She was among eight young professionals honoured at an awards ceremony in Glasgow last night for "leading the way on our drive towards a clean, green future".
The event took place at the Grand Central Hotel in the city with 300 people celebrating the next generation of talent emerging in the industry.
There were eight categories highlighting pioneers pushing ahead with a drive to change the renewable energy sector for the better. Dr Kirli won the Academic Award, which was sponsored by Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) Scotland – an independent partnership of 14 Scottish universities engaged in world-class energy research and innovation.
Dr Kirli uses digital and data-driven technologies to create more efficient ways of storing and consuming energy within local communities, to reduce stress on the national grid and decrease society’s reliance on centrally generated fossil fuels.
She focuses on smart local energy systems – which employ digital technologies to intelligently link up the supply and demand of energy services across local areas to reduce waste, respond flexibly to the needs of energy users, and support the growth of vibrant net zero local economies.
As an early-career academic, Dr Kirli’s ambition is to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial implementation to accelerate decarbonisation of our energy systems. She aspires to enable a cost-effective and fair energy transition, using digital and data-driven technologies, smart contracting, and artificial intelligence (AI) to maximise benefits for energy users and other stakeholders.
Dr Kirli is particularly interested in exploring the techno-economic potential and scalability of such bottom-up decarbonisation strategies to achieve the UK’s 2050 net zero target.
She was shortlisted in the Scottish Renewables awards for her work exploring the use of smart local energy systems across Scottish energy communities – using a case study in Aberdeenshire, in collaboration with the community energy company Scene Connect.
Earlier this year, Dr Kirli was appointed as one of the School of Engineering’s inaugural Elizabeth Georgeson Fellows – a scheme established in honour of the first woman to gain a degree in engineering from a Scottish university, to encourage talented postdoctoral researchers from underrepresented groups to pursue careers in engineering academia.
Previously, Dr Kirli worked on the EPSRC DISPATCH Project which aimed to create more user-centric, decarbonised heating and cooling solutions.
She studied in our School at both undergraduate and postgraduate level – having gained an award-winning Master of Engineering degree in 2018, and a PhD on the impact of peer-to-peer trading and flexibility on local energy systems in 2022.