Testbeds for Smart Grids and Smart Cities:  Means of Learning
What Is / What Might Become in the Changing Electric Energy Industry


Dates: Mar 31- Apr 1, 2015
Carnegie Mellon University
Roberts Engineering Hall
Singleton Room, 4th Floor


Abstracts due:
March 1, 2015
Acceptance notices sent:
March 8, 2015
Presentations due:
March 25, 2015


Please note that you must register for the conference before you can upload a paper.
Please use file name format

ECE logo       NSF Logo      

TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY, March 31-April 1, 2015
Opening Reception Monday, March 30, 2015
Invited Workshop Thursday-Friday, April 2-3, 2015

Conference and  Workshop Co-Sponsored by United States NSF and Germany DFG

Conference Co-Chairs
Dr. Marija Ilic, Carnegie Mellon University, ECE and EPP
Dr. Sebastian Lehnhoff, OFFIS, Germany

The TENTH ANNUAL CARNEGIE MELLON CONFERENCE ON THE ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY will be held on March 30th and 31st, and April 1st. This will be followed by a hands-on smaller workshop on April 2st and 3rd, 2015 at Carnegie Mellon University, which will be an international, invitation-only workshop. Interactive informal hands-on demonstrations of several testbeds will be carried out. For archived information on all previous CMU Electricity Conferences, see http://www.ece.cmu.edu/~electricityconference/archives.html.

The organizers are contacting directly invited participants who are working on testbeds. While the main emphasis is on simulations-based testbeds, presentations on HIL testbeds are invited. It is essential to discuss the complementarities of the two. The entire community is encouraged to submit abstracts for presenting, as the organizers are not fully familiar with all on-going efforts. The United States National Science Foundation (NSF) will cover at least partially travel expenses of the U.S. faculty and graduate students who apply for help. We would very much like to have participation from the U.S. National Laboratories and the power industry. NSF cannot cover travel expenses of these people.


March 1, 2015  Presentation abstract submission/request for travel support 
March 1, 2015  Propose poster presentation abstracts (graduate and undergraduates)
March 8, 2015  Notification of presentation acceptance
March 1-20, 2015  Upload any material (position papers directly relevant to the community)
March 25, 2015  Upload presentation slides and posters; this will be made accessible to the participants prior to the meeting
March 25-29, 2015  Upload comments/questions to the presentations; white papers

Note: If we do this work ahead of the meeting, we will be able to cut down formal presentations and leave ample room for interactions. This is important!

Conference goals:

The main goal of this 10th anniversary Carnegie Mellon University Electricity Conference is to discuss state-of-the-art of testbeds for future electric power systems in light of multi-disciplinary collaborations; and testbeds as means of helping industry simulate and assess many unconventional hardware and cyber solutions, as well as the effects of policy requirements. We will also share with the community our Smart Grid in a Room Simulator (SGRS) under development in cooperation with NIST. Finally, we wish to nurture the international knowledge exchange in the area of testbeds for smart grids.

The need for learning about on-going activities across disciplines

One of the main objectives of inviting broader U.S. thought leaders is to continue building a multi-disciplinary community of modelers, software and platform developers for the changing electric energy industry. We believe that carefully designed simulations-based testbeds could go a long way toward basic education of what it is today, toward identifying what could be improved and how. The first objective is to invite developers of today’s testbeds to present their state-of-the-art testbeds, and to talk about what they have learned. Many of the on-going testbed developments are somewhat hard to access and use by other than their developing teams. Such meeting of teams has not been held in the past to the best of the proposers’ knowledge. This is important to do so that those proposing new approaches are well aware of state-of-the-art and practice and so that the community can explore synergic collaboration with the existing testbeds. We need to understand in transparent ways what to build and what is already there. This is not widely known at present.

Simulation-based testbeds as a means of helping industry

Next, we also suggest that the electric power industry is at its crossroads, and that it is essential to have well-designed testbeds for emulating likely dynamics of the changing industry and help the industry assess many proposed cyber solutions for their performance in light of the industry needs. We therefore propose to hold an event in which the on-going testbed developments are presented to the broader community, followed by the discussion of challenges and opportunities for next steps. We wish to have a panel of industry users and listen to their specifications of what would be good to have, and what they think is missing.

Presenting to the broader community CMU-NIST Smart Grid in a Room Simulator

We will have a pre-conference Carnegie Mellon University workshop on March 30th to present to the community in some detail our on-going NIST-sponsored Dynamic Monitoring and Decision Systems (DyMonDS) test-bed development. We refer to this testbed as a Smart Grid in a Room Simulator (SGRS). We will demonstrate its capability at this stage and invite the community of different researchers who need to test their proposed cyber solutions to begin to work with us on using SGRS for assessing potential benefits from their solutions. At present there are no easy user-friendly testbeds for this purpose.

Making the case for international collaboration

We point out that there has been much on-going work in Europe, in particular, toward smart grid testbeds. We recommend that the U.S. community quickly learn at the proposed workshop about these activities as we move forward with testbed simulators for smart grids.

Proposed Tentative Agenda:

We propose two full days formal conference sessions, and two days hands-on workshop (the latter by invitation only; participants should apply if interested). We will require each participant to submit the slides prior to the conference and provide one page summary of the main points in the slides. So, instead of spending time on slide presentations, much more time will be allotted to discussing main points/ideas put forward by the presenter. We already have a mechanism for posting and archiving all of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Conferences beginning with the conference inception, and it will be rather straightforward to provide a permanent place to make these publicly available to the broader community

We also envision several keynote papers with state-of-the-art presentations. Tentative conference sessions are listed in the Tentative Agenda.