“S(olar)O(cean)W(ind) the Seeds of Our Future”

Keynote and Invited Speakers

Keynote Speakers

A) Mehrdad (Mark) Ehsani, Ph. D., P. E., F. IEEE, F. SAE

Texas A&M University


TITLE of Presentation: Sustainable Energy and Transportation Engineering


The living film covering the surface of planet earth is delicately balanced.  The conditions for life are created by life.  These conditions are systems and feedback mechanisms that are poorly understood.  We lack engineering design concepts to properly manage the impact of our energy and materials utilization at the planetary scale.  This is resulting in environmental impacts, such as biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate change. The solution is a new way of thinking and new technologies that I refer to as Sustainable Energy Engineering.

This talk will review the above issues.  We will pay special attention to the issues of sustainable vehicle technologies.  This will establish the foundations of a holistic sustainable transportation technology complex.


Short biographical sketch of the speaker

Currently, professor of sustainable energy engineering at Texas A&M University.  He is the holder of Robert M. Kennedy Endowed Professorship as well as other professorships, at Texas A&M University, University of Hong Kong, and other universities.  He has won numerous US and international honors and awards, is listed in Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in Finance and Business, Who’s Who in South and Southwest, Who’s Who in America, International Who’s Who of Professionals, and Who’s Who in the 21st Century.  He is the Distinguished Lecturer of several professional societies.  He is the co-author of 16 books, over 350 publications, over 20 patents, and has given numerous invited talks around world on energy systems and social aspects of technology, over the past three decades.  He is a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of Society of Automotive Engineers, SAE, an IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, Vehicular Technology Society, Industry Applications Society, and Power Engineering Society Distinguished Lecturer. In 2001 he received the IEEE-VTS Avant Garde Award for “Contributions to the theory and design of hybrid electric vehicles.”


B) Qing-Chang Zhong, Ph.D.


Distinguished Lecturer, IEEE Power Electronics Society

Chair Professor in Control and Systems Engineering

Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

University of Sheffield

United Kingdom



TITLE of Presentation: Next-Generation Smart Grids:Completely Autonomous Power Systems (CAPS)


 Power systems are going through a paradigm change from centralised generation, to distributed generation, and further on to smart grids. A huge number of renewable energy sources, electric vehicles, and storage systems etc. are being connected to power systems. Moreover, various loads are being required to take part in demand responses and to improve energy efficiency. These make it impossible to control and operate power systems in the conventional way, simply because of the huge number of players in the system. In this lecture, an architecture and its associated distributed control strategy, which are based on the inherent synchronisation mechanism of conventional synchronous generators, are presented for next-generation smart grids so that the majority of the players, including all conventional power plants, new add-ons of suppliers and most loads, will be able to synchronise with each other to achieve autonomous operation and maintain system stability, without the need of a dedicated communication network. The function of communication is achieved through control.


Short biographical sketch of the speaker

Qing-Chang Zhong is the Chair Professor in Control and Systems Engineering at the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, The University of Sheffield, UK, and a Specialist recognised by the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). He is a Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE Power Electronics Society. He obtained his PhD degree in control theory and applications in 2000 from Shanghai Jiao-Tong University and his PhD degree in control and power engineering in 2004 from Imperial College London (awarded the Best Doctoral Thesis Prize). In 2012-2013, he spent a six-month sabbatical at the Cymer Center for Control Systems and Dynamics (CCSD), University of California, San Diego, USA and an eight-month sabbatical at the Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA and visited more than 20 US research centers, national labs and major companies. He (co-)authored three research monographs, including Control of Power Inverters in Renewable Energy and Smart Grid Integration (Wiley-IEEE Press, 2013), and a fourth, Completely Autonomous Power Systems (CAPS): Next Generation Smart Grids, is scheduled for publication by Wiley-IEEE Press in 2015. He, jointly with G. Weiss, invented the synchronverter technology to make inverters behave like synchronous generators, which was awarded Highly Commended at the 2009 IET Innovation Awards. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), a Senior Member of IEEE, the Vice-Chair of IFAC TC of Power and Energy Systems and was a Senior Research Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering/Leverhulme Trust, UK (2009–2010). He serves as an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, IEEE Access, European Journal of Control and the Conference Editorial Board of the IEEE Control Systems Society. His research focuses on power electronics, advanced control theory and the integration of both, together with applications in renewable energy, smart grid integration, electric drives and electric vehicles, aircraft power systems, high-speed trains etc. 


C) Phrantceena Halres, CEO Total Protection Services Global

Phrantceena Halres Pic

TITLE of Presentation:  Green Vulnerabilities and Avoiding Disaster

The founder, chairman and CEO of TPSG and its multiple divisions, the nation’s first woman owned business of its kind.  Ms. Halres heads the only certified security services company at large, focused on the protection of nuclear installations as well as other high threat/close proximity critical infrastructure assets in the energy, government and corporate sectors.  During her tenure Ms. Halres has managed to produce over $60million in topline revenues.  Clients include crucial providers such as Duke Energy.

Aside from protecting this nation’s critical assets, Ms. Halres is also passionate about raising public safety awareness and protecting the lives, assets and privacy of this country’s citizens.  During this year alone Ms. Halres has appeared in over 50 media outlets (from radio to print to television) on the subjects of nuclear security, national security, and promoting her self-reliance movement worldwide.
D) J. Roberto Boisson de Marca, 2014 IEEE President

 Title and Abstract TBA


J. Roberto de Marca was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Southern California, where he earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. He has been in the faculty of the Catholic University, Rio de Janeiro (PUC/Rio), since 1978 where he has held several leadership and administrative positions including Associate Academic Vice President for Sponsored Research. Twice on leave, Dr. de Marca served as Scientific Consultant with AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Politecnico di Torino and more recently he was a Visiting Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology and a Guest Scientist at the NEC Europe Research Labs, Heidelberg, Germany. 

 He was founding President of the Brazilian Telecommunications Society and in 1990, Prof. de Marca was appointed Scientific Director of the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq) where he approved the initial funding of the national research network that opened the way for the widespread use of Internet in Brazil. He was a delegate to several ITU-R TG8/1 meetings, also chair of a working group on QoS, where the wireless 3G technology specifications were developed. From 2009 to 2011 he was a member of FINEP’s (the largest Brazilian R&D and Innovation funding agency) Presidential Advisory Board. 

He is an IEEE Fellow and a full member of both the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and Brazilian

National Academy of Engineering. Dr. de Marca was the 2000-2001 President of the IEEE Communications Society. In 2008 he held the office of IEEE Vice President of Technical Activities. He will serve as 2014 IEEE President and CEO.


Invited Talks

A) Stephen Bayne, Texas Tech University

Stephen Bayne

TITLE of Presentation:  Overview of Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductor Devices


The arrival of wide bandgap silicon carbide power semiconductor devices has paved the path for a new era in the field of high power high temperature electronics. Technologies developed for harvesting renewable energy sources like wind and solar energy involves extreme operating conditions for electronic components, both electrically and thermally. Similar challenges are encountered in the development of hybrid electric vehicle or energy efficient micro-grids for reliable electricity. The quest for developing efficient and reliable systems for renewable energy sources under aforementioned conditions makes silicon carbide devices, a promising candidate.

Even though there are over 250 polytypes of silicon carbide, 4H-SiC polytype is used for fabricating power semiconductor devices. The electronic and thermal properties of silicon carbide make them suitable for high power electronic application under elevated temperature conditions. High voltage power devices require a thick drift region to support the large depletion region. However, a thicker drift region leads to greater on state resistance for unipolar devices. The high critical electric field of silicon carbide (almost an order higher than silicon) enables the design of high voltage devices with a thinner drift region leading to the production of high voltage schottky diodes and power MOSFETs. The operation of conventional silicon power devices at high ambient temperature is limited by the increase in leakage current due to the smaller bandgap. The ultra low intrinsic carrier concentration of silicon carbide due to the wider bandgap (almost three times that of silicon) results in low leakage current even at ambient temperature close to 200°C. One of the major hurdles in the design of a power electronic system is thermal management. Heat generated by the power device must be efficiently removed in order to prevent heat buildup and increase in junction temperature which results in performance degradation and ultimately leads to device failure. The condition is exacerbated when the device is operated at higher ambient temperature. The high thermal conductivity of silicon carbide (more than three times that of silicon) is a desirable feature for a power device since the substrate material acts as a natural heat sink and thereby, eliminating the need for bulky cooling systems.

Advancement in fabrication techniques for semiconductor grade silicon carbide substrate has resulted in the production of larger wafers, stringent polytype control and zero micropipe density. This led to the development of commercially available power devices like high voltage schottky diodes and power MOSFETs typically rated for a blocking voltage of 1200V and up to 1700V. Recent tests conducted on silicon carbide devices under steady state and pulsed conditions have shows higher performance and a lower rise in device temperature as compared to silicon devices.



B) J. Derald Morgan, PhD, PE, FIEEE, FNSPE, FNAFE, J. Derald Morgan & Associates, Inc.

TITLE of Presentation: Building for Energy Star Ratings

This is a paper about a specific construction project completed 5 years ago on a home that received an Energy Star Rating. It was one of the most energy efficient homes in the State of Missouri at the time of its construction. The paper will cover simple well-known and easy-to-use techniques to improve energy efficiency, save money, increase comfort and safety of a residential or commercial space.


C) Russell Harrison, Senior Legislative Representative for Grassroots Activities, IEEE-USA

Russ Harrison 7-09

TITLE of Presentation: Congress and Green Technology: Rekindling the Romance

Seven years ago, Congress loved alternative energy, including all types of green technology. Government investments in solar power, electric cars and almost every other form of green technology exploded and Congress couldn’t wait to pass legislation in support of these industries.
And then, they stopped.
With the financial collapse in 2008 and the failures of Solyndra and others, the government walked away from green technology.  Since 2009 Congress has been highly skeptical of much of the industry and has been repealing, rather than expanding, government incentives and support.
IEEE-USA Senior Legislative Representative Russ Harrison will present a look on how Congress views green technology, and what the industry can do to rekindle the spark between green technology and Congress.  He will discuss the current political climate in Washington, the state of the 2015 budget and strategies for improving the political situation in the near term.
Short Biographical Sketch:
Russell T. Harrison is IEEE-USA’s Senior Legislative Representative for Grassroots Activities. In this position, he is responsible for helping members of IEEE-USA interact with, and ultimately influence, elected officials. Prior to IEEE-USA, Russell directed grassroots programs at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and the American Iron and Steel Institute. In these positions he also raised over $300,000 in campaign contributions through the associations’ political action committees. He has also represented the recycling and steel industries on Capitol Hill and in state capitols on a variety of issues as a professional lobbyist. Russell has a B.A. in Political Science, with minors in History and Communication, from Allegheny College, and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Maryland.

D) Inna Braverman, Co-Founder & International Marketing Director, Echo Wave Power

TITLE of Presentation: Reliable and Cost-Efficient Wave Energy Generation Onshore and in Ships

Abstract: The EWP convertors draw energy from wave power throughout uniquely shaped buoys, “The Wave Clapper” and the “Power Wing” that rise and fall with the up and down motion, lifting force, change of water level, hydraulic air lock, and incident flux of waves.

The “Wave Clapper” and the “Power Wing” are fully equipped with sensors which continuously monitor the performance of the various subsystems and surrounding ocean environment. As a result, Data is transmitted to shore in real time.

In the event of upcoming storms, the system automatically “recognizes” the type of waves, and independently “decides” whether to raise the buoys over the water level, or to create a process of buoy submersion into the ocean, in order to protect the system from mechanical damage.

When the wave heights return to normal, the system unlocks and recommences energy conversion and transmission of the electrical power ashore.

The motion of the floats is then delivered to shore by a subsea cable. The shore-located, machinery room hydro pneumatic system (located on land, just like a regular power station) converts the energy from this motion into fluid pressure, which is used to spin a generator, producing electricity. One of the clear advantages of this system is that only the buoys and pistons are located in the water, whereas all the technical equipment operates on land, thereby improving reliability and providing easy access for maintenance and repair.

The floats are attached by robust arms to any type of structure, such as (but not limited to) breakwaters, peers, poles, and floating and fixed platforms.

At large scale commercial size sea wave power plants, the waves will enable the lifting of up to 100 floats in turn. This will enable a continuous energy production and a smooth output.