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Data science and AI for sustainability conference 2022

Wednesday, 27 April 2022, 8.45am to 6.30pm
Location: Howard Theatre, Downing College, Cambridge, CB2 1DQ

You are invited to the Data science and AI for sustainability conference 2022, hosted by Interdisciplinary Research Centres Energy and C2D3.

As we move towards a zero carbon economy to meet climate change targets, it is critical to identify and tackle data and AI challenges associated with the generation, storage and supply of energy.

This is increasingly important from a technology, policy and societal perspective. New technologies for energy networks, smart grids, future cities and future energy trading will require new ways of joined-up thinking about complex data sets, better policy frameworks and government regulation.

This conference aims to bring together academics, industrialists and policymakers to share their research, identify new opportunities and discuss areas where further collaborative work is required to decarbonise the energy sector.


Registration information

We welcome delegates from diverse backgrounds and particularly those from underrepresented groups.

For registration, please click here.



During each session we will hear three short presentations from our speakers, followed by a chair facilitated discussion with audience Q&A for 30 minutes.

08:45-09:15 Registration and arrival refreshments

09:15-09:30 Opening talk

Professor Colm-Cille Caulfield (Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), University of Cambridge)

09:30-11:00 Policy and regulation

What behavioural changes are required and how do we ensure that we create an energy system which is equitable and affordable? What are the policy instruments, frameworks and incentives needed to accelerate decarbonisation and scaling up renewable energy? What are the opportunities for the transition to low carbon generation? How do we prepare the grid and transmission system for future challenges?

Chaired by Dr Anil Madhavapeddy (Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Cambridge)

  • Julian Critchlow (Senior Advisor Bain & Company; former DG Energy Transformation & Clean Growth, BEIS)
  • Dr Ronita Bardhan (Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge)
  • Lucy Yu (CEO, Octopus Energy’s Centre for Net Zero) 

Rapporteur: Arden Berlinger, Postgraduate Student, Department of Plant Sciences

11:00-11:30 Networking & refreshment break

11:30-13:00 Technologies: energy networks

What are the key challenges, innovations and opportunities for the UK electricity network?  How do we adapt and enhance existing networks? How do we create new efficient and effective ones? How do we integrate networks to optimise performance?

Chaired by Dr Teng Long (Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge)

  • Dr Fei Teng (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College)
  • Iulian Nitescu (Co-Founder and CTO, Graphmasters)
  • Dr Ioannis Lestas (Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge)

13:00-14:00 Networking lunch

14:00-15:30 Economics: energy market trading

How is data science and AI changing the energy market organisation and design? What are the factors affecting pricing? How do we ensure market stability and minimise cost? How do we embed market resilience and avoid future shocks?

Chaired by Professor Michael Pollitt (Judge Business School, University of Cambridge)

  • Dr Ramit Debnath (Judge Business School, University of Cambridge)
  • Ciaran Flynn (Head of Modelling & Analysis, Sembcorp Industries Ltd)
  • Steven Steer (Lead Data Consultant, Zuhlke)

15:30-16:00 Networking break

16:00-17:30 Future cities: buildings

How can we use AI to synchronise buildings energy supply and demand? How can we optimise building management systems? How can data visualisation help run buildings efficiently? How do we adjust building occupancy behaviour by combining technology with social data?

Chaired by Professor Ajith Parlikad (Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge)

  • Ellissa Verseput (Data Team Lead, Sympower)
  • Dr Jim Scott (Chief Production Officer, Grid Edge) 
  • Dr Jethro Akroyd (Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge)
  • Dr Isabella Gaetani (Senior Scientist Smart Buildings, Arup)

17:30-17:40 Closing

Professor Colm-Cille Caulfield (Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), University of Cambridge)

17:40-18:30 Networking drinks reception

Diana Scarborough, Conference Artist in Residence. Throughout the conference, Diana will be listening to the panel discussions and talking with speakers and delegates during the breaks. We have invited Diana to create a piece of art that reflects the interdisciplinarity of her discussions and observations, and we look forward to sharing the piece of art with you.

Organising Committee: C2D3: Ellen Ashmore, Almarie Williams; Energy: Shafiq Ahmed, Raheela Rehman, Lata Sahonta.


Biographies: Speakers, Chairs, and Conference Artist


Useful information


We thank the following organisations for kindly supporting this event.

  • Isaac Newton Trust
  • Natural Environment Research Council [Discipline Hopping for Environmental Solutions fund]
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