PES YP Future Summit

Speakers 2022



Prof. Dr. John Undrill
Research Professor, Arizona State University


Dr. John Undrill has worked in the power industry for more than 50 years, with General Electric, Power Technologies Incorporated, and Electric Power Consultants Incorporated. He is currently a Research Professor at Arizona State University. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Jessica Bian
President, IEEE Power and Energy Society


Dr. Jessica Bian is the President of the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES). She is a visionary leader and architect, has spearheaded the electric industry’s reliability metrics and grid risk assessment. Currently she is the Vice President of Grid Services at Grid-X Partners.  Before that, she was with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Washington, DC. Previously, she was the Director of Performance Analysis at North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Under her leadership, a total of 18 industry-wide reliability indicators were established to determine grid reliability, adequacy, and associated risks.  She is widely recognized as a pioneer and trusted world leader in the field.

Track Speakers

Prof. Dr. Peter W. Sauer

Grainger Chair Emeritus Professor
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Peter W. Sauer obtained his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla in 1969. From 1969 to 1973, he was the electrical engineer on a design assistance team for the Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, working on design and construction of airfield lighting and electrical distribution systems. He obtained his MS and PhD. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 1974 and 1977 respectively. He has been on the faculty at The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign since 1977 where he taught courses and directed research on power systems and electric machines. His main contributions were in modeling and simulation of power system dynamics with applications to steady-state and transient stability analysis. From August 1991 to August 1992 he served as the Program Director for Power Systems in the Electrical and Communication Systems Division of the National Science Foundation in Washington D.C. He was a cofounder of the Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC) and a cofounder of PowerWorld Corporation in 1996. He and M. A. Pai coauthored a textbook on “Power System Dynamics and Stability” in 1998. He retired as a Lt. Col. from the US Air Force in 1998 after 28 years (active and reserve) of service working on electric power distribution system design. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia and Illinois,


a Fellow of the IEEE, and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering. He retired from full-time service to Illinois on Dec 31, 2019. He is currently the Grainger Chair Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering at Illinois.

Eugenio Jaramillo
Distinguished Toastmaster
Toastmasters International

Eugenio “Geno” Jaramillo has a unique passion for serving others by sharing his 40 plus years of work experience in Corporate America. He credits much of his success to his ability to connect with people on a very personal level. He was the Director of Aviation Construction for a South Florida Contractor. He created over $600M of Aviation Construction Projects, executed them flawlessly and profitably over a 25-year storied career. Geno is a Professional Speaker, a Consultant specializing in construction and engineering, a Mentorship and Networking Expert. He has shared his expertise through coaching professionals and teaching students at Florida International University and Miami-Dade College where he is currently a professor. And an OSHA authorized trainer at Vol State CC OTIEC.


Mr. Jaramillo earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering at the University of South Florida and his M.B.A. from the University of Miami. He is a Lifetime Member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). He is on the Board of Directors of the Brinker Education Initiative. Both of these non-profit organizations promote STEM in the Hispanic Community.


He is passionate about personal and professional development, training, and sharing his expertise with the next generation of students, professionals, and leaders.


Geno, earned his DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster), the highest educational award available in Toastmasters International, in his first 39 months.


Geno is a published author too. His first book, “#ThePurpleSquirrel SPEAKS..” was launched on his 65th Birthday, June 20th, 2020 and is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.


Rekha Sharma
Solv4x Inc.

Rekha Sharma has over 15 years of experience in energy markets, grid reliability, Transmission & Distribution, power plant design across companies like California ISO, Liberty utilities, ABB Inc, and Siemens. She is founder of Solv4x Inc and leads Innovation and Strategy. As Energy SME, she is involved in designing the in-house Software products. In previous roles, she has managed development of Energy market and grid reliability along with integrating Energy storage, renewables (solar, wind) to the Western American Grid. She has developed applications like meshed short circuit, volt var optimization in network management suite (energy management, distribution management, outage management and SCADA). As part of Siemens engineering team, she designed multiple Gas,Coad power plants and led the engineering efforts of nuclear facilities. She has Masters in Electrical Eng. from Texas A&M University and MBA from Rotman School of Management.

Hira Wahajat

Programmes & Projects Lead 


Leading the Programmes & Projects team at Stimulus with a focus on sustainability, clean-tech and innovation, Hira Wajahat, serves as a consultant, coach and facilitator to create social and climate impact. As an ecosystem builder, Hira is also engaged with training and acceleration support for impact businesses. Hira delivers training on social / climate impact entrepreneurship and business modelling for various local and international organizations. Hira has engaged with IEEE on multiple student led forums to speak about entrepreneurship in the Power and Energy space.

Daniela Pagnani

Industrial PhD at Aalborg University and Ørsted in Denmark 

Daniela Pagnani is 27 years old and works as an Industrial PhD researcher (soon to be graduated) with Ørsted and Aalborg University, in Denmark. 

She started with a Bachelor of Science in “Industrial Engineering” from the University of Cassino, Italy, in 2017, during which traveled as an exchange student for one semester, 

to then continue and obtain a Master of Science in “Electrical Power Systems and High Voltage Engineering” from Aalborg University in 2019.

Her research interests include: power system restoration, black start, offshore wind farms, transient studies.

Photo Yue Zhou

Dr Yue Zhou

Lecturer in Cyber Physical Systems
Cardiff University


Dr Yue Zhou is a Lecturer in Cyber Physical Systems of School of Engineering at Cardiff University, Wales, UK. His research interests lie around cyber physical energy systems, specifically including demand side response, peer-to-peer energy trading and distributed ledger technology. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, and has led or participated in more than 20 UK and EU projects. He is the Chair of CIGRE UK Next Generation Network (NGN). He is a Managing Editor of Applied Energy, an Associate Editor of IET Energy Systems Integration, IET Renewable Power Generation and Frontiers in Energy Research, a Subject Editor of CSEE Journal of Power and Energy Systems, and an Editorial Board Member of Energy Conversion and Economics.

Jin Zhao

Professor, Electrical Engineering Department
University of Paraiba

Jin Zhao received her Ph.D. degrees from Shandong University, China, in 2020 in electrical engineering. She is currently an Alexander von Humboldt Researcher hosted by TU Dortmund University, Germany. She was a Research Scientist at The University of Tennessee (UTK), USA. She was 2021 outstanding reviewers of IEEE trans. on power systems and IEEE OAJPE. She is the chair of IEEE PES task force on Advanced Intelligence Techniques for Resilient Power System Restoration. She is an associate editor of PCMP. Her research interests include power system resilience, transmission & distribution system restoration, renewable energy integration, resilient micro-grids and machine-learning.

Thamer Alharbi

Eng. Thamer Alharbi

Oil and Gas Key Account Manager
ABB Motion Saudi Arabia


Thamer Alharbi (Member, IEEE) received the BSc degree in electrical engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) in 2016 . He is currently Oil & Gas Key Account Manager for ABB Motion Saudi Arabia . He has extensive experience in sales specially in Energy efficiency solutions using Variable frequency drives for medium and low voltage His currently handling several projects with Aramco in this regard .  He is a member in the IEEE Saudi section and. He served in many positions from IEEE KFUPM branch and now he is the chair of the young professional in Saudi Arabia. 

Rashed Alshammari

Engr. Rashed Alshammari

Motion service segment sales manager
ABB Motion Saudi Arabia


Engr. Rashed Alshammari is Motion service segment sales manager,  at ABB .  He has techno commercial experience on Motors & VFDs for improving asset reliability, predictive maintenance implementer, upgrading projects expert ,  energy efficiency initiator in industrial with  strong experience in heavy industrial Cement and Mining application.

Nirupama Prakash Kumar

Nirupama Prakash Kumar

Senior Product Manager – Microgrids, Bloom Energy

Niru Kumar, SMIEEE obtained an undergraduate degree in power systems engineering from University of Mysore, India. After working for IT consulting companies, she decided to move to the U.S. and get back to her first love of power systems engineering. She finished her MS in Energy Systems from the University of Washington in Seattle and went to work for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a Dept. of Energy run National Laboratory. Her research interests included effective demand response techniques to improve energy efficiency. She completed her MBA from Cornell University where she was recognized both as an ‘Environmental Finance and Impact Investing Fellow’ as well as an ‘Emerging Markets Fellow’. From there she went to work for NextEra Energy where worked on Storage analytics, Microgrid analytics and Direct Load Control analytics for both FPL and NextEra. She later worked for a FACTS startup based out of Union City called Smart Wires. Currently she works as a Senior Product Manager in Microgrids with Bloom Energy.


Niru’s interests also include the most cost effective methods of making technology accessible to the base of the pyramid. Niru is heavily involved with IEEE and its humanitarian technology efforts. She is currently chair of the Projects Monitoring committee under the IEEE Humanitarian Activities committee. She is also the IEEE Region 6 Humanitarian Activities Coordinator. She works with the South Asia Working Group of IEEE Smart Village. She is also part of IEEE USA’s Energy Policy Committee. She has also served as Region 6’s Women in Engineering coordinator in 2011-2012 helping set up various Women in Engineering groups for the benefit of IEEE women engineers.

Dr Gayan Abeynayake

Power System Specialist at Ørsted

Dr Gayan Abeynayake received the BSc.Eng. Degree (Hon.) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the MSc.Eng. degree in Power, Energy Systems and High Voltage from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, in 2011 and 2016, respectively. He received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK, in 2021. 

He is currently working as a Power System Specialist at Ørsted; one of the largest offshore wind farms developers in the world. From 2018 to 2021, he was a Marie Curie Early Stage Research Fellow funded by the European Union’s InnoDC Project. Between 2012 and 2018, he was a Transmission Planning Engineer with Ceylon Electricity Board, Colombo, Sri Lanka. In 2019, he was a Visiting Researcher with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Risø, Denmark. Between February to June 2020, he was a Research Associate with a UK National Grid innovation project. 

He was the recipient of the Prof. E.O.E Pereira Gold Medal for the Most Outstanding Engineering Graduate at the General Convocation 2012 and received the 1st prize of the IEEE PES UKRI presentation competition, Cardiff, in 2018.


He was the Secretary of the IEEE PELS Society UK & Ireland chapter for the term 2020–2021. He also held several distinguish positions in IEEE Sri Lanka Section, Power and Energy Society Chapter, and YP Section, including Assistant Secretary, Professional Development Chair (2015/2016) and Secretary of IEEE YP Sri Lanka section in 2016.