As Director of the Monash Energy Institute, Ariel leads Monash’s Digital Energy initiatives. He brings together researchers from across disciplines such as Economics, Econometrics, Data Science, Optimisation and Electrical Engineering to identify ways to integrate new and renewable technologies into the system optimally. Ariel also brings practical expertise, advising and consulting on portfolio risk management, carbon pricing and consumer electricity price trends.
From 2020 onwards, Ariel has been Director of the Monash Energy Institute and leads the RACE for Networks Program in the Reliable Affordable Clean Energy (RACE) for 2030 CRC. The RACE for Networks Program optimises Australia’s electricity grid through customer engagement, distributed energy resources and network integration. This includes a holistic approach where customers are empowered to engage effectively with networks.
Ariel’s current research in the Energy sector focuses on optimization and ML-based decision support tools for operation and planning of smart-grids, microgrids and large-scale energy systems.
Internationally, Ariel led the Australia Indonesia Centre Energy Cluster directing a $2.8M research program in Microgrids and Energy System transition to tackle the challenge of integrating distributed storage and renewables into new system planning and investment. He has recently led a project in collaboration with Indonesian and European NGO’s showing that energy efficiency and a shift to renewables can cost Indonesia no more than their current coal-based plans while reaching 50% renewables by 2030 (https://www.agora-energiewende.de/en/publications/a-roadmap-for-indonesias-power-sector/).
In 2016, Ariel proposed and led the Monash Sustainable Microgrid Feasibility study, which led to establishment of collaboration between Monash University and State Government of Victoria on the $30 mil microgrid program, one of the foundation blocks of the Net Zero Program.
In addition, Ariel has been an architect of the 6 mil. Monash Grid Innovation Hub and is a lead researcher in the 3 mil. Monash’s Smart Energy City supported by The Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Both of these initiatives are undertaken under the broader Net Zero Initiative, tasked to eliminate university’s emissions and reduce energy costs by 2030. Ariel has been crucial in the development of the $130 million Net Zero Program and its integral systems and parts.
Ariel holds a PhD in Quantum Physics from the University of Queensland.