Meeting Theme: “Innovative Approaches of Integrating IBR’s into 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.
Di Wu – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – PNNL
Di Wu is a Chief Research Engineer and a Team Leader within the Electricity Infrastructure and Buildings Division at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, and the Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Iowa State University, Ames, USA. At PNNL, Dr. Wu leads research work in the areas of energy storage analytics, building-to-grid integration, and microgrid design. His other research interests include plug-in electric vehicles, distributed control, production cost modeling, advanced grid analytics, and hybrid energy systems. Dr. Wu is a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society. He serves as an Editor for the IEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy and IEEE Transactions on Energy Markets, Policy and Regulation.
Hisham Othman – Quanta Technology / VP, Transmission and Regulatory Consulting
Hisham leads the transmission and regulatory compliance consulting practice at Quanta Technology providing technical and economic advisory services supporting regulated utilities, energy developers, and RTOs to address their evolving and challenging business needs.
Prior to joining Quanta Technology, Hisham spent 5 years in the Renewable Energy industry with SunEdison, and as CTO to Petra Solar, working on innovative approaches to grid integration, hybrid solutions, energy storage, and smart grids. Additionally, Hisham held leadership roles with global technology providers, ABB and GE, in the US and Internationally, delivering pioneering Network Management and Infrastructure solutions. Throughout his career, Hisham was fortunate to work with leading teams that introduced the Thyristor-Controlled Series Capacitor, Implemented the first ISO/RTO operational and business IT system in the US, Implemented the largest distributed 40MW solar system on utility poles in the World, designed and implemented a high penetration fuel abatement solar-diesel system, and extensively modeled, analyzed, and invested in energy storage applications. Hisham continues his journey advising clients on prudent investment options in energy storage. Hisham holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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.
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. Sukumar Brahma – Clemson University
Dr. Sukumar Brahma is Dominion Energy Distinguished Professor in Power Engineering and Director of Clemson University Electric Power Research Association at Clemson University. Before Clemson, he was William Kersting Endowed Chair Professor at New Mexico State University. He is a Fellow and a Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE.
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.
Victor Paduani – New York Power Authority
Victor Paduani joined NYPA in June 2022 as an AGILe Lab Engineer. He has hands-on experience running simulations in numerous offline and real-time platforms. Prior to joining NYPA, he was a Research Assistant at NCSU, where he worked on real-time models that co-simulate power electronics, power systems, and energy management systems.
Dr. Xiaonan Lu – Purdue University
Xiaonan Lu is an Associate Professor at Purdue University. He received his B.E. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 2008 and 2013, respectively. Prior to joining Purdue University, he was an Energy Systems Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory and an Assistant Professor at Temple University. His research interests include modeling, control and design of power electronic inverters, hybrid AC and DC microgrids, and renewable energy integration, among others. He is the recipient of the 2020 Young Engineer of the Year Award in the IEEE Philadelphia Section.
Dr. Zheyu Zhang – Clemson University
Dr. Zheyu Zhang is the Warren H. Owen – Duke Energy Assistant Professor at Clemson University. His research interests include wide bandgap-based power electronics characterization and applications for renewables, energy storage, electrified transportation, and space power. He is the recipient of 2021 IEEE IAS Andrew W. Smith Outstanding Young Member Achievement Award and 2022 NASA Early Career Faculty Award.
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