By Assoc. Prof Ir Dr Norhafiz Azis (UPM)

For the first time, Malaysia has been given the honor of hosting the prestigious APL 2023 conference which took place successfully in Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia. This 4-day lightning-based conference was organized by the IEEE Power and Energy Malaysia Chapter and supported by the IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society Malaysia Chapter at Ombak Villa on 12-15 June 2023. With the nickname “Crown of Lightning in the World”, the organization of APL 2023 is seen to coincide with its time and location based on the significant impact caused by lightning in terms of safety and protection to the public, property and livestock. APL 2023 has strong support from the Malaysian Energy Commission (ST), which is also the Platinum Sponsor of this conference. This coincides with ST’s role as the Regulator for the Energy and Gas sector in Malaysia and the enforcement of the Compliance Directive to MS IEC 62305 – Protection Against Lightning under the Electricity Supply Act 1990 (Act 447) issued in January 2020 and it is now a legal requirement for all Lightning Protection System (LPS) installations in Malaysia. Apart from ST, this conference is supported by agencies such as the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM), Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), African Center for Lightning and Electromagnetics Network (ACLENet), South Asian Lightning Network (SALNet) and Malaysian High Voltage Network (MyHVnet).

The organization of APL 2023 received a very proud response where a total of 113 articles were received involving the participation of 170 people from 18 countries dominated by China, Malaysia and Japan. A total of 60% of the articles were contributed by academics, 35% from industry and 5% from government agencies/NGOs in 14 tracks/subjects. Apart from the oral and poster presentations, the uniqueness of APL 2023 is the two (2) Panelist Sessions namely Best Practices in Lightning Protection and Women in Energy/ Young Professionals. The next APL 2025 conference will be organized in Bali, Indonesia and will be hosted by Gadjah Mada University and Padang Institute of Technology, Indonesia. 

Invited Keynote 1: Carlo Alberto Nucci (Professor, University of Bologna, Italy)

Title: Lightning-originated overvoltages appraisal for distribution lines

Invited Keynote 2: Bo Zhang (Professor, Tsinghua University, China)

Title: Recent progress in experimental research on lightning transient characteristics of high voltage power grid in China

Invited Keynote 3: Mary Ann Cooper, MD (Emerita Professor, Director, ACLENet, USA)

Title: Lightning injuries – Their cause and some solutions

Venue: Ombak Villa Langkawi, Malaysia

Organizing committee with Dato Ir Ts Abdul Razib Dawood (CEO ST), Emerita Prof Mary Ann Cooper, MD (Illinois University @ Chicago) and Prof Bo Zhang (Tsinghua University)

Prof Ir Dr Mohd Zainal Abidin Ab Kadir with CEO ST, which also the Keynote Speaker for  APL 2023

Delegation from Energy Commission whom attended APL 2023

Group photo of APL participants 2023