Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Energy Data Analytics Symposium: Accelerating Sustainability in the AI Era

Thursday, October 26, 2023 to Friday, October 27
Duke University Fuqua School of Business, HCA Classroom 100 Fuqua Drive Durham, NC 27708
Trey Gowdy
Energy Data Analytics Symposium: Accelerating Sustainability in the AI Era


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How can data science tools, including artificial intelligence, help us make energy systems more accessible, affordable, reliable, and environmentally sustainable? This single-track, in-person event will explore leading approaches addressing this question, highlighting the work of established experts and energy professionals as well as emerging scholars in the field.

In particular, the symposium will examine how data science and machine learning are driving innovation in these areas:

  • Remote sensing for energy and climate data;
  • Ethics and social responsibility for energy and climate data analytics;
  • Energy systems modeling; and
  • Energy access.

US Energy Information Administration (EIA) Administrator Dr. Joseph DeCarolis will keynote the symposium, which will also feature panels and plenty of networking opportunities. This event will provide an opportunity for dialogue between 100+ practitioners, academics, and policymakers engaged in data-driven energy research around the country.  To help integrate emerging scholars into this broader community, the event will feature five-minute lightning talks showcasing work or sharing a big idea (see call for abstracts, which closed August 4). 


Capacity is limited, so register on now for this in-person event.

Organizers and Funding

The symposium is organized by the Energy Data Analytics Lab at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability and the Energy Analysis and Policy (EAP) Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Funding support is provided by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and NASA.

This event follows up on the Energy Data Analytics Symposium: Transforming Energy Systems with Data Science Techniques (Dec. 2020).

This event is aligned with the Duke Climate Commitment, which unites the university’s education, research, operations and public service missions to address the climate crisis.

Note: Conclusions reached or positions taken by researchers or other grantees represent the views of the grantees themselves and not those of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation or its trustees, officers, or staff.


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In addition to keynote remarks by U.S. EIA Administrator Dr. Joseph DeCarolis, there will be panels on the topics listed below and plenty of networking opportunities. (Details subject to change).

October 26 (9am - 6pm)

  • Opening Remarks
    • Brian Murray (Duke University), Tracey Holloway (University of Wisconsin-Madison). Evan Michelson (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation)
  • Keynote Talk: Dr. Joseph DeCarolis (Administrator, U.S. Energy Information Administration)
  • Panel: Electricity Grids and AI - Key Problems and Pitfalls to Consider
    • Moderator: David Brown (Duke University), Shawn Lackey (Duke Energy), Dalia Patino-Echeverri (Duke University), Jeremy Renshaw (Electric Power Research Institute)
  • Networking Lunch
  • Panel: Ethics and Social Responsibility of Data Analytics
    • Johannes Friedrich (World Resources Institute), Lee Tiedrich (Duke University)
  • Panel: AI for Energy Access
    • Kate Iovanna (Millennium Challenge Corporation), Brian Min (University of Michigan), Anders Pedersen (World Bank)
  • Networking Reception

October 27 (8am - 4pm)

  • Breakfast
  • Panel: Opportunities with Remote Sensing for Energy & Climate Data
    • Kyle Bradbury (Duke University), Angel Hsu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Jeremy Freeman (WattTime / Climate TRACE), Elizabeth Reilly (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Networking Lunch
  • Lightning Talks: Quick Presentations at the Intersection of Energy & Data Science
  • Panel: Opportunities with Remote Sensing for Energy & Climate Data
    • Morgan Edwards (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Paul Stackhouse (NASA), Jon Goldstein (Environmental Defense Fund)


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Joseph DeCarolis

Keynote Speaker

Joseph F. DeCarolis
Administrator, U.S. Energy Information Administration

Dr. Joseph DeCarolis currently serves as Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Prior to his current appointment, Dr. DeCarolis served as a professor in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University. His career and publications have centered on addressing energy and environmental challenges at the intersection of engineering, economics, and public policy, and his core research involves the development and application of energy system models to examine energy futures under uncertainty.


Panelists and Moderators

Kyle Bradbury

Kyle Bradbury
Assistant Research Professor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Duke University and Director, Energy Data Analytics Lab, Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability

Dr. Kyle Bradbury leads the Energy Data Analytics Lab at Duke University, which develops and applies machine learning techniques to better understand and manage energy and climate resources. He researches scalable computer vision techniques for assessing energy resources and infrastructure, electricity access, and climate impacts using remote sensing data. He has a Ph.D. from Duke University focused on energy systems modeling.



David Brown

David Brown
Professor, Duke University Fuqua School of Business and Faculty Director, Center for Energy, Development, and Global Environment (EDGE)

Dr. David Brown is a professor in Decision Sciences at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. His research focuses on designing and analyzing algorithms for decision problems involving uncertainty and complex tradeoffs. He is currently working with researchers at Duke and other institutions on improving the efficiency and reliability of electricity grid operations in the face of uncertainty in renewable energy sources. He has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).



Morgan Edwards

Morgan Edwards
Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison La Folette School of Public Affairs

Dr. Morgan Edwards is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research and teaching focus on human-centered energy responses to the climate crisis across policymaking scales. She draws on mixed quantitative and qualitative methods, combining large datasets and community knowledge with systems modeling, to assess and track the multi-dimensional impacts of human energy use. Dr. Edwards received her Ph.D. in engineering systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).



Jeremy Freeman
Software Engineer, Machine Learning & Modeling, WattTime and Climate TRACE



Johannes Friedrich

Johannes Friedrich
Director of Climate Data, World Resources Institute

Johannes Friedrich is the director of climate data at the World Resources Institute (WRI). He leads WRI’s data strategy on climate, energy and systems change. He creates visions for innovative data products that support governments and the private sector to shift global systems in equitable ways. He works with decisionmakers from national to international levels, including the UN, national governments, corporates, and investors. He has an interdisciplinary master's in science for sustainable development.



Jon Goldstein

Jon Goldstein
Senior Director, Regulatory & Legislative Affairs, Environmental Defense Fund

Jon Goldstein leads EDF’s efforts to improve regulation of the oil and gas industry and protect air and water resources at the state and federal level. Prior to EDF, Jon was Secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department and Deputy Secretary of the state’s Environment Department. He served on the NM Renewable Energy Transmission Authority, Finance Authority and Water Trust Board, was elected chair of the NM Water Quality Control Commission and Mining Commission, was a state liaison with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He has a master’s in public policy and a certificate in science, technology and environmental policy from Princeton University.



Claudia Hurlbert
CEO, Geolabe



Angel Hsu

Angel Hsu
Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Environment, Ecology, and Energy Program

Dr. Angel Hsu is an assistant professor of public policy at UNC Chapel Hill. She is the founder and director of the Data-Driven EnviroLab. Her research explores the intersection of science and policy and the use of data-driven approaches to understand environmental sustainability, particularly for climate change and energy, urbanization and air quality. Her research applies data from satellite remote sensing and other spatially-explicit sources to evaluate environmental policy performance. She has a Ph.D. in environmental policy from Yale University.



Kate Iovanna

Kate Iovanna
Director, Energy Practice Group, Millennium Challenge Corporation

Kate Iovanna, a Director in the MCC Energy Practice Group, is a power sector specialist with over 20 years of experience spanning network planning and design, access/rural electrification, utility management, sector regulation, and policy.  Kate has led the development and implementation of infrastructure and policy reform and sector institutional development projects in a number of countries, in Africa as well as Central America. Projects have included transmission and distribution investments, plus renewable energy and access projects, energy efficiency, sector governance and capacity building. She has a master’s in international relations from John Hopkins University SAIS and a bachelor’s in environmental science from Duke University. She also received certifications as a LEED Green Associate and as a Project Management Professional (PMP).



Shawn Lackey

Shawn Lackey
Director, Generation Solutions, Duke Energy

Shawn Lackey leads Duke Energy’s technology and data products, portfolio and services for Duke Energy’s Generation organization including Renewables, Nuclear, Energy Trading and Environmental, Health and Safety. He has served in leadership roles within Duke’s Information Technology organization that include Enterprise Data Management, Data and Analytics, Enterprise Architecture, Finance, and Technology and Data Strategy. At previous organizations, he worked on smart grid initiatives, telecommunications, and served as a software consultant supporting applications in the energy, biomedical, and manufacturing sectors. He has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from North Carolina State University.



Brian Min
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan and Research Associate Professor, Center for Political Studies, Institute for Social Research



Dalia Patino-Echeverri

Dalia Patino-Echeverri
Associate Professor, Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment

Dr. Dalia Patino-Echeverri is the Gendell Family Associate Professor of Energy Systems and Public Policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. She explores, assesses, and proposes technological, policy, and market approaches to pursue environmental sustainability, affordability, reliability, and resiliency in the energy sector. Most of her work focuses on the decisions regulators and private actors must make regarding capital investment and operations in the electricity industry and quantifying the value of flexibility in multiple dimensions. Her work uses operations research tools to account for path dependencies, uncertainty, and risk tradeoffs, ubiquitous in the energy system. She is the PI of the ARPA-E-funded GRACE project, developing a novel Energy Management System (EMS) to improve short-term electric power systems operations by estimating and considering the risk of different grid assets. She has a Ph.D. in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University.



Anders Pedersen

Anders Pedersen
Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank, Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP)

Anders Pedersen is a member of ESMAP’s Energy Data and Analytics team, focusing on innovative data tools, the use of AI, and cybersecurity. He leads a portfolio that includes data platforms such as the, the Global Solar Atlas and Global Wind Atlas, the use of AI to map and enhance climate resilience of transmission grids, and operational support to governments to design and deploy country data systems. Prior to the World Bank, he served as Director of Resource Watch at World Resources Institute (WRI) and was Senior Open Data Officer at Natural Resource Governance Institute. Across these roles, he has provided technical assistance to governments using data for decision making across the world. He has a master’s in political science from the University of Copenhagen and a data science certificate from Georgetown University.



Elizabeth Reilly
Senior Staff Scientist, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory



Jeremy Renshaw

Jeremy Renshaw
Senior Technical Executive, AI/ML, Quantum, and Nuclear Innovation, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

Dr. Jeremy Renshaw leads EPRI’s efforts for Artificial Intelligence, Quantum, and Nuclear Innovation, focused on accelerating innovation across these disciplines in the energy industry and building connections between the energy industry, academia, government researchers, and technology providers. Prior to this, he managed EPRI’s Used Fuel and High-Level Waste group and was a project manager in EPRI’s nondestructive evaluation (NDE) program. He has a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Iowa State University.



Paul Stackhouse

Paul Stackhouse
Senior Research Scientist, Science Directorate/Climate Science Branch, NASA Langley Research Center

Dr. Paul Stackhouse is the lead scientist of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Surface Radiation Budget Project and also leads and/or collaborates in other studies related radiative budgets and climate processes. Dr. Stackhouse leads a project to design, customize, and make accessible NASA Earth Science research results for the energy-related industries, particularly renewable energy applications through GIS-enabled web services and applications organized under the Prediction of Worldwide (renewable) Energy Resource project (POWER). He has a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from Colorado State University.



Lee Tiedrich

Lee Tiedrich
Distinguished Faculty Fellow in Law and Responsible Technology, Executive in Residence, and Responsible Tech Scholar, Duke University

Lee Tiedrich, J.D. is a distinguished faculty fellow in law and responsible technology with appointments in Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, Duke Medical School (in Duke AI Health), and Science & Society.  She is a member of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Networks of AI Experts and co-leads the GPAI Committee for Responsible AI Strategy for the Environment (RAISE) and the GPAI Intellectual Property Advisory Committee. Lee’s work bridges technology, law, and policy – and she has written and spoken extensively on data and artificial intelligence. Prior to joining Duke, she was a partner at Covington & Burling LLP. Her legal practice included extensive work on a broad range of data and technology matters, including policy, governance, intellectual property, regulatory, transactional and digital transformation matters. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering.


Lightning Talk Presenters

Name Affiliation Role Research Talk Title
Hussein Abdeltawab Wake Forest University Faculty / Researcher Enhancing Wind Farm Frequency Support with Deep Learning Techniques
Yash Amonkar University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Postdoctoral Fellow Climate-based financial risk mitigation for electric utilities using novel composite index-based insurance instruments
Simachew Ashebir North Carolina A&T State University PhD Student Time-Series Energy Demand Forecasting Using Hybrid and Deep Learning Methods
Elizabeth Brown University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill PhD Student Automating Mini-Grid Distribution Maps
Katherine Burley University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill PhD Student Restoration Equity: Assessing Inequalities in Electricity Restoration in the Southeast Through Night-Time Lights
Zach Calhoun Duke University PhD Student Targeted urban heat island interventions to reduce cooling demand and lower heat risk
Srija Chakraborty Universities Space Research Association Faculty / Researcher Nightlight-Based Assessment of Electricity Availability from Machine Learning Insights from NASA’s Black Marble Product
Jacob Shimkus Erickson University of Wisconsin - Madison PhD Student Assessing inequities in electrification via heat pumps adoption across the U.S.
Amanda Gregg Duke University PhD Student Metamaterials for Energy-Efficient Indoor Lighting
Sunjoo Hwang University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill PhD Student Transitioning from Diesel Backup Generators to PV-Plus-Storage Microgrids
Zehao Jin Duke University PhD Student Data-Informed Resources for Coal Fly Ash and Potential Spatial Distribution of Pollutants from Coal Ash Disposal Sites
Alexandra Claire Kahl University of Tennessee PhD Student Utilizing Satellite Data and MaxEnt to Understand Power Outage Vulnerability
Antonios Marios Koumpias University of Michigan - Dearborn Faculty / Researcher Investigating Historical Redlining's Impact on Public EV Charging Stations and Utility Outage Rates
Saad Lahrichi University of Montana PhD Student Predicting Wildfire Rate of Spread Using Machine Learning and Remote Sensing
Qi Li Colorado School of Mines PhD Student SolarDetector: Automatic Solar PV Array Identification using Big Satellite Imagery Data
Cameron Lisy North Carolina State University PhD Student Nationwide Impacts of Extreme Weather on the U.S. Natural Gas Production and Transportation Market and Associated Spillover Effects to Major Electric Power Grid Interconnections
Maitreyee Marathe University of Wisconsin - Madison PhD Student Optimal Energy Rationing for Prepaid Electricity Customers
Tunmise Raji Rochester Institute of Technology PhD Student A Systematic Error Assessment for Electricity Access Mapping with Nighttime Lights
Suhas Raju University of North Carolina at Charlotte PhD Student Future of AI Applications for Commercial Building Sustainability
Jaime Garibay Rodriguez University of Wisconsin - Madison Postdoctoral Fellow Assessment of Renewable Energy Potential at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Rui Shan University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill PhD Student Clustering future energy arbitrage potential of energy storage projects across US and its policy implications
Aditya Sinha North Carolina State University Faculty / Researcher Exploring Decarbonization Pathways Under near Cost-Optimal Futures for the United States
Micah Thomas Clemson University PhD Student Determinants of Residential Solar Development in the United States
Valentin Verdier University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Faculty / Researcher Estimating Marginal Emissions on Electrical Grids with Naturally Regularized Regressions
Ying Yu University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill PhD Student Revisiting Energy Equity from a Climate-Perspective using Space-Time Models
Mikhail Zhizhin Colorado School of Mines Faculty / Researcher Spatial clustering and temporal segmentation of the industrial infrared emitters at nighttime, detected with multispectral satellites