The Australian Energy Research Institute (AERI) at UNSW has appointed an internationally recognised industry expert as its inaugural Chairman, bolstering important links to industry and government.

George Maltabarow – an energy specialist who previously headed up Ausgrid, Australia’s largest electricity network – will bring his experience and expertise to the emerging AERI.                                                                                                                                   

The Institute, which was formally established in 2011, is a sustainable energy think tank headquartered in the new Tyree Energy Technologies Building at UNSW.  It is taking a holistic approach to solving energy-related problems by bringing together leading engineers, economists and policy experts, with the goal of translating research outcomes into real-world applications.

“The Institute will be a critical link in the chain that drives innovation into industry and out into the wider community,” says Director Vassilios Agelidis, a Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications. “The objective is to transform thinking and provide long-term solutions for the move towards a truly sustainable energy infrastructure.”

“George is a very well-respected industry leader who can help the Institute in this regard. He brings considerable government and policy implementation experience, has a strong network and can help promote our research activities,” says Agelidis.

Maltabarow says: “We need a robust, well-designed energy industry backed up by good policy if we want a strong economy. The Institute’s work will help shape our nation’s response to the energy challenges of this century – the challenges of integrating new technologies, renewable energy and energy security.”

Building on a long history of expertise in renewable energy engineering at UNSW, the Institute is exploring cost-competitive generation and advanced energy storage technologies, smart electricity grids and alternative fuels, while also addressing the formidable challenge of carbon capture and storage.

In addition, it is investigating the social, political and economic challenges of transitioning to a clean energy future: “We are at the forefront of technology development… and we are working to understand the impact of energy and carbon price policies to identify issues, strategies and policy requirements based on factual information and science in order to advise industry and government,” says Agelidis. 

Media Contact: Myles Gough | UNSW Media Office | 9385 1933