PNDC workshop on Smart Grid communications


PNDC, established in 2013 and currently celebrating a decade of innovation, is actively working in the latest Smart Grid communications technologies such as next-generation communication networks (i.e. 5G/LTE, SD-WAN. MPLS, fibre networks and IoT), virtualisations, Cloud integration and cyber security. 

The PNDC workshop on Smart Grid communications and cyber security aims to bring together utility operators, academic institutions, industry associations, and regulators along with the technology and telecoms providers to discuss challenges, share knowledge and present solutions needed to deliver secure, robust and reliable services to the future of the smart grid and help to shape the future of global energy solutions.

The third version of the PNDC workshop inside the IEEE Smartnets conference will be held virtually during the main event (i.e., IEEE International Conference on Smart Applications, Communications and Networking (SmartNets 2023 Istanbul) on Tuesday the 25th of July between 12:00 and 14:30 GMT / 15:00 and 17:30 Istanbul time.

The workshop will be an industry-centred event featuring the latest communications and cyber security challenges and promises in smart grid applications and other utility sectors. The workshop will provide a platform for the attendees from the industry, academia, government bodies, service and technology providers, integrators and vendors to collaborate, exchange ideas and present the future of the latest wireless communication technologies for various critical and smart applications.


Full Programme and Agenda

The 3rd version of the PNDC workshop in comms and cyber security for critical infrastructure will cover various innovation ideas and topics in digital transformation, OT security, data security solutions for critical infrastructure, data compliance and data virtualisation challenges and prospects.

The event will feature speakers from various companies and research institutes.


    • James Irvine, PNDC/Strathclyde, “Distribution Network Security: Lessons from the first 10 years of PNDC” 

Abstract: PNDC was conceived 10 years ago as a way of trailing and demonstrating new technologies in electrical distribution networks. Over the years it has grown and developed a new focus on whole energy systems, but the communications and security theme has always been at the forefront of activities. This talk will introduce PNDC and its facilities and them give a view of the security challenges facing the sector from a centre tasked with proving and deploying innovation.


    • Francesco Pititto, Dell,  “Empowering the Grid: Exploring Secure Data Virtualization in Smart Grid for a Sustainable Future”, 

Abstract: The demand for efficient and sustainable energy systems requires smarter grids that incorporate advanced technologies to monitor, manage, and optimize electricity generation, distribution, and consumption.

As smart grids become more interconnected and data-driven, data virtualization offers a powerful solution to streamline data access and integration in smart grids, enabling efficient decision-making processes. However, it also introduces new security concerns that need to be addressed to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of critical information.

By leveraging this approach, utilities and grid operators can enhance their operational efficiency, facilitate effective energy management, and support renewable energy integration, demand response programs, and grid resilience.


    • Mayamiko Hara, UKPN, “Learnings from Designing a Smart Substation”

Abstract: The Constellation project recently turned 2 this year; let’s have a look back at some of the challenges and key learning so far.


    • Karl Gerhardt, Siemens, “Digital Twin – Virtual IED testing of Protection and communication functions” 


    • Nigel Nawacki, Nokia, IEC 61850 and private LTE for ADMS”,

Abstract: With a converged LTE Distribution system , a utility gains the ability to connect IEDs, feeder circuits or DA subsystems to FLISR/ Intelliruptor  and other DA applications in the substation or operations center.  The converged LTE Distribution system  capitalizes on IP/MPLS services to support IEC 61850 communications as seamless layer 2 and  to carry data from FLISR and all other DA applications with the necessary quality of service.


    • Julian Stafford, EUTC/JRC ,”Overview of EUTC and JRC advocacy and standardisation activities for utility smart grids”

Abstract: ‘Update on work being undertaken by EUTC and JRC to standardised connectivity solutions for mission critical applications in the utility smart grid sector. Work with wired and wireless systems is underway including engagement in 5G (3GPP), ITU and next generation satellite systems’.


Organising Committee

James Irvine, Reader, University of Strathclyde, UK

Kathleen Goldie, Commercial Director, PNDC, UK

Kinan Ghanem, R & D Engineer, PNDC, UK

Kara Hazelgrave,  Innovation Engagement Manager, PNDC, UK

Steven Forbes, Marketing and Communications Lead, PNDC, UK



PNDC workshop on Smart Grid communications will be held virtually via MS Teams on Tuesday, the 25th of July. MS Teams meeting details will be shared with the attendees by email.



The event will include distinguished speakers from leading technology providers such as Dell, Nokia and Siemens.





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