IEEE SA’s Jay Iorio on Intelligent Utility: Making Power “Hip”

Jay Iorio, Innovation Director, IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA)


Just prior to departing for SXSW this year, IEEE SA’s Jay Iorio did an excellent interview with Phil Carson, of Intelligent Utility. The article summarizes, in part, why IEEE SA went to SXSW this year, and why the IEEE Standards Association feels it is critical to assume a  more proactive stance in reaching and engaging “next generation” technologists, innovators, designers, developers, architects, engineers and even business leaders.

Here’s an excerpt from the Intelligent utility article:

Jay Iorio
IEEE SA's Jay Iorio isn't just an expert in virtual reality, he is an outstanding musician, to boot.

‘I found last year that with the South-by-Southwest crowd, I got the most excitement out of them when they thought in terms of helping society,’ Iorio said. ‘It’s really a very idealistic crowd. When I talked about how work in this new field could transform society with all its applications, that’s when I saw the spark in their eyes and found them really engaged. So I look forward this year to getting people involved in a specific subject.’

‘My specialty is this virtual stuff,’ Iorio continued. ‘But I’ve got people working on smart grid, for example. The Internet of things. The same principles apply to all of those. We want imaginative thinkers to serve as the engine for all these activities.’

‘The ‘Internet of Things’ is a clumsy term, but the smart grid is a part of that,’ he added. ‘I’d like to attract general thinkers who see the smart grid as a piece of a ubiquitous Internet, for lack of a better term—the fact that the entire environment becomes intelligent to some extent. That includes power, water and things we haven’t even thought of yet. Clearly, electricity is the backbone of the IEEE.’

The IEEE and the power industry are somewhat analogous, in that the IEEE, for instance, ‘was a stodgy thing of the past,’ Iorio said, warming to his thesis. And now the IEEE and its related vertical industries are becoming ‘the hippest areas because they involve all those transformative technologies.’

‘It’s like the ‘hip-icization’ of the IEEE and the power industry,’ Iorio said, chuckling at his newly minted term.

Who knew a music and film festival could turn into a socially conscious movement leveraging technology to transform society? Especially with beer in hand.

But I really liked Iorio’s fresh thinking around recruitment for imaginative problem-solving and future-shaping. Why not wade into gatherings of young people with myriad backgrounds and talents and see what this low-budget, high-touch approach might yield? Maybe the power industry’s myriad players would find that a similar strategy would bear fruit.’

As technology convergence blurs the lines of distinction between industry sectors, it’s more important now than ever before to have multidisciplinary contributors engaged in IEEE SA tech exploration and standards development. This rings especially true in Power & Energy sector, where the Smart Grid begins to intersect with Smart Home, Electronic Vehicles, Green Tech, Cloud Computing  and a myriad of development sectors, disciplines, technologies and devices.

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