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Sixth annual Power and Energy Industry Conference will explore the potential future of the energy industry

PITTSBURGH (November 11, 2011) … Just as the steel industry built the Pittsburgh region over a century ago, the energy industry is now powering the region's economy for the 21 st century. As part of its mission to engage in research that will expand the potential of energy production and delivery, the Swanson School of Engineering and the Power and Energy Initiative at the University of Pittsburgh will present the sixth annual Power and Energy Industry Conference on November 15 and 16 at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association in Oakland.

"Powering the Future of Advanced Energy Delivery and Reliability" is the theme of this year's event which is expected to attract over 30 energy-related companies as well as over 200 attendees, including students from the Swanson School. Conference Chair Gregory Reed, Ph.D., is director of the Electric Power & Energy Initiative ; assoc. director of the Center for Energy ; and professor of electric power engineering, Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the Swanson School. He notes that this event offers Pittsburgh the opportunity to explore the latest research in power and energy, and how that could transform the region's economy.

"This is a world class initiative to bring together some of the top regional and national leaders in energy production, delivery and technology," Dr. Reed explains. "The conference also presents an opportunity to present these new ideas to our students, who represent the next generation of energy innovators and entrepreneurs."

The morning keynote speaker for this year's conference is Jerry Whitaker (pictured above), retired president of Eaton Corporation's Electrical Sector Americas Region. Evening keynote is Bill Flanagan, executive vice president of Corporate relations for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. Media representatives are welcome to attend any of the sessions.

The conference agenda includes:


9:00 a.m. Registration and Networking

10:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks: Gerald Holder, Ph.D., US Steel Dean, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

10:10 a.m. Keynote Address: Jerry Whitaker - Eaton Corporation, (retired) President, Electrical Sector Americas

11:00 a.m. Panel Session: Technology Development and Acceleration for Industry Collaborations

Moderator: Dr. Mark Redfern - Assoc. Dean of Research, Swanson School of Engineering

The panel will discuss various aspects of technology development and technology acceleration processes related to industry collaborations with universities and government labs.


Petra Mitchell - President, Catalyst Connection

Julianne Klara - Regional University Alliance Manager, DOE Nat'l Energy Technology Lab

Colton Weber - Program. Director, PA Dept. of Community & Economic Development

Dr. Marlin Mickle - Director, RFID Center of Excellence, University of Pittsburgh

12:30 p.m. Luncheon - Schenley Lounge / Pennsylvania Room

1:30 p.m. Technical Program: The POWER of ELECTRONICS for Advanced Energy Delivery: Applications for Renewable Energy Integration, Energy Storage, and Smart Grids

The technical program will feature invited presentations on advanced power electronics research, developments, and emerging applications from several of the world's leading electric power technology suppliers and electric utility users.

Invited Industry Presentations:

Eric John - ABB Inc., Grid Systems U.S.

Joe Waligorski - FirstEnergy Corp., FE Technologies

Dan Sullivan - Mitsubishi Electric Products Inc., Power Systems Division

Todd Rosenberger - Oncor Electric Delivery, Transmission Engineering

Dr. Rajat Majumder - Siemens Energy Inc., High Voltage Systems

4:00 p.m. Graduate Student Research Symposium and Poster Session

Pitt EPERGI Team. (Electric Power & Energy Research for Grid Infrastructure)

Ten graduate students will highlight recent research work on the following titles:

‐ Medium Voltage DC Architecture: A Platform for Renewable Energy Integration and End‐Use Network Supply

‐ Grid Level Energy Storage and Control: A Cornerstone of Future Power Networks and Smart Grid Development

‐ Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Application Assessments for Future Power Electronic Conversion Systems

Student‐Industry Networking Event

6:00 p.m. Evening Session Guest Speaker - Pennsylvania Room

Bill Flanagan - Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations, The Allegheny Conference on Community Development

~ 7:00 p.m. - Networking Reception and Industry Exhibits - Main Ballroom

An evening social event bringing together Pitt students studying in the electric power & energy fields with participating industry organizations, as well as business‐to‐business contacts among industry participants. The evening session provides networking and information exchange opportunities focused in the electric power & energy sector.

Workshop Series

9:15 a.m. Workshop Sessions A

A‐1) DOE‐414 National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection Project

Session Moderator: John Daniel - ABB, Inc.

A‐2) DOE‐152 Workforce Training - Keystone Smart Grid Fellows Program

Session Moderator: Pitt EPERGI Graduate Students

10:45 a.m. Workshop Sessions B

B‐1) DC (Direct Current) Infrastructure Development

Session Moderator: Tim Martinson - Universal Electric Corp., Starline DC Solutions

B‐2) Cyber Security Initiative - Electric Power Grid and Energy Control Systems

Session Moderator: William Slattery - FBI, Cyber Initiative and Resource Fusion Unit

1:00 p.m. Adjourn

About the Swanson School of Engineering

The University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering (SSoE) is one of the oldest engineering programs in the United States and is consistently ranked among the top 50 engineering programs nationally. SSoE has excelled in basic and applied research during the past decade and is on the forefront of 21st century technology including energy systems, bioengineering, micro- and nanosystems, computational modeling, and advanced materials development. Approximately 120 faculty members serve more than 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students and Ph.D. candidates in six departments, including Bioengineering, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.


Contact: Paul Kovach