Keynote Speakers / Tutorials

Keynote Speakers

Hulya Kirkici, PhD., Fellow-IEEE


Electrical Insulation in Sub-Atmospheric Pressures under High Frequency Applied Fields.
Hulya Kirkici, PhD., Fellow-IEEE
Professor and Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of South Alabama, Mobile Alabama, USA

Power devices and systems operating in vacuum or sub-atmospheric pressures are more susceptible to partial discharges, corona, volume discharges, or fully developed breakdown due to the partial vacuum conditions. In space/aerospace vehicles, these activities are great concerns and require major design considerations.  Furthermore, space/aerospace power systems operate at voltages higher using switch-mode conversion. In return, higher switching frequencies impose higher stress on dielectrics, than the dc fields, in space/aerospace power systems.  This presentation is an overview of dielectric material fundamentals, including the high voltage electrical insulation of space/aerospace power and high voltage pulsed systems over the years. Also an overview dielectric breakdown of gases and solids under non-uniform, high frequency and high fields applied fields and operated in sub-atmospheric pressures.


Hulya Kirkici is Professor and Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of South Alabama.  She received the B.S. and M.S. in physics from Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey; and the Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Polytechnic University (NYU – Poly), Brooklyn, NY.  Previously, Dr. Kirkici was Professor of electrical and computer engineering at Auburn University (1992-2016), visiting scholar / consultant and Summer Faculty Fellow at the Air Force Research Laboratory – Wright Patterson Air Force Base, (2014-2015), and visiting scientist/engineer at NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL (1999-2000).

Dr. Kirkici’s research interests are in electrical insulation and high-frequency dielectric breakdown in space and aerospace environments, cold plasmas, repetitive pulsed power, and high voltage engineering. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal and conference articles and given plenary and invited talks in these related topics over the years nationally and internationally (in USA, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, and China).

Dr. Kirkici is a Fellow of IEEE for “contributions to high frequency, high field dielectric breakdown and electrical insulation for space and aerospace power systems” (class of 2017), a recipient of the IEEE Eric O. Forster Distinguished Service Award, the highest service honor given by the Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society (2015), IEEE William G. Dunbar Award “for continuing contribution to high-voltage and high frequency insulation research and engineering education,” (2014) and a recipient of the IEEE Sol Schneider Award “for continuing technical and administrative leadership in the power modulator and high voltage communities,” (2010). 

Dr. Kirkici serves on the IEEE Periodical Review Committee (2016 – present), and PSPB-Strategic Planning Committee (2016-present).  Dr. Kirkici was a Member-at-Large on the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board (2011-2016) and served as Vice President of IEEE Sensors Council (2014-2015), Treasurer and Finance Chair of IEEE PSPB, IEEE Finance Committee (2011-2014), President of IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society (2009 and 2010), and served on many other IEEE units’ and conferences’ boards/committees.

Dr. Kirkici is members of IEEE, American Physical Society (APS), Sigma Xi Scientific Honor Society, Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering Honor Society, and American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Wojciech Koltunowicz, PhD, D.Sc.


Increase of Operation Reliability of HV Apparatus through PD Monitoring
Wojciech Koltunowicz, PhD, D.Sc.
Senior Technical Consultant
OMICRON Energy Solutions GmbH, Berlin, Germany

Partial Discharge (PD) monitoring is nowadays a recognized technique for the condition based assessment of the insulation of high voltage (HV) apparatus. Since its massive introduction in the late eighties, different solutions for sensors and acquisition techniques have been proposed, applied and lately acknowledged by international standards. In this presentation, the challenges in continuous PD monitoring of HV power cables, transformers, gas insulated substation and rotating machines will be discussed. In the case of power cables, the presentation deals with continuous monitoring of 420 kV XLPE cable lines applied for buried cables and cables in the underground tunnels. In the case of transformers, the maintenance and operation recommendations based on the results obtained from continuous monitoring on two identical old transmission transformers will be presented. PDs are measured at the bushing measuring taps and in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) range with an antenna installed within the transformer tank. In the case of rotating machines, an automated PD defect classification system, which identifies the type of stator winding insulation defect and its location, implemented in the continuous monitoring system will be described. The last part of the presentation will be dedicated to GIS PD diagnostics, and in particular to the CIGRE recommendations related to the sensitivity check of UHF PD monitoring system. The case studies described in this presentation show that incipient insulation defects can be detected early and their evolution can be monitored supporting the asset managers to derive prompt actions.


Wojciech Koltunowicz is a Senior Technical Consultant at OMICRON Energy Solutions GmbH in Berlin, Germany since 2007. Prior to that he worked at CESI in Italy, where he was involved in the HV testing and diagnostics of electrical equipment. He received his M.Sc., PhD and D.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering from the Warsaw University of Technology in 1980, 1985 and 2004, respectively. He is convener of CIGRE WG D1.66 “Requirements of Partial Discharge Monitoring Systems for GIS/GIL Systems”. He is a member of CIGRE AG D1.02, WG D1.51 and JWG D1/B3.57. He is also a member of IEC TC42 “High-voltage and high-current test techniques”. He is author of more than a hundred technical and scientific publications.

Syed Islam, PhD, FIET, FIEAust, SMIEEE, CPEng.


A Journey on FRA for fault detection in Power Transformers Offline to Online – Challenges and Opportunities
Syed Islam, PhD, FIET, FIEAust, SMIEEE, CPEng.
John Curtin Distinguished Professor of Electrical Power Engineering
Curtin University, Perth

Frequency Response Analysis (FRA) is now an well established and widely accepted technique to monitor the mechanical integrity of a power transformer condition. FRA has matured as a technique over the past two decades to the point that there are now commercially available equipment for testing. While the equipment and the test results have been established as credible tool to assess the mechanical integrity of a transformer such as axail and radial bucklings of winding, tap changer faults, and loss of clamping pressure. However, the technique largely have focussed on offline measurements and the industry is really looking forward to an online tool. There are now considerable effort exerted in developing an online tool. This keynote talk will focus on the recent progresses in online FRA tool and its associated challenges as well as provide a background to the technique and historical progress.


Syed Islam  received his B.Sc.B.Eng, MSc, and PhD degrees all in Electrical Engineering   in 1979, 1983, and 1988 respectively. He is currently the John Curtin Distinguished Professor in Electrical Power Engineering and the founding Director of Centre for Smart Grid and Sustainable Power Systems at Curtin University, Perth, Australia. He received the Dean’s medallion for research at Curtin University in 1999. He received the IEEE T Burke Haye’s Faculty Recognition award in 2000. He received the Curtin University inaugural Paul Dunn award for Research Development in 2012. He received the Sir John Madsen medal in 2011 and 2014 for best electrical engineering paper in Australia. He has published over 300 technical papers in his area of expertise. His research interests are in Condition Monitoring of Transformers, Wind Energy Conversion, Grid Integration of Renewable Energy Sources, and Smart Power Systems. He has been a keynote speaker and invited speaker at many international workshops and conferences. He has been a Visiting Professor at Shanghai University of Electrical Power  and Xian Joiatomg University in China.

Prof Islam is also the Dean International for the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Curtin University. He is a member of the ENA/API steering committee for research and a founding member of the WA EESA board.  He is a Fellow of the Engineers Australia, a Senior Member of the IEEE IAS, PES and DEIS, a Fellow of the IET and a Chartered Professional Engineer in Australia. He was recently awarded the Engineering Executive title by Engineers Australia. He is a founding Editor of the IEEE Transaction on Sustainable Energy and an Associate Editor of the IET Renewable Power Generation. He was the Guest Editor in Chief for the IEEE Transaction on Sustainable Energy special issue on Variable Power Generation Integration into Grid.

Dr Robert Fleming, Former Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine


Some common errors in experimentally-based scientific papers
Dr Robert Fleming
Former Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine

The mechanics of writing a scientific paper for publication in a stringently-refereed journal vary greatly from author to author, mainly because there are no hard-and-fast structural requirements, apart from a few broad headings, e.g., in the case of an experimentally-based paper, Introduction, Experimental, Results, Discussion, Conclusions. Consequently in this talk I will not specify how to go about writing a scientific paper, but, drawing on ten years experience as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine (and now retired), I will point out a few common errors which must be avoided. An example is describing in detail in the text the variation of some measured quantity with one or more parameters, already presented in a Figure, rather than concentrating on the important features.


Robert Fleming graduated in Mathematics and Physics from Queen’s University in 1959, and subsequently obtained the Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees from the same university. He moved to the Department of Physics, Monash University, Australia in 1967, and formally retired from that Department in December 2000. He was then appointed as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow and continued his research on the electrical properties of polymers, particularly charge transport and trapping and space charge accumulation. He was appointed as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine in January 2008, became Editor-in-Chief in January 2018, and recently retired from that position.


Tutorial 1,

Date: Sunday 23 September 2018
Time: 9 am to 12 noon
Venue: Hyatt Regency Perth, 99 Adelaide Terrace, Perth WA 6000
Presenters: University of Queensland research group led by Prof Tapan Saha

  1. Modern Condition Monitoring Techniques for Power Transformer
  2. Transformer oil-paper Insulation and ageing
  3. Dissolved Gas Analysis and Their Interpretation Schemes
  4. Dielectric Response Measurement and Analysis
  5. Moisture Measurements and Challenges
  6. Health Index of Transformer and Remaining Useful Life Estimatio
  7. Q & A

Tutorial 2,

Date: Sunday 23 September 2018
Time: 1 pm to 4 pm
Venue: Hyatt Regency Perth, 99 Adelaide Terrace, Perth WA 6000
Presenters: Dr. Wojciech Koltunowicz & Dr. Wenyu Guo (OMICRON)

  1. Partial Discharges – Introduction and Phenomena
  2. Partial Discharges – How to Perform Sensitive Measurements
  3. Monitoring of Power Transformers
  4. Partial Discharge Testing of Dry-type Transformers
  5. Partial Discharge Monitoring of Rotating Machines
  6. Partial Discharge Diagnosis of GIS – State of the Art
  7. Partial Discharge Testing and Monitoring of HV Cables
  8. Q & A


Paper Submission and Registration

Paper submission is closed

Early bird registration is closed

Full registration (without a paper) and Tutorial registration is open until Friday, Sept 14th

Submission Deadlines

Full paper submission – 10 June 2018

Notification of acceptance – 1 July 2018

Early bird registration – 31 July 2018

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