Detailed Schedule and Speaker Bios

Note: all times are listed in Eastern Standard Time (EST).

April 7th (Virtual day)

Events will be live-streamed on Zoom Webinar.

Click here to access the live-stream Zoom Webinar link for April 7th.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Tech Talk with Steven Schulz

Steven Schulz – Director, Electrical Design for Electric Power Conversion at Rivian

This tech talk & Q&A is hosted by the IEEE PES chapter at GT.

The automobile is in the middle of a profound and rapid transition toward electrification. This trend will accelerate throughout the decade and is now expanding to include larger vehicles such as pick-up trucks, SUVs, delivery vans, and even tractor trailers. Power electronics are an essential ingredient necessary to facilitate the transition. This talk will focus on electric vehicles and discuss the common architecture and key functions which rely on power electronics. We will then discuss in deeper detail the key challenges and trends which are occurring in industry. Lastly, we will explore several opportunities for improvement which exist and could benefit from further investigation.

Steven E. Schulz obtained the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1991, and has been working in the field of power electronics for over 31 years. He has worked on EV and HEV systems since 1992, including such landmark vehicles as General Motors EV1, Chevrolet Volt, and Rivian R1T. Mr. Schulz has also spent several years in the aerospace industry working on satellite applications, including power distribution, conversion, and electric propulsion. He previously held the position of Technical Fellow with General Motors until 2013, specializing in power electronics and motor control. From 2014-2018 he was a Technical Fellow with Faraday Future developing high power electronics for their vehicles like the FF91. He is currently a Director for the Electric Power Conversion group at Rivian Automotive, an Electric Adventure Vehicle manufacturer.

1:00 PM - 1:45 PM: Virtual Keynote Speaker - Anuj Chokshi

Anuj Chokshi – Florida Power and Light Development Project Director for E-Mobility

Anuj Chokshi is the Director of Distributed Technologies and e-Mobility at Florida Power & Light (FPL). He is responsible for the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure strategy and projects throughout FPL’s service territory. Anuj joined NextEra Energy in 2007 as part of the Six Sigma team and has grown through positions of increasing responsibility within Business Management and Integrated Supply Chain prior to joining FPL Development. Preceding FPL, Anuj worked at United Technologies Aerospace Systems and Sikorsky Aircraft. He received a Master’s of Science in Industrial Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

2:00 PM - 2:20 PM: Using Artificial Intelligence for Grid Data

Dr. Matthew Reno -Senior Member, Technical Staff at Sandia National Lab

Matthew Reno is a Principal Member of Technical Staff in the Electric Power Systems Research Department at Sandia National Laboratories. His research focuses on distribution system modelling and analysis with high penetration PV, including advanced software tools for automated analysis of hosting capacity, PV interconnection studies, and rapid Quasi-Static Time Series simulations. Matthew is also involved with the IEEE Power System Relaying Committee for developing guides and standards for protection of microgrids and systems with high penetrations of inverter-based resources. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr. Joseph Azzolini -Senior Member, Technical Staff at Sandia National Lab

Joe Azzolini is a Senior Member of the Technical Staff in the Electric Power Systems Research Department at Sandia National Laboratories. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University with a specialization in Electric Power and Energy Systems and has 8+ years of power system project experience through various roles in academia and industry. His research interests and expertise include solar photovoltaic (PV) system modeling, distribution system modeling, and applying Quasi-Static Time-Series (QSTS) simulations to study the integration of high PV penetrations and other inverter-based distributed energy resources.

2:30 PM - 2:50 PM: Data-driven Grid Resilience Enhancement and Opportunities in the 5G Era

Dr. Xiaoyuan Fan – Principal Investigator and Project Manager at Pacific Northwest National Lab

Xiaoyuan Fan is currently a senior research engineer at PNNL. Serving as a project manager, principal investigator/co-principal investigator and key contributor, he has been managing and supporting multiple research projects funded by the Department of Energy, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, ARPA-E, Bonneville Power Administration, and other industrial collaborators. His research interests focus on data analytics for power system reliability, wireless communication, multi-discipline resilience analysis, and high-performance computing. He is a senior member of IEEE, and serves as a volunteer reviewer of 20+ top-level journals and conferences in power systems and signal processing. He is the recipient of the  and MS and BS degrees in electrical engineering from Huazhong University of Sciences and Technology.

3:00 PM - 3:20 PM: The State of Grid Cybersecurity in the US

Lori Ross O’Neil – Cyber Security Engineer, PNNL

Lori is a Senior Cyber Security Researcher and Technical Project Manager at PNNL. Lori and her teams deliver novel cyber solutions in the mission to protect national critical infrastructure, including the power grid. She serves as the Board Vice-Chair for the Cybersecurity and IT Security Certifications and Training Association (ISC)2 and also chairs the Business Practices Committee.

With more than 20 years in cyber, Lori has lead multi-million-dollar technical research projects. She and her teams perform cyber R&D in collaboration with domestic and international government agencies, academia, and industry. Prior to coming to PNNL, Lori worked at NASA as an aerospace engineer, supporting the Space Shuttle and other flight test programs. She and her family are supporters of STEM through aviation, by sharing their experiences building three full-size experimental airplanes which have received international awards. Lori regularly volunteers with a focus on cybersecurity for all ages including speaking on cybersecurity topics, chairing cybersecurity events, and mentoring.

Andrew Murray – Principal Engineer PLM, Electric Power Engineering

Andrew Murray is a 20+ year consulting engineer in the SCADA and communication fields for electric utilities. His career highlights include Y2k system impact studies (anyone remember Y2k?), design, programming and commissioning of SCADA systems for electric municipals, substation communications projects, incorporating cyber security into existing systems, and training utility personnel on substation operations and protection principles. His more recent tasks have included management of compliance programs for multiple municipal electric utilities. These compliance programs include application of the NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC-CIP) Standards. Andrew is a registered professional engineer in MA and holds a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.Mr. Murray is currently pursuing his Masters in Cybersecurity, cyber-physical systems concentration at Georgia Institute of Technology. He will also being interning this summer at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

3:30 PM - 3:50 PM: Mitigating Wildfire Power Outages in the Future Grid - A PG&E Engineer Perspective

Avineet Pannu

Civil Engineer at Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Avineet Pannu is an electric standards engineer at Pacific Gas & Electric Co. She started her career in Transmission Line Asset Strategy, focusing on developing asset management plans for the transmission underground system and later shifted to transmission overheard strategy. For the past couple years, Avineet has been involved with Public Safety Power Shut-off transmission line scoping methodology and mitigations, transmission failure analysis investigations, and the advancement of large transmission rebuild projects. Avineet has an M.S. in Materials Engineering from the University of Southern California.

April 8th (In-person day)

Events on April 8th will be held in-person at the Kendeda Building, room 210, and will be partially live-streamed on Zoom Webinar.

Click here to access the live-stream Zoom Webinar link for April 8th.

9:00 - 11:00 AM: Breakfast - Kendeda Lobby

A continental-style breakfast will be served, including chef selected assorted mini pastries, breakfast breads or bagels, fruit Salad, and Greek yogurt.

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM: Shan Arora - Introductory Remarks - Live Stream Option Available

Shan Arora – Director of the Kendeda Building, Board of Directors of Georgia Interfaith Power & Light

Shan Arora is the Director of The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology, which is a multi-faceted building with approximately 47,000 square feet of programmable space. Georgia Tech constructed and operates The Kendeda Building to the stringent Living Building Challenge (LBC) 3.1 certification standards, the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings. To meet these requirements, The Kendeda Building must harness more energy than it uses on site through renewable sources, as well as collect, treat, and reuse more water than it needs on an annual basis.

Shan is responsible for programmatic and operational oversight of The Kendeda Building and has ultimate responsibility for coordinating efforts to ensure the operation and certification of the building under the LBC standards. Shan also champions sustainable design in the built environment throughout the Southeast.

Shan is currently on the Board of Directors of Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, a nonprofit that engages communities of faith in stewardship of Creation as a religious response to climate change, resource depletion, environmental injustice, pollution, and other disruptions in Creation. Prior to Georgia Tech, Shan was with Southface Institute where he worked with local and regional partners to increase the amount of clean energy generated in Georgia, promote energy efficiency in the built environment, and expand the region’s clean energy workforce. Shan has an undergraduate and a law degree from Emory University.

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM: Matt Cox - Keynote and Q&A - Live Stream Option Available

Matt Cox – Chief Executive Officer at Greenlink Analytics

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.

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM: GridBlock® Startup Showcase - Live Stream Option Available

The Georgia Tech startup Gricblock® will showcase their first-of-kind plug and play energy router. This is an exclusive opportunity to learn about Gridblock® from the founding engineers, who are current and former Ph.D students from Georgia Tech. The company is rapidly growing and is looking to hire mechanical and electrical engineer interns in the future!

GridBlock® is a smart energy router that manages the flow of energy between multiple sources and loads simultaneously and provides autonomous microgrid protection. GridBlock® simplifies integration of solar PV, energy storage and EV fleet charging with new tools to improve grid resiliency. The technology takes advantage of GAMMA, which is a low-cost, large dynamic range, high precision sensing platform with cloud-based data monitoring. Both the GAMMA and GridBlock® technologies will be showcased in this talk.

For more info, visit

11:30 PM-12:30 PM: Poster Session and Lunch

Learn about energy-related research and engineering projects at Georgia Tech and the Atlanta area, and vote on your favorites! Cash prizes will be given to top contestants. Free food will also be supplied during this time. The poster session will occur at the Kendeda Building at Georgia Tech. 

Sign up for the poster session via this link

Lunch will feature sandwhich platters, with options of: turkey & cheese, ham & cheese, roast beef & cheese, grilled vegetables, and tuna.

12:45 PM - 1:30 PM: Grid Resiliency Workshop

Dr. Simmons from the Georgia Tech Strategic Energy Institute and the Southeastern Conference planning team will partner to host the Grid Resiliency Workshop. This workshop will feature a demand/response curve selection competition. Participants will have to find generation profiles that optimize for cost, and CO2 emissions, while also enabling the grid to ride through natural disasters that are becoming more common in the future. Upon concluding the workshop, participants will have a better feel for the operation and planning of the power grid. 

1:30 – 2:15 PM Networking Event

Enjoy free food and refreshments while connecting with other researchers, professionals, and students in the Atlanta area.

2:15 - 2:30 PM Closing Speaker

The Southeastern Energy Conference planning team will give a closing speech to wrap up the event.