African study visit for the development of smart grids2017-11-30
Computer Science at Karlstad University has a lot of expertise in online privacy and security, and therefore researchers and teachers from South Africa and Tanzania are visiting the department. Their visit is based on the need to improve energy supply in Africa and to develop training on smart grids.
Energy supply is an important sustainability and development issue in Africa. It is particularly important to facilitate the development of green energy and to use natural resources like sunlight and wind. Smart grids are important factors in this development.
“Researchers and teachers from four different African universities have visited us for around four weeks. Together we work on developing training on smart grids at these four institutions,” says Hans Hedbom, lecturer in Computer Science at Karlstad University.
The study visit forms part of the project DAMOC, Development of a HArmonized MOdular Curriculum for the Smart Grid. The project aims to develop master-level courses focusing on smart grids at South African and Tanzanian universities. Computer Science and Technische Universität Dresden contribute expert knowledge to the development of courses and course material on information security and privacy in connection with smart grids.
Smart grids refer to electricity grids with intelligent control. Different types of systems are connected to an electricity grid, which enables better planning, measurement and control of electricity supply and use. Smart grids also makes the connection of new, more environmentally friendly and sustainable energy sources possible.
"Visiting Karlstad University as part of the DAMOC project was an enlightening experience. The main aim was to collaborate and learn more about data privacy & data security’s relation to Smart Grids, and enhance master’s curricula at the various partner universities with this information. In the process, light was shed on various topics that could benefit my personal research as well, says Cobus Truter from Stellenbosch University. ”Overall the visit was a great success, a lot of knowledge and insight has been gained. Experiencing the beauty of Karlstad and the Swedish friendliness was amazing, and I would definitely visit again!"
The development of smart grids requires many types of different skills, one aspect of which is security in connection to privacy and sensitive information.
“Our role in the project is to contribute expert knowledge and developing courses and course material on information security and privacy,” says Hans Hedbom. “Participants in the study visit have had the opportunity to see how we work and to learn more about the material we will contribute to the courses we are developing together. We have also discussed and learned more about each other’s educational systems.”