Chair: Alison Silverstein, Alison Silverstein Consulting, USA

Independent Consultant

Alison Silverstein is a consultant, strategist and writer on electric transmission and reliability, energy efficiency and technology adoption issues. She organized and wrote DOE’s “Staff Report on Electric Markets and Reliability” (August 2017) and co-authored, “A Customer-focused Framework for Electric System Resilience” (May 2018). Silverstein has worked on a number of major federal electricity studies, including the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative framework and Hawaii’s renewables and reliability integration efforts. Silverstein serves as project manager for the North American Synchrophasor Initiative.

Silverstein was an advisor for Chairman Pat Wood, III, at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from July 2001 through July 2004, co-chairing the 2003 Electric Systems Investigation for the U.S.-Canada blackout investigation and writing the investigation reports. She has worked at the Public Utility Commission of Texas and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Silverstein serves on the Boards of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.


P.K. Agarwal (Praveen Kumar Agarwal), Power System Operation Corporation Ltd, India

• Heading Market Operations as Director in the board of Power System Operation Corporation Ltd, India (POSOCO), Mr. Agarwal is responsible for managing entire Indian Electricity Grid as an Independent System Operator (ISO). He is also Chief Information Security Officer of POSOCO.
• A power system engineer having more than three decades of experience in nearly all aspects of power system like construction/maintenance of transmission lines, grid substation, HVDC systems commissioning and O&M.
• Implemented India’s first integrated SCADA/EMS project and acquired expertise in areas like large SACDA system integration, up gradation with new technologies, applications of information technology in power system operation (larger grid operation) and cyber security of critical infrastructure i.e. SCADA and IT Systems of power sector.
• Introduced Synchrophasor Technology in India through pioneering efforts of implementing India’s first synchrophasors project in 2009. Experiences from this projected resulted implementation of many other projects and finally a large project with 1600 PMUs.
• Having expertise in developing systems and procedures and mapping the same to software systems in the area of power systems operations. Some of the implemented systems are:-
o HVDC terminals weekly and yearly maintenance management and recording system.
o Daily energy booking system from the data of last 24 hrs grid operation on UNIX system with multiple terminals.
o Converted manual process of ABT Account Administration to automated software system.
o Implemented Open Access Management system as online submission and approval moving towards paperless system.
o Presently working on enterprise wide implementation, hominization of various process and systems for POSOCO.
o Developed IT and technology roadmap for POSOCO.
• Actively involved in designing of world’s largest Wide Area Monitoring Scheme known as Unified Real Time Dynamic State Monitoring System.
• Written, published and presented many papers and articles at national and international levels.
• Delivered many talks on synchrophasor technology, SCADA system, IT in power system, cyber security in power system in various International as well as national conferences.
• Chairman of CIGRE National Committee C5 (Power System Market) of India.
• Involved in introducing and designing of Power System Market in India.

Robert W. Cummings, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), USA

Mr. Cummings joined NERC in 1996 and has extensive experience in the industry in system planning, operations engineering, and wide area planning. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Power System Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is an IEEE Life Senior Member.

He was a principal investigator of the 2003 Northeast Blackout and the more recent September 8, 2011 Arizona-Southern California Outage. He directed the NERC Event Analysis program for five years, and has led or worked on 15 major disturbance analyses. He is also the technical director of the NERC System Protection Improvement Initiative, the Modeling Improvements Initiative, and the Frequency Response Initiative.

He is a member of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Electricity Advisory Committee, and its Energy Storage and Smart Grid Subcommittees. Cummings is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of CURENT (Center for Ultra-wide Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks), a National Science Foundation and Department of Energy Engineering Research Center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Alex McEachern, Power Standards Lab, USA

Alex McEachern is well known worldwide for his cheerful, thought-provoking speeches on electric power quality.

Active in writing and approving international power standards, Alex is the chairman of the IEC Working Group that sets the standard for power quality instruments, and the Chair of voltage sag standard for the semiconductor industry, SEMI F47. He is Fellow — the highest possible member — of the IEEE.

He is an inventive fellow, too, with 30 U.S. patents awarded so far. But among all his accomplishments, McEachern is proudest of the fact that companies that he has created have been responsible for over 3,000 man-years of employment.

Paolo Romano, Ph.D., Zaphiro Technologies, Switzerland

Paolo Romano was born in Italy in 1987 and received BSc and MSc degree (with honors) in electronics engineering from the University of Genova, Italy, in 2008 and 2011, respectively. From 2011 to 2017 he pursued his PhD and post-doc at the Distributed Electrical System Laboratory (DESL) of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), with a thesis entitled “DFT-based Synchrophasor Estimation Algorithms and their Integration in Advanced Phasor Measurement Units for the Real-time Monitoring of Active Distribution Networks”.

Since March 2017 he is co-founder and CEO of Zaphiro Technologies, a Swiss company that is commercializing SynchroGuard, the first real-time monitoring and automation system for distribution-grid based on synchrophasor measurements. SynchroGuard is already deployed and operated in 6 distribution grids worldwide, including a recent roll-out with a leading Asian utility.