Chair: Evangelos Farantatos, Ph.D., Electric Power Research Institute, USA

Evangelos Farantatos (Senior Member IEEE) received the Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, in 2006 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA, in 2009 and 2012, respectively. He is a Senior Technical Leader with the Grid Operations and Planning R&D Group at EPRI, Palo Alto, CA. He is managing and leading the technical work of various R&D projects related to synchrophasor technology, power systems monitoring and control, power systems stability and dynamics, system protection, state estimation renewable energy resources modeling, DER integration, and grid operation with high levels of inverter based resources. In summer 2009, he was an intern at MISO.

Panelists:

Mike E. Bryson, PJM Interconnection, USA

Michael E. Bryson, vice president of Operations, is responsible for PJM’s Operations Division, including 24×7 transmission operations for real time systems to include scheduling, transmission dispatch and generation dispatch, reliability coordination, and training as well as the engineering analysis required to run the system and support the critical energy management systems.

Mr. Bryson also held the positions of executive director of System Operations, general manager of the Dispatch Operations, and manager of the Transmission Department for the System Operations Division. He was responsible for PJM’s transmission operations support for real time operations to include transaction scheduling, transmission analysis, and regional and seasonal studies.

Mr. Bryson is on the Board of Directors of the Reliability First Corporation (RFC), a member of the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS) and the ISO/RTC Operating Committee. He also serves on the board of PJM Technologies, Inc. and PJM Repository Information Services, Inc. Mike is currently serving as chair of the board of Pope John Paul II High School.

Prior to joining PJM, Mr. Bryson held various senior-level positions with DIMAC DIRECT, Inc. in St. Louis, including vice president of Information Services, manager of Operations and Technical Services, and manager of Applications Development.

Mr. Bryson had nearly ten years of military experience as a pilot. His responsibilities in the United States Army included operations planning and support, supervision and training of pilots and mechanics, and training and maintenance of tactical computer systems. He was awarded the Bronze Star for Combat Service in Desert Storm.

Mr. Bryson earned a Bachelor of Science in general engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York focusing on computer science and electrical engineering, and has a Master of Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Mr. Bryson also earned a graduate certificate in power engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Kevin D. Jones, Ph.D., Dominion Energy, USA

Kevin D. Jones received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in Blacksburg, Virginia as a Harry Lynde Bradley Fellow in 2013. His work focused on time-synchronized measurements and their applications including the development of open source technologies for linear state estimation of both positive sequence and three phase networks as well as for real-time synchrophasor data conditioning. Kevin has been the technical lead for three DOE sponsored initiatives involving Virginia Tech and Dominion Energy since 2009 including the SGIG project “Three Phase Linear State Estimator and It’s Applications”, the “CERTS Synchrophasor Data Conditioning and Validation” project, and most recently “The Open and Extensible Control & Analytics Platform for Synchrophasor Data”. His work experience includes Blue Ridge Electric Membership Company, ExxonMobil Research & Engineering, ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery, and Dominion Energy Transmission System Operations Center. He is currently a Consulting Engineer in Electric Transmission at Dominion Energy, Virginia focusing on development of a custom platform for the automation of the analysis of planned outages on the transmission grid as well as synchrophasor integration and analytics including leading Dominion to deploying their first cloud-hosted, domain-specific, Big Data platform.

Dean LaForest, ISO New England, USA

Dean LaForestMr. LaForest joined ISO New England in 2010.  He is currently employed as the manager of the Real Time Studies group.  His group supports both the ISO New England control room and the outage coordination staff by addressing voltage and system stability questions on operating limits, both for real time and planned outage conditions.  He and his staff also perform event analyses using stored SCADA data and available PMU data from our Phasorpoint application.

Prior to joining ISO New England, Mr. LaForest worked for the Vermont Electric Power Company, or VELCO.  Mr. LaForest worked at VELCO from 1996 to 2010 in positions of increasing responsibility, first as a senior transmission planning engineer, a lead transmission planning engineer, the manager of transmission planning, the manager of operations and finally the manager of strategic planning.  While at VELCO he performed technical analyses for planning and operations, testified at state regulatory hearings in support of capital projects, obtained regional construction and budget approval for the same capital projects, and managed the VELCO control room and operations staff.

Prior joining VELCO Mr. LaForest worked for General Electric in the Power Systems division from 1994 to 1996.  His job title was transmission planning engineer and he performed studies for customers throughout the United States and for GE customers internationally.  In addition, due to his experience with GE’s power system simulation software, PSLF, he training on the software’s use within the US and in Europe.

Prior to joining GE Mr. LaForest worked for Electric Power Consultants, Inc. (EPC) from 1989 to 1994.  Mr. LaForest was a transmission planning engineer and performed technical analysis, assisted in the development of PSLF (created by EPC), and trained users of PSLF in the use of the power flow and stability functions within the software.

Mr. LaForest obtained his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University in May of 1989.

Woody Rickerson, P.E., Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), USA

Woody Rickerson became Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations for ERCOT in October 2015. He oversees ERCOT’s role in transmission planning, generator interconnection activities, as well as electric grid operations for the ERCOT region. Mr. Rickerson brings 30 years of electric industry experience, including 18 years at ERCOT, to this role. A licensed professional engineer, Mr. Rickerson has worked for utilities in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. He has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University and a master’s degree in Engineering Management from the University of Colorado.