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

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

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

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:

‘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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  1. Iorio,

    To tap in to that; you need to tap in to the individuals that transform and power society. When you look at great works by Armstrong, Tesla, Henry, Steinmetz and others in our time that have transformed the way we live and work they are not corporations but individuals who often become mired in the rising battle against the corporate sea creature as the value of intellectual property emerged with the rush of transformative patents emerging out of the 19th century. Men like Faraday and Henry were brilliant but humble men who would have been devoured and lost in our age.

    I think transforming the grid for security requires a different paradigm than the public and open internet. I think its goals should be out automation, optimization and improved delivery of the resources we build civilizations out of. I do agree it is for the benefit of mankind that we should endeavor to do things but I am not forgetful of Tesla’s abandonment by his financier when seeking to make energy accessibility universal to all.

    Would enjoy a conversation with you regarding technology, innovation and kindling the human creative spark in servitude to all human beings.

    1. Tom — Thanks for the very interesting insights. I’d be glad to chat about this and other subjects — please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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