Meeting Theme:  “Rapid Decarbonization Impacts on the Electric Grid”


Adam Guinn – Duke Energy / Principal Engineer, Transmission Operations and Planning Strategy

Adam Guinn is a Principal Engineer in the Transmission Planning and Operations Strategy group at Duke Energy.  His works involve the development and implement of key strategic objectives at Duke Energy including the implementation and control of Distributed Energy Resources, Data Analytics and Visualization, Data Engineering, economic dispatch, and network security analysis.  Adam has over 18 years of power systems experience in System Operations including Transmission Operations, Generation Dispatch, Energy Management System application development, and full stack application development.

Adam received his Bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering and a Masters of Electric Power System Engineering from North Carolina State University and is a licensed Professional Engineer.


Dr. Andreas Wagner – Annex 79 Operating Agent Multinational academic option / Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Andreas Wagner studied mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe before he worked as a researcher in the field of solar thermal systems at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg for 8 years. Since 1995, he is a full Professor for Building Physics and Technical Building Services at the Department of Architecture, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and head of the Building Science Group. He was dean of the KIT-Department of Architecture twice and is currently vice-dean for research of the Department. Besides teaching bachelor and master courses his research focuses on monitoring and analysis of building energy performance, solar-based integrated building and energy concepts as well as on comfort and occupant behaviour at workplaces.

Andreas Wagner has coordinated numerous third-party-funded national and international research projects over the last 26 years. He has (co-) supervised and examined 32 PhD Theses and was external examiner of 16 PhD Theses at other Universities. He authored or co-authored more than 150 papers published in peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings and also (co-) edited or wrote 6 scientific books. Since 2020, he is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal “Energies”, since 2015 of the Journal “Energy and Buildings” and since 2014 of the Journal “Bauphysik”. Since 2018, he is Co-Operating Agent of the IEA EBC Annex 79 on ‘Occupant-Centric Building Design and Operation’. Further, he has been Visiting Scholar at different universities in the world over the years.


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.


Daniel Donochod – Duke Energy / GM of Fleet Transition Strategy

Dan Donochod is GM of Fleet Transition Strategy in the Generation & Transmission Strategy Department for Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, NC. Dan has held a variety of positions supporting the regulated power generation fleet since joining Duke Energy in 2003, including Finance Manager and Manager of Outage Support. In his current role, Dan leads a team responsible for developing and helping implement the strategy to transition Duke’s regulated fleet to a lower carbon footprint. Dan works closely with the Fuels & System Ops group and Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) staff over the 6 states that Duke provides regulated power generation. Dan holds a BS in Civil Engineering from NC State University and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC -Chapel Hill. Dan is also a licensed Professional Engineer in NC.


Danielle Peoples – Duke Energy / Director of Infrastructure Engagement

Danielle Peoples serves as the Director of Infrastructure Engagement at Duke Energy. She is responsible for partnering with internal business units to define and implement best-in-class stakeholder engagement strategies for the company’s highest priority infrastructure projects that advance the company’s net-zero carbon goals. Danielle creates a connectedness between business unit strategies and external affairs and engagement to ensure alignment and coordination to build support at local, state and national levels.

Prior to that, Danielle began her Duke Energy career with the South Carolina state president’s organization followed by experience in Corporate Communications focused on the company’s coal ash response and strategies. Most recently, Danielle stood up and expanded the public engagement team focused on grid improvement projects across the enterprise. She’s provided leadership and established the strategic framework for external engagement for Duke Energy’s grid improvements and readiness for a future green-enabled grid.

Danielle earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She moved enthusiastically to New Bern, North Carolina in May 2021 after visiting the area for a Duke Energy project. She has enjoyed getting involved with the local community, which includes narrating historic trolley tours on occasion.


Dr. David Larson – Electric Power Research Institute / Engineer/Scientist III / Grid Ops & Planning

David Larson, PhD is a research scientist at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), where he focuses on forecasting for grid operations and bulk system integration of renewables and distributed energy resources. David is also one of the core developers of the Solar Forecast Arbiter, an open-source tool for evaluating forecasts.


Emily Felt – Duke Energy / Energy Policy Director

Emily Felt serves as energy policy director for Duke Energy South Carolina. She advocates for durable energy and environmental policies that promote safe, reliable, and affordable operation and siting of energy infrastructure that enable the company – and its customers – to achieve clean energy goals.

Emily has held a variety of roles at Duke Energy, including leadership roles in federal energy policy (including wholesale electricity market reform), environmental policy, renewable strategy, and economic and business development. In 2014, Emily was instrumental in advocacy for passage of Act 236, The South Carolina Distributed Energy Resource Act of 2014. She has testified before the Public Service Commission of South Carolina on numerous occasions and appeared before South Carolina General Assembly committees.

She has served on the E4 Carolinas South Carolina Task Force as well as a board member for the South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance, Vice-Chair of Palmetto Clean Energy, as well as a board member for a community non-profit, The Dilworth Center.

Daughter of a career military officer, Emily grew up in Washington, D.C., Norfolk, Europe, and Asia. She is a graduate of Stanford University (A.B., Japanese) and Harvard University (M.P.A., Public Policy).


Dr. Giuseppina Buttitta – A29 Energy Service Co. / Manager Engineer

Giuseppina Buttitta graduated with her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University College Dublin in 2020. Her research mainly focused development of large-scale residential building stock energy models to investigate the energy savings due to the use of smart electric thermal storage systems. In particular, she developed a novel model to integrate occupancy profiles into archetype energy models. After her PhD, she moved back to Italy and she now works at A29 srl – Energy Service Company – as a manager engineer of several energy efficiency projects in the residential and industrial sectors but she is eager to go back to research.


Dr. Hai Xiao – Clemson University / Samuel Lewis Bell Distinguished Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Department Chair

Dr. Hai Xiao joined Clemson University in 2013 as the Samuel Lewis Bell Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, jointly affiliated with COMSET. Previously, he was a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) where he served as the founding director of the Photonics Technology Laboratory (PTL). Dr. Xiao received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech in 2000. From 2000 to 2003, he was a Member of Technical Staff at the Optoelectronic Center of Lucent Technologies/Agere Systems. From 2003 to 2006, he was an assistant professor of electrical engineering at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. From 2006 to 2012, he was an associate professor of electrical engineering at Missouri S&T. Dr. Xiao is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards including the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award in 2006, the R&D 100 Award in 2004, and the Virginia Tech Outstanding Achievement Award in 2003.


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.

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.


Jay Oliver – Duke Energy / Managing Director, Grid Systems Integration

Jay Oliver is Managing Director, Grid Systems Integration at Duke Energy.  In this role he leads battery storage development, transportation electrification, grid connectivity strategy, demand side management, and clean energy customer programs. Mr. Oliver has over 25 years of experience in electric Distribution, Transmission, and related technology applications.

Mr. Oliver received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Florida.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer.


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.


John Gaertner – Lead Author / Climate Report Review Group (CRRG)

John Gaertner is a consultant on climate change and energy.  He recently authored a Review of Duke Energy’s Climate Strategy.  John retired from EPRI as Technical Executive and earlier as Program Manager of nuclear risk analysis and optimization methods for O&M, outage management, asset management, and plant modernization.  He was Senior Vice President of ERIN Engineering and Research, and was an engineer with Duke Energy.


Kat Sico – Duke Energy / Engineer for Duke Energy Progress (DEP)

Kat Sico is an Engineer for Duke Energy Progress (DEP). In her current role she focuses on assessing stability over the operational time frame particularly when work requires the disabling of system protection.  She has worked for DEP full time since she graduated with an MSEE from NCSU December 2014.  During her education she participated in several co-op/intern/research opportunities focusing on P&C Engineering, System Operations, PMU Data Analysis and Voltage Stability Assessment.


Kris Eisenrieth – Duke Energy / Station Manager of Duke Energy’s Buck Combined Cycle Facility

Kris Eisenrieth is the station manager of Duke Energy’s Buck Combined Cycle Facility as well as the Lincoln and Mill Creek Combustion Turbine Stations.  He has over 22 years of experience in power generation operations, maintenance, engineering, and leadership, including 7 years as a nuclear-trained submarine officer in the US Navy.


Dr. Kumar Venayagamoorthy – Clemson University / Professor

G. Kumar Venayagamoorthy is the Duke Energy Distinguished Professor of Power Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University since January 2012. He is the Founder and Director of the Real-Time Power and Intelligent Systems Laboratory at Clemson University. Dr. Venayagamoorthy received his PhD and MScEng degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, in April 2002 and April 1999, respectively.  He received his BEng degree with a First-Class Honors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria in March 1994. He holds an MBA degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Clemson University (August 2016). Dr. Venayagamoorthy’s interests are in research, development and innovation of power systems, smart grid and AI technologies. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, IET (UK), the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) and Asia-Pacific Artificial Intelligence Association (AAIA).


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.


Matthew Hammond – Dominion Energy / Manager of Electric Transmission System Operations and Control

Matt Hammond is the Manager of Electric Transmission System Operations and Control for Dominion Energy South Carolina (DESC, formerly South Carolina Electric & Gas) and has been employed by DESC for over 30 years.  System Control operates the transmission system and the controls the real time dispatch of generating resources to follow load.  His most recent prior role was Manager of Transmission Support where he and the department supported the operation of the electric transmission system by administering both the Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) and the Open Access Same-time Information System (OASIS).  He also managed generation interconnection activities for commercial, industrial and utility scale solar farms.  Other past responsibilities include generator performance testing, managing the Power Marketing 24-hour trading desk and managing distribution crew quarters.  Matt is a licensed professional engineer recognized by the State of South Carolina.


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.


Omar Siddiqui – EPRI / Senior Program Manager – Customer Insights

Omar Siddiqui leads EPRI’s customer research practice, focusing on energy use, technology adoption and participation in programs and services.  He studies customer dynamics of electrification, solar, energy storage, energy efficiency and demand response, including economics and integration into utility forecasting and modeling. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering and an MBA.


Dr. Srdjan Lukic – NC State University / Professor

Srdjan Lukic is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. He serves as the Deputy Director of the NSF Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Engineering Research Center, headquartered at North Carolina State University. His current research interests include design and control of power electronic converters and electromagnetic energy conversion systems.


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.


Thomas Koeppe – Siemens Energy / Head of Business Development and Innovation Generation Service

Thomas Koeppe is responsible for Business Development and Innovation at Siemens Energy.  In this role he is responsible for driving the development of new business strategies as part of the energy industry’s transition.

Thomas has over 18 years of experience in the energy industry, including the development of the SGT-9000HL product line with key responsibilities for the modularization strategy, Product Architecture, Hydrogen and Portfolio Business Development.

Thomas is also active in decarbonization initiatives by co-organizing the Hydrogen Visioning and Best Practices Series and serving in the Board of Directors for the Southeast Hydrogen Energy Alliance.  He holds a BASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada


Dr. Tianzhen Hong – US DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory / Senior Scientist

Dr. Tianzhen Hong is Senior Scientist of Building Technologies Department of LBNL. His research employs interdisciplinary approaches to explore technologies and human factors for planning, design and operation of energy efficient, demand flexible, and climate resilient buildings across scales. He is an IBPSA Fellow, ASHRAE Fellow, and Highly Cited Researcher.


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.


Tony Putnam, P.E. – Clemson University / Executive Director of Utility Services, Clemson University Facilities

Tony Putnam, leads the Utilities Department, which is responsible for campus energy management, electrical & water distribution, and energy & wastewater treatment plant operations.  35-year Certified Educational Facilities Professional. BSME Clemson University with Masters degrees from Augusta University and University of South Carolina.


Trevor B. Turner – Duke Energy / GM Hydro East and Regulated Solar for the Carolinas

Trevor Turner is a Graduate of Clemson University with degrees in Mechanical Engineering (BS/MS) in addition to an MBA.  Has served in various roles with Duke Energy including nuclear plant Engineer and corporate generation strategy prior to finding his way to Regulated Renewables (Hydro/Solar).


Ulrike Passe – Iowa State University

Ulrike Passe, Professor of Architecture at Iowa State University, is an internationally recognized scholar of building science with specific emphasis on natural ventilation and on integrative sustainable design strategies. Designing Spaces for Natural Ventilation (2015), co-authored with Francine Battaglia is used across the world. Her projects include the Interlock House built for the 2009 US DOE Solar Decathlon, the Iowa NSF EPSCoR building science plank 2011 to 2016, and the Sustainable Cities Research Group, founded 2015 at ISU to expand her research towards urban environmental modeling is currently funded by a $2.5 mio NSF INFEWS grant (with PI Jan Thompson).


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.


Dr. Xiangqi Zhu – NREL / Researcher

Xiangqi Zhu (IEEE Senior Member) received her PhD in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University in 2017 and her B.S. in electrical engineering from Shandong University, China, in 2013. Since 2017, she has been working as a researcher at National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Her research interests include renewable energy grid integration, electric vehicles and interactions with the grid, and demand side management.