2018 Codan/Playford Trust Engineering Scholarship
In 2019, Alex joined his Playford Trust Scholarship sponsoring company – Codan/Minelab Electronics – where he gained valuable experience in software development and signal processing. At Minelab, he used mathematical modelling to optimise the geometry of metal detector coils. These designs have evolved and are now in Codan/Minelab products.
That same year, Alex was awarded a General Sir John Monash Scholarship – and headed for Oxford University in the UK. He completed a Master of Science in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing there in 2020-2021.
His dissertation explored how advanced calculus techniques can be used to simplify the heat modelling of lithium-ion batteries. Improved battery cooling can greatly reduce the batteries’ rate of degradation, and this could lead to the development of longer-lasting batteries for electric vehicles, laptops and phones.
Since finishing his studies, Alex has worked in the energy sector. At the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW), he quantified and analysed risks to power system security relating to large-scale disconnections of rooftop solar. He’s also made contributions to analysing and aggregating the frequency control responses of virtual power plants (VPPs) within Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM).
Alex is currently working at Energy Exemplar, a software company founded in Adelaide. As a member of the mathematical modelling and software engineering team, he models power system phenomena such as general expansion planning, and the capacity degradation of grid-scale batteries. He also tackles large-scale optimisation problems such as optimal hydro release policies with uncertain rainfall.