“Integrated Resource Planning – A Changing Landscape“
(More biographies coming soon!)
Dr. Badrul Chowdhury – UNC Charlotte
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. David Lubkeman – Research Professor, NC State University
Dr. David Lubkeman is currently a Research Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. He serves as a lead instructor with the Electric Power Systems Engineering (EPSE) Master of Science professional degree program and is also a research faculty with the NSF FREEDM Systems Center. His research interests include electric power distribution system analysis, renewable energy integration and microgrid applications.
Dr. Johan Enslin – Zucker Family Graduate Education Center at Clemson
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.
John Pressley – Duke Energy
John Pressley is a Director within the Digital Transformation organization at Duke Energy. John’s portfolio includes products that are accelerating the roll-out of DERs and EV technologies, in support of Duke Energy’s 2050 “zero carbon” goal. He leverages technologies like AI, ML, deep learning, and IoT to push the company in new, innovative directions.
Dr. Linquan Bai – UNC Charlotte
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
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 / 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.
Dr. Ning. Lu – NC State University
Dr. 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.
Sree Rajagopalan – Murano Corp.
Sree Rajagopalan is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Murano Corporation based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. He is a frequent speaker on Enterprise AI and Digital Twin. Murano’s customers include major automotive manufacturers, Tier 1 suppliers, and the United States Navy and the Air Force. Prior to his current role, he spent 13 years with IBM. He has an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
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.
Tim Fairchild – SAS
As the Director of the SAS Global Manufacturing and Energy Practices at SAS, Tim Fairchild leads a team of industry domain experts responsible for driving strategic industry positioning and messaging in two of the most fundamental and interrelated industry sectors in our society.
Dr. Valentina Cecchi, Ph.D – Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director / UNC Charlotte
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.