Abdullah Al-Digs

Yu Christine Chen
Gaza Strip
Palestinian Territory

Research Topic

Real-time Tools for Reliable and Economic Power System Operation

Research Group

Electric Power and Energy Systems

Research Description

Modern electric power systems are undergoing dramatic changes due to heterogeneity in electricity sources such as energy storage devices, fuel cells, and renewable generation. The electrical system must now cope with various uncertainties that are unprecedented in conventional power systems. Furthermore, the rapid development of smart electrical grids calls for effective solutions to coordinate conventional and emerging technologies to improve the overall system security at large. These special circumstances require the development of analytically tractable and computationally efficient operational schemes for integrating existing systems with emerging power generation technologies. Such schemes will help to achieve reliable, cost effective, and robust electrical power systems with improved system stability, efficiency, and environmental footprint. With this in mind, the overarching goal of the proposed research is to develop real-time tools that consider the full effect of system dynamics and operational reliability constraints, hence, operating the future power system reliably and economically. Specifically, we focus on two main applications: control of line flows and estimation of feasible injections.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

The main reason I chose UBC was that I completed my Bachelor’s of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering at UBC. Thus, I am extremely familiar with the campus and the professors contributing to this discipline. Furthermore, my prior knowledge of UBC’s course structure helped me adapt easily to graduate level work and life. Additionally, I have been directly involved in the Alpha Lab at UBC under supervision of Professor Martin Ordonez as part of my capstone project in affiliation with Delta-Q Technologies. The lab experience during undergraduate work helped enhance my background for future research in the intended graduate program. Working closely with graduate students helped me gain a better understanding of the expectations and traits required to be part of the graduate program at UBC. Carrying out research in an ethical manner, reporting to the lab supervisor, and, most importantly, conducting the research in a safe manner are some of the few characteristics I acquired from this experience. I was particularly keen to study at the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of British Columbia because of their various research interests and their reputation of excellence in these fields. The domestic and international reputation of this premier institution attracts such a variety of students and I believed it would be a stimulating environment in which to study at a master's level.


Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

The coursework segment of this program is vital to my understanding of any required basic concepts and tools leading to efficient research and rewarding outcomes. I believe that by graduating with this degree, I will pursue a greater future path, not only as a student or an engineer, but also as an individual. As such, the acquisition of a master's degree that can expand and fill in the gaps of my current education is essential and a source of inspiration for me to contribute to the field in a greater capacity.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

Being the son of an electrical engineer who is a former employee of BC Hydro and currently the Research and Development Manager for ABB’s air-insulated switchgears, I have been in touch with the electrical field since my childhood. My inspiration comes from my father, since he was one of the key persons involved in laying the foundation for the technology transfer and process integration between Germany and Saudi Arabia for the manufacturing of ABB’s switchgears in Saudi Arabia. I was further inspired when I had the privilege to see the world’s largest manufacturing facility for medium-voltage vacuum interrupters and circuit breakers.

Throughout those years encouraged by my father, I gained a substantial knowhow from him about the industrial and type testing processes. I came to understand the growing demand for energy and the role of electricity in meeting that demand. Subsequently, acquiring an electrical engineering degree became my goal. After fulfilling my dream of completing my bachelor’s in electrical engineering, I was interested in applying for the Master’s of Applied Science program because it would allow me to gain the additional knowledge and skills required for me to continue my current career trajectory. I strongly believed that this would enable me to apply the acquired knowledge to practical problems of present day industrial power systems.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

The world progresses at an ever-growing pace. Consequently, the need for making the resources and technology within the reach of everyone has become indispensable. Having been brought up with strong values, aiding humanity and maiking a difference – no matter how small – has always been my ambition. I have come to respect education, as it provides many opportunities for me to develop both as an individual and as a member of the society.


I was interested in applying for the program because it would allow me to gain the additional knowledge and skills required for me to continue my current career trajectory. I strongly believed that this would enable me to apply the acquired knowledge to practical problems of present day industrial power systems.