Meeting Theme:  “Innovative Approaches of Integrating IBR’s into the Grid”


Amanuel Melese – ABB

Amanuel has a BS in Biomedical Engineering and a MS in Electrical Engineering from NC State University. He has experience working for a small company developing X-ray tubes. He decided to change engineering fields and that is when he went for a MS in Electrical Engineering. Since then he has worked at ABB working on projects pertaining to smart grid applications such as EDGEPRO.


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 Othman 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.

Hisham has 35 years of technical and managerial experience in the electricity sector with strong emphasis on power system dynamics and controls, grid integration of renewables, flexible AC transmission solutions, inverter-based resources, energy storage, integrated resource planning, financial modeling, and business strategy.

Hisham led several consulting engagements on energy storage as a non-wire transmission solution (SATA) and is the author of a chapter in a Cambridge Series, titled, “Energy Storage Applications in Transmission and Distribution Grids”. He also led several pioneering engagements on the design and reliability of future resource portfolios that support Net Zero targets.

Prior to joining Quanta Technology, Hisham worked in the Renewable Energy industry with SunEdison, and as CTO to Petra Solar, 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.

Hisham holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Dr. Ian Hiskens – University of Michigan

Ian Hiskens is the Vennema Professor of Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has held prior appointments with the Queensland electricity supply industry, and various universities in Australia and the United States. His research interests lie at the intersection of power system analysis and systems theory, with recent activity focused largely on integration of renewable generation and controllable loads. Dr. Hiskens is involved in numerous IEEE activities in the Power and Energy Society, Control Systems Society, Circuits and Systems Society and Smart Grid Initiative, and has served as VP-Finance of the IEEE Systems Council.

He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the IEEE. He is a Fellow of IEEE and a Fellow of Engineers Australia. Dr. Hiskens is a Chartered Professional Engineer in Australia, and the 2020 recipient of the M.A. Sargent Medal from Engineers Australia.


Dr. Ignacio Vieto – GE Gas Power

Ignacio Vieto obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Costa Rica. He obtained his MSc and PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, all in Electrical Engineering. Since 2020 he has been part of GE Energy Consulting, as part of their renewable team. His current interests are small-signal stability of inverter-based resources for onshore and offshore turbines and future technologies related to grid-forming IBRs.


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.


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. Weifeng Li – ERCOT

Weifeng Li works as an operations engineer in the operations analysis and ancillary services group for Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). His may responsibilities include performing engineering analysis to develop Ancillary Service methodologies and supporting frequency control performance at ERCOT.  He received an M.S. and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA, in 2015 and 2018, respectively.  He is a recipient of the 2020 IEEE Power and Energy Society Prize Paper Award and 2017 EPRI’s Technology Transfer Award.


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.