Funding Opportunity for GridEd Affiliate University Students

GridEd is undertaking an initiative to support undergraduate design projects with a focus on power engineering or data analytics related to the power system. This effort seeks to help students gain practical experience in developing an approach to design activities helping to prepare them to meet the future challenges of the evolving power system. For qualifying applicants, GridEd offers financial support (up to $5k per project) for undergraduate design projects meeting the requirements.

GridEd seeks to prepare future power engineers and data scientists entering the power industry and will only consider projects related to engineering and data analytics challenges associated with generation, transmission, distribution or end use of electric power.

Proposals for projects which meet the criteria may be submitted to GridEd at any time but must be submitted by 5:00pm EDT Friday, October 15th, 2021 to be considered. To submit a proposal, complete the proposal template and send an email to For award criteria, proposal template and additional details, visit:

Big Data Analytics and Machine Learning in Smart Grid

This course wwas held on May 9th from 8:00-5:00pm

This course is one in a series of several courses developed and offered through GridEd to enhance workforce readiness through training and education of personnel with needed skill sets at the intersection of power systems and digital systems.

This 1-day course focuses on big data analytics and machine learning in smart grid. The value, velocity, volume, and variety of big data in smart grid will be discusses. The course will also review the basics of unsupervised learning, supervised learning, and reinforcement learning algorithms. Important applications of big data analytics and machine learning in electric power distribution systems, transmission networks, and electricity markets will be presented with real-world data set.

The applications covered in the short course includes:

Distribution Systems: 1) Topology identification, 2) Electricity theft detection, 3) Predictive maintenance of distribution equipment, 4) Estimation of behind-the-meter solar generation, 5) Reinforcement learning based Volt-VAR control and network reconfiguration.

Transmission System: 1) Anomaly detection with PMU data, 2) Motifs and signatures discovery with PMU data, 3) Segmentation of PMU data.

Electricity Market: 1) Algorithmic trading with virtual bids in electricity market.

Nanpeng (Eric) Yu is an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of California, Riverside. His research interests are big data analytics and machine learning in smart grid, electricity market design and optimization, distributed energy resources integration, and smart cities. Prior to joining UCR, Dr. Yu was a senior power system planner and project manager for demand response integration at Southern California Edison. Dr. Yu has published more than 50 papers in archival journals and international conference proceedings. Dr. Yu is a Senior Member of the IEEE. Dr. Yu serves as the co-chair for the IEEE PES big data applications in distribution network task force.

Dr. Yu received his M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Economics, and Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University. Dr. Yu is the director of Smart Grid Innovation Laboratory at UC Riverside. He is also a cooperating faculty member of the department of computer science and department of Statistics. Dr. Yu currently serves as the associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid and International transactions on Electrical Energy Systems.

Dr. Yu is the recipient of the Regents Faculty Fellowship and Regents Faculty Development award from University of California. His received a best paper award from the Second International Conference on Green Communications, Computing and Technologies and three best paper finalist awards from IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting.

Preparing for DistribuTECH 2019

For the third year in a row, GEARED students and faculty are preparing for DistribuTECH, the annual conference of the electric utility industry, February 5-7, 2019 in New Orleans.

The goal is to create a national network of centers that support power systems training and curriculum development based on research, development, data generation, collection, analysis and simulation. Working with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) serves as national network administrator (NNA) of GEARED.

Central to the five-year GEARED project is the Distributed Technology Training Consortia (DTTC). Composed of three regional consortiums, each with multiple university, utility and industry partners, the collaborators are working toward the infusion of power systems analysis and R&D into training activities such as curriculum and short course development, internships and co-ops, and continuing education. GEARED creates a network of professionals who come together to develop and widely disseminate content and curriculum for training and education programs that focus on system implications that distributed power technologies present. Via this network, the DTTC will identify and share training and education best practices and programs, as well as power system research and development.

Ensuring quality training of the next generation of energy engineers, system operators and utility professionals will be a key factor to lower the cost of solar electricity, advance seamless grid integration, and support a growing U.S. solar workforce.

Expanding the GridEd Program - About the GREAT with Data Initiative

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has been selected to receive a $6 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) which will enable the expansion of the GridEd program. The Grid-Ready Energy Analytics Training (GREAT) with Data initiative will address workforce skills in four key, emerging technical areas: (1) data science, including descriptive, prescriptive, and predictive analytics, and machine learning; (2) cyber security; (3) information and communication technologies, with an emphasis on interoperability and standardization technologies; and, (4) integration of solar photovoltaic and other distributed energy resources such as energy storage, electric vehicles, and demand response.

Learn more about the GREAT with Data Initiative

GridEd Short Course, Electric Transportation, to be hosted by Georgia Power Company HQ, September 20-21,2018

EPRI’s GridEd short course, Electric Transportation, will be held at Georgia Power Company Headquarters on Thursday, September 20 - Friday, September 21st. The course is being instructed by EPRI’s Technical Executive, John Halliwell.

Halliwell is part of EPRI’s Electric Transportation Group. ( Find Course Flyer and Registration Information Here ) Beginning with an overview of the electric transportation space, this course will cover the basics of transportation electrification opportunities, vehicle technologies, charging technologies, and the benefits of electrified transportation technologies. Course registrants will learn about integration of goods movement technologies and electric vehicles with the grid, reverse energy flow from electric vehicles and pertinent standards relative to the electric vehicle space. The course will introduce methods being used to manage electric vehicle charging and to mitigate high power loads that have very low duty factors. Laboratory testing and field demonstration results will be presented to highlight the impact of transportation electrification. Registrants will be introduced to relevant standards and recommended practices, including the latest developments in the National Electric Code, Society of Automotive Engineers documents, and other standards impacting the electrified transportation space. For more information, email:

GridEd Live-Online Short Course offering Coming September 2018

This course addresses several evolving forces that will alter the fundamental operating characteristics of the electric grid, transforming it from a one-way central supply structure to one that has bidirectional power flows resulting from distributed energy resources (DER). Self-generating consumers, or those with electric storage devices, will alter the design requirements for the electric distribution system. This course includes discussion of key issues that arise when distributed generation is added to radial distribution systems and followed by computational exercises on specific issues.

Key topics include:

  • Voltage rise/drop
  • Voltage regulation
  • Grounding and Temporary Overvoltage
  • Fault performance and protection

This course includes three design case studies based on the open source software Open DSS. An OpenDSS tutorial will be provided as part of this course and no previous experience with this software is needed. The case studies include material on Smart Inverter capability and the traditional methods for identifying DG penetration level limitations. This course is being offered in a web based format with 8 sessions (90-minutes each) scheduled over a 4-week period.

OASIS of Light, an Important GridEd Outreach Activity

More than six months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria swept across Puerto Rico, people are still without power. With the U.S. territory still devastated and struggling for basic needs, the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, installed four Oasis of Lights. An OASIS has a self-standing metal structure, four PV panels, an inverter, charge controller, and batteries that store about 4 kWh of electric energy. There are electrical connections that enable the citizens to charge their cell phones, iPads, and other electronic devices. It also includes a small refrigerator, which provides safe storage for medications and other perishables. Each OASIS costs approximately $6,250. These small PV systems bring light and small-electronics charging capacity to places without electric power in Puerto Rico. In each of the installations, UPRM faculty delivered short presentations to community members about renewable energy. The main funding source was the EPICS program in IEEE.

After the rural community is reconnected to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the OASIS will remain in place as an educational tool and will offer minimal emergency power during future blackouts.

“The power grid in Puerto Rico is still unstable, so even those with power can’t rely on it,” says Dr. Efrain O’Neill-Carrillo. “The Western Puerto Rico Section is grateful for this wonderful initiative facilitated by IEEE. EPICS in IEEE has enabled volunteers and students to make a difference in the lives of people from some of the most vulnerable communities in Puerto Rico,” Dr. O’Neill-Carrillo concluded.

GridEd's Affiliate Tech Transfer Workshop April 3-4, 2018 hosted by Tri-State Generation and Transmission

GridEd highlights continued engagement with GEARED consortiums in Denver, Colorado on April 3 & 4, 2018 for the final tech transfer "train-the-trainer" workshop under the DOE GEARED 1.0 program. This assembly has been designed specifically for Affiliate universities. The theme for this workshop is "Course Materials for a Future Power Systems Curriculum." The day and a half workshop is designed to acquaint colleagues with the work product from GridEd. This workshop will showcase the materials and learnings developed under GridEd by our Partner universities (East - Clarkson University, Georgia Tech, University of North Carolina Charlotte, and the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez and West – Arizona State University, Portland State University, and University California Riverside). Additional works developed by EPRI/GridEd will also be provided.

Over the past three years, GridEd-East and GridEd-West Partner universities have developed syllabi, lecture slides, notes, and other related course materials and have posted these materials on GridEd's SharePoint site for open access to all universities that makeup GridEd. Further, GridEd expects to have a representative from the National Science Foundation to speak to a future vision of next generation Power Curriculum and careers. GridEd will also expect to have members from other GEARED consortia outside of GridEd (FEEDER & MARMET) to expand the university engagement. Representatives from DOE and the electric utility industry will also be present.

The objective of this workshop is to transfer materials and knowledge from some of the courses that have been developed through GridEd (undergraduate, graduate, and professional training courses) professors can build up their own education and training programs.

In addition to the Affiliate Tech Transfer Workshop, the high demand GridEd short course, Application of Smart Inverters Technology, will be hosted by Tri-State Generation and Transmission on April 4 &5, 2018. For more information on registration visit here: GridEd Short Course Information.

Preparing for DistribuTECH 2018

For the second year in a row, GEARED students and faculty are preparing for DistribuTECH 2018, the annual conference of the electric utility industry, January 23-25, 2018 in San Antonio.

The large gathering of power systems professionals at DistribuTECH connects GEARED students and industry professionals to the technologies and skills needed to innovate and transform the grid. GEARED is re-imagining the 21st century power engineering workforce.

Global policies, federal and state regulations reinforce the urgency to develop innovative curriculum that bridges the skills gap and builds healthy, long-lasting relationships between industry and education. This year, DistribuTECH organizers created a special student website for students to submit their research on power systems, smart grid and distributed technology topics in poster format. Nearly 50 student posters will be on display throughout the conference.

Meet us at booth 1665. See you there!

CWRU hosts GridEd Short Course - Energy Storage during PRE-STUDIO Conference

The next GridEd Energy Storage course will be held in Cleveland, Ohio on November 13 – 14, 2017. This Energy Storage 101 Workshop is meant to introduce fundamental concepts for analyzing and implementing energy storage projects in the electric grid. This course may be useful for newer staff members who are getting involved in a company's energy storage projects. More information can be found here.

Meet The Instructors

Ben Kaun has over 10 years' experience in electric power RD&D. He currently manages research efforts pertaining to energy storage, distributed energy resources (DER), and microgrids. He manages EPRI's Energy Storage Integration Council (ESIC), a deployment-oriented public, technical forum with a mission to advance integration of safe, reliable, cost-effective energy storage systems. Ben works collaboratively with industry to develop analytical tools and methods to understand the value of energy storage and DER, including the Storage Value Estimation Tool (StorageVET). He serves on the board of the Energy Storage Association. Prior to EPRI, Ben worked with Tesla Motors and other early stage companies to develop novel technology, test, and commercialize advanced batteries for vehicle electrification. Ben earned a BS in Systems Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MS in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University.

Erin Minear is an Engineer Scientist for the Energy Storage Program at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), managing projects related to integrating energy storage assets into the utility grid. Erin has previous experience in developing commercial behind-the-meter and utility distribution-connected energy storage systems for an engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) firm. She also has 7 years of experience as a power systems engineer implementing projects to drive reliability and efficiency improvements, including transmission and distribution upgrades, microgrids, renewable energy, and energy storage. Erin is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of California and has a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Funding Opportunity for GridEd Affiliate University Students

GridEd is undertaking an initiative to support undergraduate design projects with a focus on power engineering related concepts. This effort seeks to help students gain practical experience in developing an approach to design activities, helping to prepare them to meet the future challenges of the evolving power system. For qualifying applicants, GridEd offers up to $5,000 per project. Eligibility requirements include:

  • Must be undergraduate design projects.
  • Projects must come from an actively engaged Affiliate university of GridEd.
  • Projects must be focused on power engineering related concepts.
  • A summary of the results must be submitted to GridEd and be made publicly available through a creative commons license.
  • Ownership of the results must beoriginal to the authors of the work.

For award criteria and additional details, click on the link below:

An application must be completed and submitted to no later than 5:00 p.m. PST Friday, October 13th, 2017 for consideration. You can download an application here . A team of reviewers composed of personnel from EPRI and professors from participating GridEd universities will review all applications, and award notifications will be made by October 27, 2017.

This is just one of the many values of being part of the GridEd team. If you have questions, please contact Amy Feser.

North Carolina State University Hosts a GridEd Short Course pre PAC World Americas Conference

A GridEd course focused on distribution system modernization, Distribution Volt-Var Planning and Control, was held at North Carolina State University. The course was a preconference event to the PAC World Americas Conference, PAC Americas World Conference, that took place on August 28th, 2017.

This course is part of an educational library of short courses developed and offered by GridEd, an EPRI educational program, to address forces that are changing the electric grid, transforming it from a one-way central supply structure to one that has bi-directional power flows resulting from distributed energy resources (DER). Self-generating consumers or those with electric storage will alter distribution system design requirements. This course focuses on voltage control and reactive power control with a special emphasis on integration of distributed generation.

For more information on all of the GridEd short courses, click here.

Solar Energy Photo Contest "Hit Me with Your SunShot"

The SunShot office has launched a solar energy photo contest called "Hit Me with Your SunShot" to find the best solar energy technology photos in the country.

As you may know, the solar industry has a dearth of original and compelling photos and SunShot is hoping this contest will fill this void by making great solar photography available for public use, while showcasing some of the incredible solar technologies that have popped up over the past few years.

This contest offers up to $2,500 in prizes, including a $500 grand prize for the best overall photo. In addition, winning entries will be featured on the SunShot Initiative website and $250 prizes are available for the best photos in eight categories ranging from solar installation and hardware to power electronics and university research. Entries are due by August 17 and will be judged by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory photographer, Dennis Schroeder and DOE Chief Creative Officer Simon Edelman.

Here's a link to all of SunShot's promotional materials, including social media posts, images, and a newsletter blurb. We're using #SunShot and #ScienceforthePeople in our social posts and encourage you to use them as well.

2017 GridEd Dallas Technology Transfer Workshop Took Place in April

The GridEd Dallas tech transfer "Train-the-Trainer" workshop will be held in Dallas, Texas on April 10th and 11th, 2017. A reception dinner will be held on Sunday, April 9th. The theme for this workshop is "Converting Partner Curriculum Work Product into New Course Materials". The day and a half workshop is designed to acquaint colleagues with the work product from GridEd and the national effort under the DOE GEARED project.

This workshop will showcase the materials and learnings developed under GridEd by our Partner universities (East - Clarkson University, Georgia Tech, University of North Carolina Charlotte, and the University of Porto Rico Mayaguez and West – Arizona State University, Portland State University, and University California Riverside). Additional works developed by EPRI will also be provided. This past year, major work product from the GridEd East Partner universities was posted on the GridEd SharePoint site for open access to all universities that makeup GridEd. GridEd Affiliate university contacts and professors should attend this workshop. GridEd advisors are welcome but attendance is not required or expected.

The expected goals and outcome of the workshop are:

  • Development of new undergraduate and graduate courses in power engineering within partner university curriculum.
  • Revision of existing undergraduate and graduate courses in power engineering within partner university curriculum.
  • Development of short courses for industry professionals including utility staff and others who want to prepare themselves to help transform the electricity grid.

GridEd Advisory Workshop and Short Course offered in Huntington Beach, CA

In February of 2017, GridEd faculty and advisors gathered for an engagement workshop. During the session discussion took place on the past year's accomplishments, refining the current year activities, and planning the future efforts for GridEd.

Abby Crison with First Energy presented on her experience with the Electricity Markets short course with Case Western University and EPRI.

Kimberly Dyer took lead for the development of an HR working committee. Discussion was open to the floor on issues of workforce development for electric utilities.

One of GridEd's high in demand short courses was offered in Huntington Beach. The Applications of Smart Inverters short course investigates the core theory, modeling, and analysis behind smart inverter technology and its application on the power system. Students learned relevant characteristics of inverter operation, including topologies, modulation, maximum power point tracking, grounding, and protection. Dr. Aminul Huque and Dr. Ben York, both involved with the Integration of Distributed Energy Resources research area at EPRI, taught the course. For more information on short course offerings contact: .

Dr. Aminul Huque
Principal Technical Leader
  Dr. Ben York
Senior Engineer

GridEd attended the 2017 DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition

For the second year, GridEd attended DistribuTECH which was held in San Diego, CA. GridEd was featured in the EPRI booth as well as the GEARED booth.

Fifty GEARED student posters were presented outside of the main ballroom. Students were present to discuss their posters with the industry. Students were able to take advantage of free passes for the Exhibit Hall.

A mega session on initiatives that utilities are using to develop a competent 21st century power systems workforce and address hiring challenges, Educating, Hiring and Developing the Next Generation of Electric Power Engineers, took place at DistribuTECH. GridEd was selected to conduct one of eight mega panels.

GridEd sponsored a Microgrid tour at the University of California, San Diego.
Students showcased their posters and engaged with the industry.

Energy Department Launches Five New Solar Ready Vets Training Locations, Announces $10 Million for National Solar Training Programs

The Energy Department announced five additional military bases will join Solar Ready Vets, a solar jobs training program that prepares service members for careers in the solar industry when they leave active duty. The Department is also awarding $10 million to 10 new projects through its Solar Training and Education for Professionals (STEP) funding program, which was created to help meet the solar industry's growing demand for wellqualified, highly skilled installers and other industry-related professionals.

"Jobs in the dynamic solar energy sector have grown more than 20 percent per year for the past several years," said Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall. "At DOE, we are committed to training the solar workforce of the future through our partnership with the Department of Defense, the solar industry, and community colleges around the country."

These solar energy training efforts build on the success of the SunShot Initiative's Solar Instructor Training Network, which has trained 1,100 certified solar instructors and provided hands-on solar workforce training to more than 30,000 students nationwide through our nation's community colleges. Today the solar industry is a leader in hiring military veterans—employing nearly 17,000 veterans to date— and it is committed to employing 50,000 veterans by 2020.

GridEd on the Move

GridEd team members participated in the DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition February 9-11 in Orlando. Siemens' recently produced video on GEARED was displayed at the GEARED and EPRI booths, with staff available to answer questions. Student posters were on display and SIB members were on hand to assist as well.

Later in the month, GridEd held its bi-annual advisory meeting on February 24 at the JW Marriott in Austin. SIB Chair, Morteza Rezaee, spoke on SIB activities and challenges, and Professor Jie Li of Clarkson University presented on using a GridEd short course as the basis for developing a semester-long course (see full story below). Professor Agustin Irizarry-Rivera of University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez provided an overview of two upcoming GridEd Short Courses ─ IEEE 762 and Unbalanced Power Systems Analysis. Job shadowing, an open access course on basic power engineering, and an upcoming technology transfer workshop for Affiliate universities were key topics of discussion.

SIB student posters on display at DistribuTECH   Professor Jie Li of Clarkson University presents on converting a GridEd short course into a semester long course   SIB Chair, Morteza Rezaee, discusses student activities and challenges in attracting students to power engineering

GridEd Short Courses Offer Continuing Value

Professor Jie Li of Clarkson University discusses continuing value of GridEd short course
In 2014, Professor Jie Li of Clarkson University participated in the GridEd Short Course "Business Case Analysis in the Electric Utility Industry," taught by EPRI Sr. Technical Executive Bernard Neenan and Technical Leader Jeff Roark whose research focuses on business and consumer response to electricity prices, information, and technology; and, extending the EPRI/DOE Cost/Benefit Analysis Methodology for Smart Grid Demonstration projects. The course covered accommodating changes in how electricity is used to power economic growth and prosperity, meeting changing customer wants and needs and accommodating distributed renewable resources, and the physical and financial implications for the utility, ratepayers, and society. It presents and demonstrates the foundations for utility investment decision making from three related cost/benefit perspectives: societal, utility, and customer and provides participants with a general understanding and specific subject area knowledge of how electric utilities plan and operate a power system.

Using insights from the course, Professor Li revised a semester long undergraduate level course at Clarkson. The Clarkson course originally focused on the electric aspects of alternative renewable resources such as wind, solar, and other distributed generation. The course now explores more detailed technical materials of engineering economics and includes time value of money, cash flow analysis, present value analysis, net present value, escalation and inflation, annualized and levelized analysis, fixed charge rate, net present value, and government incentives for renewables.

Li also plans to leverage the business case analysis material to improve the syllabus for a graduate level course which focuses on least-cost planning from the utility's point of view. This will include cost based vs. price based planning in market environment, reliability / power quality / environmental cost modeling, and customer cost modeling using the ICE Calculator from DOE.

"Students want to learn something practical, useful, technical and novel," explained Li, who has received very good feedback on the course. For more information about the Business Case Analysis short course, contact Lori Warneke (, 865-218-8174.

GridEd Making Impact around the World

GA Tech engineering students design and build a PV and battery storage system for a hospital in a remote area of Haiti.
Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech), one of GridEd's partner universities, is taking steps to send 14 electrical engineering undergraduate students to a remote mountain village in Haiti, to a hospital that is powered by diesel generator. Currently, diesel fuel must be brought in by truck up to a point, then carried the rest of the way, which is costly and difficult for workers. Under the direction of Georgia Tech Research Engineer Frank Lambert, students designed a PV and battery storage system for the clinic using donated PV panels, batteries, switch gear and hardware. Students will donate their time over Spring Break to prebuild the solar battery system which has sufficient capacity to power the facility most of the time, greatly reducing the hospital's need for diesel fuel.

The team will depart on May 8. Follow their progress at

GridEd Making a Life-long Impact

Professor Insu Kim poses with engineering students at Alabama A&M University
Insu Kim is the first PhD graduate who participated in GridEd activities. Insu is now an Assistant Professor in the electrical engineering department at Alabama A&M University. While a student at GA Tech, he attended the Solar Electric Power Association's 2014 Utility Solar Conference in Newport Beach, California as one of seventeen GEARED students who shared and discussed ideas by introducing research topics.

Insu says "At that time, I realized that active participation for the smooth integration of renewable energy sources to the grid is really important, so I tried to find an academic job in that area and settled down as an assistant professor at my current school. Therefore, I would like to say that GridEd has had a positive and great impact on everyone, including me."

For information on student opportunities, contact Lori Warneke (, 865-218-8174.

Georgia Tech Student Innovation Board (SIB) Holds Missions and Horizons Session for Potential Members

Georgia Tech Student Innovation Board members held an informational session for potential members in October. SIB Chair, Morteza Rezaee, presented on GridED and Professor Ron Harley concluded the session by explaining the opportunities available for undergraduate and graduate students in the power industry and encouraged them to be involved in SIB activities.

Rezaee and SIB Vice-Chair, George Vellaringattu, are planning discussion sessions on hot topics in power systems to capture innovative ideas from fellow students which may be helpful in updating course materials, in senior design projects, and in new short courses. They highly encourage other SIB members to initiate such sessions, introduce themselves to fellow students, and explain the opportunities involving the GridEd program.

For more information, Morteza may be reached at or 404.528.8365.

GridEd Short Courses Providing Value to Affiliate Universities

Maya Prica of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), one of GridEd's affiliate universities, recently attended the GridEd Short Course "Applications of Smart Inverters" in Baltimore, MD. Below is Maya's account of how she will convert this material into a semester-long course at Case Western.

Can you tell me your planned next steps in creating your course?

Upon my return from EPRI's Smart Inverter short course, I met with Professor Loparo, Chair of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department at CWRU to discuss the development of the Power Electronics course. The main idea is to gather information from other universities who have already developed such a course, and bring a systems perspective to the course. We are suggesting the following plan:

  1. Meet with professors from our departments that are experts in electronic devices to discuss both the course and laboratory development. The idea is to have a laboratory that will accompany the course so students can have hands-on experience.
  2. Get insight from faculty that have taught Power Electronics courses, including University of Minnesota (Professor Ned Mohan), University of Pittsburgh (Professor Greg Reed), and University of North Carolina in Charlotte (Professor Badrul Chowdhury) to gather information about their experiences.
  3. The University of Minnesota has on-line material for a first course on Power Electronics and this can be used in conjunction with the more advanced material related to smart inverters and their application in power systems from EPRI's Applications of Smart Inverters short course.
  4. Seek support to develop the power electronics laboratory, building on our existing facilities.

Also, what would you describe as some of the high points of attending the course and what do you intend to make sure is part of your course?

We will use the EPRI Smart Inverter short course as a straw-man for our course and add additional material to develop a one semester university-level course. The short course on smart inverters was not very mathematical, but it provided material that was up to date. Today, there are a lot of small demo projects around the US that are looking into smart inverters. One of the benefits of the short course was that EPRI brought all those experience together into a day-and-a-half course.

The course was structured very well. Most courses on inverters have a tendency to jump into a black box (input/output) treatment of the device and do not provide sufficient information to explain the interworking of the device. EPRI started with a basic background on smart inverters and configurations that helped me to refresh my experiences and course work from college. The fundamentals of smart inverters were followed by smart inverter applications, challenges and open questions. The open questions provided opportunities for me to become aware of the issues and potential research topics related to smart inverters. The course material is a good start for developing the university course.

47th North American Power Symposium (NAPS)

by Monica Mercado, University of Puerto Rico

The 47th North American Power Symposium (NAPS) was held at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte from October 4–6, 2015. NAPS hosted multiple technical panel sessions focused on diverse power topics such as: renewable energy systems, power system optimization and control, smart grid technologies, and others.

The University of North Carolina – Charlotte, in conjunction with the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC), hosted students from all over the U.S. for the Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Development (GEARED) Student Poster Competition.

Students from the U.S. were invited to submit posters in the GEARED poster session. As the GEARED website states, "The session offered an excellent opportunity for students to present preliminary or interim results of their research work." A huge success, student work centered on analytical, computational and experimental studies aimed at solving problems related to operation, control, monitoring, protection and reliability, the economics of power and energy systems and components. A total of 47 students, mostly from graduate programs, were selected to present their research work at the poster session. The University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez was well represented at NAPS 2015 by five students from the Electrical Engineering Department.

UPRM representation at NAPS: Jose Matagira, Laura Adarme, Naysy López, Monica Mercado e Isaac Jordan at NAPS.
Monica Mercado, Prof. Irizarry and the winning poster.

Each of the student posters was rated based on technical contributions, poster quality, and presenter's understanding of the research project. Monica Mercado, senior undergraduate student from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department, won 1st Prize with a poster titled "Residential Grid-Tied Photovoltaic Energy System Design in Puerto Rico." Professor Agustín Irizarry has been Monica's advisor since 2014, and was also at NAPS. Texas Instruments sponsored cash awards for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners of the GEARED poster session.

Student Innovation Board Officers Elected

The GridEd Student Innovation Board (SIB) recently elected officers. Morteza Rezaee will serve as Chair; George Vellaringattu will serve as Vice-Chair, and Martin Meskin will serve as Secretary.

SIB members met at the 47th North American Power Symposium (NAPS) in October to discuss scheduled GridEd introduction seminars and the perks of involvement with GridEd to include senior design projects, interaction with industry professionals, and opportunities to present ideas to improve energy education. Also discussed was the SIB role of advisory board and to generate ideas.

Detailed information about the Student Innovation Board and SIB members is available from the Members tab under Students.

Georgia Tech Paving the Way for K-12 Outreach

K-12 outreach activities for the GridEd education initiative are in full swing. Georgia Tech has developed lesson plans, making it easy for high school teachers to incorporate the energy pathway into their curriculum, with the goal of encouraging student interest in STEM careers around energy and renewables. Topics include renewables, non-renewables, energy in the US, energy around the world, energy policies, technologies and trends. The initiative was publicized at the Georgia State STEM Conference for teachers in June.

The university also has a STEM development program with four intercity schools which is funded by GEARED, in addition to the state of Georgia. Students interested in STEM careers apply to the program; and, if accepted, they become interns at Georgia Tech for 1-2 years. The intent is to aid disadvantaged students in gaining entrance to major colleges and universities specializing in science and engineering. The program has been showcased on Georgia Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio.


GEARED Student Workshop - held in conjuction with the 47th Call for Posters - North American Power Symposium (NAPS 2015)

October 4-6, 2015
UNC Charlotte