A Brief Interview of Volunteers

Damir Novosel By Damir Novosel, President, Quanta Technology

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.


[DN] As an IEEE volunteer, how does conference such as ISGT NA 2020 help you get benefits from IEEE participation?

[JL] IEEE Conferences, including ISGT NA, are the best forums for IEEE members to exchange idea and to spark innovative solutions. Either as an attendee, a paper author, or a panel speaker, everyone can enjoy the advance and high potential of our industry.

[VR] Before I can answer the more specific questions about the conference, I feel I need to describe my vision of the Smart Grid. There are many different approaches to defining and implementing “Smart Grid” hence some confusion often arises due to varying definitions.  I think of Smart Grid as an electric grid where data and communications capabilities become ubiquitous. The power of information will augment the physical assets and create a plethora of new services and conveniences for the customers, as well as more effective options for operating each element of the grid or the grid as a whole.

Turning back to the question, a conference such as ISGT NA 2020 is an excellent venue for learning and networking! I find that many presentations stimulate new or alternate ways of thinking about a topic and create potential collaborative opportunities.

[DH] As an IEEE volunteer, I have participated in various committees and working groups as well as attended and helped organize and execute conferences. Attending conferences has provided unique opportunities to learn from a cross-section of some of the industry’s brightest minds and to network with a diverse group of people across the industry and academia. I’ve been able to apply this learnings and networking in my day-to-day activities to develop creative solutions to problems, produce improved work products, expand business opportunities, and advance my career.


[DN] Why are you excited about ISGT 2020?

[JL] It calls for action and innovative solutions by IEEE members — at all industry sectors– to utilize new technologies, such as Smart Grid and Artificial Intelligence, in transforming the traditional wiring industry to its new high altitude.

[VR] Electricity industry and its technologies are undergoing an ever-accelerating pace of change.  Smart Grid concepts will be integral to coping with and leading this change.  Hence the ISGT Conference offers one of most exciting options to hear about the latest advances and become part of the leading edge in this exciting technology field.

[DH] I am excited because this particular conference focuses on the concepts and technologies that enable the transformation of providing electric energy to all areas of society that we are experiencing today. This ongoing transformation creates new opportunities, excitement, and interest across society and requires interaction amongst old and new stakeholders driving creative thought and solutions.


[DN] Any suggestions for other IEEE members to benefit more from IEEE involvement?

[JL] Join the events by attending the conference, submitting papers, proposing panel sessions, and ultimately, enjoying the freedom of innovation and knowledge sharing at IEEE.

[VR] Participate in events, don’t be afraid to ask questions or even suggest new ideas for consideration by the panels. Talk to other participants.

[DH] Make the effort, challenge yourself, and be active – do more than just attend.