Workshop on Sustainable Electric Power Systems

Dates: 19th and 20th of November
Location: Nittany Lion Inn, State College, Penn State University

Sponsored by: EMS Energy Institute, Institute of CyberScience, & the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, Penn State University

Hotel:  Please make hotel reservations before Monday, October 19, 2015 by calling The Nittany Lion Inn at 800-233-7505 and ask for the 'ENEK15C' special room rate of $129 plus tax & fees for a single room. Penn State University football has a home game vs. Michigan on Saturday, November 21, 2015. The special room rate only applies to the November 18 & 19, 2015 reservations.

This single-track workshop is expected to bring together a broad collection of researchers from within and without Penn State with two explicit purposes: (i) the identification of key challenges in the design, operation, and management of power system and markets from the macro to micro scale; and (ii) the prescription of the needed advances in systems/models/theory/algorithms to address these challenges, necessitating the development of broad and inter-disciplinary teams. We would like this to be a single panel conference with three plenary speakers and a set of talks and discussions that are aligned with each of these speakers, with the hope of leaving significant time for open discussion.

Conference chairs: Uday V. Shanbhag and Mort D. Webster

Plenary speakers:
Dr. Benjamin Hobbs (Johns Hopkins University)
Dr. Mohammad Shahidehpour (Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago))
Dr. Paul Sotkiewicz (PJM Interconnection)

Invited speakers: (Subset):

Dr. Frank Felder (Rutgers University)
Dr. Alberto Lamadrid (Lehigh University)
Dr. Andrew Liu (Purdue University)
Dr. Joel Landry (Pennsylvania State University)
Dr. Na Li (Harvard University)
Dr. Chiara Lo Prete (Pennsylvania State University)
Dr. Bo Zeng (University of Pittsburgh)
Dr. Minghui Zhu (Pennsylvania State University)

Speaker bios:
Dr. Benjamin Hobbs: Dr. Hobbs holds the Theodore M. and Kay W. Schad Chair of Environmental Management at the Johns Hopkins University. Since 2010, he has been the inaugural Director of the JHU Environment, Energy, Sustainability & Health Institute. He has been a member of the faculty of that university’s Department of Geography & Environmental Engineering since 1995, which he has also served as chairman. He also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics. Dr. Hobbs earned his Ph.D. (Environmental Systems Engineering) in 1983 from Cornell University. His research and teaching concerns the application of systems analysis and economics to electric utility regulation, planning, and operations, as well as environmental and water resources systems. He has published three books and many papers on these topics. His work has received best paper awards from several professional societies. Dr. Hobbs has had visiting appointments at the Helsinki University of Technology, University of Washington, and ECN (Netherlands Energy Research Center). In 2009-2010, he was an Overseas Fellow at Churchill College and a Senior Researcher at the Electricity Policy Research Group (EPRG) at the University of Cambridge. He continues as a Research Associate of EPRG. Dr. Hobbs is Chairman of the Market Surveillance Committee of the California Independent System Operator, which he has served as a member since 2001. He is also on the Public Interest Committee of the Gas Technology Institute. Dr. Hobbs is a Fellow of the IEEE and INFORMS.

Dr. M. Shahidepour: Dr. Mohammad Shahidehpour is the Bodine Chair Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department and Director of Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) . Dr. Shahidehpour has worked with government agencies and electric power companies for the last 35 years on energy system optimization and control issues with specific interests in the modeling of large energy infrastructures, integrated resource planning, microgrids and energy hubs, cyber-physical systems, and large-scale sustainable energy integration. He has been awarded over $50 million federal research and development grants on electricity grid modernization issues. His perfect power microgrid project has converted the IIT campus to a smart microgrid with islanding capability. Dr. Shahidehpour is working with the Chicago’s electric utility company (ComEd) and Argonne National Laboratory on the design of the next generation of a community microgrid controller which will connect the IIT Microgrid to a utility-owned microgrid for enhancing the reliability, efficiency, resilience, and the economics of distributed electric power systems. He has worked with and supervised 120 visiting faculty and scholars, and graduate research students at IIT. Dr.Shahidehpour is the co-author of over 400 technical papers and six books on electric power system planning, operation, and control ( He is also the recipient of three best paper awards for his publications in IEEE Transaction on Power Systems. In 2012, he received the IEEE/PES Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2011, he received the Association of Electrical Engineering Department Heads’ Innovation Award, the IEEE PES/Chicago Chapter’s Engineer of the Year Award, and the Illinois Technology Association’s Technologist of the Year Award. For his contributions to power system research and development, he was also awarded the IEEE T. Burke Hayes Faculty Recognition Award and the Sigma Xi Outstanding Senior Faculty Research Award.Shahidehpour received the Edison Electric Institute's Power Engineering Educator Award and the C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Young Electrical Engineering Professor Award for his contributions to research and education. He is also the 2009 recipient of the honorary doctorate from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest and is currently a Research Professor at King Abdulaziz University (Jeddah), North China Electric Power University (Beijing), and the Sharif University of Technology (Tehran). Dr. Shahidehpour was a member of the United Nations Commission on Microgrid Studies. Dr. Shahidehpour is a Fellow of IEEE for his contributions to optimal generation unit commitment algorithms in power systems.

Dr. P. Sotkiewicz (Senior Economic Policy Advisor (PJM Interconnection)): Dr. Sotkiewicz provides analysis and advice with respect to the PJM market design and market performance including demand response mechanisms, intermittent and renewable resource integration, market power mitigation strategies, capacity markets, ancillary service markets, and the potential effects of environmental policies on the PJM markets. Dr. Sotkiewicz is currently working on gas/electric coordination, EPA GHG, and RPM capacity market design issues. Previously, Dr. Sotkiewicz has led PJM’s initiative to reform shortage pricing and the PJM analysis of the effects of the recent EPA-issued MATS and CSAPR regulations on generation retirements. Dr. Sotkiewicz also led the teams that developed the whitepapers examining transmission cost allocation and the potential effects of climate change policy on the PJM energy market. Dr. Sotkiewicz has also been involved in multiple capacity market design changes including the Minimum Offer Price Rule, the examination of changes to demand response compensation, the development of Price Responsive Demand. Prior to joining PJM, Dr. Sotkiewicz served as the Director of Energy Studies at the Public Utility Research Center (PURC), University of Florida where he designed and delivered executive education and outreach programs in electric utility regulatory policy and strategy for professionals in government, regulatory agencies, and industry. Dr. Sotkiewicz served as an Economist in the Office of Economic Policy and later on the Chief Economic Advisor’s staff at the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) where he conducted research, analysis, and advice on market design issues related to the ISO/RTO markets. Dr. Sotkiewicz was an Instructor in the Department of Economics at the University of Minnesota where he earned the Walter Heller Award for Outstanding Teaching of Economic Principles four times. Dr. Sotkiewicz earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from the University of Florida, a Master of Arts and Doctorate in Economics from the University of Minnesota.