Keynotes 2024

SusTech 2024 Keynotes and Plenary Speakers

All times and dates shown in Pacific Time (UTC-7)

April 15, 8:00 am

Opening Keynote: IEEE Climate Change Update

Maike Luiken, IEEE SusTech Initiative
April 15, 1:00 pm

Solar Trends

Wei-Jen Lee, University of Texas at Arlington
April 16, 8:00 am

Data Center Efficiency and Sustainability

Eric Dahlen, Intel Data Center and AI Group
April 16, 1:00 pm

ReCell: Working to Advance Battery Recycling

Eva Allen, Applied Materials Department, Argonne National Laboratory
April 16, 3:30 pm

A Vision for Mid-Century Sustainable Urban Transportation

Tyler Folsom, University of Washington Bothell
April 17, 8:00 am

Electrification is a key strategy for decarbonizing all sectors of the U.S. economy

Hellen Chen, Research Analyst in the Industry Program, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
April 17, 9:00 am

Electrification and the Grid

C. E. Ted Witham & Joe Cappeta, Eaton

April 17, 11:45 am

Special Session: Hot Topics in Sustainability

Maike Luiken, IEEE SusTech Initiative

April 17, 1:15 pm

Increasing Computing Energy Efficiency is Key Requirement for Sustainability

Tina Kaarsberg, Acting Program Manager, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
April 17, 2:15 pm

Efficient, Cost-Effective Polymeric Materials Design for Clean Energy and Biomedical Technologies via Biomass Valorization

Shudipto Konika Dishari, Ross McCollum Associate Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
April 17, 3:15 pm

Off-shore Wind Power Studies

Dmitry Kosterev, BPA

 


Opening Keynote: IEEE Climate Change Update

April 15, 8:00 am

Maike Luiken, IEEE SusTech Initiative

View Slides (PDF)

Overview of the IEEE SusTech Initititive

The IEEE SusTech Initiative seeks to contribute technical expertise and solutions to address sustainability challenges, including climate change. This initiative is growing rapidly and new volunteers are always welcome.

Workshops in various formats are offered free of charge throughout the year. These fascinating, interactive workshops engage technical professionals and academics from around the world to map technology development needs according to gaps identified by the work of the Planet Positive 2030 Compendium.

 


ReCell: Working to Advance Battery Recycling

April 16, 1:00 pm

Eva Allen, Applied Materials Department, Argonne National Laboratory

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Abstract:

End-of-life lithium-ion batteries in electric and hybrid-electric vehicles are just now starting to reach their end of life. Battery recycling is needed to recover the valuable materials needed to support new battery production and reduce waste and environmental impact. The ReCell Center is working to develop, scale up, and demonstrate battery recycling processes that reduce cost and increase the profit of battery recycling. ReCell has developed direct recycling processes to recover cathode materials intact, reducing the processing steps for reuse. Four focus areas are targeted: direct cathode recycling, recovery of other materials, design for recycling, and modeling and analysis. Additionally, ReCell uses advanced characterization with synchrotron sources to study the directly recycled cathode materials in 3D to determine their composition after regeneration and gain a fundamental understanding of the direct recycling processes.

Dr. Eva Allen is a Materials Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory’s Applied Materials Department. She has nine years of experience in cathode synthesis, process-scaleup, and electrochemical testing, beginning before her Ph.D. at Argonne National Laboratory from 2015-2017. From Argonne, she pursued her PhD in inorganic chemistry at the University of Illinois Chicago in 2022 with Prof. Jordi Cabana. After defending in 2022, She returned to Argonne for her postdoc in the battery recycling group ReCell at Argonne National Laboratory. Here, she worked on developing synthetic processes for recycled cathode materials for reuse. Through her synthetic work, she has applied techniques of advanced 3D imaging using synchrotron sources to gain a comprehensive understanding of recycled cathode materials to improve the regenerative processes for reuse.

 


Electrification is a key strategy for decarbonizing all sectors of the U.S. economy

April 17, 8:00 am

Hellen Chen, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Abstract:

The Energy Information Administration reports that renewable sources comprised 21% of U.S. electricity generation in 2023, and more than 45% in leading states. The growth of carbon-free electricity makes electrification a key pillar for decarbonization in our economy that complements energy efficiency. ACEEE, historically known for ground-breaking work in the energy efficiency space, has found that 90% of U.S. energy use can be electrified while the remaining hard-to-electrify 10% has other decarbonization solutions. We support efficient beneficial electrification and energy efficiency to save energy, save money, and reduce emissions, especially as energy sources become cleaner. We describe the different sectors in which our work focuses and offer examples of key barriers, technologies, policies, and other considerations (i.e., workforce, equity).

Hellen Chen is a Research Analyst in the Industry Program at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a nonprofit research organization that develops policies to reduce energy waste, combat climate change, and help build an equitable clean energy future. Hellen conducts research on industrial decarbonization such as technologies and policies for reducing embodied carbon within the cement and concrete industries and on other emerging technologies including industrial heat pumps. Prior to joining ACEEE, Hellen worked as a graduate research assistant at the Baylor Energy and Renewable Systems lab, where she explored behaviors of and mitigation techniques for bearing currents, a key issue in advanced motor drive systems. Hellen has a master of science in electrical and computer engineering and bachelor of science in engineering, both from Baylor University.

 


Data Center Efficiency and Sustainability

April 16, 8:00 am

Eric Dahlen, Senior Principal Engineer, Intel Data Center and AI Group

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Abstract:

Data Center (DC) energy growth accelerated by AI proliferation and generative AI evolution is catalyzing demand for disclosure and improvement of DC energy efficiency and sustainability.  The recently adopted Delegated Act to the EU Energy Efficiency Directive is the start of an expected wave of regulations intended to improve sustainability.  This talk will tie together ongoing efforts across Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact (CNDCP), the Green Grid, Open Compute Project® (OCP) and iMasons to facilitate and harmonize credible metrics to help meet these demands.

Eric Dahlen is a Senior Principal Engineer and the lead Cloud technologist in the Data Center and AI group.  His responsibilities include primary technical support for the product sustainability office, representing Intel in the Data Center Energy Efficiency workgroup at the Green Grid, and co-leading the Sustainability Project in OCP.  He is a 35-year Intel veteran with a BSEE from Washington State University, and has held validation, design, architecture, and first-line management roles spanning the entire duration of Intel’s server business.

 

 

 


Efficient, Cost-Effective Polymeric Materials Design for Clean Energy and Biomedical Technologies via Biomass Valorization

April 17, 2:15 pm

Shudipto Konika Dishari, Ross McCollum Associate Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Abstract:

Addressing the technical challenges through cutting-edge materials research is the key to excel in sustainable, clean energy technologies, like fuel cells and electrolyzers. Some of the major challenges of current H-fuel cells include ion transport limitation (low-temperature), stability (high-temperature), expensive materials, and environmental sustainability. To overcome these obstacles, we need to rethink the design of ion-conducting polymers (ionomers) playing the pivotal roles in separators and catalyst layers of these devices. Converting the untapped, industrial/agricultural lignin-rich wastes to design efficient, cost-effective ionomeric materials for eco-friendly electrochemical devices can aid in bio- and energy economies simultaneously. The major application of lignin in sustainable energy materials has so far been porous carbon materials for charge storage and/or electron conduction in electrodes. We have designed ion-conducting materials using lignin from plant-based sources. This talk will primarily show how these lignin-based polymers improve the ion-transport at low- and high-temperature conditions. We consolidate the findings on average as well as distributed physical, mechanical and ion transport properties across lignin-based ionomeric materials to understand the ion transport process which can inform and guide the future design of  sustainable energy technologies. The talk will also give a glimpse of how we are designing functional materials using lignin for biomedical applications.

Dr. Shudipto Konika Dishari is currently a Ross McCollum Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Dishari worked as a post-doctoral fellow in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State. She received her Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the National University of Singapore. Dishari’s research focuses on designing polymeric nanomaterials to impact sustainable energy and biomedical technologies.

Dishari has received several honors/awards in recognition of her research and teaching excellence, including, the DOE Office of Science Early CAREER Award (2019), NSF CAREER Award (2018), 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award (2021), American Chemical Society Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering (ACS PMSE) Young Investigator Award (2023), NUTech Emerging Innovator of the Year Award (2020), WEPAN Accelerator Core Concept Award (2022), American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Midwest Conference Best Paper Award (2023), UNL Distinguished Teaching Award (2023), Harold and Esther Edgerton Junior Faculty Award (2019), Baxter Young Investigator Award (2014), and more. Dishari is an associate editor of the Journal of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage (JEECS), an ASME journal. Dishari is also the current elected Chair of Area 8A (Polymers) in the Materials Engineering and Science Division (MESD) of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

 


A Vision for Mid-Century Sustainable Urban Transportation

April 16, 3:30 pm

Tyler Folsom, University of Washington Bothell

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Abstract:

Near-term sustainability goals focus on eliminating greenhouse gases. Transportation is a major contributor to GHG and sustainability requires eliminating petroleum as well as fossil fuels used for vehicle electrification. To effectively guide that action, this talk envisions how sustainable transportation improves on business as usual. The present paradigm of wasting energy on a 4000-pound vehicle to haul one or two people is not sustainable. The future requires going beyond bike share, automated automobile and automated transit networks. When these technologies are merged, small, choreographed pods could end congestion. People move faster, and at lower economic and energy costs. Freight can be moved more efficiently. A key to efficient energy use for passengers and freight is to make the vehicles lighter than the load. Light vehicles require fewer batteries, with beneficial effects on the grid.

Dr. Tyler Folsom is a creative thought leader who sees a strong connection between vehicle electrification, automation, and concern for climate change. They are an Affiliate Professor at University of Washington, Bothell. They received a BS in Mathematics from Villanova University, MA in Math from University of Maryland and MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of Washington. They were part of a team that wrote the real-time control software system for two unmanned spacecraft at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and have done engineering R&D projects at Quest Integrated as the Principal Investigator for NSF, Air Force, Navy, Army, and private clients.

Dr. Folsom participated in the DARPA Grand Challenge races for autonomous vehicles. Thy have taught robotics, artificial intelligence, machine vision, embedded systems, software engineering, autonomous vehicles and digital electronics. They are an avid bicyclist, having biked around the world, and promote using autonomous cycles to build a transportation system that uses 30 times less energy than cars at the same speed. Research projects involve self-driving tricycles, which have been featured on TV several times. Dr. Folsom has written over 50 papers and technical reports, an e-book and is a senior member of IEEE.

 


Increasing Computing Energy Efficiency is Key Requirement for Sustainability

Wednesday, April 17, 1:15 pm

Tina Kaarsberg, Ph.D.
Acting Program Manager at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO)

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Abstract:

The future has arrived for climate change and unsustainable computing energy use.  Experts confirm that the globe warmed 1.5 deg C–the threshold for dangerous human climate interference–in 2023, and each successive month has set temperature records. Then in March 2024, front page stories in the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal documented AI-driven exponentially increasing energy demands for computing (e.g. data centers) that are quadrupling forecasts for electricity use. Other drivers of exponentially increasing microelectronics energy use–such as proliferation of web-connected smart devices and the build up to 6G and beyond in wireless communications, have yet to manifest.

Against this backdrop, our 2022 DOE initiative on microelectronics Energy Efficiency Scaling over 2 Decades (EES2)–the topic of this talk–seems prescient. When launched–one month after the CHIPS and Science Act was signed–DOE’s Undersecretary Richmond declared that we could not reach Climate goals without it.  It counters exponential increases in microelectronics electricity use with exponential increases in energy efficiency over the next 20 years.  The talk will detail our efforts in the DOE’s Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) to develop an RD&D plan in 2023. Next steps are to get public input and to deploy the technologies–including at least a dozen that are commercially ready–as quickly as possible starting by the end of 2024.  In addition to spreading the word on EES2 RD&D Roadmap and the workforce needed to perform the RD&D and manufacture the technologies–we will use the bully pulpit of the EES2 Initiative which so far  includes 61 organizations that have pledged to join the DOE to stay on the path of doubling microelectronics’ energy efficiency every two years. See the DOE EES2 Pledge.

Dr. Tina Marie Kaarsberg has decades of science and energy policy experience, starting as an APS Congressional Science Fellow for U.S. Senator Domenici working on the Climate Change negotiations, the Earth Summit and the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and later returned to Congress to work on EPACT 2005. She has held a variety of positions with the U.S. Department of Energy. She joined the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in 2019 and became Program Manager in 2023.  She has also worked for Sandia National Laboratories, Vista Technologies Inc., the American Physical Society (APS) and the Northeast-Midwest Institute. Prior to coming to Washington DC, she was a member of the UCLA Physics Department faculty. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction in physics from Yale and a doctoral degree in physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook for research performed while a Fellow at Cornell University. Dr. Kaarsberg is an elected Fellow of the APS.

 


Off-shore Wind Power Studies

April 17, 3:15 pm

Dmitry Kosterev, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA)

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Dmitry Kosterev is a senior transmission planning engineer at Bonneville Power Administration.  He is involved in wide range of transmission planning projects, power plant modeling, testing and verification, synchrophasor technology application, and technology innovation projects. He is involved in several off-shore wind generation integration studies at BPA, Western Power Pool, and serves as a technical adviser for DOE West Coast Off-Shore Wind study.

 

 

 


Solar Trends

April 15, 1:00 pm

Wei-Jen Lee, University of Texas at Arlington

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Professor Wei-Jen Lee received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan., and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas, Arlington, in 1978, 1980, and 1985, respectively, all in Electrical Engineering.

In 1986, he joined the University of Texas at Arlington, where he is currently a professor and the interim chair of the Electrical Engineering Department.

He has been involved in the revision of IEEE Std. 141, 339, 551, 739, and 1584, and the development of 1584.1, 1584.2, 3002.8, and 3002.9. He is the past President of the IEEE Industry Application Society (IAS), co-chair of SusTech Initiative of IEEE TAB Future Direction Committee, member of IEEE TAB Hall of Honor Committee, member of Pillar 4 of the Global Power Systems Transformation (G-PST), chair of IEEE Smart Grid program, chair of IEEE Smart Cities Education Committee, member of IEEE Smart Grid Operation and Education Committees, and member of United Nations (UN) Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition (CEET).

Prof. Lee has been involved in research on Utility Deregulation, Renewable Energy, Arc Flash Hazards and Electrical Safety, Smart Grid, MicroGrid, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Virtual Power Plants (VPP), AI for Load, Price, and Wind Capacity Forecasting, Power Quality, Distribution Automation, Demand Response, Power Systems Analysis, Short Circuit Analysis and Relay Coordination, Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Storage System, PEV Charging Infrastructure Design, AMI and Big Data, On Line Real Time Equipment Diagnostic and Prognostic System, and Microcomputer Based Instrument for Power Systems Monitoring, Measurement, Control, and Protection.

He has served as the primary investigator (PI) or Co-PI of over one hundred and ten funded research projects. He has published more than two hundred and twenty journal papers and three hundred and ten conference proceedings. He has provided on-site training courses for power engineers in Panama, China, Taiwan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Singapore. He has refereed numerous technical papers for IEEE, IET, and other professional organizations.

Prof. Lee is a Fellow of IEEE, member of National Academy of Inventors, and registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas.

 


Special Session: Hot Topics in Sustainability

April 17, 11:45 am

Maike Luiken and Carole Graas, IEEE SusTech Initiative

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Maike Luiken, PhD, SMIEEE, IEEE-HKN, FEIC, chairs Planet Positive 2030 – an initiative of the IEEE Standards Association – as well as the P7800 Standards Working Group: Recommended Practice for Addressing Sustainability, Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change Challenges in Professional Practice.

She served as the IEEE VP, Member & Geographic Activities, 2021, as President of IEEE Canada during 2018-19 and, 2018, as Chair, Policy Track, IEEE Internet Initiative. Maike is and has been for more than 15 years a very strong supporter of sustainable development.

She is a managing director, R&D, at a start-up company and Adjunct Research Professor, Western University, Canada. Previously, in Sarnia, Canada, she led the Bluewater Sustainability Initiative, 2006 – 2013.

Carole Graas is Program Manager for the IEEE SusTech Initiative with IEEE Future Directions. She was a Research Associate, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at Colorado Schools of Mines and is a past-president of the IEEE Reliability Society.

 


Electrification and the Grid

April 17, 9:00 am

C. E. Ted Witham & Joe Cappeta, Eaton

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Abstract:

This talk will discuss how electrification is affecting the modern-day grid and how distributed energy resources strategies can mitigate those impacts.

 

Speakers:

Ted Witham grew up in an Electrical Contracting family in Hudson, NY. He attended college at Renneselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY and the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida.  Ted earned his MBA at UC Davis California in 2002.

After college Ted served as a Naval Flight Officer in a Patrol Squadron (P-3 Orion “submarine chasers” in the 80’s) in the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions. After the Navy, he started work in the public sector in Industrial Controls, earning his Professional Engineering license in Control Systems in California in the 1990’s.

Ted’s main focus has been on the utility market from 1999 on, working for General Electric for 10 years in automation and after a few years of work in industrial communications and energy optimization, he joined Eaton 11 years ago in 2012.

Ted has been involved in a number of large systems projects with major west region utilities, in AMI, Demand Response, Grid Modernization and Substation Automation, and moved last year to Eaton’s Energy Transition organization, and now focusing on EV Charging hardware and software, Microgrid, Renewable Integration, and balance of system distribution equipment for those applications.

 

Joe Cappeta joins us with more than 15 years of experience in the electrical industry. During his tenure with Eaton Joe has held roles spanning multiple functions and leadership positions.

Joe has designed and applied electrical power systems installed globally that integrate distributed energy resources, enable electrification of transport, back up critical data processing equipment, and distribute power to a world that is increasingly electrifying. Currently, Joe is the Director of Technical Applications for Energy Transition at Eaton.

Joe holds a B.S in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Georgetown University.

 

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