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Dr. Mladen Kezunovic was named to the U.S. Department of Energy's latest Electricity Advisory Committee. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Recently the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of the latest Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC) members, an important component of the DOE’s strategy to improve its research and development portfolio and program activities. Among the members selected is Dr. Mladen Kezunovic from the Texas A&M University College of Engineering.

Kezunovic, Regents Professor and the Eugene E. Webb Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was selected for a second term to serve on the committee. Each member is appointed by U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette for a two-year term. Members of the EAC are from state governments, regional planning entities, utility companies, cybersecurity and national security firms, the natural gas sector, equipment manufacturers, construction and architectural companies, nongovernmental organizations and other electricity-related organizations.

During their term, the EAC members will advise the DOE on current and future electric grid reliability, resilience, security, sector interdependence and policy issues. They will periodically review and make recommendations on DOE electric grid-related programs and initiatives, including electricity-related research and development (R&D) programs and modeling efforts. Members will also identify emerging issues related to electricity production and delivery and advise on federal coordination with utility industry authorities in the event of supply disruptions and other emergencies.

Kezunovic, who also serves as the site director of the Power Engineering Research Center, a consortium of 40 industry and 13 university members, said serving on the committee his first term was rewarding because of their potential impact, and it was a learning experience.

“One always learns when serving with a group of distinguished experts, in this case over 30 with diverse business backgrounds,” he said. “The EAC members are also briefed by DOE on the major initiatives, which gives unique insights in to the DOE R&D portfolio.”

Kezunovic looks forward to the opportunity of serving another term and hopes to bring this experience into his next term. He adds that the committee has very active subcommittees that are preparing several panels and work products that he hopes could have major impacts.

“I am making personal contributions to the discussions and various activities, which makes it particularly gratifying,” he said. “I feel honored and humbled with the opportunity to serve the DOE in this capacity, being the only academic on the committee.”

The Office of Electricity (OE), which oversees the EAC, provides national leadership to ensure that the nation’s energy delivery system is secure, resilient and reliable. OE works to develop new technologies to improve the infrastructure that brings electricity into homes, offices and factories, and the federal and state electricity policies and programs that shape electricity system planning and market operations.