Undergraduate Research


Teaching Material

REAL's People


Professor Daniel Kirschen

Daniel S. Kirschen was appointed Close Professor of Electrical Engineering in 2011. From 1994 to 2010, he was Professor of Electrical Energy Systems and Head of the Electrical Energy and Power Systems research group at the University of Manchester in the UK. Prior to joining the academic world, he worked for Control Data Corporation and Siemens-Empros on the development of advanced application software for electric utilities. More information

Professor Miguel Ortega-Vazquez

Miguel Ortega-Vazquez was appointed Research Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering of the University of Washington in 2011. From 2010 to 2011 he was Assistant Professor in the Division of Energy and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. From 2006 to 2010 he was Research Associate in the Power Systems research group at the University of Manchester in the UK. More information


Ricardo Fernandez-Blanco

Ricardo Fernandez-Blanco received the Ingeniero Industrial and Ph.D. degree from the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real, Spain, in 2009 and 2014, respectively. Ricardo was a visting Ph.D. student at University of Washington with Prof. Miguel Ortega-Vazquez. His research interests are in the fields of power systems economics, bilevel programming, and electricity markets.

Graduate Students

Ahlmahz Negash

Ahlmahz Negash is originally from Los Angeles and grew up in Adelanto, California. She first majored in chemistry and graduated from Victor Valley College in 1996. She returned to college, after a 10-year teaching career, and is currently a PhD Candidate in the Electrical Engineering Department at UW. Her research interests include renewable energy, integration of distributed generation, and the application of high performance computing to power system studies. She is currently collaborating with Alstom Grid on a distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) project. Ahlmahz is an active member the University of Washington Women's Initiative (UWWI) and student coordinator for Promoting Equity in Engineering Relationships (PEERs). She is also listed as a resource person for students applying for the NSF GRFP who need help with essays or the application process in general. Ahlmahz loves traveling, reading, eating chocolate, petting cats, and singing out loud and off-key (when nobody is watching, of course).

Yishen Wang

Yishen joined the REAL lab in Fall 2011 as a Ph.D. student. He received his B.Eng degree in Electrical Engineering from Tsinghua University. His undergraduate thesis focused on the analysis of different management modes of pumped storage units for the local grid and wind integration. His current research interests are using wind forecast to characterize the wind uncertainty considering various correlations and its application in integration studies. Yishen likes to find nice restaurants in the local area, and introduce them to his friends. In his spare time, he loves to spend his time in the sport field. Soccer and basketball are his favorite. In addition, he also enjoys relaxing with novels and movies.

Yury Dvorkin

Yury Dvorkin received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Moscow Power Engineering Institute (National Research University), Moscow, Russia, in 2010. Yury started his doctoral education at the University of Washington in 2010 and was with the Sensors, Energy, And Automation Lab until he joined Professor Kirschen in June 2011. Currently he is a Ph.D. Candidate and a Research Assistant at the REAL lab. Yury's research interests revolve around power system economics and flexibility. In his research Yury aims to optimally schedule resources in order to improve overall power system performance, which is currently being challenged by constantly growing uncertainties.

Ting Qiu

Ting Qiu received the B.S. degree in Control Science and Technology from Xi'an University of Technology in 2008 and the M.S. degree in System Engineering from Xi'an Jiaotong University in 2011. She is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering at University of Washington, Seattle. Her research interests include optimization algorithms and their applications in electric power system and market operation.

Mushfiq Sarker

Mushfiq Sarker received his B.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. He began his doctoral education at the University of Washington in Autumn of 2012 for the Renewable Energy Analysis Lab. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer and lacrosse. In addition, he enjoys watching movies.

Zeyu Wang

Zeyu joined the REAL lab in Fall 2012 as a Ph.D. candidate . He received his B.Eng degree in Electrical Engineering from Tsinghua University. His undergraduate thesis focused on generation expansion planning considering uncertainties and variabilities of wind power integration. His current research focuses on Distributed Generation Resources(DERs) in distribution level, their integration to distribution networks and economic benefits that DERs will provide. Zeyu loves sports. His hobbies range from cycling, jogging, swimming to team sports like basketball and soccer.

Jesus Elmer Contreras Ocana

Jesus Elmer Contreras Ocana joined the REAL Lab as a PhD student in the Fall of 2013. He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.A. in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin. He is currently working with Dr. Miguel Ortega-Vazquez in the project: "Assessment and enhancement the smart building's flexibility and responsiveness". Jesus enjoys running, concerts, traveling, and trying new foods.

Yushi Tan

Yushi received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He began his doctoral education at the fall of 2013 for the REAL lab. His hobbies includes badminton, volleyball, basketball.

Bolun Xu

Bolun Xu received his M.S. degree from Swiss Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) in 2014 and his B.S. degrees from Shanghai Jiaotong University and University of Michigan in 2011, all in Electrical Engineering. He joined REAL lab in fall 2014 as a PhD student. His master thesis focused on the optimization of Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in providing frequency controls considering the degradation of battery cells. His previous research experiences also include the grid level optimization of active demands, and increasing the share of wind and PV generations in power systems.

Abeer Almaimouni

Abeer Almaimouni is a PhD student from Kuwait. She obtained her BS degree from Kuwait University (KU) in 2007. She worked for Kuwait National Petroleum Company as an electrical maintenance engineer from 2008 to 2011. After that she was hired by KU, her current sponsor, as a scholar at EE department, KU. Her research interest revolves around power system expansion planning.

Pan Li

Pan Li received her M.S. degree and B.S degree from Xi'an Jiaotong Univerisity, China, in Systems Engineering and in Automation. She also received her dual M.S. degree(diplome d'ingenieur) from Ecole Centrale de Lille, France. She joined REAL lab in fall 2014 as a PhD student. Her research interests include demand response and energy efficiency. In her spare time Pan loves to paint and play Guzheng, a traditional Chinese instrument.

James Miller

James Miller joined the REAL Lab in Fall 2014 as a Masters student. He is originally from Absarokee Montana, and received his Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO in 2009. His research interests are related to power systems involving electric vehicles and renewable energy integration. In his spare time, James enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, scuba diving and flying.

Kelly Kozdras

Kelly Kozdras received her BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1999. Before returning to school, she worked for several years in electrical design and construction support of transportation and building infrastructure projects. She joined the REAL Lab in 2014 as a master's student. Her research relates to operation of small hydropower plants as a microgrid. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys traveling, surfing and other sports, as well as spending time with family and friends.

Daniel Olsen

Daniel Olsen graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Electric Power Engineering. Before coming to the University of Washington, he worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for 3 years. His interests include demand response, load modeling, and industrial energy management.

Current Visitors

The list of the past visitors is located here.

Marcel Chuma Cerbantes

Marcel Chuma Cerbantes received his degree in Electrical Engineering from Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Ilha Solteira, Brazil, in 2010. He received his MSc with UNESP in 2012. He is currently pursuing the PhD degree with UNESP. Marcel is currently a 12 months visiting student at UWEE working with Dr. Miguel Ortega-Vazquez. His research interests are in the fields of planning and operation of distribution networks, power systems economics, renewable resources, metaheuristics, and smart grids.

Yang Wang

Yang Wang received the B.E. degree in electrical engineering from Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China, in 2011, now he is pursuing the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering of Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. He was a visiting Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA, during the 2014-2015 academic year. His research interest includes maintenance scheduling and unit commitment.



Dr. Hrvoje Pandzic (2014)

Hrvoje Pandzic was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Washington in period 2012-2014. He was working on the project Energy Positioning: Control and Economics. Hrvoje is now an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing University of Zagreb. His fields of interest include integration of renewable energy sources, unit commitment models, energy markets, power system planning and analysis, and integration of electric vehicles and storage systems. More info is available here.

Dr. Pierre Henneaux (2014)

Pierre Henneaux started his post doctoral research at the University of Washington in October 2013. Pierre received his Masters and PhD degrees with the Universite libre de Bruxelles in 2009 and 2013, respectively. His fields of interest include probabilistic risk analysis of power systems and blackout probabilistic risk analysis. He is a member of IEEE.

Master's students

Ryan Elliott (2011)

Ryan Elliott received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2009 and 2012 respectively. He performed research in the Renewable Energy Analysis Lab in 2012 on the security-constrained optimal power flow problem. His work focused on understanding non-classical methods for decomposing locational marginal prices.

After attaining his M.S. degree, Ryan went on to pursue a career in the Energy Storage and Transmission Analysis Group at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work at Sandia ranges from studying the technical and economic viability of energy storage deployments to analyzing the impact of increasing renewable energy penetration through transient stability analysis. More information

In his free time Ryan enjoys cooking, reading for pleasure, and listening to jazz (particularly in concert).

Tsz-Kin (Marco) Au (2011)

Tsz-Kin (Marco) Au received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2010. He joined the Computational Intelligence Applications (CIA) Laboratory in his senior year as an undergraduate researcher, focused on wind energy integration. In 2010, Marco started his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, focused on power system and renewable energy. His master thesis focused on the impact of plug-in electric vehicles to the distribution networks. Marco was one of the course developers for the Northwest Workforce Training on Smart Grid Program. In addition, Marco was a teaching assistant for some power system courses and was nominated to the Teaching Award of the College of Engineering (2010, 2011) and the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award of the Electrical Engineering Department (2012). Marco likes soccer, hiking, camping, photography and traveling. He also likes to work on fun project with K-12 students who are interested in science and engineering. More information

Thesis description: The demand for plug-in electric vehicles has grown rapidly in recent years due to lower operation costs and lower emissions in comparison to conventional, gas-powered vehicles. Despite these benefits, it is essential for utilities to investigate the impact of plug-in electric vehicles in order to protect utility system components, especially distribution level networks. Since the operation, plugging timing and energy consumption of these vehicles is subject to uncertainty; we must resort to use probabilistic tools. As a consequence a natural way to investigate the impact of plug-in electric vehicles on distribution networks is by means of Monte Carlo simulations. Since it is of paramount importance to set up scenarios as realistically as possible; therefore in this study, a set of real driving behavior data for 34,000 drivers is used. The investigation considers two different types of distribution loads - commercial area loads, and residential area loads, as well as different types of charging behaviors such as charge-at-home-only and charge-at-work-and-home.

Drew LaQua (2015)

Drew LaQua received his B.A. degree in Mathematics and Chemistry from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN in the spring of 2013. In the autumn of 2013, he joined the REAL lab as a graduate student in pursuit of a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering. In his free time he enjoys reading, cooking, snowboarding, and cycling.

Thesis description: Introduced a method for the incorporation of capacity fade costs into the determination of the charge/discharge schedule via convex optimization for a lithium-ion battery providing energy and reserve services.

Rebecca Breiding (2015)

Rebecca Breiding graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2004. Her research interests focus on decreasing the time spent repairing the electrical grid after a natural disaster. Enjoy swimming, the outdoors, and spending time with family.

Agustina Gonzalez (2015)

Agustina Gonzalez joined the REAL Lab in Fall 2013 as a Masters student. She is from Rosario, Argentina, and received her Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering with concentration on Power Systems from the Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Rosario, Argentina, in 2012. Her research interests are related to power systems, electrical market operations, dispatch and control. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, getting to know new places and meeting people.