Meeting Theme: “Grid-Edge Technologies and Their Impacts on the Grid”
Andrew Clarke – Duke Energy / CAPER IAB Vice-Chair
Drew Clarke works as a Lead Integrated Planning Coordinator in the Integrated System and Operations Planning (ISOP) organization for Duke Energy, based in Charlotte, NC. 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 Resources 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 and a NERC certified Reliability Coordinator.
Dr. Badrul Chowdhury – UNC Charlotte / CAPER Center Co-Director
Dr. 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. Cori Faklaris – UNC Charlotte
Dr. Cori Faklaris (https://corifaklaris.com) is a scholar in human-computer interaction at UNC Charlotte, where she directs the Security and Privacy Experiences (SPEX) group. Her research employs methods from social science, computer science, cybersecurity, and design. She also draws on past work in journalism, IT/UX, and social media.
Dr. Johan Enslin – Zucker Family Graduate Education Center at Clemson / CAPER Center Co-Director
Dr. Johan H Enslin (M’85; SM’92; F’12) is the Duke Energy Endowed Chaired Professor in Smart Grid at Clemson University in North Charleston SC, USA and Executive Director for the Energy Systems Program at the Zucker Family Graduate Education Center. Enslin has combined a 40-year career with leadership in industry and academia, in the US, Europe and South Africa. He served as a senior 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. Linquan Bai – UNC Charlotte / Professor
Dr. Linquan Bai is an Assistant Professor at UNC Charlotte. He received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2017. Prior to joining UNC Charlotte, he was with ABB Power Grids on the power market, renewable integration, and economic studies for ISOs and utilities. His research interests include DER optimization and control, distribution and bulk power grid operation and planning, power economics, and electricity markets. He serves as an editor of Journal of Modern Power and Clean Energy and received the 2020 John H. Maxheim Faculty Fellowship at UNC Charlotte.
Dr. Mesut Baran – NC State University / CAPER Center Co-Director
Mesut E. Baran received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1988. He is currently a Professor with NC State University, Raleigh. His research interests include distribution and transmission system analysis and control, integration of renewable energy resources, and utility applications of power electronics based devices. Currently, he is a member of the FREEDM Systems Center at NC State focusing on both research and education aspects of renewable electric energy systems and their integration into the electric power distribution systems. He also serves as the NC State site Co-Director for CAPER.
Dr. Michael Mazzola – UNC Charlotte / CAPER Center Director
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.
Dr. Ning Lu – NC State University
Dr. Ning Lu is a Professor at the ECE Department of North Carolina State University and has over 20 years of experience in electric power engineering. She received bachelor’s degree from Harbin Institute of Technology in 1993 and Ph.D. degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2002. From1993 to1998, she was a power system design engineer with Shenyang Electric Power Bureau. From 2003 to 2012, Dr. Ning Lu was a senior research engineer with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Dr Lu’s research interests include modeling and analysis of power system load behaviors, energy management systems development, renewable integration, microgrid modeling and control, and AMI data analysis. Dr. Lu is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications, including journal articles, conference proceedings, and technical reports.
Dr. Peter Schwarz – UNC Charlotte
Peter M. Schwarz is a Professor of Economics and Associate, Energy Production and
Infrastructure Center (EPIC), University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research addresses energy and environment issues, most recently on innovative rates for electric vehicles, demand response, compensation paid by electric utilities to households providing solar energy, and China’s carbon emissions. He has received grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and has lectured widely in the U.S. as well as in China, Germany, Israel, and Mexico. He has published a text entitled Energy Economics, and the second edition was published on October 24, 2022.
Peter Schwarz’s research addresses energy and environment issues, most recently on demand response, solar pricing rates, and China’s carbon emissions. He has received grants from the USDOE and the USEPA, and has lectured in Germany, Israel, China, and Mexico. His text, Energy Economics, is now in a second edition.
Ramtin Hadidi – Clemson University
Ramtin Hadidi received the Ph.D. degree from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, Canada, in 2012, in electrical engineering. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University. Prior to that, He was a research scientist at the Duke Energy eGRID Center at CURI in Charleston. His current research interests include modeling and simulation of power conversion systems, Power system stability studies, combined heat and power units, microgrid control, building energy management and building to grid studies and co-simulation environments. He is an active member of IEEE and IEEE Power & Energy Society.
Dr. Robert Cox – UNC Charlotte
Professor Robert Cox is Associate Director of EPIC. Previously he served as an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UNC Charlotte, and as the Assistant Director for the Energy Management Research Vertical within the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC). Dr. Cox focuses on advancing EPIC’s research in the areas of grid resiliency and energy utilization. His team is part of the National Science Foundation’s Industry / University Cooperative Research Center for Sustainably Integrated Buildings and Sites. This work focuses on the use of data to improve energy utilization in buildings. His team works closely with many industry partners, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Ingersoll Rand, Duke Energy and Atrium Health. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Steve Whisenant – Duke Energy / CAPER Chair & Facilitator
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 / Assistant Professor
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.
Dr. Valentina Cecchi – UNC Charlotte / Associate Professor
Dr. Valentina Cecchi is an Associate Professor and the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research focuses on electric power system modeling and analysis. She leads the Power Delivery Innovation research group. Originally from Rome, Italy, Valentina attended Drexel University and completed B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering in 2005, 2007, and 2010, respectively.
More Coming Soon!
CAPER Senior Design Team Bio’s
Clemson University Team:
Bryce Carter is an electrical engineering major from Blythewood, SC who will be working in P&C at Duke Energy post-graduation.
Justin Goodman is from Greenwood, SC who will be graduating in May with a degree in electrical engineering and minors in Physics and Mathematical Science.
Kaminer Cromer is an electrical engineering major from Greenwood, SC, who plans to work for First Quality Tissue SE after graduating.
Michael Marinaccio is a computer engineering major from Charlotte, NC who will be pursuing a graduate degree in Intelligent Systems.
Siena Duchnak is an electrical engineering major from Greenville, SC who will also be working in P&C at Duke Energy post-graduation.
Tong Vong is a computer engineering major from Charleston, SC, who plans to work for NIWC Atlantic after graduation.
NC State University Team:
Braxton Houlden is a Senior from Greensboro, North Carolina who will be graduating in May with a degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University.
Liam Martin is a Senior from Raleigh, North Carolina who will be graduating in May with a degree in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University. He will then be pursuing his Master’s in Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University after graduation.
Yunus Agan is a Senior from Raleigh, North Carolina who will be graduating in May with a degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University. He is a DoD SMART Scholarship recipient and plans to work for NAVAIR at Fleet Readiness Center East after graduation.
Ali Hajirahim is a Senior from Chapel Hill, North Carolina who will be graduating in May with a degree Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University. He will then be pursuing his Master’s in Computer Engineering after graduation.
UNC Charlotte Team:
Jabez Huntley is from Winston-Salem, NC who will be graduating in May with a degree in Computer Engineering and is currently looking for full time opportunities.
Faisal Alamri is from Saudi Arabia, is an Electrical Engineering student, graduating in May 2023, actively looking for an internship in the summer, and planning on graduating for his Electrical Engineering Master’s in Dec 2023.
Ben Brown is a senior currently studying Electrical Engineering Technology at UNCC Charlotte. He is interested in electric power systems and hopes to work in the power engineering industry after graduating.
Moosa Azfar is an electrical and computer engineering major from Charlotte, NC, focusing primarily on computer engineering and embedded systems. He plans to work in embedded systems applications after graduation.