UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center
Smart Grid Training Workshop


We are currently accepting speaker nominations:
Nominate a Speaker

Emil Abdelshehid
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Anthony Barraza
Western Sales Manager, Gridsense

Michael Boehm
Industry Partner Program, UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center

Leveraging over two decades of international business experience as a technology entrepreneur, Michael applies his start up and technology skills to cleantech startups, research and education, with a concentration on e-mobility and the new energy economy, at the Advanced Sustainability Institute. Utility clients at Haig Barrett, management consultants, include workforce planning at Reliant Energy and energy efficiency planning at LADWP.

Michael is a LEED AP and certified in The Natural Step. Previous experience included CEO of Solar start up SEDI, CTO of carsdirect.com, and communications design for Sempra's smart grid pilot.

Educated at Northwestern and Stanford Graduate School of Business, Michael combines an understanding of the behavior of organizations and the individuals who make them up and the technical systems they use to deliver service and value.

Michael teaches classes in the Global Sustainability Certificate program at the University of California (UCLA) and is on the advisory board of the LA Cleantech Incubator. He serves as the Chair of the E-Mobility Task Force for LAEDC and is Clean Tech Chair for the German American Business Association in Southern California.


John Bryan
VP, Product & Marketing, CODA Energy

John Bryan has more than 20 years of energy, utility, technology and automotive experience. He is currently the Vice-President of Product & Marketing at CODA Energy, a manufacturer and distributor of scalable battery energy storage systems headquartered in Monrovia, CA. Prior to CODA, John was the CTO for Fleet Energy Company, a spinoff of the $2.1B Burt Fleet Services (BFS). John also worked at Xcel Energy in its Utility Innovations program, where he was responsible for overseeing vehicle-to-grid plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (V2G PHEV) projects, and served as program manager for the $100M SmartGridCity program and 1 MW/7.2 MWh wind integrated battery energy storage project. Earlier in his career, John spent several years in the automotive industry as a manufacturing quality engineer working for a major Tier 1 supplier to Ford, GM and Toyota, and managed telecommunications fiber backbone deployment programs for Qwest Communications, now known as CenturyLink. He earned an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Missouri and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.

About CODA Energy
CODA Energy designs and builds scalable energy storage solutions that support a smarter, cleaner, and more reliable grid while solving businesses' energy challenges – saving money, generating revenue, and enhancing facility operations. The UL Listed CODA Core™ Tower combines advanced lithium-ion cells with a proven battery and thermal management system. The integrated operating system is tailored for the application-specific needs of an end user. CODA Energy's storage systems scale seamlessly from kilowatts to megawatts and are optimized for microgrid, generation, distribution, and behind-the-meter applications for commercial & industrial end users. CODA's products are designed, engineered, and manufactured in California.


Andrew Dillon
VP Business Development, Co-Founder, Varentec

Andrew Dillon is a co-founder of Varentec, a company focusing on applying power electronics to achieve dynamic control and energy conservation on the electric grid. Andrew has expertise in the areas of smart grid solutions, advanced technology commercialization, distribution grid modernization, grid efficiency, as well as business intelligence cloud software.

Andrew holds academic degrees in electrical engineering as well as communication technology, and has spoken at events held by IEEE, DOE, EPRI and others. With over 15 years experience in the area of technology commercialization, start-up growth, and business building, Andrew has assisted in raising funds for companies in excess of $20m, and supported the introduction of multiple new technologies to the marketplace.

  Andrew Dillon

Rajit Gadh
Director, UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center

Dr. Rajit Gadh is a Professor at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA, and the Founding Director of the UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center or SMERC. He is also Founder and Director of the Wireless Internet for Mobile Enterprise Consortium or WINMEC.

Dr. Gadh's research interests include Smart Grid Architectures, Smart wireless communications, sense and control for Demand Response, Micro Grids and Electric Vehicle Integration into the Grid, Mobile Multimedia, Wireless and RFID Middleware, RFID and Wireless sensors for Tracking Assets, RF-sensor-control interfaces,and Visualization. He has over 150 papers in journals, conferences and technical magazines, and, 3 patents granted.

He has a Doctorate degree from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), a Masters from Cornell University and a Bachelor's degree from IIT Kanpur. He has taught as a visiting researcher at UC Berkeley, has been an Assistant, Associate and Full Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and did his sabbatical as a visiting researcher at Stanford University for a year. He has won several awards from NSF (CAREER award, Research Initiation Award, NSF-Lucent Industry Ecology Award, GOAL-I award), SAE (Ralph Teetor award), IEEE (second best student-paper, WTS), ASME (Kodak Best Technical Paper award), AT&T (Industrial ecology fellow award), Engineering Education Foundation (Research Initiation Award), William Wong Fellowship award from University of Hong-Kong, etc., and other accolades in his career. He is on the Editorial board of ACM Computers in Entertainment Publication and the CAD Journal.


Bruce N. Hamer
Smart Grid Program Manager, Burbank Water and Power

Bruce Hamer is currently Smart Grid Program Manager with Burbank Water and Power. Smart Grid, a $50 million capital program to modernize several utility systems, is nearly completed after a 5 year implementation. He has over 39 years of power utility experience, mostly with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, including electric utility planning and management, engineering management, project and construction management, telecommunications and fiber optic markets, electric wholesale marketing and power contracts. He has managed major projects including coal and natural gas fired power plants, 500 Kv Transmission lines, fiber optic networks and various general facilities. He has completed a Masters Degree in Business Administration at Pepperdine University, Management Certificate at UC Los Angeles, and Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering at CSU Long Beach.

He is an accomplished spokesperson experienced in speaking with Regulators, Governing Boards and Government officials, Community and customer meetings, and has managed regulatory studies and filings during electric industry restructuring. He served on the Board of Directors for the United Telecom Council, Washington DC, and Chairperson of the California Municipal Utilities Association Telecommunications Committee. He was previously a Governor on the California Power Exchange Corporation (Cal PX).

  Bruce N. Hamer

Darren Hammell
Co-Founder, Chief Strategy Officer, Princeton Power Systems

Darren Hammell, B.S.E Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder, Princeton Power Systems Darren took home top honors in the Princeton University business plan contest and co-founded Princeton Power Systems in 2001. He served as President and CEO until March 2009, when he took on the responsibility of Executive Vice President of Business Development. Darren also serves on the Princeton Power Systems Board of Directors. Darren graduated with honors from Princeton University with a B.S.E. in Computer Science. Darren was named one of Red Herring Magazine's "Young Moguls" in 2005 and New Jersey-BIZ's "Forty Under 40" business leaders in the state the same year. He is also on the Board of Directors of the NJ Technology Council and the Einstein's Alley Collaborative. Darren Hammell is a frequent speaker in the Energy Technology space and has been a key contributor at nearly 75 speaking events 2011-2014.


Mark E. Irwin
Director of Technology Development, Advanced Technology Department, Southern California Edison

Lee Krevat
Director - Smart Grid and Clean Transportation, San Diego Gas & Electric

Jim Parks
Program Manager, Energy Efficiency and Customer R&D, Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Ranjan Pant
Chief Technical Officer, PowerMax Global LLC

Catherine Sandoval
Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission

Vijay Ujjian
Director of Product Management, Proximetry