SusTech 2018 Report

Report on SusTech 2018

The 2018 6th IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability (SusTech 2018) was held on November 11-13, 2018 in Long Beach, CA. See for details on the program.


The SusTech Conference is designed to explore the development and application of science, engineering and technology in achieving a sustainable lifestyle for humanity. It brings together scientists, engineers, technologists and scholars from multiple disciplines to hold a dialogue on environmental issues and collaborate on ideas to develop and utilize innovative tools and intelligent systems to address them. Attendees will learn about the tools, connections and proactive solutions to take their sustainability programs to the next level.

SusTech 2018 drew 100 attendees from 21 countries. The program featured a tour of the nearby Haynes Power Plant, workshops on IEEE Smart Grid standards and on IOT for sustainability, a student poster contest, five keynotes and a plenary session on water policy, and over 60 technical papers and invited presentations.


  • The Smart Grid Standards Workshop on Sunday provided an overall concept of the Smart Grid and the standards that are currently applicable to the smart grid.
  • The Hands-on IOT Workshop on Monday provided a hands-on experience to the participants on connecting a few electrical IoT devices (meters/circuit breaker trip units etc.) to a Schneider Electric EcoStruxure Power Monitoring Expert System.

Poster Contest

Student Poster Contest

Undergraduate and graduate students submitted abstracts for the Student Poster Contest representing ideas or designs for developing projects/products supporting the sustainability topics areas of the Conference. Ten contestants displayed their posters during the Student Poster Session, on Sunday.

Cash prizes were awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.


Keynote speakers

  • RAPID: Robot Assisted Precision Irrigation Delivery

Keynote-Stefano Carpin

Stefano Carpin, from the University of California, Merced spoke about how emerging sensing technologies such as UAVs equipped with heterogeneous sensors can provide farmers with detailed maps of water use and ground conditions. He is developing RAPID (Robot Assisted Precision Irrigation Delivery, featured in IEEE The Institute, Sept. 2018) which explores an alternative approach whereby a team of humans and robots move through fields to adjust low-cost adjustable drip irrigation emitters.



  • Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Technology: Differences, Challenges and Opportunities

Keynote-Mark Werwath

Mark Werwath, from Northwestern University, spoke on the lean startup revolution and clean tech startups and clean tech entrepreneurship and explored where lean startup methodology applies well and where this methodology alone is not reflective of the clean tech industry realities, and what clean tech startups need to consider in order to succeed.

  • Photovoltaic Solar Power Generation Problems, Issues and Solutions

Keynote-Dr. Peter Gevorkian

Dr. Peter Gevorkian, President, Vector Delta Design Group and a world expert on solar, presented some of the most fundamental issues associated with solar power generation issues and technology solutions which have been developed, however, as of yet not been marketed.



  • Growing Atmospheric Pollution in Asian Countries: Threat to Environment Sustainability

Keynote-Ramesh P. Singh, Ph.D.

Ramesh P. Singh, Ph.D. from Chapman University, spoke on how ground and satellite observations provide valuable data at local, regional and global scale that have helped scientists to alert people for impending natural hazards on timely basis, but such forecasts are lacking in the Developing countries. He discussed sources of pollution in Asian countries and greenhouse emissions impacting air quality and climate during winter, summer and spring seasons. And how different kinds of natural hazards in Asian countries associated with land, ocean and atmosphere have short and long term impacts on Earth’s environment.

  • Introducing the Grid Project Impacts Quantification Web Calculator (GridPIQ)

Keynote-Karen Studarus

Karen Studarus, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, spoke on GridPIQ, a cloud-based screening tool funded by US DOE’s Advanced Grid Research division, which allows users to explore how technologies impact the grid (e.g., peak power, emissions, etc.) under different scenarios using publicly available data to make it easy to quickly visualize how grid technologies perform, quantify project benefits, and uncover unintended consequences.  She demonstrated how GridPIQ can assist you as you explore different technology and policy options.


Water Panel- Diane Gatza, P.E & Russ Lefevre

Water Policy Plenary Panel

A discussion of how the water supply for the greater Los Angeles area is being managed for long-term sustainability with Diane Gatza, P.E, from the Water Replenishment District of Southern California and Russ Lefevre, who serves on the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) Board of Directors.



SusTech 2018 was sponsored by IEEE Region 6, IEEE-USA, the Oregon, Phoenix, San Fernando Valley, Foothill, Coastal LA, and Orange County Sections; and these IEEE societies: SSIT, Environmental Engineering, CES, IAS and PES.


SusTech 2018 Patrons: Advanced Test Equipment, Schneider Electric, TDE