PEDG 2021 will feature the following expert Keynote and Invited Speakers

Schedule details coming soon on PEDG 2021 Conference Program!

Keynote Title: Design for Reliability in PV Systems

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Frede Blaabjerg was with ABB-Scandia, Randers, Denmark, from 1987 to 1988. From 1988 to 1992, he got the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering at Aalborg University in 1995. He became an Assistant Professor in 1992, an Associate Professor in 1996, and a Full Professor of power electronics and drives in 1998. From 2017 he became a Villum Investigator. He is honoris causa at University Politehnica Timisoara (UPT), Romania and Tallinn Technical University (TTU) in Estonia. His current research interests include power electronics and its applications such as in wind turbines, PV systems, reliability, harmonics and adjustable speed drives. He has published more than 600 journal papers in the fields of power electronics and its applications. He is the co-author of four monographs and editor of ten books in power electronics and its applications.

He has received 33 IEEE Prize Paper Awards, the IEEE PELS Distinguished Service Award in 2009, the EPE-PEMC Council Award in 2010, the IEEE William E. Newell Power Electronics Award 2014, the Villum Kann Rasmussen Research Award 2014, the Global Energy Prize in 2019 and the 2020 IEEE Edison Medal. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER ELECTRONICS from 2006 to 2012. He has been  Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Power Electronics Society from 2005 to 2007 and for the IEEE Industry Applications Society from 2010 to 2011 as well as 2017 to 2018. In 2019-2020 he served as a President of IEEE Power Electronics Society. He has been Vice-President of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences. He is nominated in 2014-2020 by Thomson Reuters to be between the most 250 cited researchers in Engineering in the world.

Keynote Title: Power Decoupling and Pulse Energy Modulation for Single-Phase Grid-Connected Inverters

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Liuchen Chang received B.S.E.E. from Northern Jiaotong University in 1982, M.Sc. from China Academy of Railway Sciences in 1984, and Ph.D. from Queen’ University in 1991. He joined the University of New Brunswick in 1992 and is a Professor Emeritus at UNB. He was the NSERC Chair in Environmental Design Engineering during 2001-2007, and the Principal Investigator of Canadian Wind Energy Strategic Network (WESNet) during 2008-2014. He is a long-time volunteer for IEEE of over 28 years and is the President of the IEEE Power Electronics Society (2021-2022).

Dr. Chang was a recipient of CanWEA R.J. Templin Award in 2010 for his contribution in the development of wind energy technologies, Innovation Award for Excellence in Applied Research in New Brunswick in 2016 for his contributions in smart grid and renewable energy technologies, and PELS Sustainable Energy Systems Technical Achievement Award in 2018 for his contributions in distributed energy systems. He is a fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering (FCAE). He has published 390 refereed papers in journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Chang has focused on research, development, demonstration and deployment of renewable energy based distributed energy systems and direct load control systems.

Keynote Title: Scaling Energy Access Solutions – Challenges and Opportunities

Keynote Speaker: 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 has started several companies, including Varentec in Santa Clara, CA, where he served as Founder, President and CTO from 2011-14, and as Chief Scientist for several years after. He led 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. 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.

Dr. Divan is an elected Member of the US National Academy of Engineering, member of the National Academies Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and NASEM Committee on the Future Grid. He a Fellow of the IEEE, past President of the IEEE Power Electronics Society, is a recipient of the IEEE William E Newell Field Medal and is International Steering Committee Chair of the IEEE Empower a Billion Lives global competition to crowdsource scalable energy access solutions. He has 40 years of academic and industrial experience, 75 issued and pending patents, and over 400 reviewed publications. He received his B. Tech from IIT Kanpur, and his MS and PhD degrees from the University of Calgary, Canada.

Keynote Title: Overview of ARPA-E Supported Transmission and Distribution Technologies Enabling a Resilient Grid of the Future

Keynote Speaker (co-presenting): Dr. Isik C. Kizilyalli currently serves as the Associate Director for Technology at the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). In this role, Dr. Kizilyalli supports the Deputy Director for Technology in oversight of all technology issues relating to ARPA-E’s programs as well as assisting with program development, Program Director and Fellow recruitment, and coordinating project management across the Agency. Kizilyalli’s focus at ARPA-E includes power electronics, wide bandgap semiconductors, electronic systems for hostile environments, electrification of transport (aviation, ships, automotive, space), subsurface instrumentation, novel drilling concepts, medium voltage DC distribution grids, and grid resiliency against EMP and space weather threats. Prior to joining ARPA-E, Kizilyalli served as founder, CEO, CTO, VP at various startups. Previously, he was with Bell Laboratories. Kizilyalli was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2007 for his contributions to Integrated Circuit Technology. He also received the Bell Laboratories’ Distinguished Member of Technical Staff award and the Best Paper Award at the International Symposium on Power Semiconductors and Integrated Circuits (ISPSD) in 2013. Kizilyalli holds his B.S. in Electrical Engineering, M.S. in Metallurgy, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He has published more than 100 papers and holds 125 issued U.S. patents.

Keynote Speaker (co-presenting): Dr. Daniel Cunningham is currently a Technology to Market Advisor at ARPA-E based in Washington DC. His responsibilities include overseeing commercialization activities for the agency’s power electronics programs. The programs target next generation electrical circuit designs that will accelerate the deployment of a new class of efficient power converters for applications such as automotive drive trains, motor controllers, ultra-fast charging solutions for energy storage, data centers, and aerospace to name a few. He is also responsible for managing ARPA-E’s SCALEUP program portfolio launched in 2020.

Before ARPA-E, he worked at BP Group Technology in the Chief Scientist’s Office evaluating emerging energy technologies such as energy storage and alternative fuels pathways. Working at BP Solar Inc., he held the numerous positions including Director of Product Development and Director of Technology, leading multidisciplinary teams to develop new solar technologies and bringing them to market. He received a Research Partnership Award from the U.S. Department of Energy for his work in the field of thin film PV, BP Helios Award for Innovation, and has authored or co-authored over 70 publications and 12 patent publications.

He earned a Ph.D. in Electrochemistry and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry at the University of Southampton, UK, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry as well as a Senior Member of the IEEE.

Keynote Title: Autonomous Control for Coordination of Distributed Energy Source Converters in Microgrid

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jinjun Liu received a B.S. degree in industrial automation and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU), Xi’an, China, in 1992 and 1997, respectively.

He then joined the XJTU Electrical Engineering School as a faculty. From late 1999 to early 2002, he was with the Center for Power Electronics Systems, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA, as a Visiting Scholar. In late 2002, he was promoted to a Full Professor and then the Head of the Power Electronics and Renewable Energy Center at XJTU. From 2005 to early 2010, he served as an Associate Dean of Electrical Engineering School at XJTU, and from 2009 to early 2015, the Dean for Undergraduate Education of XJTU. He is currently a XJTU Distinguished Professor. He co-authored 3 books, published over 500 peer-reviewed papers, and holds over 50 invention patents. His research interests include modeling, control, and design methods for power converters and electronified power systems for sustainable energy and distributed generation.

Dr. Liu received for eight times governmental awards at national level or provincial/ministerial level for scientific research/teaching achievements. He served as the 2015-2019 Executive Vice President and 2020-2021 Vice President for membership of IEEE PELS, and was elevated IEEE Fellow in 2018. He was on the Board of China Electrotechnical Society 2012-2020 and was elected the Vice President in 2013 of the CES Power Electronics Society. Since 2013, he has been the Vice President of China Power Supply Society (CPSS) and since 2016, the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of CPSS Transactions on Power Electronics and Applications.

Keynote Title: Grid Modernization: Technological Advancements Beyond Smart Grid

Keynote Speaker: John D. McDonald, P.E., is Smart Grid Business Development Leader for GE’s Grid Solutions business. John has 46 years of experience in the electric utility transmission and distribution industry.

John received his B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. (Power Engineering) degrees from Purdue University, and an M.B.A. (Finance) degree from the University of California-Berkeley. John is a Life Fellow of IEEE (member for 50 years), and was awarded the IEEE Millennium Medal, the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Excellence in Power Distribution Engineering Award, the IEEE PES Substations Committee Distinguished Service Award, the IEEE PES Meritorious Service Award, the 2015 CIGRE Distinguished Member Award and the 2015 CIGRE USNC Attwood Associate Award.

John is Past President of the IEEE PES, the VP for Technical Activities for the US National Committee (USNC) of CIGRE, the Past Chair of the IEEE PES Substations Committee, and the IEEE Division VII Past Director. John was on the Board of Governors of the IEEE-SA (Standards Association) and is an IEEE Foundation Director. John received the 2009 Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer Award from Purdue University.

John teaches a Smart Grid course at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Smart Grid course for GE, and Smart Grid courses for various IEEE PES local chapters as an IEEE PES Distinguished Lecturer (since 1999). John has published one hundred fifty papers and articles, has co-authored five books and has one US patent.

Keynote Title: The Latest Technical Trend of RC-IGBT and SiC devices

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Yasuhiko Onishi received the B.Eng. and M.Eng. degrees from Tohoku University in 1992 and 1994, respectively, and  the Ph.D. degree from the Shinsyu University in 2015. He is a General Manager in the Development Division, Semiconductors Business Groups, Fuji Electric Co., Ltd., Japan. He has about 25 years of experience in research and development of power semiconductor devices, such as IGBT, power MOSFET and SiC MOSFET. His research has yielded more than 10 publications and more than 50 patents.

He is a Technical Program Committee member of the International Symposium on Power Semiconductor Devices and ICs till 2022. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan.

Keynote Title: The Transformer Resilience and Advanced Components (TRAC) Program and Solid State Power Substation (SSPS) Development

Keynote Speaker (co-presenting): Andre Pereira is the Program Manager for the Transformer Resilience and Advanced Components (TRAC) program within the Office of Electricity. His program conducts cutting edge research and development for new grid hardware technologies, including Large Power Transformers (LPTs), Solid State Power Substations (SSPS), and Advanced Materials. Prior to joining DOE, Andre worked for the U.S Department of Labor as a Project Engineer. Andre has a background in Mining and Electrical engineering.


Keynote Speaker (co-presenting): Dr. Madhu Chinthavali received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA, in 2003 and 2015, respectively. He is presently a group leader for the power electronics systems integration group and also director of Grid Research Integration and Deployment Center GRID-C at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Madhu Chinthavali has seventeen years’ experience in power electronics R&D for vehicle and grid power systems. Dr. Chinthavali’s research includes developing power electronics systems with advance semiconductor devices and developing device and system level models. In recent years the research efforts are focused on developing novel power electronics technologies like multi-port modular PE systems to solve integration issues for application-level R&D areas of vehicle charging systems including wireless charging, building energy integration systems, grid tied energy storage and PV systems and power flow control grid devices.



Keynote Title: Power Electronics Power Distribution System (PEPDS) enabled by Navy Integrated Power Electronics Building Block (NiPEBB) and through Navy Integrated Power and Energy Corridor (NIPEC)

Keynote Speaker: Lynn Petersen graduated from the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis with a BS in Mathematics in 1986 and commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy. Selected as an Engineering Duty Officer, he received a MSME from the Naval Postgraduate School, 1994. Following Active Duty, he was an Electrical Engineer at NSWC, Carderock Division, Annapolis, MD. Hired by ONR in May 2006, he served as S&T rep to the Electric Ships Office (ESO), PMS 320.  Recalled to Active Duty, in 2008, with assignment as the Deputy Director, PMS 320, from 2008-2012. Promoted to Captain in 2009, he retired from the Navy in 2016 following 30 years of service.

From 2012-2014, he was the Navy’s Director for Systems Engineering in the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy office for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation. Mr. Petersen returned to ONR in 2014 and currently serves as a Program Officer leading basic research in power electronics, electromagnetism, and adaptive controls and applied research in machinery controls, WBG semiconductor applications and MVDC power distribution systems.

Married to Alena, they have two adult children.  Senior member of IEEE, member of ASNE and the MRS. He and his wife are active in their church and singing.

Invited Talk Title: Hitachi ABB Power Grids e-mesh™ solution: From control design to system validation with HIL

Invited Speaker (co-presenting): Michele Fusero is a senior research and development engineer in Grid Edge Solutions business unit of Hitachi ABB Power Grids. He is responsible for control software development, testing, and microgrid system integration for e-mesh™ PowerStore™ solution. He received his MSc in Electrical Engineering from Politecnico di Torino in 2014 and until 2018 has covered a research and development position in FACTS business unit of ABB Sweden.


Invited Speaker (co-presenting): Henrique S. Magnago is a power electronics and Hardware in the Loop test engineer at Typhoon HIL. His focus is in test automation of control software and firmware using ultra-high fidelity HIL, with applications to both power electronics and microgrids. His goal is to help create a more resilient grid, improving power electronics development process and system integration by means of test automation. He received his Control and Automation Engineering graduate degree from Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM) in 2017, and his Master’s degree in Power Electronics from UFSM, as part of the Power Electronics and Control Group (GEPOC) in 2019. He is currently working towards his PhD degree.


Invited Talk Title: Physics of Wide Band Gap and Ultra Wide Band Gap Photoconductive Semiconductor Switches and Potential for Power Electronics

Invited Speaker: Dr. Lars F. Voss received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Florida in 2008. He completed a postdoctoral appoint at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he is currently the Group Leader for MEMS, Electronics, and Photonics Technologies, Associate Program Leader for Electronic Warfare, and the Chief Engineer of the LLNL Center for Micro and Nanotechnology.

He has around 15 years of R&D experience on semiconductor materials and devices across most major materials systems. His work is primarily focused on wide band gap and ultra wide band gap semiconductors for high power and high-speed devices. He has published more than 80 peer reviewed papers and received 15 patents with 13 pending in the areas of microfabrication, materials, and devices.