Power Sector in Transition - Speaker Bios for December 7th Event

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     Keynote Speaker - Aditya Ranade, Technology Partnerships Manager, 3M

Aditya is deeply driven to create new businesses contributing towards global sustainability. He has 10 years of experience in the Energy and Environment sectors including smart grid, solar PV, green buildings, and agriculture in various capacities-R&D, venture capital, product marketing, and consulting. In his current role, he creates external innovation opportunities with start-ups and large companies relevant to 3M’s Energy portfolio. He also leads Smart Grid technology platform development for 3M. He holds a PhD (Macromolecular Science) from Case Western Reserve University, MBA (Entrepreneurship+ Global Management) from Babson College, and an Executive Education Certificate (Energy, Environment, and Security) from Tufts Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy.

    Ravi Pradhan, Vice President, Technology Strategy Digital Grid Division Software and Solutions –  

                             Siemens

Ravi Das Pradhan is Vice President, Technology Strategy, for Siemens Digital Grid Division Software and Solutions in Minneapolis. With 20 years experience building and integrating control center systems, electricity market systems and other operational IT systems, Ravi is part of the global Siemens Digital Grid Software and Solutions product house. Ravi is responsible for selecting and implementing the appropriate technologies for Siemens Digital Grid software solutions and plays a role in managing the Siemens software portfolio to provide solutions for all areas ranging from planning & operations to markets & consumers.

Ravi was the executive technical lead for the PJM AC2 project that implemented a ground-breaking dual primary control center for managing the bulk of the northeast USA’s transmission grid. Prior to that, he was a principal architect for the California ISO Market Redesign and Technology Update project, which included a large IT integration component, along with market optimization software. He has also been the lead on EMS projects in Mexico City; Johannesburg, South Africa, NSP in Minneapolis, and Hydro-Quebec in Montreal.

  Chris Villarreal, Director of Policy, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

Chris joined the Minnesota PUC in May 2015 as its Director of Policy.  In this role, Chris provides policy research and assistance to the Commissioners and analyzes policy considerations for future and on-going policy development, including on issues such as grid modernization, rate design, data access and privacy, and cybersecurity.      

Chris is the Chair of the Staff Subcommittee on Rate Design at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).  Under his leadership, the Staff Subcommittee recently released the “Distributed Energy Resources Rate Design and Compensation” Manual to assist utility commissions around the country in considering the impacts of distributed energy resources on rate design and compensation methodologies.

  Tariq Samad, Senior Fellow Honeywell/W.R. Sweatt Chair in Technology Management, Director of Graduate Studies:  Management of Technology, University of Minnesota
Tariq Samad holds the Honeywell/W.R. Sweatt Chair and is the director of graduate studies for the M.S. in Management of Technology degree program at the Technological Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota. He joined TLI in May, 2016 after a 30-year career with Honeywell, for the last half of which he was Corporate Fellow with Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions (ACS). During his career with Honeywell he contributed to and led automation and control technology developments for applications in electric power systems, clean energy, building management, the process industries, automotive engines, unmanned aircraft, and advanced manufacturing. In 2015-2016 he also served as the first Global Innovation Leader for ACS Technology. Dr. Samad was the President of the American Automatic Control Council for 2014-15 and the President of IEEE Control Systems Society in 2009. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the recipient of a few awards including an IEEE CSS Control Systems Technology Award, a Distinguished Member Award from IEEE CSS, an IEEE Third Millennium Medal, and an Excellence Award from the Society of Technical Communications.