H. Vincent Poor, Princeton University Professor, Delivers 2024 Jones Distinguished Lecture

H. Vincent Poor, Dean Marcolongo,, Gerard F. Jones
Dr. H. Vincent Poor, Dean Michele Marcolongo and Dr. Gerard F. Jones at the annual Jones Distinguished Lecture.

Students, faculty and staff gathered Friday, March 15, for the College of Engineering’s annual Claire L. and Gerard F. Jones ’72 Distinguished Lecture. Held at the Inn at Villanova, the lecture featured speaker H. Vincent Poor, the Michael Henry Strater University Professor at Princeton University.

Dr. Poor, a renowned expert in information theory, machine learning and network science, captivated the audience with his lecture, “Smart Grid: The Internet of Energy.” The term “smart grid” refers to the next generation of the electricity grid and involves integrating a cyber-infrastructure comprising computers, networks, sensors and controls onto the traditional electromechanical grid. 

H. Vincent Poor
Dr. Poor delivers his lecture on "Smart Grid: The Internet of Energy."

To meet the demands of a rapidly evolving world, Dr. Poor noted, the energy sector is recognizing the necessity for advancement within the conventional grid structure. “If Alexander Graham Bell were transported to the 21st century, he would not recognize telephones, while Thomas Edison would be quite familiar with an electrical grid,” he said.

This innovation involves exploring new technologies and approaches to enhance efficiency, reliability and sustainability, he said. By incorporating renewable energy sources, advanced monitoring systems and energy storage solutions, the grid can become more resilient and adaptable to changing energy needs. As society continues to push boundaries and explore new possibilities, he added, the smart grid holds great promise for providing clean, reliable, and affordable energy.

Dr. Poor noted that one of the key benefits of smart grids is their ability to monitor energy usage in real-time, allowing for better prediction and management of power demand. Despite the challenges of implementing smart grid technology, such as cybersecurity concerns and initial investment costs, the long-term advantages far outweigh the drawbacks.

“Electricity is a transformative technology, almost invisible until it’s not there,” Dr. Poor said.

Endowed in 2023, the Claire L. and Gerard F. Jones ’72 Distinguished Lecture Series brings world-class experts to Villanova to share their knowledge, experience and wisdom with faculty, students, the University community and the public.


Elizabeth Slocum
Director, Communication and Marketing