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All Places > Academic Users Group > Blog > 2016 > May

The University of Texas at San Antonio's Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department hosted a PI workshop on May 12, 2016.  The one day workshop took place on the UTSA campus and was hosted by ECE Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair and Professor, Dr. Mo Jamshidi.  The workshop was well attended by numerous ECE department graduate students and faculty.


The purpose of the workshop was for the UTSA students and faculty to obtain a better understanding of how OSIsoft's PI System is used globally by industry leading companies across the value chain in the fields of oil & gas, power & utilities, and facilities optimization.  The discussions also focused on how other universities are currently deploying the PI System for research and classroom learning in the fields of big data, facilities optimization, and as a real-time data infrastructure for various Smart Grid research projects, including microgrid deployment and analysis of phasor measurement unit (PMU) data.


One of OSIsoft's field service engineers, Dan Lopez, presented key PI System functionality and demonstrated how real-time information can be extracted from the PI System in a variety of ways, including:

-- For KPI and trend analysis on web and mobile devices

-- Importing data into Microsoft Excel, for ad-hoc analysis and exposure to Matlab

-- Extracting cleansed data as input to various machine learning modeling platforms

-- Integrating real-time data onto Esri's ArcGIS maps and operations dashboards

In the afternoon session, the group discussed various internal research projects for the PI System, including analysis of their multi-campus PV solar panel data, use of PI System future data for renewable energy forecasting, and as a decision support system for advanced robotics projects.


The group achieved a more in-depth understanding of how the PI System works and how it can be applied to their individual and department research initiatives.  The workshop was concluded by a visit to the UTSA robotics labs.

I had an opportunity to attend and speak at one of the foremost academic workshops on the future of the smart grid.  The workshop was held at Texas A&M University (TAMU) on April 28, hosted by Dr. Mladen Kezunovic, a Eugene E. Webb Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and the Director of the TAMU Smart Grid Center.

The theme of this year’s Smart Grid Workshop was big data for the smart grid and on how all types of big data can be utilized in the smart grid of tomorrow.  There were very interesting presentations and panel discussions by distinguished members of the academic community, government agencies (DOE, NREL), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and various people representing industry.

Topics included the latest research on modeling and analytics, outage minimization, customer data privacy, geospatial visualization as an emerging tool for outage management, microgrids, and the role of phasor
measurement unit (PMU) data as decision support for wide area stability/microgrid effectiveness.


While the domain experts offered valuable insights on how the smart grid can be taken to a new level, Dr. Kezunovic’s goal for the workshop was to maximize audience participation, so that audience members could ask questions and foster discussions on particular challenges they are currently facing.  This workshop is held annually, with the specific focus changing every year. 


I am looking forward to attending next year.  A more detailed summary of the workshop is available from the Texas A&M web site: