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Gheorghe Speaks at High-Level Energy Policy Meeting in Brussels

Adrian Gheorghe, the Old Dominion University faculty member who is an expert on infrastructure security, was one of three speakers invited to address a select group of officials and intellectuals at a symposium in Brussels titled "Is Europe's Energy Security Policy a Reality or an Ambition?"

The event on May 26 was part of the Policymakers' Dinner series sponsored by the Security and Defence Agenda (SDA), a think tank based in Brussels. The sponsoring organization published a full account of the symposium in a June issue of the A Security & Defense Agenda Report.

Gheorghe introduced to his symposium audience a new term, "infranomics," which is a system of systems engineering approach to tackling the very complex issue of energy security.

"In discussions about the European energy system architecture, we need to talk about issues beyond pipelines," he told the group. "We must approach the question of energy security holistically."

Later in the program, he added, "When speaking about energy systems and security, we primarily speak about tangible things. It is essential to consider intangible elements in the equation, geopolitics, for example. There is a vector of tangibles and intangibles which we must use to define a strategy to secure energy supply in the European Union."

Gheorghe defined infranomics as a system of systems approach wherein the hugely complex issues of energy infrastructure and security - including vulnerability, resilience, risk, reliability and sustainability - can be addressed in a larger framework, taking into account the various political, scientific, technical and practical elements that make it up.

At ODU, Gheorghe is associated with the National Centers for System of Systems Engineering, which has pioneered new ways of helping governments and private industries tackle complex problems in areas ranging from energy to transportation. He holds the university's Batten Endowed Chair in Systems Engineering.

He also works with ODU's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) to create computer models of infrastructures and simulations of disasters that threaten infrastructures.

The other panelists at the SDA symposium were Julijus Grubliauskas, an analyst with NATO's Security and Policy Division, and Heinz Hilbrecht, director for security supply, energy markets and networks for the European Commission's Directorate General for Energy.

SDA partnered with the organizations Friends of Europe and the European Institute for Risk and Communication Management (EURISC) to present the symposium. Gheorghe joined ODU in 2005 after holding risk analysis positions in Europe, and he is still senior scientist for EURISIC, which is based in Bucharest, Romania.

This article was posted on: July 1, 2010

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