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 ( 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. 


David Lawrence – Duke Energy (Retired Nov. 1st, 2023) / Technology Development Manager Emerging Technology Office

David Lawrence was a Technology Development Manager with Duke Energy
working in the Emerging Technology Office (ETO) over the last 10 years. In this role,
he provided leadership on a portfolio of technologies to support the future distributed
Electric Grid. He is a founding technologist in the development of the NAESB ratified
OpenFMB platform and Chaired the Emerge Alliance working group that produced
the ANSI C12.32 DC Metering standard. Currently, he is focused on DC Microgrids,
Grid cybersecurity, device interoperability, distributed Grid intelligence with well-
defined abstraction layers, and edge analytics.

Mr. Lawrence has 46 years of experience in the energy industry working with
Westinghouse, ABB, and Duke Energy. He worked in research and development
and IT management for electric metering, transformer, and switchgear products and
manufacturing. His roles included embedded systems development, test equipment,
engineering management, global engineering tools and information systems,
manufacturing execution (MES) and scheduling systems, product life-cycle
management (PLM), and IT management. A native of Portsmouth, VA, Mr. Lawrence
earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and has been awarded six US Patents.


Gaurav Singh – EPRI

Gaurav Singh works in the power quality (PQ) research program in EPRI, where he focuses on transmission and distribution PQ. His primary areas of interest include harmonic emission and compatibility issues created by power electronics-based loads and distributed energy resources. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and a contributor to standards 1453, P2844 and 519. He is also a member of the US National committee of CIGRE subcommittee C4 and the author of several peer reviewed papers and articles.


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. Meera Sridhar – UNC Charlotte

Dr. Meera Sridhar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Software and Information Systems at UNC Charlotte. Dr. Sridhar received her Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Texas at Dallas and her B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Sridhar has more than 20 years of experience in software / systems security, IoT security and CPS security, and cybersecurity education research. Her research is funded by the NSF and the State of North Carolina, and has been published in top security, formal methods, and cybersecurity / computer science education venues. Dr. Sridhar is the Director of the SmartHome / IoT Lab 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.


Michael Friedrich – SEL Infrastructure Defense / Project Engineer II – Security, Cyber Services

Michael Friedrich is a Project Engineer II with the Infrastructure Defense Cyber Services division of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL). He received his M.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology and his B.A. in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina Asheville. In his role at SEL, he has supported industrial control system cybersecurity efforts domestically and abroad. Past activities include performing cybersecurity assessments, designing and implementing traditional and software-defined networks, and hardening critical cyber assets in operational technology environments.


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.


Mike Collins – Laboratory for Advanced Cybersecurity Research at NSA

Mike Collins is a senior researcher with the Laboratory for Advanced Cybersecurity Research at NSA.  Current research explores resilient and emergent behaviors in complex systems.  The current focus of this research is to establish mathematical foundations of emergence in complex systems with emphasis on detection and influence as related to cybersecurity.    Mr. Collins has built his career as a systems security evaluator, designer, and architect, across the US Government, Academia, and the private sector. 


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.


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.


Robbie Cook – Duke Energy

Robbie Cook has been with Duke Energy for 11 years and is currently part of the Electrification Transportation Customer Fleet team, where he works to support fleet and depot charging customers who are converting their ICE fleets to EV and installing third party charging facilities. Prior to this he has held positions with Duke’s Smart Saver Custom Energy Efficiency program, Account Executive in Large Account Management, as well as Major Projects Distribution Engineer.

Prior to Duke Energy, he spent approximately 15 years in the manufacturing sector with Sealed Air Corp.

Robbie has degrees in Applied Physics from Wofford College and Electrical Engineering from the University of South Carolina.


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.


Sammy Roberts – Duke Energy / General Manager – Transmission Planning and Operations Strategy

Dewey Samuel Roberts II (Sammy) is the General Manager – Transmission Planning and Operations Strategy at Duke Energy with the primary responsibility for the development of mid-term and long-term strategy for Transmission Planning and Operations. This responsibility includes mid-term and long-term planning to support reliable transmission system transformation needed to enable coal plant retirements and to integrate resource plan resources. This responsibility also includes developing strategies and standards for transformed system operations necessary to reliably operate the Duke Energy power systems to facilitate a smooth transition through planned coal plant retirements and integrating increasing amounts of renewable energy resources and storage.   Sammy has 33 years of experience primarily in Transmission Planning and Operations.

Sammy graduated from North Carolina State University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering. He also obtained a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1990 and a Master of Business Administration Degree from North Carolina State University in 2004. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of North Carolina, and he was a Certified System Operator by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation through 2021.

Sammy has provided presentations on solar integration to Commissions, the North American Transmission Forum, SERC, and at IEEE conferences.


Dr. Sen Huang – Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

Dr. Huang has worked intensively on control, optimization, and system modeling technologies with applications to the power grid, building systems, and building-to-grid integration. He received the 2022 International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) Outstanding Young Contributor Award, IBPSA-USA Emerging Contributor Award, and the Best Paper Award from the Journal of Building Performance Simulation.


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 / Associate Professor

Dr. Tiefu Zhao is an Associate Professor and currently serves as the Interim Director for North Carolina Battery Complexity, Autonomous Vehicle and Electrification Research Center (BATT CAVE) at UNC Charlotte. He has over 15 years of combined academic and industry experience in renewable energy and power electronics.

Before joining UNC Charlotte, he was with Eaton Corporation, where he led a global R&D team for technology innovations and commercialization in power electronics and power management areas. Dr. Zhao’s current research focuses on high-performance power conversion, wireless power transfer technology, and electrical fault detection. His research has been supported by the U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE), Department of Transportation (DOT), and many industry partners. He received a B.S. and M.S. from Tsinghua University, along with a Ph.D. degree from NC State University. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed IEEE articles and holds 14 patents.


Tim Duff – Duke Energy / General Manager, Customer Solutions Regulatory Enablement

Tim Duff leads Customer Solution, Regulatory Enablement Strategy for Duke Energy’s Customer Experience, Solutions, & Services. He is responsible providing financial reporting and business intelligence for the portfolio of Customer Solutions products and services and for the development of tactics to effectively implement strategies, policies related to gaining regulatory approvals for grid edge and customer programs.


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.


Westy Westmoreland – Dominion Energy – SC / Director-Electrification

Westy Westmoreland has been with Dominion Energy South Carolina (formerly SCE & G) for 32 years and is currently Director of Electrification. He has a Mechanical Engineering degree from Clemson University and resides in Mt. Pleasant, SC. In his current role, he is developing programs and supporting customer efforts to electrify transportation, especially on road EVs. His goal is to support the rapid transition from ICE vehicles to EVs with timely electric utility infrastructure deployment, strategic programs, and excellent customer service.


More Coming Soon!