Graduates students in the Power and Energy Group organized and ran the fifth annual Power and Energy Conference at Illinois (PECI) in the I Hotel on February 28–March 1, 2014. One hundred fifteen attendees, including grad students, undergrads, faculty, and industry representatives came from six countries and thirty institutions. Keynote presenters, Oleg Wasynczuk from Purdue University, Manoj Shah from GE Global Research Center in upstate New York, and Donald Morrow from Quanta Technology, spoke on microgrids, career industry experiences and future trends, and system-level perspectives on the utility industry, respectively. The conference featured nearly 40 peer-reviewed research presentations, best-paper and runner-up paper awards, a PowerPoint karaoke workshop on making presentations, and a live-music social event.
PECI is about exchanging ideas, networking, and even finding answers to ongoing research problems. One member of the thirteen-member organizing committee was very excited to realize that the first keynote speaker’s presentation provided just what he needed to solve the problem he had been working on. “That is exactly what we hoped for,” said co-chair Stanton Cady.
The conference was supported by John Deere, Halliburton, Phillips 66, Texas Instruments, PowerWorld, Intel, and SolarBridge Technologies and provided travel funding to select students and fee waivers, as in previous years.