Plenary Speakers

Day 1 – Distribution and Transmission Operations for the Grid of the Future

Martin Huang

Martin Huang
ISGT 2020 Conference Panelist
VP Operations, Hydro One

Martin is an electric power industry executive with 30 years of experience in grid operations, engineering and planning. His career started in the third largest utility in Canada progressed from System Planning Engineer, front-line Real-time Operations Supervisor, Manager of System Control Center, General Manager of Real Time Operations for the provincial grid and finally to the role of Vice President of Grid Operations from 2005 to 2015. He is currently the Vice President of System Operations at Hydro One, responsible for the safe and reliable operations of the transmission and distribution systems, and the AMI network for Hydro One Network Inc, Canada’s largest pure-play electric transmission and distribution utility.

Audrey Lee

Audrey Lee
ISGT 2020 Conference Panelist
Vice President, Energy Services, SunRun

Audrey deploys and aggregates home solar, batteries, and other energy services to serve residential customers, utilities, and grid operators in creating a more affordable, clean, reliable electricity grid. She leads Grid Services, Advanced Product, and Data Science teams at SunRun. Audrey also serves on the NIST Smart Grid Advisory Committee. Previously, she built the analytics and operations platform at Advanced Microgrid Solutions to optimize a 50 MW fleet of customer-sited batteries as a virtual power plant in Southern California. Prior to that, Audrey led policy and analysis at the CA Public Utilities Commission President’s office, Harvard University, U.S. Department of Energy and the International Energy Agency. She holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Princeton University.

Kash Nodehi

Kash Nodehi
ISGT 2020 Conference Panelist
Executive VP, Open Access Technology International

Dr. Kash Nodehi has over 31 years of experience in the energy industry. Dr. Nodehi is a Senior Executive Vice President at Open Access Technology International, Inc. (OATI). Dr. Nodehi has been in various OATI product life cycles from design and development to implementation.

As Senior Executive Vice President, Dr. Nodehi has been involved in: Design and development of OATI advanced architectures for Internet of Things (IoT) platform. Design and implementation of OATI GridMind, the OATI Microgrid Control System. Design and implementation of GridControl, the OATI end-to-end Smart Grid implementation. Design and deployment of OATI webAccounting product in energy accounting deployments, as well as settlement system solutions. Lead technical team in various OATI product deliveries, such as Midwest ISO ICCS, Midwest ISO Physical Scheduling System, Southwest Power Pool Scheduling System, TVA Transmission, Energy Scheduling, Southern Company Transmission Scheduling, and a number of other transmission management and reliability offerings. Design, development, and deployment of Mid-Continent Area Power Pool (MAPP) back-end Available Transfer Capability (ATC) calculation and automatic transmission request evaluation using a flow-based ATC calculation methodology developed at OATI. Initial design of system architecture and user interface for NERC IDC developed by OATI. Design and development of system architectures for various OATI products, such as webScheduler, webTrans, and webSmartOASIS. Design and development of system architectures for OATI service-related products such as OATI tagging system and Energy Trading System.

Dr. Nodehi has 5 patents, and earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering Power Systems from Iowa State University.

Ebrahim Vaahedi

Ebrahim Vaahedi
ISGT 2020 Conference Panel Chair
Associate Vice President, OATI

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.

Arthur (Bud) Vos

Arthur (Bud) Vos
ISGT 2020 Conference Panelist
President and CEO, Enbala

With more than 17 years of energy industry experience, Bud Vos has in-depth experience with providing high-value software solutions to utilities. As president and CEO of Enbala, Bud is leading the company as it continues to expand its industry-leading Virtual Power Plant and DERMS solutions. Bud previously served as the COO of Simple Energy, a SaaS-based company that leverages data analytics to motivate utility customers to save energy. He was also senior vice president of utility sales and CTO of Comverge, a leading provider of integrated demand response, energy efficiency and customer engagement solutions. In addition, Bud was founder and vice president of engineering at Sixth Dimension, a provider of Internet-based control systems for demand response and distributed generation systems.

Barry K. Worthington

Barry K. Worthington
ISGT 2020 Conference Panelist
Executive Director
United States Energy Association

Barry K. Worthington is the executive director of the United States Energy Association (USEA). Through its membership, USEA represents 150 members across the U.S. energy sector from the largest Fortune 500 companies to small energy consulting firms. In his role, Mr. Worthington represents the broad interests of the U.S. energy industry and meets with domestic and international energy leaders to advance information and unearth partnerships to develop energy infrastructure projects across the world. Mr. Worthington has served as executive director of USEA for 30 years. Before that, he was vice president of the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation and served in several capacities with Houston Lighting & Power, now CenterPoint Energy. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Man & Environmental Relations from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science degree in Studies of the Future from the University of Houston.

Day 2 – Distribution and Transmission Operations for the Grid of the Future Part 2

Robert Bennett
President & CEO, Emera Technologies, Tampa, Florida

Rob began his career in electrical engineering in 1988 when he first joined Nova Scotia Power. Over the course of his nearly 30-year career, Rob has held senior management and leadership positions across the Emera companies.  In 2018, Rob was appointed CEO of Emera Technologies Inc., a new Emera company that will capitalize on business opportunities and develop new technologies related to energy transformation. Prior to this, Rob led Emera’s integration with TECO Energy, which Emera acquired in July 2016. His earlier leadership positions at Emera include Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Emera Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer at Nova Scotia Power; President and Chief Operating Officer of Bangor Hydro Electric Company (now part of Emera Maine). Rob offers his time to many causes throughout his community, particularly those in the fields of healthcare, education and ethics. Rob is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University and holds an engineering degree from Dalhousie University (DalTech).

Paul De Martini
Managing Partner, Newport Consulting

Paul De Martini is a leading expert on the business, policy and technology dimensions of a more distributed power system. His work draws upon a unique set of successful executive experiences in transforming utility operations, building successful competitive energy services firms and growing technology ventures. His extensive writings and consulting work have influenced industry transformation efforts in Australia, Canada, and across the US.

Paul was previously the Chief Technology & Strategy Officer, Energy Internet of Things at Cisco Systems and Vice President, Advanced Technology at Southern California Edison. Currently, he is a visiting scholar at Caltech and adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco. Paul holds an MBA, University of Southern California and BS, Applied Economics, University of San Francisco. He is a California state certified electric system operator.

Charles Hanley
Sr. Manager, Grid Modernization and Resilient Infrastructures, Sandia National Laboratories

Mr. Hanley is Senior Manager of the Grid Modernization and Resilient Infrastructures Group at Sandia National Laboratories. His group conducts research on enhancing the resilience of our critical energy infrastructures, including grid-scale optimization, controls, and microgrids; energy storage technologies; renewable energy integration; power electronics; cyber security; and advanced analytics for complex systems. He joined Sandia in 1988 and has been working in Sandia’s renewable energy and electric grid programs since 1994. From 2005 through 2014, Charlie managed Sandia’s Photovoltaics and Distributed Systems Integration Program. Prior to that, he managed Sandia’s international renewable energy programs, through which he oversaw the implementation of more than 400 photovoltaic and wind energy systems in Latin America. He received his B.S. in Engineering Science from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York.

Pat Vincent-Collawn
Chairman, President & CEO of PNM Resources

Pat Vincent-Collawn is Chairman, President and CEO of PNM Resources, the parent company for utilities PNM in New Mexico and TNMP in Texas. Vincent-Collawn joined PNM Resources in 2007, serving as Utilities President with responsibility for overseeing the daily operation of PNM and TNMP.  In 2008, she was named President and Chief Operating Officer, and in March 2010 became President and CEO of PNM Resources.  The Board elected her Chairman in January 2012. On a national level, Vincent-Collawn currently serves as the Chair of EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute).  She also serves on the boards of EEI (Edison Electric Institute) where she is a former chair, NEIL (Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited), and CTS Corporation (NYSE:CTS).  She is a former member of the Economic Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism (magna cum laude) from Drake University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Jean-Paul Watson
Bosque Advisors

Dr. Jean-Paul Watson is a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in the Data Science and Cyber Analytics Department of Sandia National Laboratories, in Livermore, California. He has over 16 years of experience developing, applying, and analyzing algorithms for solving difficult combinatorial optimization and informatics problems, in fields ranging from logistics and infrastructure security to geospatial imagery analysis and computational chemistry. His research currently focuses on methods for approximating the solution of large -scale deterministic and stochastic mixed-integer and non-linear optimization problems, with applications in the domain of electricity grid operations, planning, and resiliency. Previously, he developed solutions for real-world stochastic optimization problems in logistics (Lockheed Martin and the US Army) and sensor placement (US Environmental Protection Agency). He has published over 65 journal articles, is a co-author of the widely used and R&D 100 award-winning Pyomo ( open source library for mathematical programming, and a recent recipient of the INFORMS Computing Society (ICS) Prize.

Day 3 – Success Factors on the Path to the Smart Grid

M. Michelle Blaise
Senior Vice President of Technical Services at ComEd

M. Michelle Blaise, Senior Vice President of Technical Services, is responsible for Engineering, Project Management and Smart Grid & Technology for ComEd.

ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). ComEd delivers electricity to more than 4 million residential and business customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population.

Exelon is a Fortune 100 energy company with the largest number of electricity and natural gas customers in the U.S. The company does business in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada and had 2018 revenue of $36 billion. Exelon serves approximately 10 million customers in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania through its Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO and Pepco subsidiaries. Exelon is one of the largest competitive U.S. power generators, with 31,000 megawatts of nuclear, gas, wind, solar and hydroelectric generating capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. The company’s Constellation business unit provides energy products and services to approximately 2 million residential, public sector and business customers, including more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100.

Prior to her role as senior vice president of Technical Services, Blaise served as vice president of Engineering and Project Management and oversaw maintenance, reliability, and capacity planning. She was also responsible for planning and execution of transmission and substation projects as well as execution of Energy Infrastructure Modernization (EIMA) program. Blaise has held a variety of positions with increasing responsibilities in customer operations, strategic planning, distribution operations and engineering including manager of Construction and Maintenance, Manager of Strategic Planning, and Manager of Business Planning. Blaise serves as a member of the board of directors for the Women’s Business Development Center. Blaise holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a Master of Business Administration from DePaul University.

Jianwei (Jay) Liu, Ph.D.
Sr. Lead Engineer, Infrastructure Coordination

Dr. Jay Liu is currently a Senior Lead Engineering at PJM focusing on transmission and generation infrastructure implementation. In the past 25 years, he has successfully involved in the integration of more than 800 transmission and generation projects. Dr. Liu is an active volunteer at IEEE PES and SA. He is a member of the IEEE Industry Technical Support Leadership Committee and acted as PES liaison for IEEE-NERC JOC from 2016 to 2019.

David Ortiz
Deputy Director of the Office of Electric Reliability, FERC

David Ortiz is the Deputy Director of the Office of Electric Reliability. Prior to joining the Commission, David was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Infrastructure Modeling and Analysis at the U.S. Department of Energy, where he directed a wide range of research and development on electricity transmission systems and energy system risk. Key research areas included: transmission system models, advanced control systems, computation, mathematics and algorithms, synchrophasors, and geomagnetic disturbances, among others.

He represented the Department as the Federal nonvoting member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Member Representatives Committee and led interagency outreach efforts. From 1998 through 2013, David worked at the RAND Corporation, where he built a program of energy policy research and analysis. David earned his doctorate in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He graduated from Princeton University. David lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife, Nicole, and two children. He is an avid cyclist, home cook, and musician.

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.