New Director and Deputy Director appointed to the Monash Energy Institute

We are delighted to announce the appointments of Associate Professor Ariel Liebman and Dr Roger Dargaville as Director and Deputy Director, respectively, of the Monash Energy Institute. These appointments follow the recent move of Professor Jacek Jasieniak, former director of the Institute, into the role of Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Engineering. We wish him success in this important new position. Prof. Elizabeth Croft (Dean, Faculty of Engineering) and Prof. Ann Nicholson (Interim Dean, Faculty of IT)

We would like to thank the departing director Professor Jack Jasieniak for his enormous contributions to the Monash Energy Institute and invite you to join us in congratulating Associate Professor Ariel Liebman and Dr Roger Dargaville on their appointments, commencing on the 1st of August 2020. Their leadership reflects the strength of our research capability and of our core desire to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. With them, the Institute will continue to work with a lot of industry partners on solutions towards a better Energy Future.

Associate Professor Ariel Liebman

Director, Monash Energy Institute

Associate Professor Ariel Liebman has over 22 years’ experience in energy research and industry practice, including NEM price forecasting, investment planning, electricity network monopoly regulation, and energy portfolio risk management. Since joining the Faculty of Information Technology in 2012, Ariel has developed sustainable energy research programs with colleagues across Monash, including within Engineering and the Monash Business School. Ariel brings together researchers from across disciplines to identify ways to optimally integrate new and renewable technologies into smart grids, microgrids and large-scale energy systems.

Ariel has worked across the faculties of IT, Engineering, Business and Economics, and the Monash Sustainability Institute (now MSDI). He worked on an energy research vision report commissioned by the Provost to develop a Monash wide sustainable energy program. Following this report, the Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute (MEMSI) was established in 2015 by the Dean of Engineering and IT, Frieder Seible, Prof Raman Singh, and Ariel was appointed as its Deputy Director. Together with new director Professor Jacek Jasieniak, Ariel helped establish the institute as an exemplar of cross-disciplinary collaboration, external engagement and impact. In November 2019, the Institute was renamed to the “Monash Energy Institute” following the expanded structure.

His vision and work towards a low carbon future have played an instrumental role in Monash University’s Energy and Net Zero directions. Ariel co-architected the Microgrid/Net Zero Initiative and lead researcher in the $3 mil ARENA funded Smart Energy City. He founded the Monash Grid Innovation Hub, co-led the Australia Indonesia Centre Energy Cluster with work culminating in a first of its kind project in collaboration with Indonesian NGO IESR. Most recently, Ariel is leading the RACE for Networks, one of the 4 programs in the $300m Reliable Affordable Clean Energy for 2030 CRC (RACE for 2030), involving over 90 partners.

Dr Roger Dargaville

Deputy Director, Monash Energy Institute

Dr Roger Dargaville joined Monash in 2017 to lead the Renewable Energy stream of the Resources Engineering specialisation run by the Department of Civil Engineering and has designed and delivered four new units that will now form part of the Renewable Energy Minor degree to the traditional Engineering degrees. Formerly, Roger held the inaugural Deputy Director role at the Melbourne Energy Institute and helped establish the interdisciplinary Master of Energy Systems degree, a degree that combined technical units in science and engineering with business, economics and law units to graduate decision-makers familiar with all aspects of the energy sector.

With a $1.3M grant from ARENA, Roger’s team at Melbourne Uni developed a new suite of capacity expansion models, incorporating detailed meteorological data together with energy system constraints to show how a 100% renewable energy was attainable and feasible, from both a technical and economic viewpoint. Some of that work fed into the Australian Energy Market Operator's 100% Renewables study, a forerunner to the ground-breaking Integrated System Plan (ISP).

Roger’s introduction to energy research was with the International Energy Agency, where he co-authored the 2008 edition of the Energy Technology Perspectives book, leading the integration of the individual economic models of the stationary energy, transport, industry and buildings sectors. Roger holds a PhD in atmospheric physics (University of Melbourne) and has conducted climate change and global carbon cycle science research internationally, at the University of Alaska, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (Colorado), the Centre Nationale Recherche Scientifique (France) and as consultant to UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

Roger likes to teach and has a full teaching load delivering the undergraduate renewable energy units Solar Energy and Hydropower. He sees communication to the broader public as essential part of the work that the university does, and has recently been interviewed as part of the “What Happens Next series” with Susan Carland.

.