Organizing Committee Biographies

Michael Pesin

Michael Pesin
ISGT 2018 Conference Chair
Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy

Michael Pesin is Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Advanced Grid Engineering Research and Development Division at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. Mr. Pesin has over 30 years of experience in the electric utility industry directing development and execution of advanced technology programs.

Prior to joining the DOE Mr. Pesin spent most of his career leading technology organizations at electric utilities where he led technology strategy development, managed research and development programs, and directed strategic programs and demonstration projects. These included substation and distribution automation, advanced metering infrastructure, communication networks and cybersecurity, energy storage, distributed generation, microgrids, electric vehicles, transactive energy, energy management and distribution management systems.

Mr. Pesin also founded and led a management consulting company working in the US and internationally with electric utilities, technology companies and investors. He was a board member at a number of technology organizations, is actively involved with many electric power industry groups, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.

Julio Romero Agüero

Julio Romero Agüero
ISGT 2018 Conference Publications Chair
Vice President, Strategy and Business Innovation, Quanta Technology

Dr. Julio Romero Agüero is Vice President, Strategy and Business Innovation at Quanta Technology. He has 22 years of industry experience and provides leadership to Quanta Technology in the areas of technology and business strategy, grid modernization, distribution systems analysis, planning and engineering, and integration of distributed energy resources and emerging technologies. He has developed solutions in these areas for electric utilities and regulatory boards in the USA, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and Chair of the IEEE Distribution Subcommittee. He has served as Chair of the IEEE Working Group on Distributed Resources Integration, Editor of IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, and Editor of IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid. He is Adjunct Professor at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Lecturer on Smart Grid Systems at University of Houston. He is a former Commissioner of the National Energy Commission of Honduras.

Robert W. Cummings

Robert W. Cummings
ISGT 2018 Conference NERC Representative
NERC Senior Director of Engineering and Reliability Initiatives

Mr. Cummings joined NERC in 1996 and has extensive experience in the industry in system planning, operations engineering, and wide area planning. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Power System Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is an IEEE Senior Member. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of CURENT (Center for Ultra-wide Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks), a National Science Foundation and Department of Energy Engineering Research Center. His geographically diverse experience includes Central Vermont Public Service Corporation in System Planning (generation and transmission), Public Service Company of New Mexico, and the East Central Area Reliability Coordination Agreement (ECAR) regional office of NERC.

Mr. Cummings was the “father” of power interchange transaction “tagging” and the Interchange Distribution Calculator for the Eastern Interconnection. Mr. Cummings was instrumental in the founding of the NERC System Protection and Controls Task Force, now the System Protection and Control Subcommittee, acting as the staff coordinator from 2004 through 2009.

He was a principal investigator of the 2003 Northeast Blackout and the more recent September 8, 2011 Arizona-Southern California Outage, leading multiple event analysis teams in the sequence of events development, modeling and studies (powerflow and dynamics analysis), and transmission/generation performance areas. He directed the NERC Event Analysis program for five years, leading or working on 12 major disturbance analyses.

Mr. Cummings is the senior staff technical advisor for the NERC System Analysis and Modeling and the System Protection and Controls Subcommittees, and is the technical advisor to the North American Synchro-Phasor Initiative. He is also the technical director of the NERC System Protection Improvement Initiative, the Modeling Improvements Initiative, and the Frequency Response Initiative.

Jerry FitzPatrick

Jerry FitzPatrick
ISGT 2018 Conference Technical Chair

Gerald “Jerry” FitzPatrick is the leader of the Applied Electrical Metrology (AEM) Group and the Wide Area Monitoring and Control and Smart Meters (WAMCSM) Project at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The WAMCSM project conducts research and development in measurements to support performance characterization and promote the interoperability of smart grid devices and systems such as Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs), Merging Units (MUs), smart sensors, and smart meters. The project develops improved measurement systems, tests, and calibrations for intelligent grid equipment to ensure the measurement accuracy as well as interoperability necessary to enable and accelerate the smart grid. The project also has played a major role in the development and harmonization of smart grid standards in both IEEE and IEC. These advancements are achieved through hardware-in-the-loop simulations of real-world applications and R&D performed in the NIST Smart Grid Testbed laboratories. The AEM Group maintains and improves the U.S. national standards for voltage, current, power, and energy that are the foundation of part of the U.S. measurement system. The measurements of these basic standards, which are based on quantum effects and fundamental constants for the highest accuracy and stability, are disseminated through a chain of measurements of transfer standards to end-user equipment such as handheld multimeters and residential smart meters.

Jerry began his career at NIST as a researcher in high voltage insulation and measurements in 1988 after receiving his PhD. in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He received his M.S.E.E. from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1984, and his B.S. in Physics from Rutgers University in 1979. Prior to joining NIST, Jerry had been a researcher in high voltage insulation testing and development at Exxon Research and Engineering Company in Annandale, N.J., where he worked on projects to determine the mechanisms of insulation behavior and failure.

Jay Giri

Jay Giri
Retired – GE Grid Solutions

Jay Giri retired in July 2017. He was director at GE Grid Software Solutions in Redmond, Washington where he lead a team of power system engineers who delivered generation control, market applications and synchrophasor/phasor measurement unit (PMU) applications to utility control centers. He is an affiliate faculty at the University of Washington.

In 1978, Jay and 11 other engineers co-founded Energy System Computer Applications (ESCA). Over time, ESCA became Alstom Grid in 2010 and GE Grid Solutions in 2015. Jay designed and implemented the original software for the ESCA automatic generation control (AGC) and dispatcher training simulator (DTS) power system simulation functions. Today this AGC controls over 50% of North American generation as well as generation in many other countries, and the DTS is one of the predominant simulators used by control centers worldwide.

Jay Giri has a PhD from Clarkson University in New York and a B. Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. Elected IEEE Fellow in 2002: “for contributions to the design and implementation of power system control centers.” Member of the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Governing Board – Member at Large for Industry Outreach – 2011-2016. Alstom Grid Senior Fellow 2013, member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences 2015. Elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2017, “for contributions to utility control center technologies to enhance grid situational awareness and reliability”

Donald Hall

Donald Hall, P.E.
ISGT 2018 Conference Vice-Chair
Manager – Capacity Planning, Pepco Holdings / An Exelon Company

Donald Hall is Manager – Capacity Planning for Pepco Holdings (an Exelon Company), which consists of three major Mid-Atlantic utilities, Atlantic City Electric, Delmarva Power, and Pepco. Don has over 35 years of experience in the Transmission, Distribution, and Distributed Energy Resources areas of the electric utility industry, leading various disciplines including Planning & Design, Operations & Testing, and Software Product Management.

Mr. Hall holds an MSEE from Kansas State University and Professional Engineer Licenses in DC, DE, and MD, is active in industry standards development (IEEE/PES), Chairs the IEEE PES General Meeting Steering Committee, and is an adjunct engineering instructor at Delaware Technical Community College.

Ron Melton

Dr. Ron Melton
ISGT 2018 Conference Secretary
Senior Power Systems Researcher and Project Manager, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Dr. Melton a Senior Power Systems Researcher and Project Manager in the Electricity Infrastructure Group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). He is the administrator of the GridWise® Architecture Council and the Principal Investigator for the DOE Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium project for an ADMS Open Source Platform. He was Project Director of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration that concluded in June 2015. He has 10 years of experience in cyber security for critical infrastructure systems and over 30 years of experience applying computer technology to a variety of engineering and scientific problems. Dr. Melton is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a Senior Member of the Association for Computing Machinery. Dr. Melton received his BSEE from University of Washington and his MS and PhD in Engineering Science from the California Institute of Technology.

Joe Paladino

Joe Paladino
Technical Advisor, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Department of Energy

Mr. Joseph Paladino has worked for most of his career in the advancement and commercialization of technology to address energy and environmental issues. His efforts in both private and public organizations have focused on waste management, energy efficiency, and energy infrastructure modernization. Over the past several years, he led efforts to convey the impact of the smart grid technologies advanced in projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. His current focus is to leverage this information to help decision-makers, including regulators, make informed infrastructure investments given the rapid advancement in technology and customer options.

Mr. Paladino has an A.B. in Biology from Middlebury College and an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He also holds a patent for a design for a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility.

Masood Parvania

Masood Parvania
Assistant Professor, University of Utah

Dr. Masood Parvania is currently an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering with the University of Utah. His research interests are on the applications of mathematical optimization methods, calculus of variations, and scientific computing to the operation and planning of interdependent critical infrastructure, cyber-physical power and energy systems, and modeling and integration of distributed renewable energy resources.

Dr. Parvania is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid. He is the Chair of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Utah Chapter, Chair of the IEEE PES Task Force on Reliability Impacts of Demand Response Integration, and the Secretary of the IEEE PES Reliability, Risk and Probability Application (RRPA) Subcommittee. He is a member of the IEEE and INFORMS.

Thomas J. Pierpoint

Thomas J. Pierpoint
ISGT 2018 Conference Plenary Chair
Director of Business Applications, Pepco

Thomas J. Pierpoint is Director of Business Applications at PHI, an Exelon company. Exelon is a FORTUNE 100 company that works in every stage of the energy business: power generation, competitive energy sales, transmission and delivery. As the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, Exelon does business in 48 states, D.C., and Canada and had 2016 revenues of over $31 billion. Exelon directly employs nearly 35,000 people nationwide.

Mr. Pierpoint and his team are responsible for the enterprise software applications that support the PHI electric and gas utilities: Pepco, Delmarva Power & Light and Atlantic City Electric. These enterprise software applications support key functions such as Customer Care, Asset Management, Engineering, Operations and Emergency Management. This group also manages mobile applications that support outage restorations and provide the public and government agencies with access to outage information. In addition, Mr. Pierpoint is one of the leads for the Pepco Incident Management Team that responds to emergency events impacting the Washington, DC metro area. This team consists of nearly 1,400 employees with second roles.

Mr. Pierpoint holds an MIT Sloan Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation. Mr. Pierpoint also holds a Master’s in Business Administration, a Master’s in Project Management, graduate work in Software Engineering and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering Technology.

Mr. Pierpoint currently serves as a member of the IEEE PES Policy Support Team as well as the IEEE Energy Policy Committee

Farrokh Rahmimi

Farrokh Rahmimi
Senior Vice President, OATI

Farrokh Rahimi holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), along with over 40 years of experience in the electric power industry. In his current role as Senior Vice President, Market Design and Consulting at Open Access Technology International, Inc. (OATI), Dr. Rahimi oversees development of market design and consulting activities, and is also a key contributor to OATI’s Smart Grid and Grid Modernization activities.

Dr. Rahimi is Life Member of IEEE and a member of a number of Smart Grid and Grid Modernization task forces and committees collaborating with IEEE, NERC, NIST, NAESB, WECC, IRC, and GWAC among others.

Matthew Stryjewski

Matthew Stryjewski
ISGT 2018 Conference Treasurer
Director – Global Engineering Standards, American Sugar Refining, Inc.

Matthew Stryjewski is Director of Global Engineering Standards for American Sugar Refining, Inc., which is the world’s largest cane sugar refining and marketing company. Matt has also worked for Baltimore Gas & Electric (an Exelon Company) and AT&T Mobility throughout his career. He has actively participated within numerous engineering research and development organizations over the years including EPRI, PSERC and NEETRAC.

Mr. Stryjewski holds a BSEE from the University of Maryland, College Park, is an active member of the Baltimore IEEE Section and Baltimore PES Chapter, is the Vice Chair for the IEEE PES General Meeting Steering Committee and is a member of the IEEE-USA R&D Policy Committee.

Yonael Teklu

Yonael Teklu
ISGT 2018 Conference Volunteer Chair
Energy Systems and Information Technology Officer, Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute

Yonael Teklu received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and his M.Sc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech, USA. He is currently the Energy Systems and Information Technology Officer at Virginia Tech’s Advanced Research Institute. His research interests include energy systems planning, smart grids, renewable energy and distributed generation systems. He has served as chair of the IEEE PES Chapter for Northern Virginia and Washington DC as well as volunteer chair at ISGT2017 conference.

Ebrahim Vaahedi

Ebrahim Vaahedi
Associate Vice President, Open Access Technology International

Dr. Ebrahim Vaahedi is an Associate Vice President at OATI where he leads Smart Grid solution development. He has over 30 years of experience in different segments of Energy Industry specializing in the development and execution of technology strategies for utility industry. Dr. Vaahedi joined OATI following his prior position with a major Canadian utility as Chief Technology Officer where he was accountable for developing and executing a consolidated technology plan. Dr. Vaahedi is a Fellow of IEEE, has authored many publications including a recent book in modern power system operation entitled “Practical Power System Operation”. Presently he chairs IEEE Bulk Power System Operations Committee and IEEE Smart Grid Publications Committee.