IEEE Power and Energy Society IEEE Power and Energy Society

Featured speakers

The 2023 IEEE PES Grid Edge Technologies technical program promises to deliver cutting-edge insights from leading experts helping to maximize productivity and efficiency at the grid edge.

The full program will be announced in January 2023. Check out a sneak peak preview of some of the event’s confirmed featured speakers:

Tom deitrich


President & CEO


Tom Deitrich was appointed president and chief executive officer and named to Itron’s board of directors on Aug. 6, 2019. He joined Itron in 2015 as executive vice president and COO and has played a major role in shaping the company’s strategy to partner with cities and utilities to deliver industrial IoT solutions.

Tom has more than 25 years of experience in global operations at leading technology firms and has held numerous executive management positions where he led business-level strategies that transformed and significantly improved business results. He has extensive experience in product management, research and development, supply chain management and business development in several industries, including industrial equipment, telecommunications and semiconductors.

Before joining Itron, Tom was senior vice president and general manager for Digital Networking at Freescale Semiconductor. Prior to Freescale, Tom worked for Flextronics International, Ericsson Mobile Communications and General Electric Corporation.





Rafael da Silva Ozaki’s aim, along with all from Siemens Smart Infrastructure, is to turn the world into a more connected and caring place – where resources are conserved, and sustainable energy is delivered reliably and efficiently. Rafael is responsible for ensuring the successful implementation of Siemens Grid Software strategy in the US, Mexico and for the whole Americas and Pacific regions for Control Center enterprise solutions. Focus areas are Enterprise planning, engineering and real time operations. His commitment to digitalization, innovation, efficiency and new Biz Models helps ensure the longevity of Grid Software as part of Siemens’ strategic vision for a fast paced and sustainable business.

Joining Siemens in 2006, Rafael has spent over 15 years in various positions, increasing in management responsibility, including Head of Strategy and Business Development for the Global Business Unit, Head of CRM and Country Strategies for High Voltage Products Global and Business Unit Head for Siemens Brazil, Energy Automation. He was also an Executive Assistant to the former Energy Management Division at Siemens in Germany where he handled strategic and governance projects for the Management Board, Business Units, Regions and Customers/Authorities.

Based out of Raleigh, North Carolina/US, Rafael currently holds a chair at IEEE Executive Committee for Power Engineering. He is multilingual, with fluency in English and Spanish, intermediated in German, and native in Portuguese. He received an undergraduate degree in electrical and control engineering from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, a post-graduate degree in Power and Control Engineering from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain, as well as an MBA in finance and strategy from Fundação Getulio Vargas, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Catherine stempien

avangrid networks

President & CEO


Catherine Stempien was appointed to the position of President & Chief Executive Officer of Avangrid Networks, Inc. in February, 2021. In this role, Catherine oversees AVANGRID’s eight electric and gas utilities, serving approximately 3.3 million customers across New York and New England. She is also responsible for regulatory affairs, asset management and planning for Avangrid Networks, Inc.

Previously, Catherine served as President of Duke Energy Florida. She also held a variety of executive roles at Duke including Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and various leadership positions in the company’s legal department. Catherine holds a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Dartmouth College. She also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.  

Rodger Smith

Oracle Utilities

SVP and GM


Rodger E. Smith joined Oracle Corporation in 2011 as Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Oracle Utilities Global Business Unit. He is responsible for leading a global team that includes sales, services, product development, R&D, industry strategy and marketing for mission-critical applications and services designed specifically for electric, gas and water utilities worldwide. Smith oversees a leading edge portfolio of the most complete, end-to-end solutions available in the industry today that includes customer care and billing, network management, work and asset management, field services, meter data management and analytics serving the entire utility value chain from the meter to the grid to the end customer. He is committed to technology innovation and digital transformation, and to helping energy and utility companies improve customer experience and achieve operational excellence. 

Prior to joining Oracle, Smith served as President of the Enterprise Management Solutions Division of Black & Veatch, the Global Marketing & Communications Division and the Government Affairs unit (2003-2011). In addition to leading these businesses, Smith was a member of the Executive Committee. 

Smith also served as a Director for PricewaterhouseCoopers (1997-2002), the world’s largest management consulting and professional services firm. He was responsible for the development, delivery and marketing of management consulting products and services to the utilities industry. 

Prior to his experience with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Smith was employed in various management capacities by Southern Company, Inc. (1981-1997), one of the nation’s largest utility companies. 

Billal Hammoud

Honeywell Smart Energy



Billal Hammoud is the president of Honeywell Smart Energy. In this role, Billal is responsible for leading a global team that is helping to transform the utility industry and creating innovative digital solutions for more efficient, productive, and sustainable outcomes. Billal partners with thought leaders across multiple industries to make possible new IoT solutions in the utilities space. 

Billal’s prior experience with Honeywell includes forming and leading Honeywell Thermal Solutions, the world’s top provider of industrial combustion safety and controls, as well as leading Honeywell’s sensing and controls business where he helped launch some of the world’s most advanced electronic sensing solutions. Billal’s experience outside of Honeywell includes the role of President of ESAB Fabrication Solutions business as well as executive sales roles with the Dow Chemical Company. Throughout his career, Billal has worked from multiple locations in the United States and Europe. 

Billal holds a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University in Michigan, USA. Billal speaks fluent Arabic, English and French and is based in Houston, Texas. 

Kevin Geraghty

San Diego Gas & Electric



Kevin Geraghty is the chief operating officer and chief safety officer for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), one of Sempra Energy’s regulated California utilities. He is responsible for the safe and reliable engineering, construction, operations and maintenance of the company’s gas, electric and generation resources.  He is also responsible for customer service and programs, workplace safety and public safety including emergency management. 

Previously, Geraghty served as both chief safety officer and as senior vice president of electric operations responsible for all aspects of electric transmission, distribution and substation operations, enterprise engineering and major capital projects.

Geraghty has been in the gas and electric utility business for more than 35 years. Prior to joining San Diego Gas & Electric, he was senior vice president, operations at NV Energy.

Geraghty holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

He is a board member of the San Diego Habitat for Humanity.


quanta technology



Damir is president and founder of Quanta Technology. He also served as president of Quanta Energized Services that achieved perfect safety record. Previously, he was vice president of ABB Automation Products and president of KEMA T&D US.  

Dr. Novosel is elected to National Academy of Engineers in 2014 and served as President of the IEEE Power and Energy Society. He is also a member of the CIGRE US National Committee and received the CIGRE Attwood Associate and Distinguished Service awards.  He is presently member of the IEEE Standards Board and chairs IEEE Industry Technical Support Leadership Committee. He holds 17 US and international patents. 

Damir Novosel, IEEE Fellow, holds PhD degree in electrical engineering from Mississippi State University, where he was a Fulbright scholar and was selected Mississippi State University Distinguished Engineering Fellow. 





Hanna Grene, Worldwide Leader Power and Utilities, is an energy and technology executive with over 14 years of leadership experience in strategic planning, operations, policy, and business development. She has worked closely with federal agencies, governments, utilities, and C&I clients worldwide to fund and execute renewable energy and grid resilience projects. At Microsoft, Hanna leads strategy and partnerships across the Power and Utilities market in the Americas and works closely with Fortune 500 executives and policymakers to accelerate investment and innovation in a decarbonized, secure, resilient, and affordable energy system.

Hanna has an MBA from the Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego and a BA in International Relations from American University in Washington, DC. She has been published as a subject matter expert on energy and climate policy and technology and has authored original research on corporate governance and culture. In 2021, Hanna was recognized as a San Diego 40 Under 40 Top Business Leader.





Raja Macha is executive vice president and chief technology officer of Eaton, a power management company. Raja joined Eaton on December 1, 2020, in his role of chief technology officer.

Before joining Eaton, he worked as senior vice president and chief technology officer of the Industrial Automation business of Schneider Electric, where he was responsible for the overall innovation, technology and capability development for the business.

Prior to Schneider Electric, Raja led the R&D function of Invensys operations management and held other senior leadership roles in large projects and sales. Raja comes with 32 years of diverse leadership roles in automotive, information technology services and consulting companies in various manufacturing domains.

Raja received his bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication from Indian Institute of Technology- Roorkee (India), and a master’s diploma in business administration from Institute of Management Development and Research – Pune (India). Recent patent awards include unique computing methods to enhance availability of control systems.

Amith Kota




Amith Kota is the Chief Technology Officer at Landis+Gyr. Amith is a Global Executive with experience in aligning digital technology and innovation investments with business growth while reducing cost, complexity and risk. He has championed complex initiatives from idea generation through value realization, and delivered these capabilities aligned with business vision and strategies.

Prior to joining Landis+Gyr, he was the Chief Enterprise Architect and Global Head of Emerging Technologies at Gulfstream Aerospace, A General Dynamics company, where he was accountable for global enterprise strategy & architecture to create new revenue channels and optimize business margins through technology innovations. 

Earlier in his career, Amith held various leadership positions at Progressive Insurance and various startups across Architecture & Strategy, Sales, Business Applications organizations responsible for digital customer experience, Omni-channel engagement and systems Amith holds a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and an Executive Certificate in Innovation and Strategy from the Case Western Reserve University.

John Di Stasio




John Di Stasio is the president of the Large Public Power Council (LPPC), where he advocates for America’s largest public power systems in Washington, D.C. LPPC’s 27 members are not-for-profit, locally governed, and directly accountable to the communities they serve. Collectively, they provide reliable and affordable power to over 30 million consumers in some of the nation’s largest cities, including New York, Orlando, Austin, Los Angeles, and Seattle, to name a few. John is also the former General Manager and CEO of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). Under his leadership, SMUD launched one of the biggest smart grid projects in the country and maintained some of the lowest electric rates in California. Throughout John’s 35 years of service to the electric power industry, he has testified before the United States Congress and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on topics including cybersecurity, transmission, infrastructure, reliability, and environmental regulations. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Energy Systems Integration Group and GridWise Alliance’s Grid Infrastructure Advisory Council and former president of both the Northwest Public Power Association and the California Municipal Utility Association.





Joseph F. Kessler, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, oversees NYPA’s power generation and transmission assets, commercial operations and the New York State Canal Corporation’s operations.

Before assuming this role in 2016, Joe was Senior Vice President of Power Generation, responsible for oversight of NYPA’s generating facilities across New York State. After starting his career at an electrical construction firm designing and building systems, Joe joined NYPA in 2001 as an engineer in the Electrical Maintenance department.

Joe is Chairman of NYPA’s Asset Management Board and is a member of NYPA’s Enterprise Risk Management Committee. He also serves as Executive Sponsor of NYPA’s Multicultural Employee Resource Group.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, master’s degree in Electrical Engineering (Energy Systems), and an MBA from SUNY at Buffalo, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in New York and Maryland.

Joe is a board member of the Hydropower Research Institute and the Northland Workforce Development Center, has served on the Electric Power Research Institute’s Generation Sector and Research Advisory Councils, and is on the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative Board Working Group and the Large Public Power Council’s Operational Executive Working Group. He is a member of SUNY at Buffalo’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council.

Joe is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a member of the Erie-Niagara Chapter of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers, the International Association of Electrical Inspectors and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.

A lifelong Western New Yorker, Joe and his wife Lisa live in West Seneca and have three children.





Erik Takayesu is senior vice president of the Asset Strategy & Planning at Southern California Edison. He leads the company’s business and asset management strategy, electric system planning, technology demonstration and development, and wildfire safety. Since joining SCE in 1991, he led a number of organizations responsible for grid operations, the construction and maintenance of some of SCE’s largest projects, grid modernization, and distributed resource integration to enable the clean energy transition for the 21st century.

Takayesu earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at California State University, Long Beach, and a master’s degree in organizational leadership at Gonzaga University. He is also a licensed professional engineer in the state of California.

He oversees PGE’s strategic system architecture and system upgrades, which will serve as the foundation for the smart grid of the future. This includes initiatives related to system integration and operations, smart cities, enabling distributed energy resources, energy storage, dispatchable standby generation, transmission system performance and market interfaces, as well as research and development.

Darcy Immerman




Darcy Immerman is the Senior Vice President for Growth at NORESCO, a part of Carrier Global Corporation.  As part of the senior leadership team, Darcy identifies market trends and strategic pursuits, leverages existing contracts, manages Carrier Corporation and strategic partner relationships, and expands go-to-market offerings including “x-as-a-service” and various P3 models.  A 30+ year veteran of the clean energy industry, she helps campuses, buildings and communities meet energy transition challenges including decarbonization, digitization, resiliency, ESG compliance, and climate change adaptation. She serves as Immediate Past Chair, IEEE Power and Energy Society Executive Advisory Committee focused on modernizing the grid to support the clean energy transition.  Previously, Darcy was the Senior Vice President of Resiliency and Energy at AECOM.

Darcy has received the Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Management from the DOE, and the Energy Efficiency Award from National Resources Canada.  Recently, Darcy and her husband Steve were awarded the Essex County Community Foundation’s George Peabody Award for Leadership in Philanthropy.

Mark Carpenter




Mark Carpenter is Sr. Vice President of Transmission & Distribution Operations at Oncor where he has spent his entire career.  Over Mark’s 50 year career, he has held various field management and engineering management positions in the transmission and distribution of electrical energy.  Previous assignments also include Vice President-Chief Information Officer, Vice President-Chief Technology Officer, Director of Engineering, and Director of System Protection. Throughout his career, he has focused on developing people and creating high performance teams.

Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Texas Tech in 1975 and is active in professional activities. He is an IEEE Fellow, an honorary member of the IEEE Power System Relaying Committee, a member of the IEEE/PES Executive Advisory Council, a member of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas and is on the Dean of Engineering Council at Texas Tech. In 2021 he received the IEEE PES Leadership in Power award.

He is also active in the community as demonstrated by his involvement with the Chinese Institute of Engineers DFW Chapter and as President of Family Promise of Irving, a non-profit organization that assists homeless family regain their foothold by providing safe housing and developmental opportunities in  conjunction with a network of churches in Irving. He is active in his church and is married with five kids, four daughters-in-law, and ten grandkids.

Dr. Shay Bahramirad

LUMA Energy



Dr. Shay Bahramirad is the Senior Vice President of Engineering, Asset Management, and Capital Programs at LUMA Energy, the power company responsible for electric service in Puerto Rico.  In this role, she is responsible for the oversight, planning, and execution of plans to modernize the power infrastructure.   This includes a foundation of developing local engineering talent, teams and processes, and the prudent application of new technology.  Her primary goals are the safe, reliable, sustainable, and cost-effective delivery of electricity to the people of Puerto Rico. 

Shay has held several positions in the sector including Vice President of Climate and Resilience at Quanta Technology, where she was responsible for assisting cities and utilities with climate change risk assessments for their assets, operations, and services and for developing investment strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Prior to that, she was Vice President of Engineering and Smart Grid at ComEd, the electric utility serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, where she had led efforts to demonstrate and deploy technologies to ensure that the distribution system meets strategic goals related to reliability, resiliency and sustainability, while developing and implementing a broader community of the future vision including a focus on industry-informed STEM education for underrepresented communities in the industry including girls. She has been an expert witness testifying on several state and federal regulatory proceedings around microgrids, energy storage, investment strategies, and the interconnection of distributed energy resources.

Dr. Bahramirad is a leading figure in the industry. She is the President-elect of IEEE Power and Energy Society, an editorial board member of the Electricity Journal, US CIGRE Executive member, an

adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a founder of IEEE Women in Power.

She is a contributor to the United Nations SG7, Affordable and Clean Energy.

Shay completed her PhD in electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and has published more than many academic articles, as well as being the recipient of multiple US patents.





 Mark G. Lauby is senior vice president and chief engineer at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). Mr. Lauby joined NERC in January 2007 and has held a number of positions, including vice president and director of Standards and vice president and director of Reliability Assessments and Performance Analysis. 

In 2012, Mr. Lauby was elected to the North American Energy Standards Board and was appointed to the Department of Energy’s Electric Advisory Committee by the Secretary of Energy in 2014. Mr. Lauby has served as chair and is a life member of the International Electricity Research Exchange, and served as chair of a number of IEEE working groups. From 1999 to 2007, Mr. Lauby was appointed as a member of the Board of Excellent Energy International Co., LTD, an energy service company based in Thailand. He has been recognized for his technical achievements in many technical associations, including the 1992 IEEE Walter Fee Young Engineer of the Year Award. He was named a Fellow by IEEE in November 2011 for “leadership in the development and application of techniques for bulk power system reliability,” and in 2014, Mr. Lauby was awarded the IEEE Power and Energy Society’s Roy Billinton Power System Reliability Award. In 2020, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) elected Mr. Lauby as a member, citing his development and application of techniques for electric grid reliability analysis. 

Prior to joining NERC, Mr. Lauby worked for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) for 20 years, holding a number of senior positions, including: director, Power Delivery and Markets; managing director, Asia, EPRI International; and manager, Power System Engineering in the Power System Planning and Operations Program. Mr. Lauby began his electric industry career in 1979 at the Mid-Continent Area Power Pool in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His responsibilities included transmission planning, power system reliability assessment and probabilistic evaluation. 

Mr. Lauby is the author of more than 100 technical papers on the subjects of power system reliability, expert systems, transmission system planning, and power system numerical analysis techniques. Mr. Lauby served as chair and is a life member of the International Electricity Research Exchange and served as chair of a number of IEEE working groups. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. In addition, Mr. Lauby attended the London Business School Accelerated Development Program as well as the Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. 

larry bekkedahl

portland general electric



Larry Bekkedahl is responsible for advancing PGE’s strategy to build the grid of the future — one that is resilient, smart, and delivers a clean energy future.

He oversees PGE’s strategic system architecture and system upgrades, which will serve as the foundation for the smart grid of the future. This includes initiatives related to system integration and operations, smart cities, enabling distributed energy resources, energy storage, dispatchable standby generation, transmission system performance and market interfaces, as well as research and development.

Bekkedahl joined PGE in 2014 as vice president of Transmission & Distribution. He has more than three decades of leadership experience in the energy industry. Before joining PGE, he was senior vice president for transmission services at the Bonneville Power Administration and held leadership positions at Clark Public Utilities, PacifiCorp and Montana Power Company.

He has a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Montana State University and serves on the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Research Advisory Committee, the Stanford University Bits and Watts Advisory Council, the University of Akron Energy Advisory Committee, and the All Hands Raised board for Portland Public Schools Foundation.