North America Smart Energy Week


September 23-26, 2019
Salt Palace Convention Center Salt Lake City, UT

Technical Symposium Committee

Meet the Committee Chairs

Sarah Kurtz, Professor at the University of California Merced, Research Fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Sector: Photovoltaic

Sarah Kurtz obtained her PhD in 1985 from Harvard University and has worked since then at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Golden, CO.  She is known for her contributions to developing multijunction, GaInP/GaAs solar cells, supporting the Concentrator Photovoltaic (PV) industry, and, more recently, her work with PV performance and reliability. Her work has been recognized with a jointly received Dan David Prize in 2007 and the Cherry Award in 2012.  Currently, she is managing the PV Reliability Group at NREL and working to facilitate the growth of the PV industry through improved understanding of the performance and reliability of PV.

Prof. Andrea Alberto Mammoli, Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of New Mexico
Sector: Smart Technologies

Andrea Mammoli is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Mexico, and Director of the Center for Emerging Energy Technologies, an organization within the School of Engineering dedicated to research on the integration of distributed energy resources on the electricity grid through system architecture and controls. Mammoli has been active in the field of distributed energy systems since 2005, with projects including solar-assisted HVAC in commercial buildings, building-scale energy storage, distribution-level PV and battery systems, and microgrids, in the context of optimization and controls leading to better economics and enhanced resilience. He conducts research in collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute, Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, among others. Mammoli obtained a Ph.D. in mechanical and materials engineering in 1995 from the University of Western Australia, and was Director's Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory between 1995 and 1997 in the Energy and Process Engineering group, prior to joining UNM.

Zhihua Qu, Ph.D., Pegasus Professor & Chair of ECE Department, SAIC Endowed Professor, CECS at University of Central Florida

Sector: Energy Storage

Zhihua Qu received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, in June 1990. Since then, he has been with the University of Central Florida (UCF), Orlando. Currently, he is the SAIC Endowed Professor in College of Engineering and Computer Science, Pegasus Professor and the Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and the Director of FEEDER Center (funded by Department of Energy). His areas of expertise are nonlinear systems and control, with applications to autonomous systems and energy/power systems. His most recent work focuses upon cooperative control and plug-and-play operation of networked systems, distributed optimization and game algorithms, and resilient networked controls. In energy systems, his research covers distributed energy resources, dynamic stability of power systems, anti-islanding control and protection, distributed generation and load sharing control, distributed VAR compensation, distributed optimization, and cooperative control. In robotics and autonomous vehicles, his research deals with control of nonholonomic systems, real-time path planning, and tele-operated systems. Dr. Qu served on the Board of Governors, IEEE CSS and is currently serving as the chair of IEEE CSS Technical Committee on Smart Grid. He also serves on the board of ECEDHA (ECE Department Chairs Association) and as the secretary of SCEEE (Southeastern Center for Electrical Engineering Education). He has served as an Associate Editor for Automatica, IEEE ACCESS, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control. He is an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer.

Meet the Committee Members

Michele Boyd
Technology Manager, Contractor with the Solar Energy Technologies Office, US Department of Energy

Sector: Photovoltaic

Michele is a technology manager contracted with the Solar Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she manages projects that bring technologies to market to reduce the soft costs of solar energy. She also provides technical assistance to federal agencies and Congress on solar matters. Previously, Michele was the government relations manager at Abengoa Solar, where she developed and implemented strategies to advance effective financing, siting, and transmission policies for solar.  Prior to her work on solar, Michele focused on issues related to nuclear weapons, nuclear power and nuclear waste. Michele has two B.S. in biology and in environmental science from Purdue University and a M.S. in environmental policy from the University of Michigan.

Troy Chatwin, Director Regulatory Standards at GE Energy Storage
Sector: Energy Storage

Troy Chatwin is an experienced leader in the safety and compliance of stationary and motive energy storage systems sited both domestically and internationally. Bringing with him over 20 years experience in the critical power protection and data center environments, Troy has developed the GE Energy Storage strategies for product safety and compliance covering much of the world. Troy is highly active in setting industry standards and government regulations related to energy storage. He is a member of UL’s Standards Technical Panels for UL 1973 and UL 9540, a Principal on NFPA 855, as well as being a Technical Expert on several US National Committees to the IEC. He has advised AHJs and key regulators such as NYC, Department of Transportation (DOT), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) as well as provided input to national policy making decisions. Having led teams to develop and deploy energy systems ranging from corporate data centers in the US to remote villages in the desert, Troy’s unique background provides insights to the world’s markets.

James Ha, Associate Director at Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS)
Sector: Photovoltaic

James Ha joined the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) in 2016 as Head of Asia PV Quality Assurance Center. He directs and scientifically leads research collaboration projects as well as professional services for distributed and ground-mounted Photovoltaics Systems. Mr. Ha previously held several managerial and technical roles at TUV Rheinland Group in multiple locations (Japan, Australia & China). He has been involved in the field of photovoltaics for more than 16 years ranging from solar cells, PV modules and systems through his educational background as well as professional career.

Matthias Heinze, Director Global Division Solar at TUV Rheinland
Sector: Photovoltaic

For 5 years, Matthias has been working in a leading position with the world’s largest Independent Engineering PV business. With major investigative laboratories in the United States, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Germany, Italy, India, Hungary. TUV has played a dominant role in this sector of the PV industry. Mr. Heinze has actively engaged with organizations such as the IEC, IEC RE, CEC and CPUC to shape regulations governing the deployment of renewables in general and PV and energy storage technologies in California and worked with various other regulatory bodies (e.g. NYSERDA, SRCC, NREL, OSHA, IECEE, IECRE) in individual states as well as the federal government.
Prior to his involvement with Solar Matthias lead the concept development and implementation of global wireless capabilities at TUV Rheinland, culminating in WiFi, ZigBee, PAN/Smart Grid interoperability services leadership of the company.
Matthias previously held the position of VP Engineering at TUV and Director Technology at TUV Rheinland of North America. The company gained FDA, OSHA and Standards Council of Canada accreditation of TUV RNA (TUV Rheinland is one of the first National Recognized Laboratories).
Matthias is a holder of the IECRE 1906 award.

Ben Hertz-Shargel, Vice-President Analytics at Energy Hub
Sector: Smart Technologies

Ben is the lead data scientist at EnergyHub, responsible for analytics within the Mercury DERMS platform and the company's energy market operations. His primary focus is optimal control of DERs for distribution, market, and customer services. Ben came to EnergyHub from ThinkEco, where he was VP Technology. Prior to that, he held applied research positions at the Quantitative Strategies group at Credit Suisse, the New England Complex Systems Institute, the MIT Physics Department, and Icosystem Corporation. Ben holds a BA in Computer Science from Northwestern, an MS in Mathematics from the Courant Institute at NYU, and a PhD in Mathematics from UCLA. Seth has an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado, where his research focused on Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) for Ultracold Atom Optics.

Henry Hieslmair, Ph.D., Principal Engineer, Solar at DNV GL Energy
Sector: Photovoltaic

In his 25 year career in the PV solar industry, Henry Hieslmair has held numerous senior level positions and consulted for many firms in the PV manufacturing industry. He began his PV career with an internship at Siemens Solar Industries in Camarillo CA followed by his materials science graduate and post-graduate work at U.C. Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories on multi and mono-crystalline silicon defects and processing for PV. He has a wide range of experiences in developing technologies for silicon photovoltaics including impurity gettering  and defect mitigation processes, thin silicon and kerfless silicon fabrication, laser doping and processing of silicon, nanoparticle dopant inks, inkjetting of metals and dopants, high-throughput phosphorus and boron ion implantation, and new emitter doping patterns for improved efficiencies. He has authored or co-authored over 50 conference and journal articles, most recently focused on light induced degradation effects and time constants, understanding effects of silicon properties on modern PERC cell characteristics, novel emitter doping patterns enabled by ion implantation, and trends in extended duration module testing. He is currently a principal engineer with DNV GL focused on module reliability.

Qilin Li, Pegasus Professor & Chair of ECE Department, SAIC Endowed Professor at CECS, University of Central Florida
Sector: Energy Storage

Dr. Qilin Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice University.  Dr. Li received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her B.E. degree in Environmental Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.  She received her post-doctoral training at Yale University and was on the faculty of Oregon State University before joining Rice University.  Dr. Li’s research focuses on advanced technologies for drinking water treatment and wastewater reuse including adsorption, membrane separation, advanced oxidation and environmental nanotechnology, and environmental impact of nanotechnology.  She was the recipient of the Roy E. Campbell Faculty Development Award, ES&T Excellence in Review award, Major Advisor for WQTC Best Student Paper Award, and Parsons Engineering Science/AEESP Doctoral Thesis Award.

James Mater, General Manager, Smart Grid, Directorat QualityLogic
Sector: Smart Technologies

James Mater, GM Smart Grid and Founder, QualityLogic, is one of the leading experts on smart grid standards interoperability and the maturity of products based on standards. He leads his company’s smart grid business and has given dozens of talks and papers on interoperability in the smart grid including a DistribuTech UU course on Interoperability. He was an original member of the SGIP Test and Certification Committee (TCC), is a member of the GridWise Architecture Council, contributes to the development and operation of numerous industry Interoperability Test and Certification Authorities (ITCA) and is Past Chair of Smart Grid Northwest. He does training and lectures on OpenADR and IEEE 2030.5 and organized two Symposiums on IEEE 2030.5 and a workshop on DER Communications Standards co-sponsored by EPRI and OpenADR. James is a graduate of Reed College and the Wharton School of Business.

Prof. Rajendra Singh, Professor at Clemson University
Sector: Photovoltaic

Rajendra Singh is D. Houser Banks professor in the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Automotive Engineering at Clemson University (USA). With proven success in operations, project/program leadership, R&D, product/process commercialization, and start-ups, Dr. Singh is a leading photovoltaic (PV) expert with over 42 years of industrial and academic   experience.  From solar cells to low power electronics, he has led the work on semiconductor and photovoltaic device materials and processing by manufacturable innovation and defining critical path. His current research and policy interest is to lead the growth of photovoltaic industry by using local direct current power network based on PV and battery in place of conventional alternating current based grid for global electricity infrastructure. He is fellow of IEEE, SPIE, ASM and AAAS. Dr. Singh has received a number of international awards. On April 17, 2014 he was honored by US President Barack Obama as a White House “Champion of Change for Solar Deployment” for his leadership in advancing solar energy with PV technology.

Prof. Jianhui Wang, Editor-in-Chief IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, Southern Methodist University/Argonne National Laboratory
Sector: Smart Technologies

Dr. Jianhui Wang is the Section Manager for Advanced Power Grid Modeling in the Energy Systems division at Argonne National Laboratory. He is also on the faculty of Southern Methodist University. Dr. Wang has authored and/or co-authored more than 250 journal and conference publications. Dr. Wang also serves as the secretary of the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Power System Planning, Operations & Economics committee. Dr. Wang is the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid and an IEEE PES Distinguished Lecturer. His research interests include smart grid and renewable integration.

Dr. Ajith R. Weerasinghe, Assistant Professor at Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, California State University, Fresno
Sector: Photovoltaic

Dr. Ajith R. Weerasinghe is an assistant professor in mechanical engineering with engineering experience in the industry. He is specialized in solar cells, panels, and systems. He primarily teach to senior year and graduate mechanical engineers. His research includes solar energy technologies, semiconductor material, and recycling of solar modules. He enjoys working with students and collaborating with suitable partners to complement the teaching.
Dr. Ajith R. Weerasinghe also takes part in clean energy promotion activities like presentations to the schools and research groups and through the activities of the solar energy club, Sundogs. Sundogs have projects in energy application, research and community services areas. He also volunteers and promotes the participation of his students to install solar power systems to low-income families in Central Valley, CA.

Sean White, Solar Energy Professor/Consultant/Author at Routledge, IREC, Northern California Solar Energy Association
Sector: Photovoltaic

Sean White was on the NABCEP PV Installer Exam Committee and helped author the NABCEP PV Installer Task Analysis. His courses qualify for all levels of NABCEP PV credits. He is a registered NABCEP Associate exam provider.
Sean White was awarded the 2014 Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Renewable Energy Trainer of the year. He has taught and certified many thousands of students throughout the world in 20 different countries.
Sean authored the books Solar Photovoltaic Basics, Solar PV Engineering and Installation and Solar PV Technical Sales for Routledge Publishing. He is also writing two other books.

Bernd Wunder, Group Manager DC-Grids at Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology (FhG-IISB)
Sector: Energy Storage

Bernd Wunder has received a degree in Electrical Engineering from Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg in 2010. From 2010 until 2013 he was employed as scientific assistant at the Chair for Electronic Components and developed several power electronic systems for EVs. In 2013 he founded the group for DC microgrids at the Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology (IISB) to design new destructive infrastructure for regenerative and sustainable energy usage. As well-known DC entrepreneur he was honoured and strongly supported the IEEE ICDCM2015 and organized the IEEE ICDCM 2017 conference in Nürnberg as leader of the technical program. He is also active in IEC where he represents Germany as national delegate in the IEC SyC LVDC committee. In 2017 his team founded the start-up ceus to makes their ideas and new technologies available to everyone.

Tim Zgonena, Principal Engineer at Distributed Energy Resources Equipment and Systems
Sector: Energy Storage

Timothy Zgonena - Principal Engineer for Distributed Energy Resources Equipment and Systems. Has worked for UL LLC since 1990. His responsibilities include the development, maintenance and application of UL's certification requirements and delivery of UL conformity assessment services for: Utility grid interconnection systems equipment, inverters and converters, PV BOS equipment, engine generators, wind turbines and wind turbine system components. Tim serves on several Distributed Generation IEEE, IEC and AWEA Technical Committees and he is a member of NFPA 70, NEC Code Making Panel 4. 2012 IEC 1906 Award Recipient.

About Solar Power International

Solar Power International (SPI) generates success for solar energy professionals and the global solar industry. SPI sets the standard for solar events as the fastest growing and largest solar show in North America as recognized by Trade Show Executive and Trade Show News Network. SPI has also been among the Gold 100 for eight years running and named "Stickiest Show Floor" by Trade Show Executive for the innovative ways in which attendees stay engaged and most recently, "Best Use of Technology" for the Smart Energy Microgrid Marketplace. With over 750 exhibiting companies and 20,000 attendees, SPI is the largest solar exhibition in North America.

About Energy Storage International

Energy Storage International, co-located Solar Power International paves the way for collaboration between the energy storage and solar markets. As energy storage increases the power of solar by storing and releasing energy on-demand where it is needed on the grid, both utilities and others in the solar supply chain can take advantage of increased revenue and customer satisfaction. With over 165 exhibiting companies, ESI is the largest energy storage exhibition in North America.