News Releases

UWI brings Smart Grid Technology to secondary schools

For Release Upon Receipt - April 14, 2015

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago – On April 2, 2015, the departments of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering presented a workshop on “Mini Projects for Deployment of Smart Grid Technology” to Curriculum Officers and CAPE teachers from the Ministry of Education to provide opportunities for new projects on smart grid (modern electrical grid) technology.  Through this workshop, The UWI gave participants smart grid technology initiatives and donated starter kits empowering them to design future smart systems and applications with their students.   

Smart grid uses information technology, cyber secure communication techniques and computational intelligence in an integrated fashion across electrical networks to achieve a system which is secure, reliable and sustainable.  This workshop showcased the need for the country to upgrade its existing electrical grid to smart grid in order to reduce the carbon footprint and more effectively meet the current energy demand.  

The workshop was organised in association with the Energy Company, BG T&T, the Ministry of Education and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Trinidad and Tobago section (IEEETT).  The smart grid team lead by Dr. Davinder Pal Sharma of the Department of Physics, workshop chair and project leader created the workshop as an offshoot of the  “Capacity Building and Research on Smart Grid Technology in the Caribbean Region” project funded by The UWI-Trinidad and Tobago Research and Development (RDI) Fund.  

Dr. Davinder Pal Sharma welcomed all the participants and provided information regarding the RDI project. Dr. Adesh Ramsubhag, Deputy Dean of Graduate Studies and Research in the Faculty of Science and Technology followed with his opening address where he emphasised the need for research funding from the Government of the Trinidad and Tobago. Dr. Ricardo Clarke, head of the Department of Physics, Prof. Stephan Gift, head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ms. Joycelyn Leeyoung, Registrar of the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST) as well as several other faculty members were present during the opening ceremony.  Dr. Sanjay Bahadoorsingh, Chairman of IEEETT and lecturer at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering introduced the concept of the smart grid, outlining its advantages and challenges.  

Dr. Ajay Joshi, Sr. lecturer at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering in his lecture asserted that smart devices like the Arduino Uno – a very low cost microcontroller board based on the ATmega328 would be an integral part of smart grid. He described how using various sensors, Arduino Uno could be helpful in smart system design such as home automation systems and surveillance systems. 

Six curriculum officers including Tricia Gilkes, Paula Ferguson, Wayne Wilson, Peter Fraser, Allister Ramrattan and Hollis Sankar attended this workshop along with nineteen CAPE teachers from various schools. Three representatives, one each from the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs, the Trinidad & Tobago Electricity Commission and the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training were also present.  

For further information on The UWI Smart Grid Project visit or contact Dr. Davinder Pal Sharma at or call 662-2002 ext. 83105, 83113 or fax 662-9904.  


About The Smart Grid Kit

Each participant received a kit donated by The UWI that includes an Arduino board, bread board, LCD screen, LCD interfacing module, temperature sensor, LEDs and resistors.  

About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)