Press release

Professor Damien Ernst receives the Blondel Medal


This prestigious award, presented by the SEE, honours an outstanding research career in the field of engineering sciences

Professor Damien Ernst will receive the Blondel Medal awarded each year in France by the Société de l’Électricité, de l’Électronique et des Technologies de l’information et de la communication (SEE) in recognition of outstanding research work in the field of science and the electrical industry in the broad sense (telecommunications, electronics, electrical networks, etc.). This award, one of the most prestigious in the field, is open to researchers under 45 years of age. The medal will be awarded to Professor Damien Ernst in Paris on December 3.

Professor at the University of Liège, Damien Ernst is a specialist in electrical networks and artificial intelligence, highly sought after by industry, public institutions and the media. This expertise is based on research work carried out over the past 20 years in parallel with his teaching.

Damien Ernst, a civil electrician and mechanic engineer (1998) and doctor of applied sciences (2003) from the University of Liège, heads the Smart Grids laboratory, a research team currently composed of 12 doctoral students and 4 postdoctoral researchers. This team is mainly active in the field of smart grids and reinforcement learning, a sub-domain of artificial intelligence whose objective is to create IT agents capable of interacting in an intelligent way with their environment.

Damien Ernst is awarded by this prestigious Blondel medal for his work on decision-making issues in electricity grids and for his contributions in the field of reinforcement learning.

It should be noted that in recent years, Professor Ernst's work has focused mainly on designing intelligent decision-making strategies that allow our electrical systems to evolve towards more efficient "machines" to be able to respond to a massive deployment of renewable energies, necessary to make a transition to a low-carbon world. Very attached to the interactions between research and the industrial world, this work has been carried out in close collaboration with the Belgian and European electricity industry.

For Pierre Wolper, Rector of the University of Liège and electrician civil engineer (electronics) himself: " One of Professor Damien Ernst's great qualities is to have developed an expertise that includes both technical and economic issues related to the management of electricity networks. This dual expertise allows it to intervene with great relevance in policy and regulatory issues relating to the production, transmission and distribution of electrical energy. It has thus become the reference on the subject and has been widely solicited by political and industrial actors as well as the media. It should be noted that his research career is remarkably rich and lies at the crossroads of disciplines as varied as artificial intelligence, electricity grid management and the transition to renewable energies. He is a passionate researcher and teacher, able to interest young engineers in these essential fields, and thus consolidate a field of expertise particularly developed at the University of Liege, in the tradition of the Montefiore Electricity Institute in Liege since the 19th century. "
For Louis Wehenkel, Professor at the Montefiore Institute (ULiège) and sponsor of Damien Ernst's candidacy for the Blondel Medal, " Damien Ernst's scientific career covers an impressive spectrum both in terms of applications (energy, biomedical...) and methodology (stability of dynamic systems, automatic learning...). His work has had a rapid and significant impact, both in artificial intelligence and in the field of electrical networks. Its research team makes a decisive contribution to the Montefiore Institute's international influence and its regional impact. "

More information

The 2018 Blondel Medal will be awarded to Professor Damien Ernst at the SEE Grand Prix ceremony on 3 December 2018 at 17:00, at Espace Hamelin, 17 rue de l'Amiral Hamelin, 75016 Paris.
Bio-bibliography & research career of Pr Damien Ernst




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