Integrated Resource Planning – A Changing Landscape


Abhijith Ravi is a second-year Doctoral student at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.  His research interest is focused on Integrated Transmission and Distribution, Energy markets and Electric vehicles.  Currently, he is working on the CAPER project PG-02 with Dr. Linquan Bai.


Dr. Arnie de Castro – SAS

Arnie de Castro is a Product Manager for Industry Products at SAS in Cary, North Carolina. He has over 35 years of experience in building commercial software and in teaching, research and consulting in electric utility operations and resource planning.  Arnie has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech.


Dr. Badrul Chowdhury – UNC Charlotte / CAPER Site 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. David Lubkeman – 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. Guohui Yuan – DOE, SETO

Dr. Guohui Yuan is with the Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office (EERE). Since 2016 he has been the program manager for the Systems Integration (SI) program overseeing annual R&D budget of $50M and a staff of technology managers and program analysts. He leads the team to manage federal investments in research, development, and demonstration of technologies and solutions that enable the widespread deployment of solar energy on the nation’s electricity grid. He is also a key member of several DOE inter-office teams working collaboratively on Grid Modernization Initiative, Cybersecurity, Energy Storage Grand Challenge, Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems, and other crosscutting initiatives.

Dr. Yuan joined SETO as a technology manager in 2011 during the launch of the SunShot Initiative. Prior to DOE, he held key leadership positions in industry-leading clean tech startup companies, including CURRENT Group, GridPoint, and WaveCrest Labs. He has broad knowledge in energy, electric transportation, power electronics, system control, and software development. Early in his career, he worked at COMSAT Labs as a systems scientist in satellite communications. He is a well-recognized domain expert, innovator, and thought leader. He has published dozens of journal and conference papers and is a frequent speaker at industry events. He holds nine patents on electric vehicle propulsion systems. Dr. Yuan has a B.S. degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park, both in physics. He has taken leadership trainings at MIT Sloan and at the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania.


Jeremy Lin – 7X Analytics

Dr. Jeremy Lin has over twenty years of experience in electric power industry in the US, including twelve years at PJM. He has extensive experience in the power system operation, planning, reliability, market design and market operation. He published a book on “Electricity Markets: Theories and Applications” (by Wiley Press, 2017).


Dr. Johan Enslin – Zucker Family Graduate Education Center at Clemson / CAPER Site 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 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 / CAPER Site 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.


Naumaan Nayyar – Amazon

Naumaan Nayyar  leads an interdisciplinary science team of machine learning scientists, research scientists and data engineers at Amazon. His team owns initiatives on talent matching, algorithmic fairness and science services for various products serving Amazon’s employees as part of the Global Talent Management organization. Previously, he was a co-founder and CTO of a healthcare technology start-up in Los Angeles that used optimization and ML to improve resource management in hospitals. Before this, he was a researcher in the Math Sciences division at IBM Research, where he worked on modeling and prediction for business problems. He holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and MS in Statistics from USC, and a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay. Naumaan is passionate about building data-driven intelligent solutions in non-traditional fields, learning new domains and sharing knowledge. He spends his free time exploring the beautiful PNW and taking photos.


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.


PJ Rehm – ElectriCities of NC

PJ Rehm is the Manager of Technology & Renewable Programs at ElectriCities of NC.  He graduated from NC State University in 2011 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering.  Shortly after graduating he joined ElectriCities of NC, where he has worked for the last 9 years.  He spends most of his time working with exciting and new technologies in the utility industry including smart meter deployments, distributed energy resources, and data analytics.


Qiuhua Huang – PNNL

Qiuhua Huang is currently a senior power system research engineer in the Electricity Security Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Before joining PNNL, he received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA, in 2016. He received his B.Eng. and M.Eng. degrees in electrical engineering from South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China, in 2009 and 2012, respectively. His research interests include power transmission and distribution systems modeling, simulation and control, and application of machine learning and advanced computing technologies in power and energy systems.

He is the recipient of the 2019 IEEE PES Prize Paper Award and 2018 R&D 100 Award, and two IEEE PES General Meeting best paper awards. He serves as an Associate Editor of CSEE Journal of Power and Energy Systems, and IEEE ACCESS, Guest Editor of IET Generation, Transmission and Distribution, and IET Smart Grid.


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 – 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.


Dr. WenyuanTang – NC State University

Dr. Wenyuan Tang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State University. He received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California in 2015. Prior to joining the NC State faculty in 2017, he was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University. His research interests include electricity markets, energy data analytics and machine learning, and control and optimization for power systems. He is an Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy, and an Editor of the IEEE Power Engineering Letters.


Dr. Yiyan Li – NC State University

Dr. Yiyan Li received his B.E and Ph.D. degree in 2014 and 2019 respectively, both in Electrical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. He is now a postdoc researcher at the department of ECE, NC State University supervised by Dr. Ning Lu. His research interests include data analysis and machine learning in power distribution systems.


CAPER Senior Design Students

Chance Stowe – Clemson University

Chance Stowe is a first-year graduate student at Clemson University pursuing an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering focusing on Power and Energy Systems after receiving his B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics in December 2020. He currently works as a research assistant at the Clemson University Restoration Institute.

Elaina Stuckey – Clemson University

Elaina Stuckey is a first year graduate student at the Clemson University Restoration Institute. She is currently working as a research assistant while pursuing a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering after graduating from Clemson University in December 2020.