Keynote Speakers


Martin Keller, Ph.D. – Director
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Golden, Colorado

Martin Keller became the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) director on November 30, 2015.  NREL is the Department of Energy’s primary laboratory for energy efficiency and renewable energy research and development.  NREL is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC (Alliance).  Martin also serves as the President of Alliance.

Martin joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in July 2006.  He was appointed to the role of Associate Laboratory Director at ORNL on July 1, 2009.  On November 1, 2010, a new directorate was formed, Energy and Environmental Sciences, and he was asked to lead this newly-established directorate.  As Associate Laboratory Director of this directorate, he was responsible for the energy, biological, and environmental research programs at ORNL supported by DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Institutes of Health. Martin served as the Founding Director of the DOE BioEnergy Science Center, and, before being named Associate Laboratory Director at ORNL, he served as the Director of the Biosciences Division.

Between 1996 and 2006 Martin held a series of research management positions within Diversa Corporation, a publicly-traded biotechnology company in San Diego.  Martin joined Diversa Corporation in June 1994 as a consultant to build and develop the microbiology expertise within Diversa, before joining Diversa Corporation full time in 1996.

Martin was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2013. Martin received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Regensburg, Germany.

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Samuel F. Baldwin
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
US Department of Energy

Sam Baldwin is a PhD. Physicist and serves as the Chief Scientist for Strategic Programs in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). He most recently served for three years in the Office of the Under Secretary for Science and Energy, leading the Quadrennial Technology Review 2015 on the RDD&D opportunities for the Science and Energy programs at DOE over coming years, coordinating crosscutting R&D teams, conducting portfolio analysis, and many other activities. In previous positions he has served with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), Princeton University, the Sahelian Anti-Drought Committee (CILSS) in West Africa, the U.S. Senate, and elsewhere. He is the author or coauthor of more than a dozen books and monographs at DOE, OSTP, OTA, and elsewhere, and more than 30 papers and technical reports on energy technology and policy, physics, and other issues. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007.

Dr. Ben Kroposki – Director
Power Systems Engineering Center
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Golden, Colorado

Dr. Benjamin Kroposki is the Director of the Power Systems Engineering Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) where he leads NREL’s strategic research in the design, planning and operations of electrical power systems. He received his BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and PhD from the Colorado School of Mines. His expertise is in the design, testing, and integration of renewable and distributed power systems and has more than 115 publications in these areas. As an IEEE Fellow, Dr. Kroposki was recognized for his leadership in renewable and distributed energy systems integration. He has served on a number of IEEE technical standards working groups and chaired IEEE 1547.4, the first international standard on microgrids

Dr. Sunil Cherian – Founder and CEO
Fort Collins, Colorado

Since founding Spirae in 2002, he has built the company into a market leader with software platforms for renewables and distributed energy resources integration and microgrid controls, a growing intellectual property portfolio, premier customers and partners, and trendsetting distributed energy projects.

Dr. Cherian is a frequent speaker at industry events and has ultiple publications in books, journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Cherian holds two patents related to distributed control of the electric grid and the delivery of grid-responsive energy services. He serves on the Board of the Colorado Cleantech Industry Association, as an Advisor to the Rocky Mountain Institute’s e-Lab Initiative, and served as an Advisor to Track 1 of the NY REV initiative. He is currently featured in the Smithsonian Institution’s Places of Invention exhibit as an energy innovator.

Dr. Hongming Zhang – EMS Network Application Manager
Peak Reliability
Loveland, Colorado

Hongming Zhang is currently EMS Network Applications Manager at Peak Reliability (formerly WECC RC), located at Loveland, Colorado. He leads the Peak team responsible for EMS Network Applications/DTS training support, implementation of online voltage stability and transient stability analysis tools, as well as development of Synchrophasor technologies for control room solution. Dr. Zhang received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), Shanghai, China, in 1998 and 1993, respectively. He received the Ph. D. degree from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, in May 2001. His prior employment experience included Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Network Management Division of ABB Automation Inc., and Electricity Reliability Coordination Council of Texas (ERCOT). His special fields of interest are EMS/DTS Applications, Power System Oscillation Detection, Voltage Stability and Transient Stability Analysis tools online Implementation. Dr. Zhang has published numerous technical papers/reports and an invited speaker at IEEE/PES GM, JSIS, NASPI, SMS, UTK-CURENT, NREL and various Vendor User Group conferences et al.