• Reza Abbaschian

    Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Winston Chung Endowed Professor in Sustainability at University of California Riverside. Director, Winston Chung Global Energy Center

    Reza is Distinguished Professor, and Winston Chung Endowed Professor in Sustainability at University of California Riverside (UCR).  He is presently Director of Winston Chung Global Energy Center (WCGEC), which is a multi-disciplinary research center to advance solutions for today’s energy demands, while developing advanced energy storage, generation and distribution research and energy-use strategies for tomorrow’s applications.

    Dr. Abbaschian received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, MS from Michigan Technological University, and BSc from University of Tehran.  He has published more than 250 scientific articles including eight books on subjects ranging from metal processing to composites and high temperature-high pressure growth of jewelry diamonds. His research has led to the introduction of man-made diamonds to the market by Gemesis Diamond Company.  He also holds five patents and eight patent disclosures held by Gemesis Inc. Dr. Abbaschian is a past President of ASM International, and has been elected a Fellow of ASM, TMS and AAAS.  His awards include the TMS Educator Award, Structural Material Division’s Distinguished Scientist/Engineer Award, TMS Leadership Award, ASEE Donald E. Marlowe Award, Davis Productivity Award of the State of Florida, and the 2016 Albert Sauveur Achievement Award of ASM. In 2017, he received the AIME Honorary Membership, an honor bestowed on only 1/10th of 1% of its membership, in recognition of being an "outstanding scientist and researcher in solidification fundamentals and materials processing, educator and leader in advancing the materials profession." 

    He began his tenure as UCR in September 2005 as Dean of Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE), a position that he held until July 2016.  He also held the William R.  Johnson, Jr. Professor until July 2017.  During his tenure as Dean, BCOE steadily grew in prestige, research productivity, and student success, landing in the top 50 public engineering schools in the nation. With around 125 faculty, 2,400 undergraduates (100 BS/MS), 750 graduate students, and annual research expenditures of more than $40 million, BCOE now houses seven departments/programs and offers nine degrees in addition to a self-supporting Online Master’s Degree Program in Engineering.

    Presentation - Reza Abbaschian
  • Farrokh Albuyeh
    Farrokh Albuyeh

    Senior Vice President, Smart Grid Projects Open Access Technology International, Inc. (OATI)

    Farrokh Albuyeh received B.S., M.S., and  Ph.D. degrees in Electrical &Computer Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison and has over 35 years of experience in the electric power industry. Dr. Albuyeh is Senior Vice President, Smart Grid Projects, at Open Access Technology International, Inc. (OATI). In this role, he is involved in the development and deployment of solutions and services for the management of grid-edge and distributed energy resources in support of distribution grid operations. Dr. Albuyeh has specific experience with technical analytical studies, application software development, providing consulting services, managing, and delivery of large-scale projects. He is a Life Senior Member of IEEE and a member of a number of IEEE committees and subcommittees with focus on grid renovation, smart grid, as well as transmission and distribution. Before joining OATI in 2004, he worked with Alstom T&D from 1999 to 2004 as the Director Energy Management and Markets where he was involved in the creation and management of  AREVA T&D’s  Market Participants Business Unit in California, and was involved in the deployment of CAISO, MISO, and ERCOT market applications and solutions.  From 1985 to 1999 he was employed by ABB Energy Information Systems as  Director, Strategic Business Development where he was involved in development of energy management system applications as well as market applications and project deployment.

    Presentation - Farrokh Albuyeh
  • Manuel Avendaño
    Manuel Avendaño

    Senior Engineering Manager of Emerging Technologies Evaluation
    Southern California Edison

    Dr Manuel Avendaño is the Senior Engineering Manager of Emerging Technologies Evaluation at Southern California Edison, the primary electricity supply company for much of Southern California. He is responsible for leading SCE’s effort to understand and test emerging transmission and distribution grid technologies and determine their feasibility for demonstration projects and their potential impact to SCE’s Grid Modernization plan. Dr Avendaño earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering in Mexico and the PhD in Electrical Engineering in United Kingdom. Dr Avendaño currently serves as the Chair of the IEEE Distribution Subcommittee and Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery.

    Presentation - Manuel Avendano
  • Karyn Boenker
    Karyn Boenker

    Public Policy Manager

    Karyn Boenker is a Public Policy Manager at Sunrun (Nasdaq: RUN), the nation’s leading residential solar, storage and energy services company. She focuses on western states, storage technology, soft cost reduction, and low/moderate-income programs. Karyn holds a B.S. from Arizona State University and an M.S. from the University of Washington, where she studied global climate change science and policy. 

    Presentation - Karyn Boenker
  • Sarah Busch
    Sarah Busch

    Manager, Membership Development and Emerging Technology Programs
    California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA)

    Sarah Busch is a Manager at the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA), where she develops emerging technology programs and other policy initiatives to advance the energy storage industry. Sarah advocates a technology-neutral approach toward storage market development, and her policy domains are the California Energy Commission and California State Legislature. 

    Sarah has a background creating innovative renewable energy and GHG management strategies for North America’s largest utilities and corporate buyers. At the Center for Resource Solutions, Sarah expanded the use of ‘third-party certified’ clean energy and carbon offsets sold and purchased on a voluntary basis. Her expertise in GHG accounting and renewable energy routinely intersects with energy storage as California moves toward a GHG-free electric system relying on increasing amounts of storage.

    During undergrad, Sarah worked for the Energy Team at Environment America and Van Jones’ Energy Opportunity Initiative at the Center for American Progress. Sarah holds a B.A. in Government from Smith College.

    Presentation - Sarah Busch
  • Raymond H. Byrne

    Manager, Electric Power System Research Department, Sandia National Laboratories

    Ray Byrne is manager of the Electric Power System Research department at Sandia National Laboratories, where he has been employed since 1989. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of New Mexico, an M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia. He also completed an M.S. in financial mathematics at the University of Chicago. Previously, he was a distinguished member of the technical staff at Sandia. Awards include Time Magazine Invention of the Year in 2001 for a miniature mobile robot, the IEEE millennium medal, and the Prize Paper award at the 2016 IEEE Power and Energy Society general meeting. He was elevated to IEEE Fellow in 2017 for contributions to miniature robotics and grid integration of energy storage. He serves as team lead for the Equitable Regulatory Environment thrust area of the Sandia energy storage program. He has been active with the Albuquerque IEEE section since 1991, serving as chair in 1993, 2007-2008, and 2010-2011.


    Presentation - Raymond Byrne
  • Achilles Chiotis
    Achilles Chiotis

    Achilles Chiotis, Ph.D. 
    VP, Consumer Market Segment Bourns, Inc

    Achilles Chiotis is the Vice President of the Consumer Market Segment at Bourns, Inc. He is responsible for identifying unmet Consumer and Automotive electronics market needs enabling Bourns to lead with new product definitions, state-of-the-art product development and growth through innovation.

    Prior to Bourns, Achilles spent several years as a member of the senior leadership team of the Raychem Circuit Protection business unit of TE Connectivity.

    Achilles received his Ph.D. degree in Materials Science from the CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique) in Strasbourg, France. He also has a MSc in Materials Science from the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France, and a MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University in Athens, Greece.

    Presentation - Achilles Chiotis
  • Aman Chitkara
    Aman Chitkara

    Aman Chitkara is a Manager with RMI where he works with government and private sector clients on identifying strategies to transition to a clean energy system. He has led multiple thought papers and research projects on mobility systems, electricity generation and distribution, and global climate change.

    Most recently Aman has been working with various government and private sector stakeholders in India to identify actionable pathways towards a shared, electric and connected mobility future. Prior to his work on India’s mobility sector, Aman worked with RMI’s eLab where he supported work on New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, and Fort Collins’ Climate Action Plan.

    Through his 10+ years of experience at organizations including ICF International, Gade Environmental Group and the Center for Robust Decision-making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP), Aman has worked in diverse geographies spanning North America, South Asia and Europe.

    Aman holds a Masters in Public Policy and Economics from the University of Chicago.

    Presentation - Aman Chitkara
  • Bruce Dunn

    Department Chair and Nippon Sheet Glass Professor  - University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 

    Bruce Dunn is the Nippon Sheet Glass Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at UCLA. Prior to joining UCLA, he was a staff scientist at the General Electric Research and Development Center. His research interests concern the synthesis of inorganic and organic/inorganic materials, and characterization of their electrical, optical, biological and electrochemical properties. A continuing theme in his research is the use of sol-gel methods to synthesize materials with designed microstructures and properties. His recent work on electrochemical energy storage includes three-dimensional batteries and pseudocapacitor materials. Among the honors he has received are a Fulbright research fellowship, the Orton Lectureship from the American Ceramic Society, awards from the Department of Energy and invited professorships in France, Japan and Singapore. He is a Fellow of the Materials Research Society, the American Ceramic Society, and a member of the World Academy of Ceramics. In addition to the Board of Reviewing Editors at Science, he is a member of the editorial boards of Energy Storage Materials, Advanced Energy Materials, Solid State Ionics, and Journal of the American Ceramic Society.

    Presentation - Bruce Dunn
  • Amir Faghri
    Amir Faghri

    Distinguished Professor of Engineering and
    Distinguished Dean Emeritus of Engineering
    University of Connecticut

    Amir Faghri currently holds the titles of Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Distinguished Dean Emeritus of Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He joined the University of Connecticut in 1994 and served as Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department from 1994-1998, and as the Dean of the School of Engineering from 1998-2006. He has authored five books, more than 350 archival technical publications (including over 250 journal papers), and thirteen U.S. patents. He has served as a principal investigator conducting research in the area of thermal management and multiphase transport phenomena for applications ranging from advanced cooling systems to alternative energy systems, including heat pipes, fuel cells, solar energy systems and thermal energy storage devices. He has received many honors and awards, including the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) Thermophysics Award in 1998, the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) Heat Transfer Memorial Award in 1998, the ASME James Harry Potter Gold Medal in 2005, the ASME/AIChE Max Jakob Memorial Award in 2010, and the George Grover Medal in 2018. He has served as a consultant to several major research centers and corporations, including the Los Alamos and Oak Ridge national laboratories, Exxon Mobil, and Intel Corporation. He presently serves on the boards of directors of both publicly-traded and private companies. 
    Dr. Faghri received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, and a B.S with highest honors from Oregon State University.


  • Angelina M. Galiteva
    Ms. Angelina Galiteva

    Founder and Board President at Renewables 100 Policy Institute,
    Vice Chair California Independent System Operator


    Angelina M. Galiteva is the Founder and Board Chair of Renewables 100 Policy Institute, an organization dedicated to accelerating global transition to 100% renewable energy.  Ms. Galiteva  serves as the Vice Chair of the California Independent Systems Operator Board (CAISO), which is one of the largest transmission operators in the World.  Ms. Galiteva also serves as Chairperson of the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) and is a Founding Board Member of the Global Clean Energy Desalination Alliance.  Ms. Galiteva is an expert in strategic issues related to renewable energy, the environment, new technologies, optimizing system efficiency and overall sustainable policy programs for public and private entities. As such she is frequently sent as a US State Department representative expert on renewable energy and grid issues.  In addition, Ms. Galiteva is founder and principal of NEOptions, Inc., a renewable energy product development firm. Previously, Ms. Galiteva was the Executive Director of Strategic Planning for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), overseeing the utility's renewable energy program. Ms. Galiteva is an attorney with a JD Degree and Master’s in International and Energy Law.

    Presentation - Angelina Galiteva
  • Tilak Gopalarathnam
    Tilak Gopalarathnam

    Director, Energy Technology Partnerships - LG Technology Center of America 

    Tilak Gopalarathnam is currently the Director of Energy Technology Partnerships at LG Technology Center of America, a division of LG Corp. In this role, he is responsible for open innovation, partnerships and new business development in solar photovoltaics, energy storage and grid edge technologies. He works across business units and develops the technology strategy for new solutions in partnership with startups as well as established companies. One of his focus areas is the development of solar + storage solutions for the residential, commercial and utility markets.

    Tilak has been working on various aspects of renewable energy and energy efficiency for the past 20 years. Most recently, he was responsible for innovations in solar module manufacturing at Flex. In prior roles, he managed the development of power conversion solutions for solar power plants at SunEdison, and designed power electronics for hybrid electric vehicles at General Motors. He has an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a B. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras.

    Presentation - Tilak Gopalarathnam
  • JT Guerin

    Director of High Voltage Battery Systems Engineering at Faraday Future

    JT Guerin has 20 years of experience in battery engineering, working both in the automotive and the consumer electronics industries including ten years as the lead high voltage battery system engineer at General Motors.  During his tenure at GM, he was responsible for the battery system design and execution for GM’s first Li-Ion battery pack and played parts in several other GM electric vehicle programs, including the Chevrolet Volt, Spark-EV, Bolt-EV, and Malibu Hybrid.  JT is presently the Director of High Voltage Battery Systems Engineering at Faraday Future, where his team is responsible for cell engineering, battery pack hardware design, battery management software, validation testing, and pack integration of FF’s 130kWh battery.


  • Juchen Guo
    Juchen Guo

    Associate Professor, University of California, Riverside- Chemical and Environmental Engineering

    Juchen Guo earned his Bachelor degree from Zhejiang University in 1999 and his Ph.D. from University of Maryland in 2007, both in Chemical Engineering. From 2007 to 2012, he worked as postdoctoral researcher at University of Maryland (2007 to 2011) and Cornell University (2011 to 2012). He joined the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at University of California, Riverside as an Assistant Professor in summer 2012. His research interests are interfacial phenomena and material properties in electrochemical systems including Li-ion, Li-S, and multivalent ion batteries. He is the recipient of 2014 Hellman Fellowship and 2018 NSF CAREER Award.


  • Waqar Hashim
    Waqar Hashim.png

    Vehicle Line Executive and Vice President of Program Management
    Faraday Future

    Waqar Hashim is the Vehicle Line Executive and Vice President of Global program management at Faraday Future. Prior to joining Faraday in 2018, he worked at General Motors as the Chief Engineer of new Chevrolet Blazer and Holden Acadia. He has held various global roles in engineering and development at GM during a career that spanned 24 years. Waqar is a Mechanical Engineer with an MS Degree in Engineering as well as an MBA degree. He is the author of several technical papers and holds three patents on mechanism design. Prior to working at GM, Waqar spent two years as a research student at NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

    He is a global leader focused on creating value by developing effective teams to produce exceptional results in a challenging environment. He is experienced in streamlining operations and increasing organizational efficiency that produces first-time quality. He has launched major vehicle programs with $0.5B budget successfully on time and turned around major products struggling in the market that required significant re-engineering and re-contenting / re-branding with urgency.

    He has been following the evolution of the global automotive business for many years and has moved to California recently to be in midst of all the technological evolution.

    Presentation - Waqar Hashim
  • Hossein Akhavan Hejazi
    Hossein Akhavan Hejazi

    University of California, Riverside-Winston Chung Global Energy Center (WCGEC) 

    Dr. Akhavan Hejazi’s research is generally focused on developing models, mathematical tools, and performing analysis in the application area of smart grid. His efforts have been dedicated to power system analysis, algorithm and programming, optimization techniques, statistical analysis, stochastic optimization, and time-series analysis. He has performed research on incorporating these techniques to solve problems related to operation and integration of distributed energy resources, including renewable generation, demand response, and in particular energy storage systems (ESSs). He works on various practical challenges/opportunities in developing effective designs for operation and planning of ESSs.

    Dr. Akhavan Hejazi has engaged with a broad range of research topics and projects, including on topics such as operational issues and opportunities with the operation of smart inverters in applications of solar and storage operation, advanced power system metering with the use of distribution-level uPMUs, analysis of power system big data, operation management of storage systems by considering the device-level characteristics, and data-driven methods for energy efficiency and demand response for specific building types and demands. He also has performed research on task allocation and planning methods for systems in the abstract form and in applications beyond the context of smart grid.

    Presentation - Hossein Akhavan Hejazi
  • George Hernandez
    George Hernandez

    Principal Technical Advisor,  Buildings to Grid Integration and Buildings Controls Research Program Manager, Pacific Northwest Laboratory

    George joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 2009 and works in the Electricity Infrastructure & Buildings division. He is a Technical Advisor and senior demand-side management professional.  He co-authored the “High Performance RTU Challenge,” “Buildings Performance Database, the Low Cost Wireless Metering Challenge,” “Energy Information Handbook,”  “Portable Sensor Suitcase,” “Open Source Small Building Control System,” and “Transactional Network” project. He has championed development and commercialization of an open source software platform called VOLTTRON™, used to deploy transactional control strategies for buildings-to-grid integration.  As part of the commercialization effort, VOLTTRON was migrated to the Eclipse Foundation as an open source project and is now know as Eclipse VOLTTRON.  Most recently, performing as Co-PI for Grid Modernization Lab Consortium residential RDS project. He has extensive knowledge, skills, and capabilities derived from a substantial career in demand-side utility management across a wide variety of commercial and industrial sectors and utilities as both a corporate employee and an independent consultant. George received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from California State University and his Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer by the State of California

    Presentation - George Hernandez
  • Eric Kim
    eric kim

    Infrastructure and Regulatory Policy Specialist
    California Independent System Operator

    Over the last decade, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has made significant advances in its energy market participation models to manage and facilitate energy storage and distributed energy resources.  Eric Kim has been the lead market policy designer for the integration of energy storage and distributed energy resources at the California ISO.  In 2017, he led a joint report with the three major California utilities detailing the coordination efforts needed at the transmission and distribution interface to prepare for a high DER future.  Most recently, as the lead policy developer for the Energy Storage and Distributed Energy Resources Phase 3 initiative, Mr. Kim designed enhancements to its demand response and energy storage participation models. Additionally, he created a load shift product for behind the meter energy storage resources. Outside of market policy design, he represents the CAISO’s regulatory policy in the CPUC’s energy storage and demand response proceedings. Mr. Kim has provided subject matter expertise in multiple forums on market integration of DER and energy storage to international regulators, grid operators, and developers.

    Presentation - Eric Kim
  • Stephen Kelley

    Senior Vice President ENGIE Storage 

    Stephen Kelley is the Senior Vice President at ENGIE Storage. He  brings more than 25 years of domain experience, specializing in the renewable energy and high-tech sectors. Prior to ENGIE Storage, Steve spent six years in the solar industry in leadership roles for SoCore Energy, DRI Energy, and SunPower. Steve’s prior sales management experience includes management positions at Solectron, Oracle, Visa, and IBM. Steve received his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley

    Presentation - Stephen Kelley
  • Thomas Kirk
    Thomas Kirk

    Senior Solutions Engineer
    OPAL-RT Technologies

    Thomas Kirk is a senior solutions engineer with OPAL-RT Technologies based out of Vancouver, BC, Canada. Since 2015, he has worked closely with world leaders within the energy, aerospace, defense and academic sectors in selecting real-time testing solutions for R&D, production and certification purposes. Also, he is OPAL-RT’s specialist in creating test setups for cybersecurity and vulnerability of grid operational technology, as well as Power Hardware-in-the-Loop. Prior to OPAL-RT, he worked at Bechtel Corporation at the Aluminum Center of Excellence (ACE) in Montreal, on simulating the performance and safety of mining facilities during the design phase. He has his Master’s in Applied Science from the University of Waterloo (2014) and his Bachelors in Engineering from McGill University (2010).

    Presentation - Thomas Kirk
  • Peter Lilienthal
    Peter Lilienthal

    CEO HOMER Energy

    Dr. Peter Lilienthal is the CEO of HOMER Energy. Since 1993, he has been the developer of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s HOMER® hybrid power optimization software, which has been used by over 200,000 energy practitioners in 193 countries. NREL has licensed HOMER Energy to be the sole world-wide commercialization licensee to distribute and enhance the HOMER model.

    Dr. Lilienthal was the Senior Economist with International Programs at NREL from 1990 – 2007. He was one of the creators of NREL’s Village Power Program. He has a Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. He has been active in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency since 1978. This has included designing and teaching courses at the university level, project development of independent power projects, and consulting to industry and regulators. His expertise is in the economic and financial analysis of renewable and micro-grid projects.


  • Hamed Mohsenian-Rad
    Hamed Mohsenian-Rad

    Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Associate Director, Winston Chung Global Energy Center; University of California, Riverside-Winston Chung Global Energy Center (WCGEC) 

    Dr. Hamed Mohsenian-Rad is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Associate Director of Winston Chung Global Energy Center at UC Riverside. He is also the founding Director of the UC-National Lab Center for Power Distribution Cyber Security, a new cyber-security research initiative across four University of California campuses and two U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories. His research interests include developing hybrid data-driven and model-based techniques for monitoring, control, and optimization of power systems and smart grids. He has received the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, a Best Paper Award from the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) General Meeting, and a Best Paper Award from the IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications. Two of his papers are currently ranked as the two most cited journal articles in the field of smart grids. He has served as the Lead Primary Investigator (PI) for over $10 million research projects. Dr. Mohsenian-Rad received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada in 2008. He currently serves as an Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, an Editor of the IEEE Power Engineering Letters, Vice-Chair of the IEEE Smart Grid Communications Smart Grid Communications Technical Committee, and co-Chair of the IEEE Power and Energy Society Working Group on Big Data Access and Research Integration. Dr. Mohsenian-Rad received the UC Riverside Bourns College of Engineering Distinguished Teaching Award in 2017.

    Presentation - Hamed Mohsenian-Rad
  • Hamidreza Nazaripouya
    Hamidreza Nazaripouya

    Research Assistant Professor, University of California, Riverside-Winston Chung Global Energy Center (WCGEC)

    Hamidreza Nazaripouya is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). He received the M.S. degree in power electronics from the Sharif University of Technology in 2010, and the M.S. degree in power systems from Louisiana State University in 2013. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His research on integration and control of distributed renewable energy resources and battery storage systems has led to multiple publications and patents in the field. His patented technology won the NSF grant award with him as the entrepreneurial lead to investigate the commercialization of the technology. Dr. Nazaripouya is an experienced power system engineer with industry background. In particular, he has worked for Entergy Corporation, owner and operator of power plants with approximately 30,000 MW of electric generating capacity. He has conducted several projects for utility companies during his career. His research interests include control and integration of DERs, application of power electronics in power system, microgrid technologies, Electric Vehicles and battery energy storage systems.

    Dr. Nazaripouya has received several honors and awards, including IEEE SFV Section Rookie of the Year Award, IEEE IAS and PES Presentation Awards, and the UC Dissertation-Year Fellowship Award.

    Presentation - Hamid Nazaripouya
  • Cengiz Ozkan

    Professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Mechanical Engineering - University of California, Riverside (UCR) 

    Cengiz Ozkan is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Riverside since 2009. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University in 1997. His areas of expertise include nanomaterials for energy storage; synthesis of 2D materials including graphene; novel battery and supercapacitor architectures; nanoelectronics; biochemical sensors; and nanopatterning for beyond CMOS. He has been a member of several prestigious Centers including the DARPA-SRC C-SPIN (Center for Spintronic Materials, Interfaces and Novel Architectures, University of Minnesota); the DARPA-SRC FENA (Center for Functional Engineered Nano Architectonics, UCLA); the NSF MRSEC for Polymers (Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, University of Massachusetts at Amherst); and the NSF NSEC for Hierarchical Nanomanufacturing (Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, University of Massachusetts at Amherst). He organized and chaired over 35 scientific and international conferences, including the symposium titled “Interfaces in Advanced Electrochemical Energy Storage” at the MRS Fall 2017 Meeting in Boston. He served as conference president for the Graphene-Turkey series between 2014–2016. He is currently organizing the symposium titled “Battery Technologies for Next Generation Electric Vehicles and Grid Storage Applications”, for the Fall 2019 MRS Meeting in Boston, MA. Dr. Ozkan is a founding faculty member of the Materials Science and Engineering Program at UCR and served as Graduate Advisor between 2009–2016; and he recruited over 100 graduate students into the program. He has more than 300 technical publications including journal papers, conference proceedings, abstracts and book chapters; over 80 patent disclosures, has given more than 140 presentations worldwide, and has 15 patents licensed by the industry. Most recently, he is the recipient of the European Advanced Energy Materials Award and the John J. Guarrera Engineering Educator of the Year Award. His work on developing Li-ion batteries using nature abundant renewable resources including beach sand, recycled glass and plastics, brought the “Top 100 Author award” from the Nature publishing group. Dr. Ozkan participated in several televised interviews on the progress and future of energy storage technologies, and his research received significant media attention over the years and related press releases have been published by a large number of news outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Science Channel, Discovery News, MTV News, Ecouterre, Physics Today, Materials Today, Popular Science, and many more.

  • Farrokh Rahimi
    Farrokh Rahimi

    Senior Vice President, Market Design & Consulting
    Open Access Technology International, Inc. (OATI)

    Farrokh Rahimi has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from MIT, along with over 45 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 of OATI and is also a key contributor to OATI’s Smart Grid and Grid Modernization products and services. He is a 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.

    Before joining OATI in 2006, he collaborated with California ISO, Folsom, CA for eight years, where he was engaged in market monitoring and design. His prior experience included eight years with Macro Corporation (subsequently KEMA Consulting), five years with Systems-Europe, Brussels, Belgium; one year with Brown Boveri (now ABB), Baden, Switzerland; ten years, as a university professor, researcher, and consultant in power and industrial control systems, and two years with Systems Control, Inc. (now ABB Systems Control, Santa Clara, CA), where he started his professional career.

    Presentation - Farrokh Rahimi
  • Ahmed Saber
    Ahmed Saber

    Principal Power Engineer
    ETAP, Irvine, CA

    Ahmed Saber received the Ph.D. degree from University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan, in 2007. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Missouri University of S&T, Rolla from 2008 to 2010. He is currently Principal Power Engineer (R&D), ETAP, USA. He develops tools for operation, optimization and control of intelligent distribution systems in ETAP using both deterministic and intelligent methods. His timely researches have been funded nationally and internationally including DoE. He won the IEEE Outstanding Engineer Award in Southern California, USA among more than 12,000 engineers for his contributions on smart-grid in 2012. He has published over 75 technical papers and holds 2 patents on power system. His research interests include smart-grid, storage, renewables, power system optimization-forecasting, cyber-physical systems, real-time systems, and operations research.


  • Arthur Salyer
    Arthur Salyer

    President at Salyer Advisors
    Executive In Residence
    University of California, Riverside

    Art Salyer is a business leader with broad “C” level experience. He has “hands-on” experience effectively managing businesses with operations in North America, Latin America, Asia, Eastern and Western Europe.
    His was the COO of SDI Media. SDI Media is one of the largest independent dubbing and subtitling entertainment company. Art’s responsibilities included operating 38 locations around the world involved in 60 different languages. 
    Prior to SDI Media, Art was the successful CEO of Palladium Energy. Palladium is one of the largest independent producer of lithium batteries and power supplies for consumer and industrial applications. Art took over leadership of the business on behalf of the private equity owners. Art was responsible for the successful transition of this business unit into a growing independent company with manufacturing and technology centers in Europe, China, Brazil and the United States. 
    Art served as the de facto COO of the Technicolor Company, the premiere post production company in the entertainment business.  He was responsible for worldwide film duplication and delivery as well as post production for the company 
    Art has had a number of increasingly responsible roles of businesses of large and smaller businesses including: technology post startups, battery and power supplies, retail consumer electronics, entertainment and media, consumer and office products, and food. The focus of his work has typically been in the operations/manufacturing/services areas. 
    Art operates a consulting practice: Salyer Advisors LLC. This boutique consulting firm specializes in shorter-term executive assignments, private equity and venture capital operations support, turnaround leadership, special projects, and executive coaching/development. His focus is both US-based and global assignments. 
    Recently Art was appointed as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of California. In this role he is active teaching and mentoring various University entrepreneurial and business startup programs. He also is active in strategic advising related to University intellectual property and inventions.  This last year he was appointed as mentor with the National Science Foundation.  He also serves as a mentor at California State University. 
    Art serves on several advisory boards for startup companies. He is active with several venture capital and private equity firms.  Currently he is particularly excited about working on the launch of a revolutionary battery operated hair dryer. 
    Art has B.S. Degree in Engineering from California State University and an MBA from Pepperdine University. 


  • Fred H. Schwartz
    Fred H. Schwartz

    Adjunct Professor
    York University Faculty of Environmental Studies 
    International Renewable Energy Academy

    Fred is a senior executive with over 40 years in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency and environment. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto, and is the Executive Director of the International Renewable Energy Academy. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from McGill University in 1970, and a Masters Degree in Environmental Studies from York University in 1973. Fred has worked on Inuit Land Claims in the Arctic, and in Northern Labrador and in 1980 he consulted on the Arctic to National Geographic Magazine. From 1981 to 1986 he founded and managed the Remote Power Unit in the Ontario Ministry of Energy where they installed over 20 hydro, wind, solar and biomass installations. In 1990 Fred moved to California and from 1991 to 1995 he was Manager of the PG&E EnergyWise Showcase Home Program. In 1991 he won both the PG&E Chairman’s Award, and the President’s Conservation and Environment Challenge Award from George H. W. Bush. From 1996 to 1999, Fred was Manager of Business Development for Trinity Flywheel, where they developed a high-speed flywheel for energy storage and power quality, and delivered one for residential solar energy storage to the CEC. From 2001 to 2005 he was Manager of Renewables and Advanced Generation for the City of San Francisco. In 2004 he won a Green Power Award from US EPA for the Moscone Convention Center solar project. In 2005 he was featured in a film, The Power of the Sun. From 2005 to 2009 he was Vice-President of Intellergy Corporation, producing hydrogen from organic waste. From 2009 to 2014 he was Senior Director of Business Development for Northland Power Inc. where he acquired a MATOC to deliver wind power to the US Army. He has operated a California Corporation Fred Schwartz Renewables, Inc. from 2012. He currently works with CE-CERT and SC-RISE at UC Riverside where he was on the organizing committee for the 2019 Solar Conference.


  • Jordan Smith

    Senior Engineer Southern California Edison Company (SCE), Grid Technology and Modernization

    Jordan W. Smith is Senior Engineer for Emerging Technologies & Valuation in SCE’s Grid Technology and Modernization organization.  He has been evaluating advanced technology vehicles, energy storage, and charging infrastructure for 20 years at SCE’s EV Technical Center.  In 2011, California adopted battery charger efficiency standards in its appliance code, based in part on prior work by Smith at SCE, work which later led to him to chair the SAE J2894 task force on EV charger power quality.  In 2013 he developed and executed the SCE test plan which enabled connection of the first vehicle to grid systems in the L.A. Air Force Base V2G pilot – the first V2G systems aggregated to engage in the California ISO ancillary services market.  Mr. Smith represents SCE in U.S. DRIVE, Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle efficiency and Energy sustainability, Grid Integration Technical Team, the U.S. collaboration with the automobile industry, federal government, and electric utilities on vehicle-grid integration.  Mr. Smith received a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering and an M.S. degree in engineering management from California State Polytechnic University and is a licensed professional engineer in California.

    Presentation - Jordan Smith
  • Candace Suh-Lee
    Candace Suh-Lee

    Senior Technical Leader - Cyber Security, Power Delivery and Utilization Sector

    Candace Suh-Lee is a Principal Technical Leader – Cyber Security in the Power Delivery and Utilization (PDU) Sector at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). She has more than seventeen years of experience in information and technology security in the energy sector with hands-on OT/IT technical skills.

    Candace leads several research projects in cyber security program including Cyber Security Metrics for the Electric Sector, Security Architecture for Power Delivery Systems and Cyber Security for DER Integration. She also leads a taskforce to address cybersecurity for DER and grid-edge systems.

    Candace participates in several California Energy Commission sponsored initiatives as the cybersecurity lead, including Impact Assessment & Secure Implementation of CA Rule 21 Phase 3 Smart Inverter Functions to Support High PV Penetration, and Research Roadmap for System Transformation to Enable High Penetration of Distributed Energy Resources.

    Prior to joining EPRI, Candace worked for various electric and gas utilities in North America both in technical and strategic levels, specializing in industrial control system security, NERC-CIP, smart grid security, security information and event management, vulnerability assessment, and risk management.

    Candace holds an M.Sc. Computer Science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Hon. B.Sc., Computer Science from the University of Toronto.

    Presentation - Candace Suh-Lee
  • Rexford Wait
    Rexford Wait

    President, the Nevada Hydro Company

    Rex is President of Control Technology, Inc. and President of The Nevada Hydro Company.  He is also Vice-President of the International Consortium of Energy Management.

    Rex is a hands-on applied Engineering Consultant, and Contractor. Since the inception of Control Technology Inc. in 1985; this firm completed over 6,500 projects around the world.

    Projects include, for example, HVAC design, comprehensive conservation review, cogeneration plant design and consulting, power production control systems, thermal energy storage systems, engine-driven chillers, absorption chillers, variable speed chillers, turbine and steam driven chillers, ammonia cooling systems, boilers, large scale central cooling plants, fuel cell design and installation, and manufacturing/process automation.

    In addition, Rex is responsible for the development of large hydroelectric facilities and transmission through The Nevada Hydro Co, a utility holding of Control Technology Inc, and is currently the largest private developer of pumped storage projects in the United States. These assets are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, (FERC). Current projects under review by FERC are, the 500 MW Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage Project, and 500 kV Telega-Escondido/Valley-Serrano Interconnect Project, (FERC Dockets P-14227/ER06-278/ER08-654). In addition, FERC granted, new Preliminary Permits for the 450 MW Blue Diamond Pumped Storage Project South of Las Vegas, (Docket P-14344).
    The last holding is ICEM; located in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This holding specializes in extremely large central cooling, and storage projects. Currently, Control Technology Inc is the Prime Engineering Contractor, in Joint Venture with ICEM, to Saud Consulting, and responsible for the Electro-Mechanical design, at the King Saud University Central Energy Plant. The university has 75,000 students, and the central plant serves its energy requirements through three tunnel systems, totaling 17 km. Phase I, was to upgrade the existing 35,000 ton Cooling Facility. Phase II, is to double again the Central Plant Capacity, totaling 65,000 tons. This project was completed in 2015.

    Rex holds membership in Association of Energy Engineers, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Instrument Society of America, National Hydro Power Association, and is a Founding Member of the Western Independent Transmission Group.

    He holds a California Class C10, Electrical Contractors License, 481744, Underwriters Laboratories, UL508A Certification, FAA; Airplane Single Engine Land and Sea, Airplane Multi Engine Land, Instrument, Certificate Number 2896137

    Presentation - Rexford Wait
  • Richard Wirz
    Richard Wirz

    Director, UCLA Energy Innovation Laboratory; Professor, UCLA Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering; Chief Scientist, Element 16 Technologies, Inc.

    Professor Richard E. Wirz is Director of the UCLA Energy Innovation Laboratory and Co-Founder and Scientific Advisor of Element 16 Technologies, Inc., an energy storage start-up based on his research at UCLA. He is an expert in large-scale energy generation and storage via solar, wind, and ocean sources. Prof. Wirz had a long history in renewable energy. He received two B.S. degrees, Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, at Virginia Tech, and then became the Technical Lead for Ocean Energy Technologies at SeaSun Power Systems in Alexandria, VA. Later, he became Technical Lead, then Manager, for Renewable Energy at Gibbs & Cox, Inc. in Crystal City, VA. After receiving his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) he joined NASA/JPL as a Senior Engineer and then assumed his current roles at UCLA and Element 16. He is also the Chief Scientist for WindStream Technologies, Inc., a company specializing in distributed wind and solar. He has several patents and pending patents, and has authored over 150 journal and conference publications, and two NASA Tech Briefs. In addition to his work in renewable energy, he is a semi-professional musician/songwriter and the Director of UCLA’s Plasma & Space Propulsion Laboratory.

    Presentation - Richard Wirz
  • Iryna Zenyuk
    Iryna Zenyuk

    Assistant Professor, University of California, Irvine; Associate Director of National Fuel Cell Research Center

    Professor Iryna Zenyuk holds a B.S. (2008) in mechanical engineering from the New York University Tandon School of Engineering. She continued her studies at Carnegie Mellon University, where she earned M.S. (2011) and Ph.D. (2013) under supervision of Prof. Shawn Litster. Her graduate work focused on fundamental understanding of electric double layers in electrochemical energy-conversion systems. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Electrochemical Technologies Group with Dr. Adam Z. Weber Prof. Zenyuk joined the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Tufts University in 2015. In July 2018 she joined Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at University of California, Irvine, where she is also an Associate Director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center. At UC Irvine, Prof. Zenyuk’s group works on enabling energy solutions by researching low-temperature hydrogen fuel-cells, Li-metal batteries and electrolyzers. Prof. Zenyuk works on design strategy encompassing novel materials, diagnostic tools and device-level testing. She is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award (2017), Interpore society Fraunhofer Award for Young Researchers (2017), Research Corporation for Science Advancement, Scialog Fellow in Advanced Energy Storage (2017, 2018) and ECS Toyota Award (2018). Prof. Zenyuk published over 40 journal publications and delivered more than 50 invited presentations on topics of energy conversion and storage.

    Presentation - Iryna Zenyuk