Panel 1 – AI and data analytics for energy system operation and management at the edge – Part 1

The proliferation of grid-edge resources and the deployment of advanced sensing and control technologies in buildings and electric power distribution systems calls for novel and coordinated management of these energy systems at the grid edge. This has led to growing interest in the green tech industry and academia on AI and data analytics for better operation and manage these systems in a harmony manner to improve their operation efficiency and resilience while reducing carbon emission. This panel will include experts from academia, national lab and the industry to share unique perspective on the current state of the industry, rapidly evolving landscape of managing these resources at the grid edge, and discuss the challenges and opportunities posed by new technologies and business models.

Qiuhua Huang, Associate Professor, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO
Dr. Qiuhua Huang is an Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department of Colorado School of Mines. Prior to this, he was a Principal Power System Engineer at Utilidata Inc and a Staff Power System Research Engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA, in 2016, B.Eng. and M.Eng. degrees in electrical engineering from South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China, in 2009 and 2012, respectively. He is the recipient of the 2019 IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Prize Paper Award, 2018 R&D 100 Award and best conference paper awards in IEEE PES General Meeting in 2020 and 2018. He serves as an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Power Systems. His research interests include power system modeling, simulation and control, fusion and application of AI/machine learning and advanced computing technologies for digitizing and transforming power and energy systems.

Gabriel Fierro, Assistant Professor, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO
Topic: Advancements in Semantic Metadata for Data Interoperability in Cyber-Physical Systems

Gabe Fierro is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Colorado School of Mines, with a joint appointment at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. His research focuses on the design of efficient data systems and data management methodologies for cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things, with the goal of enabling sustainable practices at societal scale. Dr. Fierro is a founder and the lead maintainer of Brick Schema, an open-source ontology and data model that defines a standard representation for smart building data. He is an internationally recognized expert in ontology design for cyber-physical systems and is actively involved with the IEA Annex 81 investigation and the development of the emerging ASHRAE 223P standard for data-driven smart buildings. Links to his research and open-source software can be found at https://gtf.fyi.

Weijia Liu, Researcher, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
Dr. Weijia Liu received his B.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, in 2011 and 2016, respectively. He joined National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as a researcher in 2019. From 2012 to 2015, He was a visiting research assistant at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Technical University of Denmark, and University of Sydney. From 2017 to 2019, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at University of Saskatchewan, Canada. His research interests include power system restoration and resilience, power system planning and operation, and integrated energy systems.
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Panel 2 – AI and data analytics for energy system operation and management at the edge – Part 2

The proliferation of grid-edge resources and the deployment of advanced sensing and control technologies in buildings and electric power distribution systems calls for novel and coordinated management of these energy systems at the grid edge. This has led to growing interest in the green tech industry and academia on AI and data analytics for better operation and manage these systems in a harmony manner to improve their operation efficiency and resilience while reducing carbon emission. This panel will include experts from academia, national lab and the industry to share unique perspective on the current state of the industry, rapidly evolving landscape of managing these resources at the grid edge, and discuss the challenges and opportunities posed by new technologies and business models.

Yiyun Yao, Senior Researcher, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
Dr. Yiyun Yao received his B.E. degree in electrical engineering from Chongqing University, Chongqing, China, in 2012 and M.S., Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, in 2015 and 2019. He joined National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as a researcher in 2019. He was a visiting research assistant at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in 2017. He was a research fellow at Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) in 2018. His research interests include operation, security, and economics of electric power systems

Qiuhua Huang, Associate Professor, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO
Topic: AI and data analytics for building management and DER control

Dr. Qiuhua Huang is an Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department of Colorado School of Mines. Prior to this, he was a Principal Power System Engineer at Utilidata Inc and a Staff Power System Research Engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA, in 2016, B.Eng. and M.Eng. degrees in electrical engineering from South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China, in 2009 and 2012, respectively. He is the recipient of the 2019 IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Prize Paper Award, 2018 R&D 100 Award and best conference paper awards in IEEE PES General Meeting in 2020 and 2018. He serves as an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Power Systems. His research interests include power system modeling, simulation and control, fusion and application of AI/machine learning and advanced computing technologies for digitizing and transforming power and energy systems.

Weijia Liu, Researcher, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
Dr. Weijia Liu received his B.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, in 2011 and 2016, respectively. He joined National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as a researcher in 2019. From 2012 to 2015, He was a visiting research assistant at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Technical University of Denmark, and University of Sydney. From 2017 to 2019, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at University of Saskatchewan, Canada. His research interests include power system restoration and resilience, power system planning and operation, and integrated energy systems.

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Panel 3 – Harnessing Grid Edge Resources via Grid-Interactive Smart Building Control – Part I

With the acceleration and exacerbation of global climate change, the human society is in dire need of technologies for decarbonization and sustainable development to avoid any irreversible consequences caused to the earth. Meanwhile, the increasing demand and renewable generation penetration are posing challenges for power system operation. Instead of blindly adding new power plants, the advance on the Internet of Things (IoT), edge/cloud computing and communication protocols enable resources at grid edge to be harnessed in a more affordable and extensive manner than ever. Buildings, which account for around 40% of the total U.S. energy consumption, can provide precious untapped flexibility to support the grid when properly coordinated and controlled, solving the “Last Mile” problem in the smart grid paradigm. Though grid-interactive building control presents itself as a promising solution, many challenges exist, and critical questions remain unanswered. For example, what are the urgent needs and challenges in real-world applications? How to implement intelligent building control at scale and without building-by-building customization? How the emerging and promising artificial intelligence (AI) can play a role in building engineering? To answer these questions, the research on grid-interactive buildings is gaining traction and important findings as well as key results are revealed recently. Therefore, the overall objective of this panel session is to present new research insights, technology advances as well as real-world practices/experience for implementing grid-interactive smart building control. Our invited panelists diverse in their affiliations, which include a national lab, a university and building energy management companies. Through this panel session, we would like to present to the audience a comprehensive picture of this emerging area from multiple perspectives and enable constructive discussions and potential future collaborations.

Xiangyu Zhang, Research Scientist, Computational Science Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Xiangyu Zhang is a research scientist from the AI, Learning and Intelligent Systems (ALIS) group in the Computational Science Center at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Wuhan University, Tsinghua University and Virginia Tech in 2012, 2014 and 2018 respectively. Currently, his research interests focus on learning-based optimal control and its applications in areas like smart grid demand response, grid-interactive building control and grid resilience. At NREL, Xiangyu leads or participates in multiple lab funded or the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded research projects. He has published over 30 research papers and developed five open-source software. Xiangyu also serves as guest editors/reviewers of several high-impact journals and conferences. He was an award recipient of the U.S. DOE Building-Grid Integration Research and Development Innovators Program in 2016.

Erika Gupta, R&D Group Head for Sustainable Buildings and Grids, Siemens AG.
Topic: Flexible Site Energy Optimization for Grid-Interactive Buildings

Erika Gupta (Presentation 1) is the Research Group Head at Siemens Technology for Sustainable Buildings and Grids and a Board Member at the Center for Sustainable Energy. She is responsible for the Sustainable Energy and Infrastructure strategy and research portfolio for Siemens in the U.S. Her portfolio and team are focused on developing next generation technologies to make our built environment more sustainable. Before joining Siemens Erika spent a decade at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). She was most recently the acting program manager for the Emerging Technologies Program in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Building Technologies (BTO). Her work at BTO leveraged her controls background, focusing on building energy management controls and projects supporting controls for grid-integrated efficient buildings as well as the launch of the multi-office Connected Communities Initiative.

Vince Cushing, CTO, QCoefficient, Inc.
Topic:  Grid-Interactive Buildings:  Carbon Reduction as a Byproduct of Reducing Electric Expense

Vince Cushing is the CTO of QCoefficient, Inc – the greentech outgrowth of a multi-year, multi-disciplinary RD&D collaboration with the Architectural Engineering Departments at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Penn State University and the Illinois Institute of Technology. He has 50 years of experience as an engineer, manager, and executive in the electric power industry, including power contracting; regional grid operations and markets; grid ancillary services; fossil plant NOx/SO2 compliance and allowance trading; grid-scale energy storage; 500kV and 230kV substation design and construction; financial risk management; SCADA systems; demand response; strategic planning; and transmission planning. Mr. Cushing has served on and chaired national and regional committees, including for the Edison Electric Institute, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Electric Power Research Institute, and the North American Electric Reliability Council (representing the generation industry on the NERC Operating Committee).  He holds several patents and co-authored several technical papers on building/grid integration.  He has written, mentored, and judged hundreds of business plans.  He earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master in engineering administration from George Washington University. He is a retired Registered Professional Engineer from the State of Maryland.

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Panel 4 – Harnessing Grid Edge Resources via Grid-Interactive Smart Building Control – Part II

With the acceleration and exacerbation of global climate change, the human society is in dire need of technologies for decarbonization and sustainable development to avoid any irreversible consequences caused to the earth. Meanwhile, the increasing demand and renewable generation penetration are posing challenges for power system operation. Instead of blindly adding new power plants, the advance on the Internet of Things (IoT), edge/cloud computing and communication protocols enable resources at grid edge to be harnessed in a more affordable and extensive manner than ever. Buildings, which account for around 40% of the total U.S. energy consumption, can provide precious untapped flexibility to support the grid when properly coordinated and controlled, solving the “Last Mile” problem in the smart grid paradigm. Though grid-interactive building control presents itself as a promising solution, many challenges exist, and critical questions remain unanswered. For example, what are the urgent needs and challenges in real-world applications? How to implement intelligent building control at scale and without building-by-building customization? How the emerging and promising artificial intelligence (AI) can play a role in building engineering? To answer these questions, the research on grid-interactive buildings is gaining traction and important findings as well as key results are revealed recently. Therefore, the overall objective of this panel session is to present new research insights, technology advances as well as real-world practices/experience for implementing grid-interactive smart building control. Our invited panelists diverse in their affiliations, which include a national lab, a university and building energy management companies. Through this panel session, we would like to present to the audience a comprehensive picture of this emerging area from multiple perspectives and enable constructive discussions and potential future collaborations.

Ahmed Zamzam, Research Scientist, Power Systems Engineering Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Ahmed Zamzam is a research scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where he leads research efforts to modernize the US electric grid. His research contributes to a more sustainable, reliable, and equitable power grid of the future by utilizing AI technologies to automate decision making and enhance real-time monitoring in the energy sector. Dr. Zamzam is part of the energy systems control and optimization research group at the national renewable energy laboratory. Prior to that, he obtained his PhD from the university of Minnesota in Electrical Engineering. He obtained his MSc and BSc degrees from Nile University, Egypt and Cairo University, Egypt, respectively. He is the recipient of two NREL President’s Awards. He has published over 30 scholarly articles and has served on the technical committees of several international IEEE conferences.

Gregor Henze, Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering University of Colorado, Boulder

Gregor Henze is professor and endowed chair in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado. His research emphasizes advanced control of building energy systems, energy flexibility, refrigeration systems, novel urban energy system designs, fault detection and diagnosis, occupant behavior and its impact, human presence detection, energy analytics and sensor fusion algorithms. He is primary author of more than 160 research articles, four of which have received best paper awards, and received three patents. He received the 2011 Colorado Cleantech Industry Association’s Research and Commercialization Award. Moreover, he is a professional mechanical engineer, certified high-performance building design professional, editorial board member for Journal Building Performance Simulation, Fellow of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, joint professor at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as well as co-founder and chief scientist at QCoefficient, Inc., a startup developing real-time optimal control solutions for grid-interactive efficient buildings. Recently, he was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Science, Technology, and Innovation at CSIRO in Newcastle, Australia for 2022.

Sourav Dey, Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering University of Colorado, Boulder
Topic:  Grid-Interactive Buildings:  Carbon Reduction as a Byproduct of Reducing Electric Expense

Xiangyu Zhang, Research Scientist, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado, U.S.A.
Topic:
From Model-Based to Model-Free: Learning Building Control for Demand Response

Xiangyu Zhang is a research scientist from the AI, Learning and Intelligent Systems (ALIS) group in the Computational Science Center at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Wuhan University, Tsinghua University and Virginia Tech in 2012, 2014 and 2018 respectively. Currently, his research interests focus on learning-based optimal control and its applications in areas like smart grid demand response, grid-interactive building control and grid resilience. At NREL, Xiangyu leads or participates in multiple lab funded or the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded research projects. He has published over 30 research papers and developed five open-source software. Xiangyu also serves as guest editors/reviewers of several high-impact journals and conferences. He was an award recipient of the U.S. DOE Building-Grid Integration Research and Development Innovators Program in 2016

Panel 5 – The critical role of medium-duty vehicle electrification in meeting emissions goals

Although it’s a vehicle category that’s critical to powering last-mile operations, medium-duty EV trucks have been long overlooked due to more complex charging, weight and payload challenges. However, the category has a critical role to play in meeting lofty emissions goals – especially given medium-duty commercial vehicles use over 8 billion gallons of fuel yearly and account for 26% of greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector – only second behind consumer cars.

With zero-emission deadlines looming and stricter standards being set, class 4-6 fleets must do more to cut down on their slice of the pie and become a key player in the fight against climate change. Now, it’s medium-duty’s moment to take the mainstage and become a core component of every company’s emissions reduction and sustainability strategies.

Jim Castelaz, Founder & CTO at medium-duty electrification leader Motiv Power Systems, and Jason Appelbaum, Founder & CEO at EV charging solutions company EverCharge, will discuss the scale-up of medium-duty electrification, necessary scale-down of emissions in the category, and what the transition actually looks like in practice – from the vehicles on the roads to the charging infrastructure on the ground.

Jim Castelaz, Founder and CTO, Motiv Power Systems
Jim Castelaz, founder and chief technology officer of Motiv Power Systems, is a leading electric vehicle entrepreneur, trained as an electrical engineer with expertise in power and embedded systems. Jim champions Motiv’s vision to free fleets from fossil fuels – a vision that summarizes his professional and personal passion. He has led Motiv from an idea in his living room to becoming the US market leader in common-platform electric truck and bus chassis. Jim’s experience includes capital formation, government grants, developing IP portfolios and building a world-class team aligned around a shared purpose. Jim holds an MSEE from Stanford University and BS in Engineering and Economics from Harvey Mudd College.

Jim Castelaz, Founder and CTO, Motiv Power Systems
Jim Castelaz, founder and chief technology officer of Motiv Power Systems, is a leading electric vehicle entrepreneur, trained as an electrical engineer with expertise in power and embedded systems. Jim champions Motiv’s vision to free fleets from fossil fuels – a vision that summarizes his professional and personal passion. He has led Motiv from an idea in his living room to becoming the US market leader in common-platform electric truck and bus chassis. Jim’s experience includes capital formation, government grants, developing IP portfolios and building a world-class team aligned around a shared purpose. Jim holds an MSEE from Stanford University and BS in Engineering and Economics from Harvey Mudd College.

Jason Appelbaum, Founder & CEO at EverCharge, Motiv Power Systems partner

Jason Appelbaum is the Founder and CEO of EverCharge, an SK Group company and leading provider of large-scale electric vehicle (EV) charging devices and management systems. A serial entrepreneur and proven expert at building businesses from the ground up, Jason has founded and sold three successful companies in his nearly two decades working in the consumer electronics and clean technology industries. Widely recognized as an industry leader in the EV space, Jason is deeply committed to developing innovative products and services that drive forward a more sustainable energy future for people, businesses, and the planet.

Panel 6 – Microgrids and DER Integration

Microgrids are becoming more popular with an aging grid and the passage of recent Legislation paving the course for alternative energy solutions. Factors such as increasing occurrences of natural disasters, the ongoing threat of cyber attacks and growing awareness of inadequate, outdated or failing grid infrastructure all compel future development in technology to provide power continuity. Traditional standby generation is no longer adequate. Microgrids provide a platform to keep the power on and operate critical assets over long periods of time while isolated from a damaged or failed grid. Microgrids can generally manage distributed power generation by providing optimal control, dynamic stability and balancing the demand and generation on a small but critical scale. This discussion will explore the building blocks of a microgrid, examine use cases and provide insights to a case study and justification thereof.

Energy Storage- Electrification especially in the transportation industry, takes electricity demands to new levels. Most existing electrical infrastructure was not sized for this emerging trend. A bank of electric vehicle (EV) chargers at a retail facility, for example, could easily double its peak energy demand. Energy storage solutions are needed to power the facility through those new peaks without the hassle, costs and delays that come with infrastructure upgrades. High-power storage battery allows you to shave off peak demand during the day, instantly saving money on monthly utility demand charges. Battery energy storage systems allow EV charging site owners to set the desired maximum power so when a peak period starts, the BESS provides supplemental energy, rather than pulling the entire amount from the grid.

Larry Rozcicha, Eaton Corporation
Mr. Rozcicha is a Business Development Manager for Eaton Corporation’s Electrical Services and Systems Division. He has over 30 years of experience in the electrical distribution industry. He began his career in field service with Schneider Electric and ABB. He has grown in experience to lead organizational teams in operations, sales and technical applications for Eaton. Presently, he is eagerly pursuing the global energy transition and assisting industry segments to understand and apply sustainability and resiliency metrics towards meeting ESG goals. He has been a member of IEEE since 2001.

Larry Rozcicha, Eaton Corporation, USA

Mr. Rozcicha is a Business Development Manager for Eaton Corporation’s Electrical Services and Systems Division. He has over 30 years of experience in the electrical distribution industry. He began his career in field service with Schneider Electric and ABB. He has grown in experience to lead organizational teams in operations, sales and technical applications for Eaton. Presently, he is eagerly pursuing the global energy transition and assisting industry segments to understand and apply sustainability and resiliency metrics towards meeting ESG goals. He has been a member of IEEE since 2001.

Dan Schmidt, Eaton Corporation, USA

Dan Schmidt is a Business Development Manager for Eaton Corporation’s EVCI – Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure within the Energy Transition Division. Dan is responsible for developing client and channel partner relationships within the entire construction ecosystem. Prior to joining the EVCI team, Dan was the Lead Sales Engineer for Eaton’s Critical Infrastructure Systems – Data Center and Battery Backup Solutions.

Panel 7 – High Efficiency Electric Motors for Industry and Electric Vehicles – Part I

This two-part panel will highlight and discuss the importance of energy efficiency and power density in electric motor and drive applications, exploring recent examples and ongoing trends with a focus on industrial motors, electric vehicle motors, thermal management, and advanced materials and manufacturing.

Dr. Steven Englebretson, ABB
Dr. Steven Englebretson is program manager for university and national laboratory collaboration at the ABB Corporate Research Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. Before joining ABB, he received an MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s from the Colorado School of Mines in 2002, where he also interned with the Distributed Generation team at NREL.

Dr. Ghanshyam Shrestha, ABB
Topic:  High-efficiency industrial motors

Dr. Ghanshyam Shrestha is R&D Technology Manager for ABB’s IEC LV Motors Division, leading the technology development portfolio and roadmap and ensuring results transfer towards future generations of product development in the mid- and long-term. Prior to joining ABB, he worked at Danotek Motion Technologies as a development engineer on permanent magnet generators for wind turbines. He holds a PhD from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, a Master’s from the University of Siegen, Germany, and a Bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Kathmandu University, Nepal.

Dr. Vandana Rallabandi, ORNL
Topic: High-efficiency electric vehicle motors

Dr. Vandana Rallabandi is a staff member at the electric drives research group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She has held prior positions at GE Research in Niskayuna, NY and Bangalore, India. Dr. Rallabandi received the M.Tech and the Ph.D. degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India , and was a post-doctoral researcher at the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at University of Kentucky. Her research interests include electric machines, electromagnetics, power electronics drives, renewable energy devices and systems, energy storage, and power systems.

Panel 8 – High Efficiency Electric Motors for Industry and Electric Vehicles – Part II

This two-part panel will highlight and discuss the importance of energy efficiency and power density in electric motor and drive applications, exploring recent examples and ongoing trends with a focus on industrial motors, electric vehicle motors, thermal management, and advanced materials and manufacturing.

Dr. Steven Englebretson, ABB
Dr. Steven Englebretson is program manager for university and national laboratory collaboration at the ABB Corporate Research Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. Before joining ABB, he received an MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s from the Colorado School of Mines in 2002, where he also interned with the Distributed Generation team at NREL.

Dr. Xuhui Feng, NREL
Topic: Thermal management of electric motors

Dr. Xuhui Feng is a Senior Research Engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory where he has led the modeling, testing, analysis and benchmarking of state-of-the-art thermal management systems for power electronics and electric machines in many popular EV and HEV vehicle systems as well as aviation, grid-tied power converters, solar system, and nuclear fusion systems. He has led or contributed to multiple projects supported by the DOE Vehicle Technologies Office, Advanced Manufacturing Office, ARPA-e, DARPA, and automotive manufacturers/suppliers. Dr. Feng earned his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University, his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and his bachelor’s degree in thermal science and energy engineering from the University of Science and Technology of China.

Dr. Darren Tremelling, ABB
Topic: Advanced materials & manufacturing for high efficiency motors

Dr. Darren Tremelling is a Senior Principal Scientist for ABB Corporate Research specializing in innovative materials and manufacturing for electric machines applications where he has contributed to many innovations related to high power density and high efficiency electric machines. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering.