Arrow_Icon.png2014 Industry Conference & NSF/DOE Site Visit

Register now for CURENT's 2014 Industry Conference & NSF/DOE Site Visit, taking place from May 12-16, 2014. This event will showcase the research progress made over the past year in the Center, and will allow industry attendees to converge on one of the nation's most active regions for power-related research.

Invited Speakers for Industry Conference:

Casey_2.pngLeo CaseyPower Architecture Lead Engineer at Google-X, Google

Presentation: Holy Grails in a Public Grid? Or Tipping All the Way to Fracture?

Abstract: Cost effective Storage has long been hailed as the Holy Grail of the Grid, even prior to Renewables and Distributed Generation. Today it could be the element that makes the grid obsolete, or at least the larger grids. We will discuss high levels of integration of intermittent DG, the value of storage in controlling these assets, other key technical tools, and finally discuss some visions of the future. A high capacity factor, economically competitive wind turbine being developed by Google will serve to illustrate some of the key points.

About Dr. Casey: Dr. Leo Casey is the Power Architecture Lead Engineer at Google-X on the Makani wind turbine project. Prior to that, he was Satcon’s Chief Technology Officer and EVP of Engineering for 12 years.

He has over 30 years of experience in power electronics and power engineering, including ultimate responsibility for the design and commercialization of numerous utility scale power conversion products such as Inverters, Solid State Switches, Converters, and Flywheels, with a focus on the management and integration of alternative, renewable and distributed resources.  He has served on NREL’s solar advisory board and the NIST/DOE Hi-MW Leadership Committee; been an editor of the IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion; and is active in IEEE and NEC code and standard development for Grid Electronics.

Dr. Casey has published over 75 papers related to power conversion and Grid Power Electronics, and made many presentations at industry workshops and conferences.


Xiaoming Feng, Corporate Research Fellow, ABB

Presentation: Engineering the Grid of the Future

Abstract: What power grid technology do we need to face the challenges of the future?  What grid architecture and actuation technologies are needed to ensure secure, resilient, economical and sustainable power supply?

About Dr. Feng: Dr. Feng holds a B.S. and Ph. D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, from Xian Jiaotong University and Ohio University, respectively, with emphasis on electrical and energy system automation. His work experience in the power industry includes software development, product management, consulting, and research. He is currently ABB Corporate Research Fellow.  His research focuses on electricity market, power system monitoring and estimation, system control and optimization.


Steve Whitley, President & CEO, New York Independent System Operator (NYISO)

Presentation: Smarter Grid / Sharper Vision; Enhancing System Awareness with Advanced Technology

Abstract: This presentation will review the efforts of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) to integrate advanced smart grid technology in its new state-of-the-art control center, the capabilities of which enhance system awareness and address an array of emerging challenges for the electric system.

About Mr. Whitley: Stephen G. Whitley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), is a veteran of the energy industry with extensive experience in bulk power system planning and operations. He joined the NYISO in July 2008.

Before coming to the NYISO, Mr. Whitley served for seven years as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of ISO New England (ISO-NE).  Prior to his tenure at ISO-NE, he completed a 30-year career with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) where he last served as General Manager, Electric System Operations.

In 2009, he was selected to chair the Executive Committee of the Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative (EIPC).  He is also a member of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Power Delivery Executive Committee, the NERC Member Representatives Committee, and has served as a member of the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) Board of Directors, the Executive Committee of CIGRE (International Council on Large Electric Systems) U.S. National Committee.

Mr. Whitley is also a retired Colonel in the U. S. Army Reserve and the former commanding officer of the 3397th Garrison Support Unit, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He retired after a distinguished 30-year career, which included active duty in Operation Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University prior to beginning his electricity industry career with the TVA.

Conference Agenda


Recommended Lodging:


Arrow_Icon.pngAbout CURENT

A collaboration between academia, industry, and national laboratories, CURENT is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. Jointly supported by NSF and the Department of Energy, the Center is led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Partner institutions include:


  • A nation-wide or continent-wide transmission grid that is fully monitored and dynamically controlled in real-time for high efficiency, high reliability, low cost, better accommodation of renewable energy sources, full utilization of energy storage, and accommodation of responsive load.

  • A new generation of electric power and energy systems engineering leaders with global perspectives and diverse backgrounds.