AGI Co-Director Introduction

It has been a busy start to the year with AGI! Dr. Anamika Dubey was announced as the new Co-Director of the Advanced Grid Institute on the Washington State University (WSU) side and Dr. Wei Du has been appointed as the Interim Co-Director of AGI on the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) side. Here are some of their thoughts and background that they bring to the AGI program.

What are your goals as co-directors of AGI?

Du: As the interim co-director, my objective is to expand AGI’s programs and capabilities to make meaningful contributions at both regional and national levels.

Dubey: As WSU-PNNL AGI Co-director, my goal is to establish AGI as a national and regional center of excellence in grid research. We plan to leverage the existing and distinct capabilities and resources within WSU and PNNL to foster effective and meaningful collaborations on strategic areas of interests in grid science. Our immediate goal is to identify key areas of excellence for the center that will seamlessly integrate interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary expertise to solve emerging grid problems from a systems-centric perspective. I would like to see AGI as the go to place for regional and national entities to solve problems related to emerging grid challenges.

What are you looking forward to as a co-director?

Du: I am excited about collaborating with Anamika Dubey to bring the best resources of PNNL and WSU to develop innovative collaborations between the two institutions.

Dubey: As AGI co-director, I am looking forward to shaping the vision for the institute, towards solving some of the most pressing challenges faced by our power grid that are stemming from the rapid decarbonization and aggressive electrification goals. I am fortunate to work with such a talented pool of researchers from both WSU and PNNL with complementary expertise, much needed to solve the emerging challenges to our power grids. To that end, I am excited to work closely with Wei Du, in the capacity of co-director, and cultivate meaningful collaborations by utilizing the distinct strengths of both WSU and PNNL.

What do you hope to bring to the project?

Du: Over the past several years, I’ve cultivated robust collaborations with many industry partners including both utilities and inverter manufacturers. Meanwhile, I’ve also developed strong expertise in modeling and simulation of power grids with a high penetration of renewables by leading several pivotal DOE projects. I hope to leverage this experience and expertise at AGI to grow new programs in collaboration with WSU.

Dubey: As a power systems researcher, with 10+ years of experience, I hope to bring my strength as a researcher and problem solver to AGI to meet the emerging energy security and resilience challenges to nation’s energy systems infrastructure. I plan to build upon my successful collaborations with PNNL towards a broader and expansive vision for AGI as a center of excellence in grid research. Having worked with large teams of researchers with interdisciplinary expertise, I recognize the value of collaboration in solving big problems. I hope to leverage my experiences and build such capabilities within AGI to allow for seamless collaborations among researchers with broad range of expertise towards solving the nation’s most pressing challenges to energy systems infrastructure.

Why does being a co-director interest you?

Du: WSU has a rich history of excellence in power system research. I have always been hoping to engage more with WSU and explore collaborative opportunities. This interim co-director role offers me a valuable platform to deepen my interactions with WSU, which helps me identify the common research interests between PNNL and WSU and foster collaborations. Additionally, I am passionate about engaging with students. This role presents a unique opportunity for me to connect with them. I aim to bring PNNL’s top-tier resources to support students in developing the skills necessary to become the next generation of power system engineers for a decarbonized grid

Dubey: Energy and climate change are indeed unquestionably urgent and significant challenges that demand our immediate attention. Within this broad scope, power systems research and development serve as the pivotal component in enabling the transition towards a clean and green energy future. As a power systems engineer and researcher, my goal is to help advance our society towards a future that is brighter, cleaner, and more sustainable. As AGI co-director, I am interested in influencing the research directions towards this goal.

What is your current role with PNNL/WSU?

Du: At PNNL, I serve as the solar subsector lead, overseeing the DOE solar portfolio. In addition, I also serve as the Principal Investigator of multiple DOE projects that investigate the impacts of inverter-based resources on the stability of power systems across various scales.

Dubey: Currently, I am Huie-Rogers Chair Associate Professor with the school of electrical engineering and computer science at WSU. I also hold a joint appointment as a research scientist at PNNL and serve as the co-director for the WSU-PNNL AGI.

What is your area of research?

Du: My research interests focus on examining the impact of power electronics on the stability and dynamic behavior of power systems across various scales. With the increasing integration of inverter-based resources (IBRs) such as solar, wind, and energy storage systems into the power grid, the stability characteristics and dynamic behavior of power systems are undergoing fundamental changes. My primary research objective is to design innovative controls for IBRs to enhance the stability of renewable-dominated power systems. Concurrently, I aim to develop accurate and computationally efficient models of IBRs for industry applications, enabling power system engineers to simulate the potential impacts of IBRs on their grids effectively.

Dubey: With rapid decarbonization goals and ambitious urban electrification targets, the electric power grid is undergoing unprecedented changes. At WSU, I lead SCALE Lab, which is at the forefront of addressing the new requirements for improved efficiency, operational flexibility, and resilience in response to the grid’s changing nature and extreme weather events. Our mission is to solve the ever-growing problem of providing a resilient, adaptable, and economically viable power supply with distributed generation resources. We focus on scalable methods that integrate cross-domain model and data to provide better decision support for increasingly complex power grids. Our methodological contributions are situated at the intersection of mathematical optimization techniques, physics-informed machine-learning, and cyber-physical power systems.

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