Poster Presenter Biographies


Analytics

Andrew Benson
Sandia National Laboratories

Andrew G. Benson is a postdoctoral appointee at Sandia National Laboratories working in the Energy Storage Technologies and Systems department. He graduated with a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Irvine in 2021. Prior to graduate school, he worked as a cost-benefit analyst in the Energy Research and Development Division of the California Energy Commission.

Ryan Elliot
Sandia National Laboratories

Ryan Elliott received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA in 2012 and 2020, respectively. From 2012 to 2015, he was a Research Scientist with the Electric Power Systems Research Department at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM, USA. In 2015, he returned to the University of Washington to pursue a Ph.D., working as a Research Assistant in the Renewable Energy Analysis Laboratory from 2015 to 2020. In 2020, he rejoined Sandia where he is currently a Senior Member of Technical Staff. Dr. Elliott led the development of the WECC model validation guideline for central station photovoltaic power plants in 2015, and received an R&D 100 Award for his contributions to a real-time damping control system using PMU feedback in 2017.

Ujjwol Tamrakar
Sandia National Laboratories

Ujjwol Tamrakar received the B.E. degree in Electrical Engineering from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, in 2011, and the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from South Dakota State University (SDSU), Brookings, SD, USA, in 2015. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from SDSU in 2020 and is currently working as a Postdoctoral Appointee at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, USA. His research interests include grid integration of renewable energy systems, energy storage analytics, power system modeling and stability, and optimal control. Recently, he has been actively involved in various IEEE task forces related to voltage and frequency stability of power systems with high renewable penetration.

James Ellison
Sandia National Laboratories

Prior to joining Sandia National Laboratories, James Ellison worked for eight years at the AES Corporation as a business developer as well as a power plant and distribution company manager. At Sandia National Laboratories, he worked analyzing and modeling energy infrastructure for the Department of Homeland Security, and has performed studies for the Department of Energy on integrating variable energy and calculating the benefits of energy storage. He has modeled natural gas networks, performing analyses on the resiliency of the natural gas network to earthquakes and the consequences to power generation of losing gas supply from specific pipelines. He is experienced in production cost modeling for power systems.


Equity, Resilience, and Policy

Manuel Garcia
Sandia National Laboratories

Manuel is currently a Senior Member of the Technical Staff in the Electric Power Systems Research department at Sandia National Laboratories. Manuel studies optimization, electricity markets, and power system operation.


Flow Batteries

Mitchell Anstey
Davidson College

After receiving a Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, Mitch Anstey began an independent career at Sandia National Laboratories in the San Francisco Bay Area studying battery science (redox flow batteries, lithium-air batteries) and radiation scintillation phenomena. He then transitioned to Davidson College as an assistant professor to continue those research efforts while providing an interdisciplinary science experience for the students at the college.

Jesse Wainright
Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Jesse Wainright is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, specializing in electrochemical engineering including polymer electrolyte fuel cells, membrane materials, and aqueous batteries. Recent research efforts have focused on the development of implantable electrodes for neural stimulation and nerve block, and novel stack designs and chemistries for PEM fuel cells and redox flow batteries.

Yu Zhu
University of Akron

Yu Zhu is currently a professor in the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. He also serves the deputy director of Akron Functional Materials Center at The University of Akron, the Editor-in-Chief of Colloid and Polymer Science from Springer Nature. He earned his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at the University of Cologne, Germany in 2007. After his post-doctoral training at Rice University, Dr. Zhu joined the Department of Polymer Science at The University of Akron in 2012. His research interests focus on the functional polymers, hybrid materials and nanomaterials. His research group is dedicated to advance the understanding of structure-property relationship of those materials, particularly in the area of energy storage and organic electronics. He is a recipient of ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award, NSF CAREER Award, Air-Force Summer Faculty Fellow and Journal of Materials Chemistry A Emerging Investigators.


Innovative Deployment Projects


Power Electronics

Jonathan Kimball
Missouri University of Science Technology

Jonathan W. Kimball received the B.S. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, in 1994, the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) in 1996, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Illinois in 2007. He has worked in industry for Motorola, Baldor, and SmartSpark Energy Systems. Since 2008, he has been on the faculty at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO, where he is currently a professor of electrical and computer engineering and the director of the Center for Research in Energy and the Environment. His research interests include microgrids, electric vehicles, and cyber-physical systems.

Bruce Gnade
Southern Methodist University

Bruce Gnade received his BA in Chemistry from St. Louis University in 1976 and his Ph.D. in Nuclear Chemistry from Ga. Tech. in 1982. He is the Exec. Dir. of the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership at SMU. He was Vice President for Research and Distinguished Chair in Microelectronics at UT Dallas from 2006-2016. At Texas Instruments he led several research and technology groups from 1982-1996. He was a program manager in the Microsystems Technology Office at DARPA from 1996-1999. He is a Fellow of APS, IEEE, and National Academy of Inventors, and is Chair of the Board of Directors of Oak Ridge Associated Universities. He has authored/co-authored approximately 200 refereed journal papers, 77 U.S. patents, and 54 foreign patents (Google Scholar >14,000 citations, h-index=57).

Sijo Augustine
New Mexico State University

Sijo Augustine received the AMIE degree in Electrical Engineering from the Institution of Engineers [India] in 2008, M.Tech in Power Electronics and Drives from VIT University, Vellore, India in 2010 and a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India in 2016. He is currently working as a post-doctoral research scientist at New Mexico State University, USA. His research interests include power electronics, DC/AC/Hybrid microgrids, and energy management.

Robert Kaplar
Sandia National Laboratories

Bob Kaplar received a B.S. degree in Physics from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Ohio State University, Columbus. He subsequently joined Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, as a postdoctoral researcher, worked for a dozen years as a technical staff member, and is presently the manager of the Semiconductor Material and Device Sciences department at Sandia. His scientific work is currently focused on wide-bandgap materials and devices, primarily the III-Nitrides, for power conversion applications.


Safety & Reliability

Jaime Kolln
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Jaime Kolln joined Pacific Northwest National Lab in December of 2018 after 20 years as an electronic system designer and integrator. His grid modernization research at PNNL includes grid edge communications, distributed energy resources, energy storage, building controls, and more. Jaime is a member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society and the chair of the MESA Alliance Testing and Certification Working Group. Through all of his work, Jaime strives to increase the interoperability of our rapidly evolving electrical grid.

Randy Shurtz
Sandia National Laboratories

Randy has worked in the Fire Sciences and Technology Department at Sandia since 2016. His research interests include advancing understanding and predictive capabilities in areas relevant to fire safety, including thermal testing in fire scenarios and modeling of thermal runaway in lithium ion battery systems. His experience prior to Sandia includes five years in the gas turbine engine industry as well as graduate research in coal pyrolysis and gasification.

Daiwon Choi
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Dr. Choi is a Senior Research Scientist in Battery Materials and Systems group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He has over 20 years of research experience in materials development for various electrochemical energy storage systems including Li-ion battery, supercapacitor, and fuel cell. His current area of interest is in standard battery testing, reliability, performance, and degradation analyses of Li-ion batteries for stationary energy storage. Dr. Choi is author of more than 70 research papers, 4 book chapters, and inventor of 10 US patents.

Alex Bates
Sandia National Laboratories

Alex Bates is a postdoctoral appointee at Sandia National Laboratories. Alex has ten years of experience in energy storage systems including fuel cells, flow batteries, Li-ion batteries, and solid-state batteries. His current focus is on the safety impact of solid-state batteries. His work focuses on understanding the heat release mechanisms present in solid-state batteries, their response to abuse testing, and how this base of knowledge can inform the community on proper practices for solid-state battery implementation into electric vehicles and grid energy storage.

Joshua Lamb
Sandia National Laboratories

Dr. Joshua Lamb is currently a Principal Member of the Technical Staff with the Advanced Power Sources R&D organization at Sandia National Laboratories. He primarily oversees the Battery Safety and Abuse Testing Laboratory (BATLab) team, and the Battery Safety and Reliability thrust of the DOE Office of Electricity Energy Storage Program. Battery safety science at Sandia focuses on the development of inherently safe lithium-ion batteries by understanding the consequences and mechanisms of failure, developing cradle-to-grave battery testing, and developing new materials for use in battery systems. Joshua earned his Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering in 2008 and his B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2002 from the University of Nevada. Since joining Sandia in 2011, Joshua’s research interests include advanced techniques for determining the stability of lithium-ion batteries and the development of advanced battery abuse and safety tests.

Simone Hill
New Mexico Tech

Simone Hill is a graduate student at New Mexico Tech (NMT), studying toward a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a Specialization in Mechatronics. Simone Master’s research is assessing the flammability environment around failing lithium-ion batteries. She is developing a semi-analytical model to predict the flammability environment as a function of time, which she will validate against experiments she will perform using 18650 cells. The work is funded by Sandia National Laboratories and the DOE Office of Electricity. Simone began performing research as an undergraduate and is currently advised by Dr. Michael Hargather. Simone’s career interests lie in prototype engineering. She interned at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM, where she helped design and construct projects for the company’s new locations. Simone holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from NMT, an AS in Mathematics from Western New Mexico University, and anticipates completing her MS degree in May 2022.

Loraine Torres-Castro
Sandia National Laboratories

Dr. Loraine Torres-Castro joined Sandia in 2016 to conduct research and development into the safety and reliability of batteries under abusive conditions. Her work in the Battery Abuse Testing Laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms that lead to energy storage system safety incidents, and developing mitigation strategies for single-cell and system failures. Loraine has innovated abuse testing by targeting problems using a predictive approach (early detection for intervention) to eliminate failure rather than reacting to it. Her work has led to developments on advanced abuse testing, including a fundamental understanding of cell failure to facilitate the design of safer energy storage systems. Her expertise and commitment to safety science have led to multiple cross-collaborations among sponsoring organizations, including the Department of Energy (Office of Electricity and the Vehicle Technologies Office), Department of Transportation, and NASA. On behalf of the Vehicle Technologies Office, her team developed and maintains the US Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) Battery Abuse Testing Manual, widely used by car manufacturers to evaluate new technologies. Loraine is also a member of the USABC, for which she provides technical advice and recommendations. In addition, Loraine actively mentors underrepresented groups on energy storage challenges and professional leadership both in English and Spanish at the University of Puerto Rico, her alma mater.

Wei-Jen Lee
University of Texas at Arlington

Professor Wei-Jen Lee is a professor of the Electrical Engineering Department and the director of the Energy Systems Research Center at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is the President of the IEEE Industry Applications Society and the project manager of IEEE/NFPA Collaboration on Arc Flash Phenomena Research Project. He has been involved in research on Utility Deregulation, Renewable Energy, Arc Flash Hazards and Electrical Safety, Smart Grid, MicroGrid, AI for Load, Price, and Wind Capacity Forecasting, Power Systems Analysis, Short Circuit Analysis and Relay Coordination, Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Storage System, AMI and Big Data, and Online Real Time Equipment Diagnostic and Prognostic System. He has served as the primary investigator (PI) or Co-PI of over one hundred funded research projects. He has published more than 200 journal papers and 300 conference proceedings. He is a Fellow of IEEE and registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas.

Chris Searles
Sandia National Laboratories

Chris Searles has worked in the DC power systems and stationary battery industry for 40 years. He is a past chair of the IEEE Energy Storage and Stationary Battery (ESSB) Committee where he continues to serve in several leadership roles. In addition, he is Vice-Chair of the IEEE ESSB Committee Codes Working Group and is currently a co-chair of the IEEE IAS/PES Societies Joint Technical Codes Coordination committee. He is also an active participant in NFPA 855 and UL 9540 codes development efforts, Chris is an accomplished speaker and teacher, giving papers and presentations at many conferences and seminars throughout North America, including BATTCON, InfoBatt Canada and IEEE. He was inducted into the BATTCON Hall of Fame in 2018. As a consultant for Sandia Laboratories, he develops the seasonal ES seasonal collaborative codes and standards reports and works with safety codes organizations to confront and communicate the impact of safety codes that affect energy storage.


Sodium Batteries


Tribal Energy Storage

Rodrigo Trevizan
Sandia National Laboratories

Rodrigo D. Trevizan is a research engineer at Sandia National Laboratories. Rodrigo received a B.S. and M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, in 2012 and 2014, respectively, a M.Sc. in Power Systems Engineering from the Grenoble Institute of Technology (ENSE3) in 2011 and a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida in 2018. Rodrigo authored research papers on the subjects of control of energy storage systems and demand response for power grid stabilization, power system state estimation, and detection of nontechnical losses in distribution systems. His current research interests are cyberphysical security, control and valuation of energy storage systems.

Rodrigo Trevizan
Sandia National Laboratories

Rodrigo D. Trevizan is a research engineer at Sandia National Laboratories. Rodrigo received a B.S. and M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, in 2012 and 2014, respectively, a M.Sc. in Power Systems Engineering from the Grenoble Institute of Technology (ENSE3) in 2011 and a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida in 2018. Rodrigo authored research papers on the subjects of control of energy storage systems and demand response for power grid stabilization, power system state estimation, and detection of nontechnical losses in distribution systems. His current research interests are cyberphysical security, control and valuation of energy storage systems.

Rodrigo Trevizan
Sandia National Laboratories

Rodrigo D. Trevizan is a research engineer at Sandia National Laboratories. Rodrigo received a B.S. and M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, in 2012 and 2014, respectively, a M.Sc. in Power Systems Engineering from the Grenoble Institute of Technology (ENSE3) in 2011 and a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida in 2018. Rodrigo authored research papers on the subjects of control of energy storage systems and demand response for power grid stabilization, power system state estimation, and detection of nontechnical losses in distribution systems. His current research interests are cyberphysical security, control and valuation of energy storage systems.


Zinc & Lead Batteries

Noah Schorr
Sandia National Laboratories

Noah B. Schorr is a Postdoctoral Appointee at Sandia National Laboratories in the Photovoltaics & Materials Tech organization. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Western Washington University in 2015 and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2019. At Illinois Noah focused on developing fundamental electrochemistry knowledge and to apply those principles to instrumental analysis of battery components. Now at Sandia, his research has delved more into materials science and developing both aqueous and organic based energy storage materials.

Hee-Jung Chang
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Dr. Hee Jung Chang is an early-career scientist in the Battery Materials and Systems Group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, with expertise in the processing, characterization, and testing of energy storage devices and components. Her research is focused on the discovery and development of new battery materials that can help resolve the cost and performance challenges of batteries designed for grid-scale energy storage applications. Now in her fifth year at the laboratory, Dr. Chang’s research seeks to make rechargeable zinc-based battery systems affordable and reliable through the development of new water-based binders for electrolytes and through understanding of redox mechanisms in MnO2 cathodes in mild aqueous electrolytes.

Michael D’Ambrose
The City College of New York

Michael’s project examines capacity fade and failure mechanisms in zinc (Zn) anode-based rechargeable alkaline batteries. He showed that aqueous Zn alkaline batteries exhibit an exponential decrease in battery life with increased utilization of the Zn metal anode and fail primarily due to loss of active material and the inability to charge the electrode. This work was published in ACS Applied Energy Materials with the title “Material failure mechanisms of alkaline Zn rechargeable conversion electrodes.” Performance improvements have been demonstrated due to certain electrode modifications and electrolyte concentration, with an order of magnitude increase in cycle life and a doubling of the volumetric capacity compared to the baseline metallic Zn electrode previously studied. He will be defending his thesis during the Fall 2021 semester.