ECE Department Hosts Symposium on the Transformation of the Grid

Students, engineers, IEEE members, consultants, and industry representatives filled the Connelly Center Cinema on November 4 for an enlightening symposium entitled "The Greening of the Electric Grid: How Will It Affect You?" Hosted by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and introduced by Dr. Pritpal Singh, ECE Chair, the event explored the transformation of the electrical grid system and the opportunities being created.

From left: Dr. Pritpal Singh, John Battaglini, Joseph Moran, Audrey Zibelman , Commissioner Wayne Gardner, Dr. Dagmar Niebur, Glenn Pritchard
From left: Dr. Pritpal Singh, John Battaglini, Joseph Moran, Audrey Zibelman , Commissioner Wayne Gardner, Dr. Dagmar Niebur, Glenn Pritchard

The following energy experts made presentations:

  • Joseph Moran BEE '84, MSEE '88, MBA '95, a Senior Vice President at KEMA Inc., a leading company in energy consulting, testing, and certification, gave an overview of smart grid technologies and the factors driving their development.
  • John Battaglini MBA '96, Vice President of Business Development and Sales at International Battery, which provides large-format, rechargeable lithium-ion cells and batteries, discussed advances in that industry.
  • Audrey Zibelman, President and CEO of Viridity Energy, which equips large energy consumers with tools to increase energy efficiency and create energy revenues, looked at the smart grid as a revenue stream.
  • Dr. Dagmar Niebur, a member of the ECE faculty at Drexel University and a former program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF), outlined NSF activities in smart grids.
  • Glenn Pritchard, PE, a Principal Engineer at PECO, described PECO’s smart grid and meter plan.
  • Commissioner Wayne Gardner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission summarized what the Commonwealth is doing to move forward with the concept of the smart grid.

After the presentations, speakers fielded questions from the audience. Dr. Singh, who moderated the Q&A session, was pleased with the event. "We had a diverse range of engaging speakers who brought different perspectives to the conversation." In addition to the ECE Department, the following entities sponsored the symposium: Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering, IEEE Power and Energy Society, and IEEE Industrial Applications Society.

Audrey Zibelman, President and CEO of Viridity Energy
Audrey Zibelman, President and CEO of Viridity Energy
Commissioner Wayne Gardner of the PA Public Utility Commission
Commissioner Wayne Gardner of the PA Public Utility Commission