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WFEO Committee on Energy symposium: Energy transition and Covid-19 crisis: the role of engineers

October 6 - October 7

The WFEO Committee on Energy will organize a symposium devoted to “Energy transition and Covid-19 crisis: the role of engineers” on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th October from 1:00 to 4:00 PM Paris time.

The registration will be valid for both days.

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted our economies and our lifestyles, but both climate and biodiversity emergencies are still with us. New health, economic, political and societal uncertainties complicate the fight against environmental damages and require more efficiency and realism, cooperation and solidarity.

Just over a year ago, let’s remember that there were many debates on the energy transition: the stakes were mainly environmental, with the fight against climate change at the top of the list. The composition of the energy mix, the capacity of our societies to evolve towards other modes of transport and the consequences of the emergence of digital technology were discussed, to name but a few of the debates that were very present in the “world before”.

And then the Covid-19 pandemic struck, a shock of unprecedented violence that surprises us more and more each day by its power, its persistence and the extent, still poorly estimated, of its consequences. Has it modified, directly or through its numerous consequences, our perception of energy issues or of possible energy transitions? What will be the contribution of the engineers in building our new energy landscape?

The symposium will be held over two days, October 6 and 7, 2021, from 13:00 to 16:00 Paris time.

Wednesday, October 6th

Opening session (13:00 – 13:30)

  • Keynote: Prof. Gong Ke, WFEO President (China)
  • Presentation: Jean Eudes Moncomble, WFEO Committee on Energy Chair (France)

Session 1 – Resilience of energy systems to Covid-19 crisis: experience feedback (13:30 – 14:30)

  • Covid 19 crisis, Energy and Engineers in Uruguay – Miguel Fierro, Vice President, Asociación de Ingenieros del Uruguay (Uruguay)
  • Energy Transition and COVID-19 Pandemic, The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa – Abubakar Sambo, Chairman, Nigerian Member Committee of the World Energy Council-WEC (Nigeria)

Session 2 – A larger definition for resilience: a new understanding of risks (14:30 – 15:30)

  • A Systems approach to infrastructure delivery – Andrew McNaughton, Infrastructure Partner, Aczel (United Kingdom)
  • Mapping Spatial Vulnerability of the Elderly to a Health Pandemic – Manta Devi Nowbuth, Associate Professor, Head, Civil Engineering Department, University of Mauritius (Mauritius)

Thursday, October 7 th

Session 3 – Energy demand: evolution or disruption ? (13:00 – 14:00)

  • COVID 19 and Mobility: causes, effects and solutions – Vincenzo Antonucci, Research Manager, Institute of Advanced Technologies for Energy “Nicola Giordano” (Italy)
  • Impact of a respiratory infection pandemic on the ventilation industry, a paradigm shift – Benoît Olsommer, Managing Director, Swegon (Switzerland)

Session 4 – On the supply side: the demands of the citizens (14:00 – 15:00)

  • Implications of COVID-19 for the Electricity Industry in China – Haiwang Zhong, Associate Professor, Tsinghua University (China)
  • COVID-19 and Climate Goals: Is Green Hydrogen becoming a Demand of the Citizens? – Carsten Ahrens, Emeritus Professor, University of Applied Sciences in Oldenburg (Germany)

Roundtable: Lessons learned so far: the role of engineers (15:00 – 16:00)

  • Massimiliano Capezzali, Professor, Institut d’Energie et Systèmes Électriques – IESE (Switzerland)
  • Ruomei Li (China), Women in Power Chair, Power and Energy Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-IEEE (China)
  • Abubakar Sambo, Chairman, Nigerian Member Committee of the World Energy Council (WEC) (Nigeria)


  • Jean Eudes Moncomble, WFEO Committee on Energy Chair (France)


Organizing committee

  • Joseph Byukusenge
  • Massimiliano Capezzali
  • Jovian Cheung
  • Daniel Favrat
  • Edouard Freund
  • Jean Eudes Moncomble
  • Abubakar Sambo
  • Jorge Spitalnik



October 6
October 7
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WFEO Committee on Energy