Office of Electricity

Two Cutting-Edge Researchers Earn 2019 PECASE for Critical Contributions to Power Systems Reliability

July 25, 2019

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The Office of Electricity (OE) is celebrating it's nominees selected for the prestigious 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Dr. Kevin Schneider of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Dr. Victor Zavala formerly of the Argonne National Laboratory and now with the University of Wisconsin-Madison received their awards at a ceremony today in Washington, D.C.

Since 1996, the PECASE has been the highest honor given by the U.S. Government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology. This year there were 39 awardees from the Department of Energy (DOE).

Dr. Schneider was selected for significant contributions to OE-sponsored modeling of prototypical distribution feeders to enable the analysis of smart grid technologies and the SPIDERS Operational Evaluation, a joint DOE, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security micro grid program. He has provided extraordinary insights in the areas of software architecture, distribution system model development, and cybersecurity. He was instrumental in the development of the concepts behind the Advanced Distribution Management System approach that will transform and simplify distribution monitoring and control across the electric utility system and revolutionize the marketplace for utility control solutions.

Dr. Victor Zavala, formerly of the Argonne National Laboratory and now with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was selected for significant contributions to the field of computational strategies applied to advanced control of power systems, which was sponsored by OE’s Advanced Grid Modeling Program in conjunction with the Office of Science. He has been instrumental in the formulation of innovative mathematical optimization models for improved control and system design. These modeling capabilities capture the interplay between the economic and the physical behavior of the electric power system, and manage multiple conflicting objectives, multiple spatial and temporal scales, and high levels of uncertainty. This understanding is extremely important as more distributed energy resources, including renewables, are integrated into the broader electrical power network.

The work of these extremely talented scientists is significant to OE’s efforts to research and develop innovative technologies to improve U.S. energy security and resilience. To learn more about the work being done by our office, please visit,