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Conference Blog


A Brief Interview of Volunteers

Damir Novosel

By Damir Novosel, President, Quanta Technology SAS

I posed three questions to three IEEE volunteers: Jay Liu, Ph.D., Sr. Lead Engineer, Infrastructure Coordination, PJM; Veronika Rabl, Ph.D., Past Chair, IEEE-USA Energy Policy Committee; and Don Hall, Executive Advisor, Quanta Technology.

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Venue & Accommodation

Room Block NOW CLOSED – reserve early to get the $189 rate!


1000 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20001, USA
TEL: +1-202-222-1234


Hotel offers valet & self parking.

Valet Parking:

  • 0-2 hours: $33
  • 2-8 hours: $43
  • 8-24 hours: $60
  • Overnight: $60
  • Oversized Vehicles: $62

Please note there are no in-and-out privileges in the Self Parking Garage

  • 0-1 hours: $10
  • 1-4 hours: $18
  • 4-10 hours: $20
  • 10-24 hours: $42


United States citizens do not need a U.S. visa or passport for travel to Virginia. If you are not a US citizen, you may need a visa for entry into the US.
Once you register for the conference, you can download a letter indicating that you will be attending the conference.
For additional information regarding visas and/or passports, please visit:

Welcome to ISGT 2020

The Eleventh Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT 2020), sponsored by the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES), will be held February 17-20, 2020 at the Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington D.C.


ISGT 2020 will be taking place Feb. 17-20, 2020 in Washington, DC.


Keynote Speakers:

Dave Velazquez, CEO of Pepco
Tuesday 8:30 – 9:00 am

Patricia Vincent-Collawn, CEO of PNM Resources
Wednesday 8:00 – 8:30 am

M. Michelle Blaise, Sr. VP, Tech Services, ComEd
Thursday 8:00 – 8:30 am


Registration NOW OPEN for IEEE ISGT NA 2020! Click here to register

Demonstrations Schedule – See details here


QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, REQUESTS Contact information can be found on the Contact Us page.

Transportation/Local Information


Many of the city’s most interesting sights are within walking distance from the Conference Venue. Details and approximate travel times can be found here.


Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport – DCA

  • Hotel distance: 5 miles
  • Subway service, fee: $4 USD (one way)
  • Estimated taxi fare: $15 USD (one way)

Washington Dulles International Airport – IAD

  • Hotel distance: 27 miles
  • Estimated taxi fare: $55 USD (one way)


Metro Center (Red, Blue, Silver and Orange Lines)

  • Connected to the Grand Hyatt Washington


View current weather in Washington, DC.


A few links to Washington, DC travel and tourism websites:

Photo Gallery

Photos from this year's conference in Washington, DC are NOW AVAILABLE!

ISGT in the News

T&D World Article:

ISGT 2020: Q&A with Saifur Rahman, President of IEEE PES

Dec 18. 2019

The IEEE ISGT NA 2020 conference, from Feb. 17-20, 2020, in Washington, D.C., will focus on "Enabling Intelligent and Resilient Communities.

In the following Q&A, Saifur Rahman, president of IEEE PES, shares why power industry professionals should consider attending this event and why he's been involved with the IEEE since 1975.

Q: Describe your educational background and experience.

A: I have a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and have been a professor at Virginia Tech since 1979. In addition to my academic work, I have worked as a research engineer at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, Duke Energy in North Carolina and the Tokyo Electric Power Company in Japan. I have served as a consultant to the United Nations Development Program, the US Agency for International Development, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Q: How did you get interested in your particular field of work?

A: My Ph.D. was on nuclear power plant refueling algorithm development. From there I moved into wind and solar energy integration to the electric power grid, which let me transition into smart grid research. I and my team at Virginia Tech built the first Web site in 2010 highlighting smart grid deployments in the U.S. This was known as the Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse Web site, which was widely used by both academics and practitioners.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

A: As the president of the IEEE Power & Energy Society, I need to respond to a lot of emails from engineers, researchers and academics from all over the world. I usually spend the morning responding to these emails. Mid-mornings are usually spent working with my Ph.D. students. Afternoons are spent on administrative work for my research institute, meeting visitors and preparing talks I give at many places in the U.S. and abroad. When I travel--which is a lot--I spend most of the day in meetings, making presentations and visiting labs.

Q: How did you get involved with IEEE PES and IGST? How are you helping with the IGST 2020 event?

A: I became IEEE PES student member in 1975 in New York. From a student member, I gradually became a member, senior member, IEEE Fellow and finally the IEEE Life Fellow in 2015. I attended the first ISGT at NIST near DC in 2010. Since this area is close to my own research on the smart grid, I found the panels and discussions at ISGT interesting. I ended up as the general chair for ISGT 2013, ISGT 2014 and ISGT 2015 - all in DC. We were honored to have Dr. Ernie Moniz, the then U.S. Secretary of Energy, as the chief guest for ISGT 2014. I am on the steering committee for ISGT 2020 and participate in discussions on speaker selection, program development, etc.

Q: Why do you think it's important for cybersecurity and power industry professionals to attend this conference in February in Washington D.C.?

A: As more and more automation and remote access begin to take place in the power industry, cybersecurity becomes an essential element for the secure operation of the power system. Cybersecurity domain experts can learn from power industry professionals what are the challenges in the industry that they can help address and develop solutions for. On the other hand, the ISGT 2020 conference provides a platform for power engineers to interact with cybersecurity experts and learn about how to deploy cybersecurity solutions in their line of work.

Q: Which sessions are you most looking forward to attending and why?

A: Panels on cybersecurity, blockchain and smart grid deployment because these align well with my current area of research.

Q: What is your favorite part of attending the IGST conferences?

A: The plenary session and special panel sessions where experts discuss their field experience.

Q: This is the 11th year for the event. What sets this conference apart from others in the industry, and how has it changed over the years?

A: Since the beginning of ISGT in 2010, I have attended all of the annual conferences except one, which was held in 2016 in Minnesota. This conference focuses on practical applications of smart grid and related technologies where experts talk about their field experience which is unique in the industry. It also brings in many DOE and national labs people sharing knowledge about various government-supported research programs. It has now become more interactive due to the large percentage of panels in the program.

Q: What do you consider as some of the most significant innovations in the smart grid industry? What are the most significant challenges and opportunities with grid modernization?

A: Most significant advances include secure communication technologies, which help to deploy large scale automation without much concern about a data breach. The biggest challenge for grid modernization is a linkage between the high- voltage transmission line and the local distribution line, and the smooth operation of equipment in between. Opportunities include the development of new equipment and algorithms to make the components and systems work smoothly from the local transformer to the supply source.

Q: What do you see in the future for the smart grid?

A: To me, the smart grid is not the power grid. It is the distribution network, which connects the end-users who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the smart grid. So the future of the smart grid is providing services to the end-users in localities where power will be provided from many sources including roof-top solar and customer-owned storage devices, including the electric vehicles. Also, there must be opportunities to trade in electricity among home and/or business owners.

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