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2021 Industry Conference

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The 2021 Industry Conference was held virtually on Wednesday, October 27 & Thursday, October 28 (11am - 5pm each day) via WebEx.    


Scroll down for information about the Keynote Speaker's presentations and bios for both the Keynote Speakers and the Industry Panelists. 

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Keynote Speaker presentations are available to Industry Members on the Industry Portal

Keynote Speaker Presentations

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

13:00 - 13:30  Guohui Yuan - Program Manager, Systems Integration, DOE SETO

Title: An Overview of the SETO Systems Integration Program

Abstract: The Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) supports research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of technologies and solutions – focusing on technical pillars in data, analytics, control, and hardware - that advance the reliable, resilient, secure, and affordable integration of solar energy onto the U.S. electric grid. The speaker will provide an overview of SETO Systems Integration program and highlight recent initiatives in grid forming technologies as well as application of AI/ML in solar grid integration. 

13:30 - 14:00  Shay Bahramirad - Vice President of Climate and Resilience, Quanta Technologies 

Title: Climate Change and Resilience Planning of Electric Power System

Abstract: The electricity sector is the key enabler of all critical infrastructure sectors that billions of people across the world depend on. However, electricity sector is under increased threat due to the ever-evolving impacts of climate change and weather events that are becoming more frequent and severe. Disruptions to the electrical infrastructure propagate to other sectors creating a domino effect. Climate change and its consequences have direct impacts on the electric grid; e.g., heat waves and record breaking winter temperatures cause demand surges beyond expectations and distribution substations are highly vulnerable to flooding. These threats are compounded in the face of aging infrastructure.  The direct impacts from climate change put great emphasis on developing resiliency planning frameworks to adapt to the impacts of severe events on the functions of the electric grid. Increasing frequency of events make it inevitable for resiliency planning and solutions to become a part of coordinated planning functions in the electricity sector and investment prioritization frameworks including generation, transmission, and distribution. Resiliency planning is even more critical since not only the climate change and its impacts are evolving, but also the grid is evolving toward a more sustainable and renewable future with emerging solutions including Microgrids and distributed energy resources. More importantly, a resilient infrastructure is the building block of incorporating renewables and emerging technologies into the grid.

14:00 - 14:30  Cameron Kruse, Engineering and Technology Manger, Kauai Island Technologies

Title: Kauai’s Path to 100% Renewable: Past, Present, Future

Abstract: Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) is a vertically integrated electric cooperative serving its 33,000 member-owners on Kaua`i.  Since 2009, has increased its renewable portfolio to successfully migrate its dispatch from 9% renewable in 2009 to 67% renewable in 2020.  KIUC’s lessons learned and what it plans moving forward will be discussed.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

13:00 - 13:30  Lucy Lu - Power Electronics Research Engineer, Ford

Title: Vehicle Electrification and Its Grid Impact

Abstract: This presentation will give an overview of state-of-the-art transportation electrification-related technologies. Their impacts on the grid will be addressed. The challenges and opportunities for vehicle electrification, and EV charging in specific, will also be discussed.

13:30 - 14:00  Jing Xu - ABB 

Title: Exploring the Advantages of WBG in ABB Applications

Abstract: This presentation will introduce the advantages of using WBG in different ABB applications, and a few examples of research projects will be given to show the improvements from WBGs.

14:00 - 14:30  Bill Fairechio and Constantine Spanos - Con Edison

Title: Innovating for the Underground - R&D for Con Edison's Underground Electric System

Abstract: Con Edison operates the world’s largest system of underground electric transmission and distribution system, accommodating the densely populated urban areas of New York City and Westchester. Approximately 75% of the 130,000 miles of transmission and distribution cable in the service territory are underground, robustly designed to prevent customers from experiencing power interruptions during the loss of a feeder, transformer, or electric main. Despite the many benefits of having an extensive underground system that affords Con Edison the title of most reliable utility in North America, there are also many operational and R&D challenges to locating, inspecting, and repairing damaged high voltage cabling. Con Edison R&D will discuss current practices and efforts to address the ongoing research needs presented by the underground electric system.

Keynote Speaker Bios

Guohui Yuan - Program Manager, DOE Solar Grid Integration R&D,DOE SETO 

Guohui Yuan photo 100.jpgDr. Guohui Yuan is the program manager for the Systems Integration (SI) team in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), which supports research, development, and demonstration of technologies and solutions for reliable, resilient, and secure integration of solar energy on the nation’s electricity grid. His team collaborates with other DOE program offices in crosscutting initiatives including Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI), Cybersecurity, and Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES).

Dr. Yuan joined SETO as a technical advisor in 2011. Prior to the DOE, he held leadership positions at several industry-leading clean technology startups, including CURRENT Group, GridPoint, and WaveCrest Labs. Early in his career, he worked at COMSAT Labs as a systems scientist in satellite communications. He is a recognized thought leader and has many technical publications. He holds nine patents on electric vehicle propulsion systems.

Dr. Yuan holds 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 also taken leadership trainings at MIT Sloan and at the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania.

Shay Bahramirad - Vice President of Climate and Resilience, Quanta Technologies

Shay Bahramirad 100.jpgShay Bahramirad is the Vice President of Climate and Resilience at Quanta Technology. She is responsible for assisting cities and utilities with climate change risk assessments for their assets, operations, and  services and for developing mitigation strategies and investment strategies for adapting to climate change.

Dr. Bahramirad has held several positions in the Energy Sector, including Vice President of Engineering and Smart Grid at ComEd: the electric utility in Illinois. In these roles, she has overseen and/or executed “grid of the future” visions, technical roadmaps, analytical frameworks, and investment strategies of distribution system and communication network; Fiber. She has also been responsible for system reliability, DER integration, grid strategy and analytics, standards, maintenance inspection, emerging technologies, STEM programming, and reimagining the power grid to mitigate and adapt to climate change. She has also developed talent strategies, industry engagement plans, and advocacy programs to support business objectives. She has been the expert witness and testified on several state and federal regulatory proceedings around microgrids, energy storage, investment strategies, and Distributed generation interconnection; 1547.

Dr. Bahramirad is an editorial board member of the Electricity Journal, US CIGRE Executive member, an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the IEEE/PES Vice President of New Initiatives and Outreach, overseeing the organization’s engagement with policymakers globally around technical issues, investment strategies, emerging technologies, and developing plans for the next generation of frameworks including smart cities, and clean energy and running the philanthropy activities of IEEE/PES; Smart Village. She is the contributor to the United Nations SG7, Affordable and Clean Energy.

Cameron Kruse - Engineering and Technology Manger, Kauai Island Technologies

Cameron Kruse photo 100.jpgCameron Kruse received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Arizona in 2008.  Upon graduation, he started working at Kaua`i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) as a staff engineer in Transmission and Distribution.  He was promoted to supervise operations on the islands electrical substations in 2011, and in 2020 he was promoted to Engineering and Technology Manager.  During his time at KIUC, he has worked toward transforming the grids renewable generation from 8% renewable to 67% renewable in 2020.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Hawaii.

Lucy Lu - Power Electronics Research Engineer, Ford 

Lucy Lu photo 100.jpgXi (Lucy) Lu received the B.S. degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China, in 2007, and M.S. and Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA, in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Since 2013, she has been with Ford Motor Company as a Power Electronics Research Engineer. Her research interests include traction inverter and on-board/off-board charger.

Jing Xu - Senior Principal Scientist, ABB

Jing Xu photo 100.jpgDr. Jing Xu received her M.S. and B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China in 2003 and 2000 respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA in 2009.  She joined ABB Inc. in Raleigh, NC in 2008 as a research scientist and is currently a Senior Principal Scientist. She has over 10 years of experience with power converter design and control, especially using WBG semiconductors. She holds more than 10 patents.

William ("Bill") Fairechio - Section Manager, Research and Development, Con Edison 

Bill Fairechio photo 100.jpgBill Fairechio is currently an R&D Manager in Con Edison’s Research and Development department. Bill is a recognized company subject matter expert in underground electric distribution with 40 years of experience spanning engineering, operations, and construction roles at the company. Bill’s work in R&D covers all areas of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution. In addition, he is actively involved with structuring new and ongoing industry collaboratives for the Company. Bill received his BSEE in 1982 from the NYU Tandon School of Engineering (formerly the Polytechnic Institute of New York).

 Constantine Spanos - Senior Research and Development Specialist, Con Edison

Constantine Spanos photo 100.jpgConstantine Spanos, PhD, is a Senior Research and Development Specialist in at Con Edison, where he has worked since 2016.  He manages projects and programs related to energy storage, transmission and distribution modernization, end-use electrification, and low-carbon fuels.  Constantine received his MS and PhD in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from Columbia University with a focus on battery engineering and industrial ecology. At Columbia, Constantine worked on the structure, properties, and manufacturability of mixed oxide electrodes. Prior to this he worked in Transportation Planning, Wastewater Engineering, and Air Quality Engineering. 

Industry Panelists Bios

Aminul Huque - Principal Project Manager, EPRI 

Aminul Huque photo.jpgDr. Aminul Hoque is a Principal Project Manager at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). He manages Smart Inverters and Grid Supportive Technologies research at EPRI and is leading multiple distributed energy resource (DER) research, development, and demonstration projects to investigate benefits and challenges of high penetration of renewables, smart inverters, and integrated DER (PV, ES, and load) control optimization. Aminul facilitated the IEEE P1547 voltage regulation subgroup and is an active member of the IEEE 1547 working group. He received a PhD from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (Tennessee, USA), an MSc from the Imperial College London (London, UK), and a BSc from the Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology (Dhaka, BD) in 2010, 2003, and 2001, respectively.

Chongwen Zhao - Senior Hardware Engineer, Apple

Chongwen Zhao photo 100.jpgDr. Chongwen Zhao (S’13) received the B.Sc. degree from Xidian University, Xi'an, China, in 2011, the M.Sc. degree from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, in 2014, and the Ph.D. degree from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA, in 2018. Now he is a senior hardware engineer in Apple. His graduate research include wireless power and communication applications, high power density, and high-frequency converter design using wide-bandgap devices.

Shuoting Zhang - Staff Power Electronic Controls Engineer, Tesla

Shuoting Zhang photo 100.jpgDr. Shuoting Zhang is currently a Staff Power Electronic Controls Engineer at Tesla. He received the Ph. D. degree in Electrical Engineering from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Srijib Mukherjee - Senior R&D Advisor, ORNL

Srijib Mukherjee photo 100.jpgDr. Srijib Mukherjee comes with 31 years of research, engineering, academic and management experience in Power Systems Operations, Transmission Planning, Energy Markets, Electrical Grid Resiliency and Distributed Generation of Power Systems. Srijib has an MBA in Finance from Duke University, Ph.D. and MSEE from the University of Miami and a B.E. (in Electrical Power Engineering) from The Manipal Institute of Technology. He has a Joint Faculty, Professor appointment with the University of Tennessee's and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Bredesen Center. His experience spans 14 years with US electric utilities , 13 years with various technical and management energy consulting firms, 10 years as an Adjunct and Research Faculty member at The University of North Carolina, Charlotte and The University of Tennessee and 1 year with Government Agencies (NOAA and ORNL). He has published over 25 peer reviewed, refereed research papers in various journals and conferences, 5 DOE Reports and has two patents. He is a veteran Program Evaluator (PEV) for the Accreditation Board of Engineering Technology (ABET) and is an Alternate Board Member of the IEEE Committee on Engineering Accreditation Activities (IEEE CEAA). Additionally, he is licensed to practice engineering as a Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the States of NC, NV and CA and licensed to operate the US Grid as a NERC Certified System Operator. Srijib has mentored advised and chaired 10 Ph.D. and master’s student’s thesis committee’s in Energy Science and Power Systems research.  He volunteers his time to tutor high school math (Algebra, Geometry and AP Calculus) to low income students in his school district. He is a parent with two college age children (one in medical school and the other a cadet for the US Air Force). He enjoys gardening, tennis, and non-fiction books.

Tao Xia - Consulting Engineer, Dominion Power

Tao Xia photo 100.jpgDr. Tao Xia received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2009. He is now a consulting engineer with Dominion Energy. Dr. Xia’s professional career has covered a wide spectrum of technical activities, including electric network modeling, system simulations, equipment design and monitoring, asset health assessment, 3D electromagnetic simulations, synchrophasor technology development, protective relay designs, grid visualization, data analytics, etc. Dr. Tao Xia is also a professional engineer licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, an IEEE senior member and actively involved in CIGRE.

 Said Sidiqi - Senior Program Manager, TVA

Said sidiqi cropped.jpg

Said Sidiqi is a Senior Program Manager in the Enterprise Research and Technology Innovation organization at Tennessee Valley Authority.   Mr. Sidiqi has over 15 years of experience in the electric utility industry, primarily supporting transmission operations and reliability operations.  He has held position s of Senior Electrical Engineer, Principal Electric Engineer, and Manager Advanced Power Applications and is currently on rotational assignment to support the Transmission organization in R&D areas including advanced analytics, asset management, DER integration, grid resiliency, power quality, automation and mobility, and cybersecurity. 

 Mr.  Sidiqi has also been involved in numerous TVA initiatives to support cultural improvements including memberships in Employee Advisory Group(s), Diversity Council, Mentorship Programs, Health and Safety Committee, and Employee Resource Group(s).  Mr. Sidiqi is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University with a BSEE degree.        

Invited Keynote Speakers:

Guohui Yuan - An Overview of the SETO Systems Integration Program
Dr. Yuan is Program Manager, Systems Integration, DOE SETO

Shay Bahramirad - Climate Change and Resilience Planning of Electric Power System
Dr. Bahramirad is Vice President of Climate and Resilience, Quanta Technologies

Cameron Kruse - Kauai’s Path to 100% Renewable: Past, Present, Future
Mr. Kruse is Engineering and Technology Manger, Kauai Island Technologies

Lucy LuVehicle Electrification and Its Grid Impact
Dr. Lu is Power Electronics Research Engineer, Ford 

Jing XuExploring the Advantages of WBG in ABB Applications
Dr. Xu is Senior Principal Scientist, ABB

Bill Fairechio and Constantine Spanos - Innovating for the Underground - R&D for Con Edison's Underground Electric System
Mr. Fairechio is Section Manager, Research and Development, Con Edison and Dr. Spanos is Senior Research and Development Specialist, Con Edison 

Industry Panelists:

Aminul Huque - Principal Project Manager, EPRI

Chongwen Zhao - Senior Hardware Engineer, Apple

Shouting Zhang - Staff Power Electronic Controls Engineer, Tesla

Srijib Mukherjee - Senior R&D Advisor, ORNL

Tao Xia - Consulting Engineer, Dominion Energy 

Said Sidiqi - Senior Program Manager, TVA