Keynote Speakers

Dr. John BallatoWednesday, March 11th - 8:15-8:45 am
Energy and The Economy
Dr. John Ballato, Clemson University

John Ballato is Vice President for Economic Development at Clemson University (Clemson, SC, USA). A professor of materials science and engineering, Dr. Ballato served previously as Clemson' Vice President for Research (interim), Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees and center director. He earned a B.S. in Ceramic Science and Engineering (1993) and the Ph.D. in Ceramic and Materials Engineering (1997) from Rutgers University. Dr. Ballato has published 300 archival scientific papers, holds over 25 U.S. and foreign patents, and has given in excess of 150 keynote / invited lectures. Among numerous other honors, he is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS), the Optical Society of America (OSA), the International Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE), and is a Liberty Fellow. More recently, he was the 2014 recipient of the Class of '39 Award for Excellence, which is presented annually to one distinguished member of the Clemson faculty whose outstanding contributions have been judged by his or her peers to represent the highest achievement of service to the University. He also received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Scientific Research (2014), which is bestowed by the Governor of South Carolina, on behalf of its citizen's, and recognizes "an individual within the state whose achievements and contributions to science in South Carolina merit special recognition and to promote wider awareness of the quality and extent of scientific activity in South Carolina."

Mr. John McDonaldWednesday, March 11th - 8:45-9:30 am
The future of Energy: Smart Grid and beyond
Mr. John D. McDonald, General Electric

John D. McDonald, P.E., is Director, Technical Strategy and Policy Development for GE Energy Management's Digital Energy business. John has 40 years of experience in the electric utility industry. John joined GE in 2008 as General Manager, Marketing for GE Energy's Transmission and Distribution (now Digital Energy) business. In 2010, John accepted his current role of Director, Technical Strategy and Policy Development where he is responsible for setting and driving the vision that integrates GE's standards participation, and Digital Energy's industry organization participation, thought leadership activities, regulatory/policy participation, education programs, and product/systems development into comprehensive solutions for customers.

Mr. Mark McGranaghanWednesday, March 11th - 12:05-1:15 pm
Opportunities for Research Collaboration
Mr. Mark McGranaghan, EPRI

Mark McGranaghan is Vice President of the Power Delivery and Utilization (PDU) Sector for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). He leads the teams responsible for EPRI's research involving technologies, systems, and practices for the power delivery system from the generator to the plug and for the devices and technologies that use the electricity. From 2003 to 2010, Mark was Director of Research in the Distribution and Smart Grid areas for EPRI. Priorities during this period were restructuring of the distribution research program, coordinating the EPRI research in the smart grid area with government and industry efforts, creating the smart grid demonstration initiative, and increasing the technical strength of the EPRI research team. Mark has BSEE and MSEE from Univ. of Toledo and an MBA from the Univ. of Pittsburgh. He has taught seminars and workshops around the world and is very active in standards development and industry activities (IEEE, CIGRE, IEC). He is a member of the NIST SGIP Governing Board and he is the Vice-Chairman of the CIRED US National Committee.

Dr. Mohamed A. El-SharkawiWednesday, March 11th - 1:20-2:15 pm
Impact of Smart Grid: On Renewable Energy
Dr. Mohamed A. El-Sharkawi, University of Washington

Mohamed A. El-Sharkawi is a Fellow of IEEE. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1980. In 1980 he joined the University of Washington as a faculty member where he is presently a Professor of Electrical Engineering. He also served as the Associate Chair and the Chairman of Graduate Studies and Research.

Mr. Scott HenryThursday, March 12th - 12:05-1:15 pm
The ERO: Success or Failure
Mr. Scott Henry, SERC

Scott Henry is President and CEO of the SERC Reliability Corporation, a nonprofit corporation responsible for promoting and assessing the reliability and critical infrastructure protection of the bulk power system in 16 southeastern and central states. He oversees all aspects of SERC's operation as a regional entity performing reliability oversight under a delegation agreement approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Mr. Henry also developed Duke Power's regulatory policy and was named director of regulatory policy and later Vice President of energy policy in 2005. Mr. Henry graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor's of science and master's of science degrees in electric engineering, with a focus in power system analysis. He earned a master's of business administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is a registered professional engineer in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Mr. Robert W. Cummings Thursday, March 12th - 1:20-2:15 pm
Integrating Innovation- Understanding Resulting Grid Behavior and Performance
Mr. Robert W. Cummings, NERC

Robert W. Cummings is the NERC Director of Reliability Initiatives and System Analysis. He joined the NERC Staff in December 1996. Since that time, he has served in a number of capacities, as staff coordinator on several NERC subcommittees, working groups, and task forces including the areas of system protection, reliability assessment, NERC/DOE data coordination, and technical support systems for reliability coordinators. His current position entails “deep-dive” forensic analysis of system disturbances, and leadership roles in system modeling and analysis. Mr. Cummings was the lead investigator in the 2003 blackout and was a principal technical contributor to the U.S. Canada Task Force Final Report on the August 14, 2003 Blackout in the United States and Canada: Causes and Recommendations, and the NERC Technical Analysis of the August 14, 2003, Blackout. He has participated in and led several system disturbance analyses including the September 2011 blackout in the Southwestern United States. He also is NERC's technical advisor in the North American Synchrophasor Initiative (NASPI) and is the technical director of the NERC System Protection Improvement Initiative, the Modeling Improvements Initiative, and the Frequency Response Initiative. Mr. Cummings earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Power System from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1975. Bob is a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of the Vermont Society of Engineers."

Dr. David Ortiz Thursday, March 12th - 6:15-7:15 pm
Federal R&D in Electricity Systems: Preparing for Uncertainty
Dr. David Ortiz, U.S. Department of Energy

David Ortiz is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Infrastructure Modeling and Analysis (EIMA) in the Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. The EIMA Division supports cutting-edge research and development that is focused on enabling new ways of delivering and managing electricity for a reliable, secure, resilient, and advanced U.S. energy infrastructure. The Division’s activities include advanced modeling and visualization, energy infrastructure risk analyses, reliability assessments, and synchrophasor-based tool development. Prior to joining OE, Dr. Ortiz was a Senior Engineer and Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee-RAND Graduate School. At RAND, Dr. Ortiz built a multi-million dollar program of research and analysis in energy technology and policy. In 2006, in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, he led the RAND team that demonstrated a new approach to coastal planning for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Louisiana. The State of Louisiana subsequently adopted the approach, using it to develop its 2012 Louisiana Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. In support of the 2012 Master Plan, David led a team of RAND researchers and modelers to develop a flood risk model. David earned the Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan in Electrical Engineering in signals and systems. He graduated cum laude from Princeton University, earning the B.S.E. degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. David is a member of IEEE, the IEEE Control Systems Society, and the IEEE Power and Energy Society. "

Mr. Kip GeringFriday, March 13th - 8:00-9:00 am
The Next Big Thing-What Does Edge Intelligence Really Mean for Smart Metering and Smart Grid?
Mr. Kip Gering, Itron

Kip Gering has over 14 years of experience in the energy sector. In 2013, he was selected as Director of Product Management for Itron’s smart grid and meter data management product lines. In this capacity, he is responsible for the overall product lifecycle of electricity metering, network technologies, headend and meter data management software. Prior to joining Itron, he was a United States Air Force acquisition officer responsible for various research and development programs for Air Force Space Command. Kip received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics & Information Science from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina and a Master of Business Administration from Gonzaga University.