PES.

Dr Anne Kallies

Anne is a Senior Lecturer at the RMIT Graduate School of Business & Law, researching in the areas of energy, environment and climate. The emphasis of Anne’ research is on energy and environmental law, which a special focus on renewable energy and electricity market regulation. Her research draws on her study and work experience in Australia and Germany. She holds a German law degree, a LLM and a PhD, both completed at Melbourne Law School. Anne has previously worked for the German Federal Environmental Agency and has been an administrator and researcher in the Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law at Melbourne Law School. Anne has worked with a range of industry partners in the areas of microgrids and electromobility.

Griffith University

Prof Junwei Lu

Junwei Lu, a foundation professor and chair in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Engineering and Built Environment at Griffith University, director of four laboratories including Solar Lab, Microgrid Technology Laboratory, Electrical Power Laboratory and Power Electronics and Magnetics Laboratory, has an extensive electrical power industry background in power utility and experience in HDR supervision and successfully graduated over 20 PhD students. Prof Lu is a Chief Investigator of 6 ARC projects and 2 CRC and 3 QLD industry-related government projects, such as $5.7m QLD government Smart Future project for “Peak Demand Energy Management” (2013-2016). 

His current research interests include smart transformer and high-frequency rotary transformers, WPT with magnetic flux concentrator for EV and AGV, V2G with built-in Statcom and APF functions, smart hybrid AC/DC Microgrid and EMS. He has published over 350 journal and conference papers and three co-authored books in the area of harmonics balance methods, EMC and V2G, and holds over 10 international patents related to smart antennas and high-frequency transformers.

A/Prof Alexandr Akimov

Alexandr Akimov is an Associate Professor in Finance at Griffith University and the leader of Sustainable Energy Policy Cluster. He holds a Ph.D. in financial economics from the University of New England as well as Chartered Financial Analyst and Energy Risk Professional designations. In addition to academic appointments, Alexandr has held banking risk management appointments. His two main areas of research are energy and development finance. He has recently contributed to several completed projects sponsored by Reliable Affordable Clean Energy for 2030 Cooperative Research Centre (RACE for 2030 CRC), including on DER business models, Taxation and Corporate EVs, where he led the work of estimating and modelling total cost of ownership of EVs. 

He currently leads the RACE for 2030 CRC project of flexible demand by business customers and contributes to the project on Strategic Vehicle Integration project. He has led and completed the DFAT-sponsored project to train Vietnamese officials about Australian competitive electricity markets.  Alexandr has published his research in Energy Economics, Australian Journal of Public Administration, Journal of Clean Energy Production and others. Other research and supervision interests include carbon markets, public finance, and finance education.

Dr Bo Pang

Dr Bo Pang is a Senior Research Fellow in the Social Marketing @ Griffith Centre at Griffith University, Australia. Bo holds a PhD in Social Marketing and offers extensive experience in conducting empirical research and delivering social marketing programs benefitting community across a diverse range of contexts such as sustainability, environmental conservation, and social justice. Bo has also actively involved in industrial engagement, working with a wide array of profit and not for profit organizations. His work has been published in over 100 book chapters, refereed journal articles, conference papers, and research reports.

Dr Anna Mortimore

Anna is a Lecturer specializing in taxation and tax research. She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and a Chartered Tax Adviser with The Tax Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (UQ), a Master of Business (QUT), a Master of Laws (LLM) (Bond) University, and a PhD (MU). Anna’s research focus is analyzing economic instruments and providing policy advice in managing environmental externalities of road transport, focusing on the transition to low-emission and zero-emission light vehicles. Her research has been published extensively in refereed journals and books.

 She has been active in making submissions to the Australian Government on the future of the Australian car industry, tax reform on the current fringe benefits tax regime, Vehicle Emissions Discussion Paper, the National Electric Vehicle Strategy, including radio and television interviews, and online and newspaper media releases. She was invited by The Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee to make a submission on the proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Standards (Cheaper Transport) Bill 2014 and invited to make a submission and attend The Senate Economics Legislation Committee, a public hearing about the Treasury Laws Amendment (Electric Car Discount) Bill 2022.

Anna was the chief investigator of the RACE for 2030 fast-track project Business Fleets and EVs: Taxation changes to support home charging from the grid, and affordability, which received considerable policy and media attention in its 17 recommendations for tax changes in addressing affordability for business fleets and home charging.  She led the first survey of actual BEV owners in Queensland to understand their motives for EV adoption and determine whether there is heterogeneity amongst actual adopters.