Student-run 2017 Texas Power and Energy Conference kicks off on campus

TPEC 2017 1

Students from Texas A&M University’s IEEE Power and Energy Society, Power Electronics Society and Industry Applications Society joint chapters hosted the inaugural 2017 Texas Power and Energy Conference (TPEC) Feb. 9 and 10 on campus. The conference was the first one of its kind in the state of Texas and was completely student-run.

More than 100 participants from industry and 17 universities from across the globe attended the event.

Dr. Glen A. Laine, vice president for research at Texas A&M, kicked off the conference with his opening remarks, which was followed by Dr. Narasimha Reddy, associate dean for research in the College of Engineering, who welcomed and introduced the power systems and energy community to Texas A&M traditions.

“The electric power industry is rapidly changing, with lots of new research helping to drive this innovation,” said Dr. Thomas Overbye, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and TPEC adviser. “Texas is certainly a leader in this effort, so it is exciting to have a conference here on campus in which researchers, including students, can present their latest work.”TPEC 2017 2

The keynote speakers at the conference included Cheryl Mele, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas; Dr. Robin Podmore, president of IncSys Corporation and co-founder of IEEE Smart Village; Kenneth Mercado, senior vice president of electric operations for CenterPoint Energy; Dr. Mark Laufenberg, senior vice president of PowerWorld Corporation; and Dr. Wei-Jen Lee, vice president of the IEEE Industry Applications Society.

Dr. Le Xie, associate professor in the electrical and computer engineering department and TPEC adviser, led and moderated a panel discussion about the future of power and energy and its impact on society with Dr. Mladen Kezunovic, Eugene E. Webb Professor and Regents Professor in the electrical and computer engineering department; Dr. Robert Hebner, research professor and director of the Center for Electromechanics at The University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Wei-Jen Lee, professor and director of the Energy Systems Research Center at The University of Texas at Arlington; and Dr. Masoud Barati, an instructional faculty member in the Cullen College of Engineering at the University Houston.

Twenty-eight technical papers were presented at the conference and submitted to be included in the IEEEXplore database.

“The conference provided an opportunity for researchers, especially graduate students, to present and publicize new and interesting research quickly to a wide range of audiences, both at the conference and through the IEEEXplore archive,” said Adam Birchfield, conference student chair and graduate student in the electrical and computer engineering department. “The students involved in the leadership committee gained experience in organizing a successful, high-quality technical program, and coordinating to create an event that would be valuable for industry and academic attendees alike."

“The students put countless hours of hard work and dedication to the success of this conference,” said Xie. “This is yet another great example of leadership and service by a Texas A&M student organization.”