BEGINNING IN AUGUST, Elections will be held for the positions of IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. The candidates are as follows:

  • President-Elect: Jessica Bian and Christopher E. Root
  • Secretary: Lalit Goel, Jonathan Sykes, and Cat Wong
  • Treasurer: Nouredine Hadjsaid

The successful candidates will serve for the term of 2020–2021. To learn more about the candidates before casting your ballot, read the biographies and candidate statements that follow.

The Candidates

Jessica Bian – Running for the office of President-Elect

Jessica BianJessica Bian is a visionary leader and architect who has spearheaded the electric industry’s reliability metrics and grid-risk assessment. She is currently with Grid-X Partners. Before that, she was with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. Previously, she was the director of performance analysis at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Under her leadership, a total of 18 industry-wide reliability indicators were established for the first time to determine grid reliability, adequacy, and associated risks. She is widely recognized as a pioneer and trusted world leader in the field.

Before joining NERC, Bian was with PJM, ERCOT, and Westinghouse Electric. She received her B.Sc. degree from the Taiyuan University of Technology, China, her M.Sc. degree from the Electric Power Research Institute, Beijing, China, and her Ph.D. degree from Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. Bian has had more than 70 articles published, and she received the 2014 PES Wanda Reder Pioneer in Power Award for her technical achievements. She is a Senior Member of the IEEE.

IEEE Activities and Accomplishments

  • PES secretary (2016–present).
  • Member, IEEE Future Directions Committee (2017–present) and IEEE Admission and Advancement Committee/Senior Member Review Panel (2012–2015). Member, IEEE PES Women-in-Power Leadership Advisory Committee (2017–present).
  • Advisory committee member, IEEE Conference on Energy Internet and Energy System Integration; IEEE PES Power System Analysis, Computing, and Economics Committee (2009–2014); IEEE PES Wind and Solar Power Coordinating Committee (2010–2012); Reliability, Risk, and Probability Application Subcommittee (2009–2013); IEEE HVDC & FACTS Subcommittee (1994–1997); Probability Application for Common Mode Events Working Group (2009–2013); Distribution Reliability Working Group (2012–2014); Understanding, Prediction, Mitigation, and Restoration of Cascading Failures Working Group (2013–2015); Task Force on Reliability Impacts of Demand Response Integration (2013–2014).
  • IEEE Distinguished Lecturer
    • tutorial, “Grid Reliability and Its Vital Signs”
    • lectures, “Regulatory Impact on Advanced Technology” and “Finding a Balance: Regulation and Bulk Power System Performance.”
  • Technical paper reviewer for IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, and IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy.
  • Conferences:
    • moderator and chair at various IEEE PES Technical Committee transactions paper sessions
    • speaker, presenter, and panelist at various IEEE PES technical panels and super sessions.
  • Sections/Chapters:
    • Princeton/Central Jersey Section (2007–present)
    • Philadelphia Section (2002–2006)
    • Central Texas Section (1997–2001)
    • IEEE Orlando Section (1993–1996)
    • New Orleans Section (1990–1992).
  • Societies:
    • IEEE PES
    • IEEE Communications Society
    • IEEE Computer Society
    • IEEE Women in Engineering.
  • Awards:
    • 2015 IEEE PES Technical Committee Working Group Recognition Award
    • 2014 IEEE PES Wanda Reder Pioneer in Power Award
    • IEEE PES Paper GM1575, July 2013, “A Novel Statistical-Based Analysis of WECC Bulk Transmission Reliability Data,” nominated as the best paper and featured in the December 2015 issue of IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine.

The PES is home to the world’s most in­­novative and hard-working leaders in the power and energy field. The industry is experiencing significant changes, including the increased availability of natural gas, the growth in renewable energy, and demand-side and storage technologies. My goal is to be a catalyst of action and a messenger of the future, empowering PES members to adapt to changes and creating opportunities for young engineers to advance their professional careers. Successfully addressing these challenges will require every member to join together in developing creative, socially responsible solutions—that simultaneously honor the unique interests of each.

I have been serving as the IEEE PES secretary since 2016. I am honored to be an IEEE PES president-elect candidate for 2020–2021. I would continue to help each member maximize the benefits from involvement with this undisputed internationally leading professional association. Specifically, I would bring my thoughtful, yet optimistic, approach to the role, as well as my commitment to work toward bringing together members’ voices for the betterment of the Society.

Christopher E. Root – Running for the office of President-Elect

Christopher E. RootChristopher E. Root has more than 35 years of utility ­operations and engineering leadership experience. He is currently the chief operating officer for the Vermont Electric Power Company in Rutland and is responsible for the engineering, construction, and operation of the transmission system in the state of Vermont. Previously, he was the senior vice president of network strategy at National Grid U.S. where he was responsible for the engineering and asset management of electric and gas networks. He was a senior vice president for 17 years in various roles in transmission and distribution operations, engineering, and construction for operations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and New York. He oversaw several operational mergers and was the emergency director for more than 70 significant events throughout the years.

Root received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, and his M.Eng. degree in electric power engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York. He attended the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Root has been the elected treasurer, secretary, and member-at-large of the PES Governing Board and a member of the North American Transmission Forum Board of Directors. He is on the Executive Committee of the U.S. National CIGRE Committee. He is on the Editorial Board of IEEE Power and Energy Magazine. He was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Engineering Award by the Boston Chapter of the PES. He has given many technical presentations throughout the world on various utility topics.

IEEE Activities and Accomplishments

Root has been active in the IEEE PES Governing Board for 10 years. He has served as secretary, treasurer, and member-at-large. He is on the editorial board of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine and has been on the PES Long-Range Planning Committee since 2006. He is chair of the IEEE PES Leadership in Power Award Committee and the Finance Committee. Root was instrumental in reinvigorating the IEEE PES Boston Chapter, which was dormant in 2007, and he organized the first IEEE PES Chapter in the state of Vermont in 2014. He was awarded the Outstanding Engineering Award by the IEEE PES Boston Chapter in 2009 and was chair of the Local Organizing Committee for the IEEE PES ESMO Conference and Exposition in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2011. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and has been an IEEE Member since 1983. He has given many PES technical presentations worldwide on various utility topics and has coauthored several technical PES papers.

I am an IEEE president-elect candidate in 2019 because I believe that the strength of the utility industry lies in the engineers and technical leaders who work and support this critical infrastructure around the world. I became active in the leadership of the PES almost 12 years ago because I felt that having a utility executive’s experience in the governing of the Society was important. Having been a practicing utility engineer and manager of engineers, I know that it is important to balance the needs of this group while appreciating and supporting the important roles of our academic, consulting, regulatory, and manufacturing global communities.

I believe that, as our industry deals with a changing grid, PES can play an important and relevant role in outlining emerging issues, publishing new technical breakthroughs, training a new generation of utility engineers, debating various new technical ideas, and creating our industry’s standards. I ask for your vote for president-elect so we can continue this evolution.

Lalit Goel – Running for the office of Secretary

Lalit GoelLalit Goel is a Fellow of the IEEE and has received 20 teaching awards. He received his B.Tech. degree in electrical engineer­ing from the Regional Engineering College in Warangal, India, in 1983 and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1988 and 1991, respectively. He joined the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, in 1991, where he is currently a professor of power engineering and director of the Renaissance Engineering Program. He served as the deputy director of NTU’s Protective Technology Research Center from May 1999 to April 2007, head of the Division of Power Engineering from July 2005 to August 2008, dean of admissions and financial aid from July 2008 to June 2012, director of undergraduate education (projects) in the president’s office from Ja­nuary 2013 to September 2014, and director of the Office of Global Education and Mobility from October 2014 to March 2018. He is the editor of International Journal of Electric Power Systems Research and has published more than 180 international journal and conference papers in the areas of power system reliability, cost/benefit assessment, power markets, and renewables.

IEEE Activities and Accomplishments

  • IEEE PES Region representative 10 (2011–2016).
  • Honorary chair, IEEE Region 10 Conference TENCON, Singapore (2016).
  • Member, IEEE Region 10 Awards and Recognitions Committee (2015).
  • Member, Selection Committee, IES (Inst. of Engineers Singapore)/IEEE Joint Medal of Excellence Award (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2015).
  • Member, PES Roy Billinton Power System Reliability Award Committee (2009–2014).
  • Member, PES Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award Committee (2010–2017).
  • Editorial board member, IEEE Power & Energy Magazine (2011–2017).
  • General chair, IEEE Region 10 Conference TENCON, Singapore (2009).
  • Member, IEEE PES Long-Range Planning Committee (2007–2011 and 2016).
  • Chair, IEEE Singapore Section (2007–2008).
  • Member, IEEE PES Nominations and Appointments Committee (2006–2007, 2010, and 2014).
  • Deputy chair, IEEE Singapore Section (2005–2006).
  • Representative, IEEE PES Chapter Region 10, south (2005–2010).
  • Committee member, IEEE Singapore Section (2003–2004).
  • Committee member, IEEE PES Singapore Power Chapter (2004–2006).
  • Chair, IEEE PES Singapore Power Chapter (2002–2003).
  • Deputy chair, IEEE PES Singapore Power Chapter (2000–2001).
  • Committee member, IEEE PES Singapore Power Chapter (1998–1999).
  • Honorary treasurer, IEEE PES Singapore Power Chapter (1996–1997).
  • Publications chair, IEEE PES Energy Management and Power Delivery (EMPD) conference, Singapore (1995).
  • Organizing chair, IEEE PES EMPD conference, Singapore (1998).
  • Vice chair, IEEE PES Winter Meeting, Singapore (2000).
  • Honorary secretary, IEEE International Power Engineering Conference (IPEC), Singapore (1997, 1999, 2001, and 2003).
  • Chair, IEEE PES PowerCon, Singapore (2004).
  • Chair, IPEC, Singapore (2005 and 2007).
  • Chair, IEEE Region 10 Conference TENCON, Singapore (2009).
  • Chair, IEEE Probabilistic Methods Applied to Power Systems conference, Singapore (2010).
  • Co-chair, IEEE Asian Conference on Energy, Power, and Transpor­tation Electrification (2016, 2017, and 2018).
  • Received the IEEE PES Singapore Chapter Outstanding Engineer Award (2000).
  • Received the IEEE PES Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award (2009).
  • Received the IEEE Singapore Section Outstanding Volunteer Award (2013).
  • IEEE PES Distinguished Lecturer.

I have had the distinct pleasure of serving on the IEEE PES Governing Board in my capacity as Region representative for Region 10, Asia and Pacific, 2011–2016. I also attended several Governing Board meetings from 2007 to 2010 in my capacity as an IEEE PES Long-Range Planning Committee member. I have, therefore, seen the workings of the Governing Board from close quarters and have the experience and perspective to serve as the Board secretary. If elected, I intend to work closely with the president to increase PES visibility internationally, to set an agenda for the Society that emphasizes the continued development of impactful programs that benefit our members and help them advance in their professional careers, and to emphasize and facilitate teamwork among our members to bring innovative ideas to fruition.

As a past Section and Chapter chair, I am cognizant of the importance of a local PES presence. As secretary, I will work closely with the vice-president Chapters to support and raise the profile of our Chapters worldwide. I have been an active volunteer of the Society since the early 1990s. I am passionate about volunteering for the PES and look forward to continue to serve the Society in a new role as secretary.

Cat Wong – Running for the office of Secretary

Cat WongCat Wong is the manager of customer product engineering at Entergy, where she is leading the planning, design, and implementation activities of distributed energy resources, including photovoltaics, battery storage, and microgrids. She has 18 years of industry experience in the area of inte­gration of distributed energy resources, PMU deployment, transmission and distribution planning, protection analysis and standard development, and hardware-in-the-loop simulations. Prior to joining Entergy, Wong worked with the real-time simu­lation development team at the Hydro Qué­­bec Research Institute, Montréal, Ca­nada. She received her B.S. degree in engineering with first class honors and a master’s degree of philosophy in electrical engineering from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China, and she completed her Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at Tulane University. She is pursuing her E.M.B.A. degree at Tulane University, which she is expected to complete in 2019. She is a registered Professional Engineer in Louisiana and a project management professional.

IEEE Activities and Accomplishments

Wong has been an active IEEE Member since 2004 and became a Senior Member in 2015. She is currently the IEEE PES Region 5 representative and committee member of the IEEE U.S. Research and Development Policy Committee, representing PES. For the IEEE PES New Orleans Section, she was the GOLD vice chair in 2011, Chapter chair in 2012 and 2013, director in 2014, vice chair in 2015, and chair in 2016 and 2017. She was the vice chair of the IEEE Green Technologies Conference Technical Program in 2015 and representative of the IEEE PES Region 5 Chapter in 2016.

During her term as the IEEE PES New Orleans Section Chapter chair, she organized more than 15 technical and educational meetings, including four IEEE Distinguished Lecturers from PES. The IEEE PES New Orleans Chapter received a high-performance Chapter award in both years under her leadership. In 2014, she worked with a team of Young Professionals to organize an IEEE Distinguished Lecture with Dr. Ed Schweitzer at the New Orleans World War II museum. The event was highlighted in T&D World and IEEE Power & Energy Magazine.

Since becoming involved at the Region level, Wong has actively commu­nicated with PES Chapters in Region 5, and four Chapters were formed or reinstated in 2017. As the IEEE PES New Orleans Section chair, Wong brought new Young Professional members into the executive committee to grow into future leaders and worked with the IEEE U.S. organizing committee for the first-ever U.S.-wide Future Leaders Forum, held at Tulane University.

She received the Outstanding Professional and Leadership Award and James W. Joyner Fireman’s Award from the IEEE PES New Orleans Section in 2013 and 2014 and the Young Professional Member Award from Region 5 in 2017.

Energy is needed by everyone, and it is important to provide safe, affordable, and reliable power. The PES plays an important role by offering an environment for innovative and hard-working individuals and leaders to bring in new ideas, develop strategies, and ultimately successfully implement those ideas in the industry. Our industry is at the crucial point where disruption is happening. It’s like the eras when we saw the switch from carriages to cars, flip phones to smartphones, and, now, centralized to distributed energy resources. I’m very excited to be part of it and to witness and contribute to those changes. For the last two years, I have served as an IEEE PES Region 5 representative, and it has been a great experience to learn about different activities and develop relationships within the Society. I am honored to be nominated as secretary for the Board and to continue to serve our Society. I will continue to support and serve the PES to maximize benefits for our members.

Jonathan Sykes – Running for the office of Secretary

Jonathan SykesJonathan Sykes is the senior manager at System Protection and Test at Pacific Gas and Electric, in San Francisco, California. Sykes received his academic training from the University of Arizona, Tucson, in 1982 and has worked in the electric power industry for more than 35 years. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a licensed Pro­­fessional Engineer. Sykes has always leveraged technology in collaboration to close gaps and champion success. In the 1990s, his teams provided the first integrated protective relay/RTU/SCADA systems in Arizona. In the 2000s, he pioneered the first wide-area protection scheme based on IEC 61850 GOOSE messaging, and in the 2010s, his team implemented one of the most advanced synchrophasor systems in North America. Today, Sykes’s teams are enacting leading-edge concepts in the area of asset life-cycle management for mission-critical systems and developing new techniques and processes as the grid evolves toward inverter-based renewable power production.

IEEE Activities and Accomplishments

When Sykes began his engineering career in Arizona, he was intrigued by IEEE meetings, where his colleagues would collaborate, share, and learn more refined ways to get work done. Sykes found that those meetings provided a wealth of experience, and he was in awe of the knowledge that the attending members had. His first interaction with the IEEE entailed his involvement in forming the early integrated substation guides and standards. He worked on implementing new communication techniques that eventually lead to the current 61850 standard. Sykes also helped rewrite and update core topics such as breaker failure, distribution protection, and equipment guides and standards. After the 2003 North American blackout, he began to work with the teams to write applicable regulatory standards and helped engage the IEEE Power System Relaying and Control Committee in the oversight of emerging compliance requirements. The expertise of the IEEE became invaluable to help regulators understand the relevant issues and write meaningful standards, and Sykes helped bridge the gap between these two entities.

The industry relies on remedial action schemes to write the design and testing guidelines for these critical schemes. Sykes contributed as a leader and member of the team, and, as a leader of a large team, he believes that one of the most important jobs is to recruit and then cultivate engineers in this industry. Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for PES, and, in the last five years, he has been representing IEEE in North America and around the world, sharing the association’s good work, knowledge, and experience through lectures at universities, conferences, workshops, and stakeholder meetings. His aim is to help elevate the IEEE’s reputation and promote the reliability, affordability, and safety of this industry. Sykes is still in awe of the potential of the PES team and now understands its important role and how it shapes this industry.

“The Times They Are a-Changin’” (Bob Dylan) originally did not refer to the electrical power industry but certainly will apply today. I have worked my entire career in an industry that was built on longevity and where change was the exception. This is no longer the situation—demands for reliability, environmental protection, efficiency, and benefits for society push the power and energy community to leverage the rapidly evolving technologies of computing, data communications, and information management. IEEE PES technical activities are the forum through which this rapid change is tempered by sound engineering processes, change management, standards development, application guidance, and technical education and sharing. My work with many of our industry leaders and the IEEE has been focused on this change and has reinforced the urgency with which we must embrace carefully conceived change. We must continue to enhance the central role of IEEE industry support and activities, expanding the collaboration to include all stakeholders. Diversity and inclusiveness are keys for success, and I will work diligently to serve all customers, especially those whose lives we impact.

Nouredine Hadjsaid – Running for the office of Treasurer

Nouredine HadjsaidNouredine Hadjsaid is a full professor at the Grenoble Institute of Technology, France, and the director of G2ELab, a joint research laboratory between the French National Scientific Research Council, the Grenoble Institute of Technology, and the University of Grenoble Alpes. Hadjsaid led a common academia–industry research center between EDF, Schneider Electric, and G2ELab on smart grids from 2001 to 2013. He was also president of the CRIS International Institute from 2004 to 2006, the French corepresentative at IEA–ENARD implementing agreement from 2009 to 2012, and chair of the IEEE Emerging Technologies Coordinating Committee from 2013 to 2016.

He was the general chair of the 2013 IEEE PowerTech Conference, held in Grenoble, France, and the first IEEE International Forum SmartGrids for SmartCities (SG4SC), held in Paris, October 2016. Hadjsaid is presently the director of an ENEDIS industrial chair of excellence on smart grids and chair of the Scientific Council of “Think Smart Grids,” the French smart grids industrial branch. He is also an associate editor for IET Generation, Transmission, and Distribution and a book collection director at ISTE. He is also the IEEE PES treasurer.

Hadjsaid has published more than 260 scientific papers in international conferences and refereed journals, five patents, and one industrial license. He has authored/coauthored and directed seven books on power systems and smart grids. He has been awarded for seven major national projects (with a total budget of more than US$70 million), eight European projects (with a total budget of more than US$30 million), and 25 industrial projects (with a total budget of more than US$18 million). He has also received CRIS award recognition (2006), the IEEE PowerTech Conference Outstanding Achievement Award (2013), and IEEE SG4SC Outstanding Achievement Award (2016).

Throughout his career, Hadjsaid favored the interaction between academia and industry, knowledge dissemination, and innovation and has always been community service driven. He has shown the capacity to detect and foster new activities and demonstrated an ability to build national- and international-level partnerships with various stakeholders, such as for government, industry, academia, consultants, and scientific associations.

IEEE Activities and Accomplishments

Hadjsaid has been actively involved in IEEE activities since 1994. Highlights of his activities are:

  • PES Treasurer (2018–present).
  • Chair, IEEE Emerging Technology Coordination Committee (ETCC) (2013–2016).
  • Vice chair, IEEE Intelligent Grid and ETCC (2016).
  • General chair, IEEE PowerTech Conference (2013).
  • General chair, IEEE SG4SC (2016).
  • Member, Board of the IEEE French Section (1994–2009).
  • Member, Technical Editorial Committee of IEEE Computer Application of Power (1997–2002).

The IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional Society that is appreciated by all scientists, industrialists, decision makers, regulators, and students worldwide. I am particularly proud to have served the IEEE since 1994 in many ways, ranging from simple volunteer work to acting as IEEE PES treasurer, and passing through organizing and chairing major IEEE events with a special motivation to serve this community.

The changing paradigm driven by new society stakes and energy transitions as well as the emerging technologies with growing digitalization are creating new opportunities, needs, and challenges. These challenges make it necessary to link interactive disciplines and related scientific fields in a multi-stakeholder environment to address the new needs for the service of the community and humanity as a whole. The PES is already well positioned to contribute and expand its offered services to the entire IEEE community and beyond to fulfill these emerging needs. I am, therefore, particularly motivated to continue to contribute to the development of the IEEE and to lend, at the IEEE’s disposal, all of my professional experience acquired during the last 30 years, whether it is in the service of the PES or in my leading industrial–academic research structures and related collaborative projects.

While serving the PES as a treasurer for the period of 2018–2019, I have always ensured the well-functioning of PES’s finances for the benefits of its members. This experience, coupled with my sense of organization and leadership, strengthened me to renew my candidacy to serve for the office of PES treasurer for the period of 2020–2021. If elected, I will not spare my efforts to contribute to the success of the PES by fostering activity growth, seizing new opportunities, encouraging interactions between the different related communities, complying with the Board’s objectives, and keeping cost control and transparency in the service of all Members of the IEEE. Finally, having always interacted with large international scientific networks worldwide, I will contribute to the international shining of this leading knowledge society.