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Industry Education Module Explores Blockchain and AI on the Grid

Monday, April 29, 2019

Block chain module diagram

The second Bits & Watts Industry Education Module took place September 4-5 at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, with classes focused on how blockchain and artificial intelligence can be harnessed for use with the grid.
Ashley Pilipiszyn and Mayank Malik, both based at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, kicked off the two-day program by exploring the ecosystem of products, platforms, and companies that use blockchain. Combining lectures and workshops, the class gave every attendee the chance to set up a crypto-wallet and participate in transactions. This hands-on approach developed a deeper understanding of how transactions on blockchain work and a greater appreciation of the power of the technology that underpins crypto-currencies. Attendees especially enjoyed the step-by-step walkthrough of how distributed consensus is implemented at the level of code and mathematics.

Following these sessions, Michael Wara brought his legal knowledge to bear in discussing artificial intelligence in relation to the grid. Wara, who works at the Woods Institute for the Environment, considered how AI as applied to the grid is likely to alter current practices and present new challenges for solution providers, regulated utilities, and retail customers.

The goal of the Industry Education program is to help industry participants broaden expertise required for a holistic, data-driven approach to transforming the grid. The intensive program features lecture-style courses and immersive learning.


The Bits & Watts Community Forum is builds a community of Stanford students, faculty, and researchers doing work on the future electric grid. Engineers, lawyers, policy experts, economists, and psychologists alike are invited to participate. The gathering provides a regular opportunity for the Stanford research and industry communities to network and discuss the latest ideas and news about grid research and innovations. The Community Forum takes place on Thursdays during Stanford term time.

To learn more about the Bits & Watts Initiative, contact or visit the initiative’s website at .