Moderators & Panelists (A-M)

David Belanger

  Senior Research Fellow at Stevens Institute of Technology
Leader, IEEE Big Data Initiative
Hoboken, NJ

Issues in Deployment of Big Data Systems

One of the biggest challenges facing production users of big data as the volume and velocity of available data explodes, for example as IoT, SDN, and 5G mature, is the complexity of the systems environment in which these capabilities will be deployed. There has been a huge amount of progress in the core big data areas such as the data base/stream management, data analysis, machine learning, and visualization over the past decade. However, most production big data capabilities will be deployed as pieces of much larger systems, for example, large networks such as power grids and beyond, that include a complex data lifecycle, critical dependence on interfaces with other systems, often in real time, and the engineering of upstream and downstream systems. This involves not only the design and architecture of the overall systems, connections and API’s, but the assurance of security, operations, administration, and maintenance of the entire system. This talk takes a look at the issues and applications that will drive more routine production use of big data over the next several years.


David Belanger, Ph.D., is currently a Senior Research Fellow at Stevens Institute of Technology. In this role he continues his work in Big Data Technology, Applications, and Governance.  He teaches and is a leader in the Business Intelligence & Analysis Master’s Degree program. In addition, he is involved in consulting related to Big Data in areas such as Telecommunications Services, Health Care, Security, and Networking. He is the leader of the IEEE Big Data Initiative ( and on the steering committee of the New Jersey Big Data Alliance (

Prior to this role, Dr. Belanger was Chief Scientist of AT&T Labs, and Vice President of Information, Software, & Systems Research at AT&T Shannon Labs in Florham Park, NJ. The Information, Software & Systems Research Lab conducted research in: large scale and real time information mining related to operations of a (communications) service business; interactive, information visualization; scalable, dependable software systems; and new, information based, communications services. It was also responsible for delivery and operations of very large scale (e.g. petabyte), near real time service management capabilities to AT&T, and its customers, as well as a wide variety of analytic and information mining services. He was the creator of the AT&T InfoLab, an organization aimed at optimizing the value gained from data for AT&T. InfoLab was a very early participant in “Big Data” research and practice. It performed data oriented projects across the spectrum of telecommunications services including networking, mobility, operations, customer interactions, services, and fraud/security.

Accomplishments ranged from revolutionizing the corporate fraud systems and systems for measuring customer experience for each customer in the Mobility Business, to winning the Netflix Prize in 2009. They also included the development of world class tools used in Big Data. As Chief Scientist, he interacted with customers, suppliers, and government to articulate the company’s technological directions.

Dr. Belanger received his B. S. from Union College (NY) in Mathematics, and an M. S. & Ph.D., in Mathematics, from Case Western Reserve University.


Tony Bruton

Director of T&D Services
Oncor Electric Delivery
Dallas, TX

Big Data Application at Oncor Electric Delivery

Oncor began implementing analytics on large data sets following its deployment of Advanced Meters. Analytic techniques have been expanded from the detection of non-technical losses to identifying previously unseen equipment errors such as transducer calibration. More recent analytics focus on improving Operator productivity in the control room. Operator productivity includes developing an accurate load forecast and improving the connected operating model. The analytics platform has evolved to include data sets from many different and previously disconnected sources and will continue to grow at Oncor.


Tony Bruton graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering. He has been a member of IEEE since 1997. He joined Oncor in 2000. He has held a variety of positions within the company. He designed substations for three years before entering management. He was a District Manager for Oncor’s east Texas area in the Transmission Business Unit. He also managed line the Transmission Line Design Group for many years. He set up the Program Management Organization for CREZ then managed the right of way acquisition for CREZ which included purchasing easements from 1500 land owners in three years. The ROW acquisition included assisting with transmission line routing and managing the eminent domain process. As CREZ ROW acquisition was completed he managed the line design for several hundred miles of the CREZ project.

Mr. Bruton’s current role as Director of T&D Services involves the computer systems that monitor and control Oncor’s Transmission and Distribution Grid. The systems include the Siemen’s Control Room software, Transmission & Distribution SCADA communication front ends and the Outage Management System. He is also responsible for the development and management of the Transmission Grid Controller’s training program.


Valentine Emesih

Vice President, Grid and Market Operations
CenterPoint Energy
Houston, TX

Advanced Analytics at Centerpoint Energy

Centerpoint Energy fully deployed advanced meters, and partially deployed intelligent grid switching devices in its Houston Electric service footprint. The digitalization of metering services, and distribution grid operation has created a sizeable data asset.  I will share stories and examples of Centerpoint Energy’s journey in utilizing its data assets to improve customer outcomes, asset management & utilization, and operational efficiency.


Valentine Emesih is currently Vice President of Grid and Market Operations at Centerpoint Energy. He is accountable for Centerpoint Energy’s electric grid control centers, competitive retail market relations, and implementation/ deployment of control center operational technologies – Advanced Metering System (AMS), Transmission Management System, and Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS.)

He has worked in utility and utility automation business for 29 years.

Mr. Emesih, who is licensed Professional Engineer has worked for Centerpoint Energy since 1997. Prior to joining Centerpoint Energy, he held engineering, system development and project management positions at electric utility automation systems vendors – Ferranti International Controls in Sugar Land, Texas (currently ABB Enterprise Software); and Johnson Yokogawa Controls/Syseca Inc., in Carrollton, Texas (currently ARINC, Inc.).

He earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and Auburn University respectively.


Cris Eugster

Chief Operating Officer
CPS Energy
San Antonio, TX

Workshop Welcome and Opening Remarks


Cris Eugster, Ph.D., has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the energy and technology sectors. Cris currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of CPS Energy, one of the nation’s largest municipally-owned utilities with over 730,000 electric customers and 325,000 gas customers. CPS Energy is vertically integrated and includes generation, transmission and distribution, and retail services with annual revenues of over $2.5 billion and total assets of over $10.5 billion.

As Chief Operating Officer, Cris leads the Operations of CPS Energy and its approximately 2000 team members. Cris also leads overall corporate strategy, integrated resource planning, new products and services, research & development, and environmental oversight, driving the transformation of CPS Energy into a strong, innovative 21st century power provider. The strategy has led to significant investments in low carbon capabilities such as combined cycle natural gas, wind, and solar, in addition to large scale demand response programs and innovative smart grid solutions. CPS Energy is nationally recognized for its efforts in the New Energy Economy and has won numerous awards.

Cris sits on a number of Boards including Smart Electric Power Association (SEPA), Association of Edison Illuminating Companies (AEIC), Texas A&M Smart Grid Center Advisory Board (SGC), EPIcenter and Trinity University Business Advisory Council. Past Boards have included Build SA Green, Solar San Antonio, Mission Verde Alliance, Texas Renewable Energy Industry Association (TREIA), DOE State Energy Advisory Board, Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County.

Prior to coming to San Antonio, Cris was the first Chief Officer for Sustainable Growth for the City of Houston as part of Mayor Bill White’s team. Prior to that Cris was Partner with McKinsey & Company, an international management consulting firm, serving F100 companies in the Technology, Energy, and Diversified Services markets. He received his PhD and MS in Electrical Engineering from MIT focused on quantum transport research in nanostructures. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University with Magna Cum Laude honors.

Cris is married and has two sons.


Kathy Grise

Senior Program Director, IEEE Future Directions
Program Director, IEEE Big Data Initiative
Piscataway, NJ

Big Data Case Studies and Demos (Both in Power and Other Domains)

Big data is much more than just data bits and bytes on one side and processing on the other. It entails collecting, storing, processing, and analyzing immense quantities of data that is diverse in structure in order to produce insights that are actionable and value-added. Vast amounts of data of various types are being generated at increasing rates. Determining how to utilize this data strategically and efficiently from a practical application perspective is the focus of this discussion.

Merely collecting and storing data is not the sole objective of Big Data; rather, enhancement of businesses or societies drives the technologies of Big Data. For example, successful big data solutions can provide targeted marketing, identify new markets, or improve customer service through analysis of customer data, social media, or search engine data. Examination of industrial sensor data or business process data can enhance production, aid in proactive improvements to processes, or optimize supply chain systems. As a final example, society can benefit from big data analytics through intelligent healthcare monitoring, cybersecurity efforts, and smart cities data manipulation. Each panelist will share their thoughts on how (big) data is used from a practical perspective. Use cases, examples, scenarios, etc. will be referenced.


Kathy Grise is a Senior Program Director – IEEE Future Directions. Kathy supports new technology initiatives, and is the IEEE staff program director for the Big Data Initiative, Smart Materials Initiative, the IEEE Technology Navigator, Future Directions and Industry Advisory Board Committees, manages the digital presence team for Future Directions, and serves as the Technical Program Chair of COMPSAC 2018 Symposium – Data Sciences, Analytics, & Technologies (DSAT).

Prior to joining the IEEE staff, Ms. Grise held numerous positions at IBM, and most recently was a Senior Engineering Manager for Process Design Kit Enablement in the IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center. Ms. Grise led the overall IT infrastructure implementation, and software development in support of semiconductor device modeling verification, packaging, and delivery, device measurement and characterization data collection and management, and automation for device modeling engineers. Ms. Grise is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College, and an IEEE Senior member.

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Jeffrey S. Katz

Chief Technology Officer
Energy and Utilities industry
IBM Corporation
Hartford, CT

Big Data for Utilities Innovation

Utilities have been involved with Big Data and Analytics since SCADA systems became popular. Today’s innovations evolved from faster communication of the data, larger computer memory and processing power to analyze the data, and visualization techniques to support discoveries within the data. In fact, some earlier “Smart Grid Zero” projects applied Big Data and Analytics without adding any new sensors, demonstrating the power of knowing more about what you already knew. Some early adopters of Big Data and Analytics in utilities made their first priority to expand the storage associated with SCADA systems. This came from knowing that data discarded while the process of developing an analytics strategy, including predictive maintenance, occurred would be valuable as the design phase began.

Analytics has moved from replicating alarm limits already available in the DCS, to on-line FFTs, cognitive computing, as well as numerical and algorithmic methodologies. Utilities are being encouraged to adopt some agile software methods, such as a period of data exploration to see the art of the possible, rather than limiting analytics to already conceived ideas of what needed to be examined in the data.

In the current world of computer science, more data accumulated by the equipment owner also becomes more concentrated data for cyber security offender activity. This requires thinking of security measures in newer protocols, the choice of communication medium, use of appropriate use of ubiquitous cloud computing. Physical security to protect interception, planting false data generators in remote locations, and image processing on surveillance cameras are also generating big data for operational support.

Renewable energy imposes variability on the grid that needs data driven optimization to keep the system safe, in balance, and meet environmentally friendly intentions. This newer equipment, which may not all be utility owned, controlled, or even monitored, due to its more recent manufacture, contains more embedded computing and sensors. Much of this generating source data has to be processed to assist in learning new maintenance patterns, feed weather simulations of solar flux and cloud cover, manage power quality from inverters, and ensure safe wind turbine operation. The utility driven and temporal variations in the optimization goals of balancing demand, conventional generation, renewable power production, and storage systems will be possible only with the considered application of big data.


Jeffrey S. Katz is the Chief Technology Officer of the Energy and Utilities industry at IBM. He is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology. He is a co-chair of the Industrial Internet Consortium’s Energy group, and is a member of the Internet2 working group on the Internet of Things.

He was chair of the Smart Grid Session of the Yale Alumni in Energy conference in 2012, and was a co-chair of the IEEE 2030 Standard on Smart Grid Interoperability Guidelines IT Task Force. He was on the External Advisory Board of the Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid, and is on the Advisory Board of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center. He was on the “Networked Grid 100: The Movers and Shakers of the Smart Grid in 2012” list from Green Tech Media. He was appointed to the IEEE Standards Association Standards Board for 2014. He is an Open Group Distinguished IT Specialist.

Prior to IBM he was the Manager of the Computer Science department at the U.S. Corporate Research Center of ABB, and then of ALSTOM.

He is an author on six patents, in tele-medicine, robotics and computer vision, and intelligent electric power distribution, with others pending. He has a Commercial General Radiotelephone license from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, and belongs to Sigma Xi.

Jeff has organized or taught several volunteer activities around robotics for education, including FIRST, FIRST Lego League, and VEX Robotics. Jeff is also a long time amateur (ham) radio operator. He was a Region 1 finalist in the Johns Hopkins National Search for Computing Applications to Assist Persons with Disabilities. He is the Connecticut District vice president of the Yale Science and Engineering Association.

He can be reached at


Anthony Kuh

Program Director for Energy, Power, Control, and Network (EPCN)
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA

NSF Perspectives on Power and Energy Systems, Data, and Convergence

We present NSF programs in power and data area with a focus on the Energy, Power, Control and Networks (EPCN) area of the Electrical, Communications, and Cyber Systems (ECCS) Division. This includes core programs and also special solicitations (e.g. Smart and Connected Communities, Cyber Physical Systems). NSF has also listed ten big ideas and we discuss how two of the ideas “Harnessing Data for 21st Century Science and Engineering’’ and “Growing Convergent Research at NSF’’ fit well into this workshop on Utility Big Data.


Anthony Kuh, Ph.D., received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley in 1979, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1980, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 1987. Dr. Kuh previously worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories and has been on the faculty in Electrical Engineering at the University of Hawai’i since 1986. He is currently a Professor in the Department, serving as director of the interdisciplinary renewable energy and island sustainability (REIS) group, and is also serving as a program director for the National Science Foundation (NSF). Previously, he served as Department Chair of Electrical Engineering Dr. Kuh’s research is in the area of neural networks and machine learning, adaptive signal processing, sensor networks, communication networks, and renewable energy and smart grid applications.

Dr. Kuh won a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award and is an IEEE Fellow. He was also a recipient of the Boeing A. D. Welliver Fellowship and received a Distinguished Fulbright Scholar’s Award working at Imperial College in London. Dr. Kuh was an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, served on the IEEE Neural Networks Administrative Committee, served on the IEEE Neural Networks for Signal Processing Committee, and was a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society. Dr. Kuh co-chaired the 1993 International Symposium on Nonlinear Theory and its Applications (NOLTA) and served as the technical co-chair for the 2007 IEEE ICASSP both held in Honolulu. He served as the IEEE Signal Processing Society Regions 1-6 Director at Large and was a senior editor of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing. He currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Asia Pacific Signal and Information Processing Association as Vice President of Technical Activities.

In January, 2017 he started service as a program director for NSF. He is in the Electrical, Communications, and Cyber Systems (ECCS) division working in the Energy, Power, Control, and Network (EPCN) group.


Maurice Martin

Senior Technology Leader
Cyber-Physical Systems Security & Resilience Center
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Golden, CO

Hierarchical Scoring and Improved Utilization of Cyber Threat Intelligence (HiScore)

Research at NREL seeks to improve the effectiveness and usefulness of Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) alerts received by utilities. One technique is to combine CTI data from outside sources with local data produced and stored by the utility. This enables the utility to determine the relevance of the alerts based on data from utility’s asset management system, SIEM(s) and other systems. Doing so will reduce the current flood of CTI data to a more manageable stream, and enable utilities to follow up on the alerts that are likely to represent the largest threats.


Maurice Martin serves as Senior Technology Leader for the Cyber-Physical Systems Security & Resilience Center at NREL. Martin provides program management and system-level analysis for cyber security initiatives in the utility space, and engages large and diverse groups of stakeholders on efforts to improve technology, security, and resilience. He serves as liaison to utility industry associations and the electric cooperative community. He is an experienced instructor and writer.

Martin’s experience includes leading the cyber security work group at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA, the service organization for electric co-ops in the U.S.), where he managed a portfolio of member-funded research projects and provided outreach and engagement for DOE-funded research projects. He participated in the development of DOE’s Electricity Subsector Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model (ES-C2M2) and contributed to EPRIs comparative analysis of cyber security guidance documents. He holds a M.S. in Systems Science and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, both from Louisiana State University.


Brewster Mccracken


CEO of Pecan Street

Austin, TX

Data-driven Insights on Residential Use of Electricity and Gas

Drawing from Pecan Street’s data-intensive multi-year field research on customer end uses of electricity, gas and water, Brewster McCracken will show how high-resolution, highly-granular data can provide more precise, actionable information on the impacts of new technologies, demand management tools and fault detection.


Brewster McCracken is CEO of Pecan Street Inc., the nonprofit research institute founded by the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas. Pecan Street provides data-intensive research support for university-industry applied research by carrying out behavioral and technology interventions and by operating Dataport, the largest research database on customer energy and water use. Most of Dataport’s water data comes from measurement instruments that Pecan Street designs, manufactures and installs.

Smart Grid Today has named him one of the nation’s “50 Smart Grid Pioneers”, and GreenBiz.comnamed him to its VERGE 25 list of 25 U.S. smart grid leaders.


Mirrasoul (“Mir”) Mousavi

Senior Principal Scientist
ABB Corporate Research
Raleigh, NC

Distribution Analytics: Use Cases, Lessons Learned, and Next Steps

In this talk, I will share gained experiences over a decade of developing, demonstrating, and deploying energy analytics to improve utility operations, outage management, and asset management. I will also cover lessons learned and big hurdles that must be overcome to initiate and sustain analytics projects for maximum impact.


Mirrasoul (“Mir”) Mousavi, Ph.D., is a Senior Principal Scientist for ABB Corporate Research out of Raleigh, NC. As a senior global technologist, he spearheads strategic initiatives and technology development projects in the energy and automation domain focusing on intelligent monitoring, protection, and control applications. In addition to his technical responsibilities, he oversees University Relations and Internships programs for the center. Mirrasoul is ABB’s liaison to Power Systems Engineering Research Center, having served as chair and vice-chair of the Industry Advisory Board. He holds a PhD degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University. Dr. Mousavi holds 11 US and international patents and has published over 35 articles and book chapters related to his research. His current professional interests are related to power systems automation, energy analytics applications, and renewables integration.