PES Student Chapter Leuven


The PES (Power and Energy Society) Student Chapter Leuven envisions creating a community of students and young professionals who are passionate about the new challenges and opportunities in the global energy sector. Our objective is to disseminate among students the latest developments in the field, and to bridge the gap between academia and industry. The mission of IEEE PES forum is to be the leading provider of scientific and engineering information on electric power and energy for the betterment of society, and the preferred professional development source for our members. We organize a variety of activities such as lectures, visits and symposia.

Upcoming events

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Chandra Kant Jat – Chair

He received the B.Tech. degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (2014), and the M.Tech. degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (2018). In between, he worked for the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering with KU Leuven/EnergyVille. His research areas of interest are power system optimization and transmission system planning with HVDC grids. He represented IEEE PES at R8 SYP 2022, and he is PES YP representative for Benelux section. In his free time, he likes reading and hiking.

Giacomo Bastianel – Vice chair

He obtained his B.Sc. in Energy Engineering from Universita’ degli studi di Padova in 2019 and his M.Sc. in Energy Engineering from KU Leuven in 2021. Currently, he works as a PhD student for ELECTA research group from KU Leuven/EnergyVille in Leuven/Genk. His fields of research are how to deal with flexibility and uncertainty on the transmission system, decision support for grid operators, HVDC integration in the electric system and general optimization problems in energy systems.

Sari Kerckhove – Secretary

She obtained a MSc in Engineering Physics from Ghent University, Belgium in 2019. She was awarded a B.A.E.F. fellowship which allowed her to obtain an additional MSc in Electrical Engineering from Caltech, USA in 2020. At Caltech, she focused on computational methods, network optimization, and machine learning. Since 2021, she started a joint Ph. D. with the Flemish institute for technological research (VITO) and KU Leuven’s Electrical Engineering department. Sari’s graduate work focuses on optimal asset use of electricity distribution grids specifically through the means of network reconfiguration.

Francisco Javier Cifuentes Garcia – Media and events

He received the B.S. in Energy Engineering (2018, honors) and M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering specialized in Electronics (2021) from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain. He was a research assistant at CITCEA-UPC, Barcelona (2018-2020), where he studied the integration of HVDC in weak grids and the control of hybrid power plants. During 2021 he was part of the InnoDC project working on Hybrid AC/DC. He is a research associate of KU Leuven / EnergyVille focusing on the control and stability of power systems with high penetration of power electronics.

Mohammad Heidari – Treasurer

An innovative and talented PhD researcher with deep proficiency in renewable energies and power systems. Mo started his activities at the student branch of the Amirkabir University of Technology in Iran rotating in different roles as a volunteer, treasurer, vice chair, and advisor (2016-2019). They organized +5 national and international conferences, +20 industrial visits, +20 supplementary courses, and +30 seminars; they were awarded the best IEEE student branch and membership development of the Iran Section (2019). Mo plans to bring his experience to the Leuven branch and have even more impact on an international scale.

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