Speakers may be subject to change.
Aaron Barr is a Principal Consultant with MAKE Consulting, a WoodMackenzie business. Aaron specializes in market research in wind turbine technology and servicing trends. Aaron lends his technical expertise to provide technology forecasts, economic trade-off analysis, market assessments and supporting due diligence projects. Prior to joining MAKE in 2013, Aaron spent over eight years within GE’s wind energy engineering division. Aaron holds an engineering degree from Virginia Tech and an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Carlo L. Bottasso
Carlo L. Bottasso received a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano in Italy. Dr. Bottasso holds the Chair of Wind Energy at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, where he directs the Wind Energy Institute. He is the President of the European Academy of Wind Energy, and one of the Chief Editors of the new journal Wind Energy Science. His research interests are in wind energy and rotorcraft technology, with particular reference to modeling and simulation, aeroservoelasticity and control. On these topics he has co-authored over 300 publications, including 116 peer reviewed journal papers.
Pietro Bortolotti recently joined NREL as a PostDoc. His main research activities fall within the Big Adaptive Rotor (BAR) project and he focuses on systems engineering for wind turbines. Pietro graduated at the Technical University of Munich under the supervision of Prof. Carlo Bottasso with a thesis entitled “Integrated Design of Wind Turbines”. Before TUM, he worked at DTU, TU Delft and WMC studying different aspects of the structural design of rotor blades.
Josh Crayton moved into the role of director of business development upon returning to Rope Partner in 2015 after a brief stint as the blade services manager at Upwind Solutions. Josh started his career in wind in 2005 as a rope access technician with Rope Partner, where he contributed to many serial flaw remediation projects as well as blade repair and maintenance. He has since been involved in the management team in areas such as marketing, project management, and development of the blade services program as the blade services manager. In his thirteenth year in wind, Josh is optimistic about the industry’s future and continues to be a contributing member of the Sandia blade reliability collaborative.
Ron Grife, Directory of Engineering, Leeward Renewables
Ron Grife joined Leeward in April of 2016 as the director of engineering and his duties include establishing the technical support functions at Leeward and driving improvements in equipment performance and reliability of the company’s operating fleet. Prior to joining Leeward, Ron served as the manager of Turbine Performance and Reliability at EDPR and was a turbine upgrades project lead in Vestas’ R&D office in Houston. Ron also serves as the chair of the ANSI-recognized AWEA Wind Standards Committee. Before joining the wind industry Ron spent seven years at Bell Helicopter in the aerodynamics and performance group developing, modeling and testing helicopter technology. Ron received his Master’s Degree in Mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Jeffrey Hammitt is the Principal Technical Specialist in NextEra Energy Resource’s Engineering and Technical Services Renewables organization. He leads the Blades & Structures team, which is responsible for technical support related to blade, tower, and foundation issues. Jeffrey is responsible for the blade performance and reliability of NextEra’s entire wind fleet, including working with suppliers and internal resources to develop technical solutions and lead root cause assessments. Jeffrey has more than 30 years’ experience in engineering, design, and construction in the power industry. He is a graduate of Truman State University.
Geoff Klise is the manager of Sandia’s Wind Energy Technologies Department and leads the team in developing new technologies and models for improving wind turbine design, reliability and operations. Prior to leading the wind department, he led research efforts and tool development aimed at improving the market value proposition for solar in a real estate transaction and techniques for analyzing operational data from solar power plants for use in system reliability models. He recently served the past two years as an associate editor for the ASME Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. His career started at Sandia in 2006 in support of water-energy nexus research, which encompassed algal biofuel resource availability, technoeconomic assessments of carbon sequestration and power plant resource demands, and water use for photovoltaic power plant construction and operations.
Matthew Malkin has 10 years of wind energy experience with a focus on blade technology. As a part of the Wind Technology group at DNV GL, Matt has led multiple blade failure investigations, blade manufacturing quality reviews, lightning studies, and technology reviews. Prior to his career in wind energy, Matt spent 12 years at Boeing. Matt has bachelor’s and master’s degrees of science in mechanical engineering.
Dr. David Maniaci is a Senior Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories and is the Rotor Blade and Wind Plant Aerodynamics Lead in the Wind Energy Technologies Department. His current research includes wind turbine wake dynamics, the effects of leading-edge erosion and soiling on airfoil and rotor performance, and the functional scaling and design of rotor blades. He currently leads efforts on the development, verification, validation and uncertainty quantification of wind energy computational models. He received a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, where he was an instructor of aircraft design for several years and performed research in applied aerodynamics, wind tunnel testing, and wind turbine aerodynamics.
Josh Paquette is a Principle Member of the Technical Staff in the Wind Energy Technologies Department at Sandia National Laboratories, where he has worked for 13 years. Over this time, he has been involved in blade design, manufacturing, and testing, as well as several U.S. Department of Energy renewable energy techno-economic analyses. He currently leads wind turbine blade design and reliability research efforts within the group, including the DOE-sponsored Big Adaptive Rotor, Blade Reliability Collaborative, and the National Rotor Testbed projects. Josh has a Master’s degree in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Lawrence Schovanec
Dr. Lawrence Schovanec was named president of Texas Tech University in 2016. An Oklahoma native, Schovanec earned a bachelor of science in mathematics from Phillips University and a master of science in mathematics from Texas A&M University. He earned his doctorate in mathematics from Indiana University. He began his career as an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, where he eventually served as chairman for nearly 10 years. He subsequently was appointed dean of the university’s largest college, the College of Arts & Sciences, then served as interim president for 10 months in 2012 and 2013, before being named Provost.
Jens Nørkær Sørensen
Jens Nørkær Sørensen is professor of fluid mechanics and the head of the fluid mechanics section at DTU Wind Energy. He received his Ph.D. in 1986, and after a post-doc at ONERA in France he became faculty member at DTU in 1989, where he has been full professor since 2001. His research interests cover basic as well as applied topics in fluid mechanics and wind energy. He has published about 300 papers and his research is cited more than 5500 times. In 2015 he received the European Academy of Wind Energy’s Scientific Prize for his research in wind energy. His latest research deals with analysis and simulation of wind turbine wakes and the dynamics of helical vortices.
Dr. Carsten H. Westergaard
Carsten H. Westergaard is a Senior Advisor to Sandia National Laboratory on wind energy. He is the president and owner of Westergaard Solutions, Inc., a consulting company to renewable energy companies and suppliers developing new exiting new technologies and market approaches. Carsten has served in numerous advisory board positions and chaired international reviews of large multi-year government research programs in several countries. Carsten earned his Ph.D. from the Danish Technical University with a thesis on optical computing and laser based turbulent flow measurements. During his years as a student, he attended the University of Illinois and spent time at CERN in Switzerland and Baker Oil Tools in Houston. He has been holding a variety of management roles–including technology, sales, and marketing–working for LM Wind Power, Dantec Dynamics, Force Technology and Vestas Wind Systems in Denmark and the US. Recently, he also served as Professor of Practice at Texas Tech University, teaching and researching wind energy. During his career, he has published over 80 publications and 25 patents/pending.