Here is the list of speakers coming to Energy Expo 2018.

Keynote Speaker: Mr. Nathaniel Smith

Nathaniel Smith serves as Founder and Chief Equity Officer (CEqO)/CEO of the Partnership for Southern Equity. Empowered by the unified vision and voices realized through its regional engagement efforts, PSE pushes for policies and actions that promote balanced growth and inclusive prosperity in metropolitan Atlanta and beyond. Before taking on the founding role of PSE’s Chief Equity Officer/CEO Mr. Smith served as Director of Partnerships and Research for Equitable Development at Emory University’s Center for Community Partnerships (CFCP). In this capacity Nathaniel facilitated engaged scholarship opportunities with external and community organizations to achieve balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth throughout the metropolitan Atlanta region.

Atlanta Initiatives in Sustainability Panel

Matt Cox
Chief Executive Officer and founder of the Greenlink Group

Dr. Matt Cox is the co-founder and CEO of The Greenlink Group, a clean energy technology and consulting firm based in Atlanta. In this role, Matt oversees the design of energy and resource analysis software tools to inform planning and policy decisions across the United States aimed at increasing the precision of estimates and projections and capitalizing on opportunities to improve business and social outcomes, including Greenlink’s award-winning ATHENIA model. His consulting work focuses on energy efficiency strategies, renewable energy deployment and integration. He specializes in energy analysis, distributed resource valuation and the electric power sector.

Matt is an energy and climate policy expert with Master’s and Doctoral degrees in public policy. He has authored over 50 publications in energy policy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, economic development and job creation, the social and environmental impacts of energy use, and water policy. His research has helped to craft and inform evidence-based energy policy and design at the local, state, national, and international levels, with policy recommendations adopted by several cities and states, the U.S. government, and 12 other nations. While achieving his doctorate, Matt was awarded a National Science Foundation IGERT fellowship in the Nanomaterials for Energy Storage and Conversion program. He was also a founding member of the Georgia Tech Climate and Energy Policy Laboratory. Prior to the Greenlink Group, Matt was the Building Energy Efficiency Program Manager for the City of Atlanta, where he led the development of energy efficiency policies, both internal to City operations and for the City of Atlanta at large.


Liz Coyle
Executive Director of Georgia Watch

Liz Coyle joined the team at Georgia Watch in February 2012. She provides leadership for the organization and fosters an entrepreneurial environment in which the team works collaboratively to achieve its mission. As Executive Director, Liz manages the organization’s operations and staff and oversees all Georgia Watch programs in the areas of Health Access, Consumer Energy, Civil Justice and Financial Protection. She serves as primary liaison to the board of directors and engages the board, staff and stakeholders in implementing the organization’s strategic plan. She brings to her position more than 25 years of experience as a non-profit manager, communications professional and grassroots advocate.




George Buchanan
Energy Services Professional at 2KB Energy Services, LLC

George Buchanan has been working in the energy and environmental solutions industry for 18 years. Over the course of his career, he has successfully served clients as a measurement and verification engineer, energy engineer, project developer, and energy program manager. George is a member of the Association of Energy Engineers; the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, the Energy Services Coalition; and the Georgia Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. He is a Certified Energy Manager and holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration.





Tim Echols
Vice Chairman, Georgia Public Service Commission

Shortly after graduating from UGA, Tim and his wife Windy founded TeenPact, a training experience for conservative high school students.  The program began at the Georgia Capitol and now operates in 42 states having training 50,000 students. After building TeenPact, Echols ran for and was elected to statewide office in 2010 serving as Public Service Commissioner. His primary job is energy regulation. When he took office, Georgia was 34th in solar power.  Now, 6 years later the state is 6th in the nation in approved solar. Some of that is in Camden County.

Echols created the Clean Energy Roadshow that has traveled the state every summer for the last seven years. This educational event travels to cities around the state helping commuters, businesses and municipal governments evaluate alternative fuel for their transportation and residential use.

Tim has tried to lead by example. He added solar hot water heating to his Athens home just before being sworn-in. He bought a natural gas car, a propane van and now owns an electric car. Tim also led the effort to provide the Salvation Army and two other agencies with $5 million to help low income seniors in Atlanta with heating assistance.  That program continues today. Tim created a pilot program to provide specially equipped IPADS to the hearing impaired to help them function more productively. That programs continues today as well.  Most recently, Tim led the PSC to increase the number of pediatric hearing aids in a program the PSC oversees.

Tim wants to keep rates low and he works hard with his colleagues to make sure Georgia has the energy it needs from diverse sources, including nuclear power. Tim supports recycling the nuclear waste and using the remaining energy resident in those fuel rods as the most sustainable course of action for the state and nation.  He has represented the United States at the World Nuclear Exhibition for the last four years.

Energy Policy Workshop

Daniel Matisoff Ph.D.
Associate Professor School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech

Daniel Matisoff teaches and conducts research in the areas of public policy, energy policy, and corporate sustainability. His research focuses on the effectiveness and efficiency of comparative approaches to addressing environmental problems and the adoption and diffusion of energy technologies and policies. He currently is a fellow with the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainability, and is affiliated with the Strategic Energy Institute and Center for Urban Innovation. He has participated in over $4 million of sponsored research through the National Science Foundation, the European Union Center for Excellence, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Georgia Department of Transportation, and the National Electric Energy Testing Research and Applications Center. His recent research has resulted in publications in the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Environmental and Resource Economics, Energy Economics, Environmental Science and Technology, Energy Policy, and Business Strategy and the Environment, among other outlets. His current research interests include: evaluating the effectiveness of voluntary eco-labeling programs; the effectiveness of incentives for solar electricity; the adoption of smart grid technologies and policies; and the impact of large scale solar adoption on consumer rates and bills.


Sustainable Technologies for Food  Production

Mario Cambardella
Urban Agriculture Director at City of Atlanta









Ryan Cox
Founder and CEO of HATponics

Ryan Cox is the Founder and CEO of HATponics, company that has developed the world’s first portable farm and is engaged in sustainable agriculture projects on 4 different continents.







Steven Van Ginkel
Environmental Engineering Research Associate, Georgia Tech

Dr. Van Ginkel is currently leading the ATP3 algae biodiesel project (atp3.org) and an urban farming initiative at Georgia Tech.









Valerie Thomas
Anderson Interface Professor of Natural Systems at Georgia Tech

Valerie Thomas is the Anderson Interface Professor of Natural Systems in the School of Industrial & Systems Engineering, with a joint appointment in the School of Public Policy.

Dr. Thomas’s research interests are energy and materials efficiency, sustainability, industrial ecology, technology assessment, international security, and science and technology policy. Current research projects include the environmental impacts of biofuels, and electricity system development. Dr. Thomas serves on the DOE/USDA Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. From 2004 to 2005, she was the American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellow. Dr. Thomas was a Member of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board from 2003 to 2009. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the American Physical Society.

From 1986 to 1989, she was a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. From 1989 to 2004, she was a Research Scientist at Princeton University, in the Princeton Environmental Institute and in the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, and was a Lecturer in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Dr. Thomas received a B. A. in physics from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University.

Power in Emerging Markets

Szilard Liptak
Research Engineer, Energy Access Specialist

Szilard Liptak is a research engineer at the Center for Distributed Energy at Georgia Tech. He comes with a unique three years of work experience in seven countries on three continents, including working for NGO’s in Malawi and Haiti, and an off-grid solar start-up in Kenya. He is an energy access specialist with very good understanding of both mechanical, and electrical aspects of product design. His primary research interests are off-grid solar systems, their interoperability and control, distributed smart sensor networks, and other technology solutions for developing markets. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech with a M.S. in electrical and computer engineering.





Deepak Divan
Director of Center for Distributed Energy, Georgia Tech

Dr. Deepak Divan is Professor, John E Pippin Chair, GRA Eminent Scholar and Director of the Center for Distributed Energy at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. His field of research is in the areas of power electronics, power systems, smart grids and distributed control of power systems. He works closely with utilities, industry and is actively involved in research, teaching, entrepreneurship and starting new ventures.

Dr. Divan also serves as Founder and Chief Scientist at Varentec, in Santa Clara, CA, and was President and CTO from 2011-14, leading the company as it developed its suite of innovative distributed real-time grid control technologies. Varentec is funded by leading green-tech Venture Capital firm Khosla Ventures and renowned investor Bill Gates.

Dr. Divan is an elected Member of the US National Academy of Engineering, member of the National Academies Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, a Fellow of the IEEE, past President of the IEEE Power Electronics Society, and is a recipient of the IEEE William E Newell Field Medal. He has 40 years of academic and industrial experience, 65 issued and pending patents, and over 400 refereed publications. He has founded or seeded several new ventures including Soft Switching Technologies, Innovolt, Varentec and Smart Wires, which together have raised >$160M in venture funding. He received his B. Tech from IIT Kanpur, and his MS and PhD degrees from the University of Calgary, Canada.


Joe Ogrinc
Marketing Operations   Executive, GE Power

Joe Ogrinc leads market intelligence for GE’s Power  business unit.  In this headquarters role, Joe is responsible for delivering   a  broad range  of market insights to drive business strategy,  including forecasting and market analytics, competitive strategy, and knowledge management.   GE Power  is a world leading provider of traditional and renewable power generation technology, as well as digital, grid and storage technologies.

Joe has been with GE for 17 years, with roles in both GE Power  and GE Industrial businesses.  He has specific emphasis in marketing where he has had several leadership  roles covering equipment and services in the energy sector.  Previously, Joe worked in both general management and industrial marketing for GE,  focused on energy intensive industries.

Prior to GE, Joe  held a variety of leadership positions in engineering, operations, and general management. Joe has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University, and a MBA from Duke University.  Joe lives with his wife and daughter in Atlanta,  GA.



Matt Jordan
Co-Founder & Principal at Propel Clean Energy Partners

Matt Jordan is Principal at Propel Clean Energy Partners, a boutique consulting firm that works with government, philanthropic and investment partners on clean energy and sustainability strategies, policies, program development and financing. Prior to Propel, Matt was CLASP’s first Director of Market Development, and conceived, built and led the organization’s pioneering Clean Energy Access program. He’s a leading expert on energy access and sustainable development, in particular the role of energy efficiency in cost-effective, low-carbon solutions to global poverty.