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 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

Check out what's on the agenda


Giacomo Bastianel – 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.

Muhammad Hafeez Saeeed – Vice-Chair

He obtained his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from National University or Sciences and Technology (NUST), Pakistan in 2018. Then he worked for a year as electrical maintenance engineer, until he enrolled in EIT InnoEnergy’s renowned dual-degree master’s program named MSc Energy for Smart Cities in 2019 at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden and ENSE3, Grenoble INP, France; he graduated in 2021. He is now pursuing a PhD degree at KU Leuven, Belgium, developing stochastic control techniques for the management of energy flexibility in energy districts. He has served at IEEE Islamabad chapter, CommUnity by EIT InnoEnergy’s Sweden and France chapter.

Sari Kerckhove – Women In Engineering Representative

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. Besides PES, she is also a group member of WIE.

Francisco Javier Cifuentes Garcia – Media and events

Fran 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.

Merijn Van Deyck – Secretary

Merijn Van Deyck is a second year PhD student at KU Leuven and EnergyVille. He is active in the field of offshore HVDC networks with a particular focus on grid protection and system design. Besides his research, he is passionate about education and enjoys teaching and fostering active learning environments for students at KU Leuven

Hossein Fani – Treasurer

Hossein Fani is currently pursuing my Ph.D. at KU Leuven / EnergyVille, focusing on power distribution system. With a strong passion for applying machine learning algorithms in the energy sector, my research interests revolve around distribution system planning and operation, distribution system hosting capacity analysis, and active network management.
I had the privilege of being part of the PrivateFlex project, where I contributed to modeling domestic EV flexibility. Currently, I am dedicated to exploring novel approaches that can increase the hosting capacity of electric vehicles in low-voltage distribution systems.

Lucas Bex – Volunteer

Lucas Bex received his bachelor’s in electrical engineering and master’s degree in energy engineering in 2020/2022 at KU Leuven and is currently pursuing a PhD at the Electa research group at KU Leuven. His research interests are demand response, reinforcement learning and distributed control.

Ziqing Guo – Volunteer

Ziqing Guo obtained a M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China in 2022. Currently, she is a second year PhD student at KU Leuven and Energy Ville. She is focusing on combining Machine Learning and Finite Element Method for condition monitoring and fault diagnosis of electrical machine. Besides PES, she is also a group member of WIE.

Previous members: Chandra Kant Jat, Mohammad Heidari.

Past events

19th Power Symposium – Energy Flexibility: Close to the consumer
Lecture by Mathaios Panteli – Towards Resilient Power Systems: Experiences and Applications
AI in Power Systems mini-symposium
With Hussain Kazmi, Rafael Michiels, Pascal Van Hentenryck and Zacharie De Greve
ABB Workshop – By Glenn Ceusters and Dries Van Laerhoven – Click here for the slides
Optimal Power Flow (OPF) in Julia – Oscar Damanik
The Hydrogen hype: state of play and future trends
State of the art of nuclear fusion
Network expansion planning with FlexPlan.jl

Social media and other platforms