CRN Staff

Staff

  • Robbin Christianson, Director, CRN Program Operations & Business Management

    Robbin Christianson, Senior Director, CRN Program Operations & Business Management Robbin Christianson is Senior Director of Operations for NRECA’s Cooperative Research Network (CRN), serving as the CRN team lead.  She recruited the project team and a coalition of 23 co-ops participating in the $68 million CRN Smart Grid Demonstration Program with the Department of Energy and 23 electric cooperatives.  CRN's Demonstration is producing nearly a dozen studies, improvements in cyber security and MultiSpeak® integration and a unique cost- benefit tool to evaluate investments in grid technologies. 

    CRN has a portfolio of over 40 active projects. It recently conducted two multi-pollutant control demonstrations at coal plants.  This work received support valued at just under $1 million from NRECA Generation and Transmission Cooperatives, Tennessee Valley Authority, a Canadian utility and industry partners. CRN has additional federal projects with the Department of Energy developing an innovative cyber security tool, creating tools and processes for installation of utility-scale solar PV, producing online training to assist co-op staff in the integration of renewables, and continuing development of CRN’s grid analytics tool, the Open Modeling Framework. The program in 2013 was awarded an additional $10.5 million in research funding. 

    Previously, Robbin headed her own consulting firm in Alexandria, Va., and worked for a decade for CRN providing business process improvement, communications planning and technology reporting. She wrote a twice monthly technology column for Electric Co-op Today, and reported on utility issues for Public Utilities Fortnightly's Energy Customer Management, Chartwell publications, and for the Edison Electric Institute's daily news briefing. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, and an additional 12 years of experience in commercial and association publishing. Contact Robbin at Robbin.Christianson@nreca.coop

  • Abigail Bell, MPA, Program Coordinator

    Abigail Bell, MPA, Program Coordinator  Abigail provides advanced administrative support to the CRN team, including project management and advisor communications. Abigail came to CRN from The Ohio State University, where she worked in the Office of the Vice President for Research, managing a program to promote faculty research both nationally and internationally.  Prior to that, she was a program manager at the Partnership for Public Service, where she oversaw the administration of a leadership development program for federal managers. Abigail holds an MPA from Ohio State and a BS from Xavier University. Contact Abigail at Abigail.Bell@nreca.coop.

  • Andrew Cotter, Program Manager

    Andrew Cotter, Program Manager Andrew manages the delivery of CRN projects in the Renewable & Distributed Energy areas. Andrew came to CRN from the Technology Transition Corporation in Washington, DC, where he coordinated projects in renewable energy and worked with hydrogen energy clients.  Andrew holds a Journalism and Mass Communications degree from UNC Chapel Hill. Contact Andrew at Andrew.Cotter@nreca.coop.

  • Maurice Martin, Program Manager

    Maurice Martin, Program ManagerMaurice manages the delivery of CRN projects in the areas of Smarter Grid and Transmission & Substation Assets. His portfolio of projects includes cyber security, telecommunications, data analytics, smart wire devices, and superhydrophobic coatings.   Maurice came to CRN in 2008 from the Society for Technical Communication, where he served as director of communication and editor of Intercom, a magazine devoted to improving the art and science of technical writing and editing. He has written for Washington Post, Wired magazine, and Washington Business Journal. He holds degrees in electrical engineering and systems science from Louisiana State University. Contact Maurice at Maurice.Martin@nreca.coop.

  • Craig Miller, Chief Scientist

    Craig Miller, NRECA Chief Scientist Craig Miller has 30 years of very diverse experience in the development and commercialization of advanced technology. He holds a doctorate in energy systems engineering from the University of Virginia. His work in energy began with the National Energy Plan, including extensive work on energy systems in developing countries, and continues with his management of a $68 million smart grid technology project spanning 10 states. He has deep experience with environmental technology, ranging from the development of emissions monitoring equipment to the intense cultivation of algae for CO2 capture. As with any modern engineering, much of his work addressed the software side of the technology. In 1997, he was awarded a gold medal by the Smithsonian Institution for “heroic achievement in the advancement of information technology.” He has served as the chief technical officer of several companies, both publicly traded and private, and as chief scientist of a multi-billion dollar integration firm. He is an accomplished inventor and entrepreneur, with experience in several successful start-ups. Contact Craig at craig.miller@nreca.coop

  • Peter Muhoro, Ph.D., Project Advisor

    Peter Muhoro, Ph.D., Project Advisor  Peter works in renewables, generation and environment areas of research at CRN. He provides both technical and project management support. Peter is also responsible for ensuring that projects are in compliance, meet budgets, meet the technical requirements and are delivered on time. Prior to NRECA, Peter was a program manager at the American Physical Society where led a team in developing a program that sought out fundamental issues in the lack of advancement of underrepresented minorities in physics while providing short- and long-term feasible solutions in addressing the questions. Peter holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics with a dissertation in Energy Policy from the University of Michigan. Contact Peter at: Peter.Muhoro@nreca.coop.

  • Debra Roepke, Alliance and Development Manager, CRN

    Debra Roepke, Alliance and Development Manager, CRN Debra is responsible for the development and management of grant funds and in-kind support for CRN’s research portfolio.  In this capacity, she focuses on building coalitions of cooperatives, subject matter experts and project partners; and strengthening alliances with national laboratories, industry suppliers and universities.  Debra has extensive experiences in strategic alliances for the service of consumers, as she founded and grew one of the most effective and efficient charities in the DC region, Computer C.O.R.E.  Prior to this, Deb specialized in IT and research analysis for the US Navy and Marine Corps.  She has a degree in Biology from Macalester, a Masters in Science, Technology and Public Policy from GWU, and a Master Certificate in Six Sigma from Villanova.  Contact Debra at:  Debra.Roepke@nreca.coop

  • Brian Sloboda, Senior Program Manager

    Brian Sloboda, Senior Program ManagerBrian manages the delivery of CRN projects in the Energy Innovations and Distribution Operation Best Practices research areas. Brian is responsible for the day-to-day management of CRN research regarding energy efficiency, demand response and electric distribution & operations. Brian has been at NRECA for 15 years, and prior to joining CRN, worked in NRECA’s Education and Training Department.  He has degrees in political science and speech communication from Fairmont State College.  Contact Brian at Brian.Sloboda@nreca.coop

  • Thomas Kirk, Technical Research Analyst

    Thomas Kirk, Technical Research AnalystThomas supports Renewable and Consumer Energy projects providing technical and project management support.  Thomas joined CRN in 2012 as an intern and came aboard full-time following his graduation from college.  Prior to NRECA, he worked a series of part-time jobs in outdoor recreation and as a GIS consultant.  Thomas has a Bachelor of Science in Geographic Science from James Madison University.   Contact Thomas at Thomas.Kirk@nreca.coop.

  • George Walker, Technical Research Analyst

    George Walker is Technical Research Analyst  for the Cooperative Research Network.  He was brought on in 2010 to help administer the CRN-DOE Smart Grid Demonstration Project, and since then, his responsibilities have grown to include technical reviews of CRN products, research studies and grant writing.  Before joining CRN, George worked on photobioreactor analysis and design for an algal biofuels firm.  Contact George at George.Walker-contractor@nreca.coop.


Consultants

  • Dale Bradshaw, Technical Liaison Consultant to NRECA, Generation, Fuels and Environment

    Dale Bradshaw, Technical Liaison Consultant to NRECA, Generation, Fuels and Environment Dale is CRN's technical liaison and consultant for the Generation, Fuels and Environment research area, currently leading the Multi-Pollutant Control demonstration to investigate new technologies for high removal, low cost emissions control, investigating technologies that can convert CO2 into useful fuels and chemicals, convert coal ash into useful products, improve coal plant efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, and improve reliability and reduce cost of coal-fired power plants and natural gas-fired combined cycle units that are forced to respond to the cyclic demands of renewable generation. He is also an expert in energy storage and advanced transmission technologies. He formerly served on a CRN task force during his employment with the Tennessee Valley Authority. In his 29 years at TVA, Dale was the senior manager for TVA's power delivery technologies and the senior manager for fossil research and development. Two of Dale's projects won R&D 100 awards. He also worked in TVA's planning and nuclear power programs, and was a generation planner at Public Service of New Mexico. Dale has also consulted with the California Energy commission to define their transmission research and development program, the Department of Energy on high temperature superconductivity, is the Chief Technical Officer for advanced clean coal technology, and is the Director of Marketing for V&R energy systems research. Contact Dale at Dale.Bradshaw-contractor@nreca.coop or dtbradshaw@electrivation.com.

  • Paul Carroll, Technical Liaison and Consultant to NRECA, Smart Grid

    Paul Carroll, Technical Liaison and Consultant to NRECA, Smart GridPaul is the Project Coordinator for the DOE/NRECA Smart Grid Research Grant at NRECA and head of the Smart Grid Deployment team, providing technical and project management oversight as well as coordination with the 23 co-op members that are part of this research grant.  Paul has a diverse technology background, with more than 20 years of technology management and development in both the commercial and government sectors. He holds a MBA from the University of Maryland, a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Catholic University, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Georgetown University.  Contact Paul at Paul.Carroll-contractor@NRECA.coop.

  • Douglas Danley, Technical Liaison and Consultant to NRECA, Renewable and Distributed Energy

    Douglas Danley, Technical Liaison and Consultant to NRECA, Renewable and Distributed Energy Doug manages the delivery of CRN projects in the Renewable and Distributed Energy area, through which research is underway regarding innovative technologies for solar, renewable distributed generation, energy storage, and advanced power electronics. He is also the Project Manager for CRN’s  SUNDA project, which is working with the DOE SunShot program and fifteen co-ops around the country to accelerate the deployment of utility-scale, utility-owned PV systems.  Doug brings more than thirty years of experience in renewable energy, energy storage, technology development, and international project management to the CRN team.  He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from MIT.  Contact Doug at Doug.Danley-contractor@nreca.coop.

  • Maureen Gatti, Consultant to NRECA, CRN Outreach Manager and Editor

    Maureen Gatti, Consultant to NRECA, CRN Outreach and Technical Reporting Maureen is responsible for the development and production of CRN’s technical reports, TechSurveillance.  This reporting provides valuable assessments, insights, and guidance regarding industry technology developments and trends. Previously, Maureen has also provided expertise and management regarding CRN website presence, branding, presentation and collateral materials, and updates for CRN Advisors and the NRECA Board.  She joins CRN after a 15-year tenure with Nation Grid, where she held various positions in project management, marketing, communications, and consulting on industry restructuring, and was the Assistant to the President. She holds a MBA in Marketing from Bentley College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the College of the Holy Cross.  Contact Maureen at Maureen.Gatti-contractor@nreca.coop.

  • Tom Lovas, Technical Liaison and Consultant to NRECA, Transmission and Substation Assets

    Tom Lovas, Technical Liaison and Consultant to NRECA, Transmission and Substation Assets Tom is the research coordinator and technical liaison for Transmission & Substation Assets and provides technical support for a wide variety of CRN research activities, including the Next Generation Networks program and Substation of the Future.  A former chair of the CRN Power Supply Task Force, for over two decades Tom has been a contributor to a wide range of CRN research projects. Tom served as the Principal Investigator for the Smart Grid Demonstration Project, and coordinated the fuel cell demonstration awarded by EPRI for Technology Achievement. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Utility Economics from Washington State University and has served in multiple planning, operating and executive positions at electric utilities in California, Montana and Alaska.  An MIP graduate with over 40 years of electric power systems experience, he provides expertise in regulatory policy, strategic planning, utility economics, generation, transmission and distribution system development, and new technology applications.  Contact Tom at Tom.Lovas-contractor@nreca.coop.

  • David Pinney, Technical Liaison and Consultant to NRECA, OMF

    David Pinney, Technical Liaison and Consultant to NRECA, OMFDavid is the engineering lead for CRN's power systems modeling project, the Open Modeling Framework.  He designs and builds mathematical models of grid technology with an emphasis on cost-effectiveness of smart grid investments. Prior to joining CRN, David led consulting engagements for software and data mining company MicroStrategy and built biological models at the UCLA Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics. His degree is in mathematics from Cornell University.  Contact David at David.Pinney@nreca.coop.