“Integrated Resource Planning – A Changing Landscape”


Steve Sim – Florida Power & Light Company (FPL)

Steve Sim serves as Director of Integrated Resource Planning for Florida Power & Light Company (FPL). His 40-year career at FPL encompasses approximately 10 years in Demand Side Management (DSM) followed by 30 years in resource planning. Prior to joining FPL, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics at the University of Miami, and a doctorate in environmental science and engineering at UCLA.

He has served as an expert witness before the Florida Public Service Commission in dozens of dockets dealing with a range of issues including: solar, storage, gas- and coal-fueled power plants, new nuclear units, DSM, and electric system reliability. On behalf of FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy, he has performed and/or directed analyses of a number of other electric utilities around the U.S. including those of the Hawaiian Islands. He is also a past chairman of both the Southeastern Electric Exchange’s IRP Task Force and the resource planning group of the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council.


Aleksander Vukojevic – P.E., Technology Development Manager/ Duke Energy

Aleksandar Vukojevic is a member of Duke Energy’s Emerging Technologies Office. As a technology manager at Duke, Vukojevic is responsible for developing and evaluating requirements, test plans and smart grid technology pilots. Prior to joining Duke he held engineering and management positions at Baltimore Gas & Electric, GE Energy and Georgia Power Company.


Andrew Clarke – Duke Energy

Drew Clarke works as a Lead Integrated Planning Coordinator in the Integrated Systems and Operations Planning (ISOP) organization for Duke Energy, based in Charlotte. His primary responsibilities include supporting the development of Duke Energy’s integrated planning processes and coordination between the ISOP and transmission organizations.

Prior to joining the ISOP organization, Drew worked as a Technology Development Manager in the Emerging Technology Organization, aligning Duke Energy’s internal R&D priorities and managing external R&D partnerships, and as a System Operations Engineer, providing real time operations support, system operator training simulator support, blackstart restoration studies, and leading Duke Energy’s internal Distributed Energy Operational Working Group. Drew received his PhD and Bachelor of Science, both in Electrical Engineering, from Clemson in 2014 and 2010, respectively. Drew is a Professional Engineer in the state of North Carolina.


Dr. Badrul Chowdhury – UNC Charlotte

Badrul Chowdhury is currently serving as Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering with a joint appointment in Systems Engineering & Engineering Management at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.  Dr. Chowdhury’s research interests are in power system modeling, analysis, control and economics; system vulnerability and resiliency assessment; integration of renewable and distributed energy resources in the power grid.

He currently serves as the site co-director of CAPER at UNC Charlotte.


Dr. Johan Enslin – Zucker Family Graduate Education Center at Clemson

Dr. Johan Enslin is the Duke Energy Endowed Chaired Professor in Smart Grid at Clemson University in North Charleston SC and Executive Director for the Energy Systems Program. Johan has combined a 38-year career with leadership in industry and academia, in the US, Europe and South Africa. He served as an executive for private business operations and a professor in electrical engineering. He received the BS, MS and PhD degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), South Africa, in 1981, 1983 and 1988 respectively.  He is a registered Professional Engineer in South Africa, Fellow of the SAIEE and Fellow of the IEEE.


Dr. Michael Mazzola – UNC Charlotte / EPIC

Dr. Mike Mazzola is at the helm of the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) as Director and Duke Energy Distinguished Chair in Power Engineering Systems.

Dr. Mazzola holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Old Dominion University. After three years in government service at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Virginia, in 1993 he joined the faculty at Mississippi State University where he became known for his research in the areas of silicon carbide power semiconductor device prototyping and semiconductor materials growth and characterization. For the past 10 years he served at the Mississippi State University Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems as the associate director for advanced vehicle systems, where he lead research in high-voltage engineering, power systems modeling and simulation, the application of silicon carbide semiconductor devices in power electronics, and the control of hybrid electric vehicle power trains. In addition, he served two years as the chief technology officer of SemiSouth Laboratories, a company he co-founded.

A professional engineer, he has published more than 100 papers and has been awarded 14 patents. Dr. Mike Mazzola is an expert in several technical areas including semiconductor devices and their applications in power electronics as well as pulsed power technology.


Steve Whisenant – Duke Energy / CSC Chair

Steven G. Whisenant is currently serving as Lead Engineer in the Transmission Department of Duke Energy in Charlotte, NC. He is responsible for developing and managing the capital reliability budget and developing new work processes to ensure compliance with NERC Reliability Standards for the bulk transmission system.

As a Project Manager in a previous role, Mr. Whisenant was responsible for the design and implementation of the transition of responsibility for nuclear switchyards from Nuclear Generation to Power Delivery. Before serving as a project manager, Mr. Whisenant served as manager of Duke Power’s System Power Quality Group. Prior to that assignment, he worked in Customer Operations and Transmission Departments. He served as Electrical Project Manager for the Catawba Nuclear Station from 1981-1987. He first joined Duke Power in 1975 as an electrical engineer in the Design Engineering Department.

Mr. Whisenant received a B. S. degree in Electrical Engineering from NC State University, a M. E. degree in Electric Power from Renesselaer Polytechnic Institute and a MBA degree from Queens University. Mr. Whisenant is a registered professional engineer in North and South Carolina.


Dr. Tiefu Zhao – UNC Charlotte

Dr. Tiefu Zhao is an Assistant Professor at UNC Charlotte. He received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from NC State University in 2010. He was with Eaton Corporate Research and Technology from 2010 to 2016. He joined UNC Charlotte in 2016 and has been conducting research in renewable energy and power electronics areas, including power electronics for utility applications, ocean wave energy and wide bandgap device power converters.


Roger Dugan – EPRI, LFIEEE

Roger Dugan is a Sr. Technical Executive with EPRI in Knoxville, TN. He has 49 years of combined experience in distribution engineering and is the developer of the OpenDSS program. He holds degrees from Ohio University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was the 2005 recipient of the IEEE Excellence in Distribution Engineering Award.


Dr. Shuangshuang Jin – Clemson University

Dr. Shuangshuang Jin received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Washington State University in 2007. Currently she is an Associate Professor of College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences School of Computing at Clemson University. Her research interests include high-performance computing (HPC), big data and machine learning, scientific computation and visualization, power system modeling and simulation, and advanced grid analytics. Prior to joining Clemson University, Dr. Jin was a senior research scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, focusing on the development of HPC-based power system applications such as GridLAB-D, GridPACK, look-ahead dynamic simulation, and contingency analysis, etc.


Dr. Bharat Balagopal – NC State University

Bharat Balagopal received his Bachelor of Technology degree in Electronics & Instrumentation Engineering from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, India, in 2010. He completed his Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University, USA, in 2014. He was awarded his Ph.D degree in Electrical Engineering from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University in 2019. He is currently a Research Associate in the ECE Department at North Carolina State University. Balagopal is also a member of the Advanced Diagnosis, Automation and Control (ADAC) lab at NC State. He has been a student member of the IEEE since 2007 and is the Chapter Chair of the Industrial Electronics Society in the Eastern North Carolina Section. Balagopal is currently the Vice-Chair for the Energy Storage Technical Committee in the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society. He is a recipient of the IEEE IES/TEMS Under 35 Innovators award for his work on the Smart Battery Gauge.


Brian Fitzsimons, Chief Executive Officer, GridUnity, Inc.

Brian Fitzsimons is a serial entrepreneur and founder of GridUnity, developers of a cloud-based platform that is revolutionizing energy utility processes. The GridUnity platform uses predictive analytics, machine learning, and configurable business processes to enable utilities to transform distribution system planning and accelerate the interconnection and optimization of distributed energy resources. Prior to GridUnity, Brian founded and successfully grew innovative software companies in the media, publishing, and financial services industries, specializing in enterprise software platform development and software-as-a service offerings. He holds three patents in the areas of data transformation and automation and has actively contributed to global data standards development in several industries. He is a graduate of Fordham University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.


Cara Chacko – Duke Energy

Cara Chacko graduated in 2015 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a concentration in Power and Energy Systems. Since then, she has worked on various projects for the Advanced Distribution Management System at Duke Energy. She is currently implementing the Load and Volt/Var Management module of the ADMS in the Duke Energy Indiana distribution territory.


Dr. David Lubkeman – Research Professor, NC State University

Lubkeman holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Purdue University with an emphasis in power systems engineering. He has a MS and BS degrees in electrical engineering, also from Purdue.  Lubkeman has more than 25 years of experience in distribution systems and automation and has been an active participant in technical development activities, resulting in more than 40 publications and 13 US patents. Hi sprevious industry experience includes working at Sensus as a senior product manager for distribution automation; at KEMA consulting in the areas of smart grid business case analysus, large-scale energy storage and renewable energy integration; and at ABB, where he was involved in the development of solutions for distribution automation and asset management. Lubkeman’s prior academic experience was as an associate professor in the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University. He is also a licensed professional engineer.  Lubkeman is currently a lead instructor with the Elecitrcal Power Systems Engineering (EPSE) Master of Science professional degree program. He also is a research faculty member associated with the NSF FREEDM Systems Center.


Lulu Young, Chief Technology Officer, GridUnity, Inc.

Lulu Young is Chief Technology Officer at GridUnity, developers of a cloud-based platform that is revolutionizing energy utility processes. The GridUnity platform uses predictive analytics, machine learning, and configurable business processes to enable utilities to transform distribution system planning and accelerate the interconnection and optimization of distributed energy resources. She has 25 years’ experience in building enterprise solutions for Fortune 1000 companies including BNY Mellon, Standard and Poor’s and AOL, where her team created AOL Instant Messenger. Lulu graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy.


Shane Kimble – Dominion Energy

Shane Kimble is a Distribution Engineer for Dominion Energy in the Charleston area. He attended Clemson University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics in 2015 and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering 2017. While at Clemson he was an active student member of CAPER.


Will McNamara – Sandia National Laboratories

Will McNamara serves as Grid Energy Storage Policy Analyst for Sandia National Laboratories with a focus on energy storage policy development at the federal and state levels. Will has spent his entire 23-year career in the energy and utilities industry with a concentration on regulatory and legislative policy. He has served as a lobbyist in California and has represented major utilities across the U.S. in numerous jurisdictions in proceedings pertaining to integrated resource planning, procurement, cost recovery, rate design, and the development of policymaking best practices. Will’s areas of subject matter expertise, in addition to energy storage policy, include distributed energy resources, AMI/smart grid, renewables, and competitive retail markets.