Keynote Speakers


Sam Holeman
Duke Energy
Vice President Transmission System Planning and Operations
Topic: Bridging the Worlds of Power Electronics, Distributed Generation, and the Planning and Operations of the Electric Grid

Sam HolemanSam Holeman is vice president of transmission system planning and operations for Duke Energy. He leads the group responsible for the real-time monitoring and control of the company's bulk electric transmission system. He assumed his current position in October 2016. Previously, Holeman was Duke Energy's director of engineering and training for the system planning and operations function. During his 31-year career with the company, Holeman has held leadership positions in various areas of system planning and operations, including system operations, engineering, and training. Holeman holds master's and bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering from Clemson University. He also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Queens University. Holeman is certified by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) as a system operator and is a registered professional engineer in North Carolina and South Carolina. He is a past chairman of the operating committees for both NERC and the SERC Reliability Corporation. SERC is a nonprofit regulatory authority that promotes effective and efficient administration of bulk power system reliability in all or parts of 16 central and central and southeastern states.

Dr. Georgios D. Demetriades
ABB Corporate Research
Global Research Area Manager 
Topic: The Importance of Power Electronics in The Modern Power System

Dr. Georgios D. Demetriades

Dr. Demetriades received his M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering at the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece, his Technical Licentiate degree and his Ph.D. degree both in Power Electronics from the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1995 he joined ABB Fläkt Industri, what is today known as GE Power Generation, in Sweden, and in 2000 he joined ABB Corporate Research where he is currently working as a Group Research Area Manager for Power Electronics. From 2013 he is a Visiting Associate Professor in the Indian Institute of Technology, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India. His main research interests include power converters, VSC HVDC, FACTS devices, high-frequency DC-DC power resonant converters and high-frequency electromagnetic modelling.

Dr. Taku Takaku
Fuji Electric Co. Ltd.
Senior Field Application Engineer
Topic: Latest Semiconductor Devices and Technologies for High-Efficiency Power Electronics

Taku TakakuDr. Taku Takaku received his PhD degree in Energy Sciences from Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan, in 2005. Upon completion of his Doctorate, he continued in the Research Department at Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan. In 2006, he joined Fuji Electric Device Technology Co., Ltd. From 2009 to 2014, he worked with Fuji Electric Corp. of America as a Manager of Applications Engineering. From 2014 he has been working in Fuji Electric Co., Ltd as a Sr. Field Applications Engineer.



Tom Key
Electric Power and Research Institute (EPRI)
Senior Technical Executive
Topic: Smart Inverters for Distributed Resources: 1980 to 2018

Tom KeyTom Key is a Senior Technical Executive at EPRI in the area of electric power delivery and end-use. Over 40 years he has been engaged in power system engineering and research. He has unique experience in distributed power system grid integration and power electronics such as smart inverters for PV.  He also specialized in  power quality. He is a fellow of the IEEE for his contributions in grid system compatibility and power quality.  He recently the IEEE Power and Energy Society's Renewable Energy Excellence award for pioneering contributions in resource development and integration. His career includes EPRI, Sandia National Lab and in the US Navy Seabees and is 2016 recipient of  EPRI's lifetime achievement award. 

Dr.-Ing. Peter Lürkens
RWTH Aachen University 
Chief Science Officer, Flexible Electrical Netwroks Research Campus
 DC Technology for Utility Grids and E-mobility - Best Friends in a Clean and CO2-Neutral Future

Peter Lurkens

Peter Lürkens received his Dr.-Ing. degree in electrical engineering from RWTH Aachen in 1990 on a thesis on improvements of lead-acid batteries for electric vehicles. He took a position at Philips Corporate Research (Aachen, DE) in the same year as a research scientist in the fields of power electronics, drives for household appliances, power supplies, converters for gas discharge lamps, solid state lighting, PV systems, and high power converters for medical applications. In 2000 he was appointed Principal Scientist for the field of Power Electronics. In 2011 he changed to Philips Research (Eindhoven, NL) and was assigned leading the research area "High Power and Performance". Since 2015 he is in the positions of a Chief Engineer of the Institute of Power Generation and Storage Systems at the E.ON Energy Research Center and the Chief Scientific Officer and scientific coordinator of the Flexible Electrical Networks (FEN) Research Campus at RWTH Aachen University, being one of nineresearch campus funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). 

Dr. Om Nayak
Nayak Corporation
Topic: Real-Time Digital Simulator - An Indispensable Testing Tool for Deployment of Grid Modernization Technologies

Dr. Om NayakDr. Om Nayak is the President of Nayak Corporation located in Princeton, New Jersey. His area of expertise is electromagnetic transients modeling and simulation of power systems. He has extensive hands-on experience with RTDS and PSCAD as a developer, user, consultant and promoter. He is very passionate about these tools for the benefits they bring to the study of complex power system phenomena. Dr. Nayak obtained his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Mysore University in India and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from University of Manitoba, Canada, all specializing in power systems. His past industry experience includes his work at Bosch and Siemens in India and Manitoba HVDC Research Centre in Winnipeg, Canada. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and supporter of IEEE PES Scholarship Plus initiative.

Randy Collins
Clemson University
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Topic: A Brief History of a Sag Generator on Steroids

Randy Collins

Randy Collins is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University.  He also serves in two leadership roles at Clemson as the Executive Director of Academic Initiatives in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Science and the Associate Vice President for Clemson's programs in Charleston, South Carolina.  He has a BS from North Carolina State University and a PhD from Georgia Tech, both in Electrical Engineering.  He has been active on the Global E3 since 2008, and currently serves on the Executive Committee.  Dr. Collins' research area is in electrical power and energy, and focuses on compatibility between the grid and interconnected devices.  As an educator, he has won numerous teaching awards and recently an award for his contributions in distance education.  He is actively involved with enhancing student learning via global engagement, and curriculum development to include international dimensions and experiences.