Speakers for this initial forum are previewed here, with more detailed background information available below …

   Claudio Lima

Claudio Lima, PhD, is an executive and thought leader in advanced blockchain, IoT, and AI technologies, with expertise in energy (utilities, oil & gas), smart city, and telecom/IT digital transformation. He is co-founder of the Blockchain Engineering Council, chair of the IEEE Blockchain Energy Standards working group, and chair of the IEEE Blockchain Transactive Energy Initiative.

He is a former Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Sprint Advanced Technology Labs, Silicon Valley, California.  He is leading global efforts on Blockchain/DLT standardization, interoperability and energy smart contracts in government and corporate enterprise blockchain. Dr. Lima earned a PhD in electronic engineering at the University of Kent (UKC/UK, 1995).
He can be reached at clima@blockchain-eng.org.


   Ramesh Ramadoss

Ramesh Ramadoss is the Technical Director at the InterWork Alliance. He is a co-chair of the IEEE Blockchain Initiative. He leads the IEEE Blockchain Standards Committee. He received his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA in 2003. Between 2003 and 2007, he was employed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Auburn University, Alabama, USA. In 2008, he moved to Silicon Valley and has over a decade of industrial experience in technology companies. He has conducted R&D projects for DARPA, NASA, US Army, US Air Force, Sandia National Labs, and Motorola Labs. He is the author or co-author of 1 book, 3 book chapters and 55 research papers (Google Scholar Citations: 900). He has delivered talks at over 90 international conferences in 40 countries.

   Farrokh Rahimi

Farrokh Rahimi has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from MIT, along with nearly 50 years of experience in electric power industry. In his current role as Senior Vice President, Market Design and Consulting at Open Access Technology International, Inc. (OATI), he oversees OATI’s market design initiatives and related consulting services, and is also a key contributor to OATI’s Smart Grid and Grid Modernization solutions. Before joining OATI in 2006, he collaborated with California ISO, Folsom, CA for eight years, where he was engaged in market monitoring and design. His prior experience included eight years with Macro Corporation (subsequently KEMA Consulting), five years with Systems-Europe, Brussels, Belgium; ten years, as a university professor, researcher, and consultant in power and control systems, and two years with Systems Control, Inc. (now ABB Systems Control, Santa Clara, CA). He is a member of Grid Wise Architecture Council (GWAC) as well as a number of Smart Grid and Grid Modernization task forces and committees collaborating with IEEE, NERC, NIST, WECC, and NAESB.



   Paul Heitmann

Paul brings a strong background of technical solution development and business process innovation, with these skills marketed through his Businovation, LLC consultancy. An enthusiastic program developer and team leader, he brings his extensive knowledge of the telecommunications and energy industries into the development of leading edge clean energy transformation strategies and projects.

Paul began as a Systems Engineer at Bell Laboratories, and progressed through AT&T Corp in several forward looking corporate strategy and advanced technology initiatives that capitalized on the rapid evolution of a deregulated telecom industry. Taking this experience into the Energy industry, Paul joined Comverge to help them develop and market advanced Demand Response offers and build customer base in advance of their IPO. He led their early research and development on grid-integrated Electric Vehicle services. As Distributed Energy Resources (DER) began to grow, Paul became actively involved in advancing microgrid solutions that incorporate local energy generation, storage, and optimized power consumption.



  Umit Cali

Dr. Umit Cali is a seasoned technology researcher conducting academic-based research activities in energy analytics, blockchain and economics, with 20 years international experience in the fields of energy systems, data science, blockchain technologies, ICT, energy markets and economics.

He has worked for IBM International (Istanbul/Turkey) as a network engineer and project manager, a senior researcher in energy informatics and economics (Fraunhofer Institute – Germany), an Energy Consultant (Lahmeyer International- Germany), a Manager in wind energy project development and energy markets/energy economics (EnBW –Utility in Germany), Chief Technology Officer for an international service provider in energy efficiency (KREEN Renewables GmbH- Germany/Switzerland) and assistant professor in three universities (Gediz University- Turkey, the University of Wisconsin at Platteville and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte).

Dr. Cali is also co-founder of US (NSF SBIR funded) and Europe based technology startup companies which are  active in advanced energy informatics and blockchain.

He is working as associate professor of Energy Informatics (AI & Blockchain) in the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

He is serving as Vice Chair of IEEE Blockchain in Energy Standards WG (P2418.5).


  Sri Gourisetti

Sri Nikhil Gupta Gourisetti is the Energy Systems Cybersecurity Researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with specialized knowledge and interests in Operational Technology (OT) cyber security, blockchain technology, software engineering, power systems modeling & simulation, and growing capability in physics-driven machine learning systems. Sri Nikhil’s research domains include smart grid systems and connected smart buildings focused on ICS/OT/IoT cybersecurity. At PNNL, he works on several smart grid and connected buildings cyber-physical security projects addressing the resiliency, reliability, and interoperability challenges and needs of critical infrastructure facilities. He is the Principal Investigator for DOE Cybersecurity projects, including blockchain–based cybersecurity system for critical infrastructure and transactive energy, Mitigation of External–exposure for Energy Delivery Systems, non-intrusive Cybersecurity tools to enumerate vulnerabilities and threats, and physics-driven digitization and modeling to detect anomalies and forecast failure in complex and quasi-distributed sensor networks. Sri Nikhil leads the cybersecurity task force under the IEEE Blockchain Standards Working group and is an active member of IEEE Smart Grid Technical Committee. He received a Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Systems specializing in Electrical Engineering. Sri Nikhil is a certified information systems security professional (CISSP) and SANS’s certified global industrial cyber security professional (GICSP).