Dr John Ward

Principal Scientist, Grids and Energy Efficient Systems

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Dr John K Ward is the Science Director of the Grids and Energy Efficiency Systems research program at the CSIRO with the responsibility of driving the program’s science direction and ensuring the program is developing a suite of science capability to meet future industry needs. His research is particularly focused on adding intelligence to the interaction of energy systems within the electricity distribution network.

Dr Ward has a significant role in shaping Australia’s future energy systems with the increasing uptake of renewable generation, he:
• Represents Australia as the technical lead of the Mission Innovation Smart Grids innovation challenge;
• is the Australian Representative on the IEA Smart Grid network (ISGAN);
• is a member of technical committees for a number of international conferences (SmartGridComm 2017, IRED 2019, 2017 Microgrids Symposium);
• is the Principal Investigator of the ARENA Virtual Power Station 2 project;
• developed significant parts of Australian Standards for PV installation, inverter control & grid interaction, demand response, and energy storage safety & installations;
• leads Network Optimisation and Energy Storage research within the CSIRO Grids and Energy Efficiency Program;

Dr Ward has a history of delivering innovation from basic research through to commercialization. Recent research by Dr Ward on optimized grid integration and thermal management of energy storage has been the foundation for new start-up Evergen. His research on optimised building control systems was commercialised by BuildingIQ and has achieved widespread international uptake, including deployment in the iconic Rockefeller Center. BuildingIQ listed on the ASX in 2015 with an indicative market capitalization of $85M.

As lead engineer and project manager for the Hornsby Library TrigenAir development, Dr Ward delivered Australia’s first desiccant based cogeneration system. This provided building heating and cooling utilising waste heat from a micro turbine generator whilst minimising greenhouse gas emissions and also reducing the site electricity load during times of peak electricity demand. This foundation level research now underpins CSIRO desiccant solar cooling technology.

Dr Ward obtained his Ph.D. in control theory in 2002 from the University of Newcastle. He has published over 50 research articles in a range of areas (google scholar: over 500 citations, h-index 12) and is currently focusing on energy efficient building systems, optimisation methods for distributed (energy) systems and multi-agent learning methods.

Academic Qualifications

  • 2002

    Doctor of Philosophy (Elec)
    The University of Newcastle

  • 1997

    Bachelor of Engineering (Elec, Hon 1)
    The University of Newcastle


We have publications by Dr John Ward