Technical Committee

Jim  McDowall

Jim McDowall, Senior Technical Advisor, Transportation, Telecom & Grid Division

Saft America, Inc.

BATTCON TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEMBER Jim McDowall has worked in the battery industry since 1977 and is currently in the position of Senior Technical Advisor with Saft, primarily associated with grid systems. Involved in the energy storage market since 1998, Jim was a Director of the Energy Storage Association for 14 years and is a past Chair of the organization. Jim is a Senior Member of IEEE and is Standards Coordinator of the IEEE Stationary Battery Committee, the Chair of two of its working groups, and a past Chair of the main committee. Jim is a frequent speaker at energy storage conferences and related events.

Mike   Nispel

Mike Nispel, Director of Catalyst Products

Philadelphia Scientific

BATTCON TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEMBER Mike Nispel has been in the industrial battery field for over 30 years and has worked for major battery manufacturers in varied aspects of battery manufacturing, engineering and marketing. He has experience in lead-acid and lithium batteries as well as the related fields of grid storage, renewables and battery monitoring. He holds a BS and an MS degree in Chemical Engineering and is an active member in the IEEE/PES Battery Standards Committee.

Kurt  Uhlir

Kurt Uhlir, Senior Technical Advisor

Standby Power System Consultants, Inc. a division of HM Cragg Co.

BATTCON TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEMBER Kurt Uhlir, was the previous owner and president of Standby Power System Consultants, Inc. until acquired by HM Cragg Co. in May 2017. Kurt now serves as Senior Technical Advisor for the Company. He received a BS in Electrical Engineering and Technology from Southern Illinois University in 1981. For the past 38 years, he has specialized in stationary battery, DC power system and energy storage design, installation, maintenance and testing for electric utility, communications, industrial, mission critical sites, and renewable energy applications. At Commonwealth Edison Company (Exelon Corporation) in Chicago from 1981 to 2001, Kurt held the position of Stationary Battery and DC Auxiliary Power System Technical Expert for the Nuclear Generation Division and Transmission and Distribution Division. He is a senior member of the IEEE, has been an active member of the IEEE PES Energy Storage and Stationary Battery Committee (ESSB) since 1988, is the past Chair of the ESSB -Stationary Battery & Electrochemical Energy Subcommittee, and has been on the Battcon Technical Committee since 2004.

Lesley  Varga

Lesley Varga, President

Quality Standby Services, LLC

BATTCON TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEMBER Lesley Varga has been in the standby power industry for over 30 years. She is founder and president of Quality Standby Services. Her company provides engineer, furnish and install services (EF&I), including the application of equipment to site specific requirements, system design, project management, installation and maintenance services, and system load testing. Lesley has a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Professional Engineering license in Georgia and is an active member of the IEEE PES Energy Storage and Stationary Battery Committee.

Brian  Zimmerman

Brian Zimmerman, Manager, Technical Support Engineering, Reserve Power Division

East Penn Manufacturing

BATTCON TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEMBER Brian has been with East Penn Manufacturing for 15 years and currently serves as the manager for their engineering technical support group in the Reserve Power division. He has a BS degree in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University. He is a member of the Battcon Technical Committee, has participated in the IEEE Stationary Battery Committee and presented at the 7x24 Exchange data center conference.

Tom  Carpenter

Tom Carpenter, Senior Program Manager, NERC/SERC Reliability, Nuclear Power Group

Tennessee Valley Authority

BATTCON TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEMBER Tom Carpenter oversees the TVA's Nuclear Power Group's compliance with NERC/SERC reliability standards. He has over 30 years' experience in the electrical power industry and is a Senior Member of the IEEE, including membership in the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) and IEEE Standards Association (SA). Tom has a BSEE and is a licensed electrician and licensed professional engineer. He serves as the treasurer of the IEEE Energy Storage & Stationary Battery Committee, is a former Principal Member of the NFPA 70E Technical Committee, and is a certified high and low voltage electrical safety trainer.

Curtis   Ashton

Curtis Ashton, Director of Training

American Power Systems (an EastPenn DC services subsidiary)

BATTCON TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEMBER Curtis has 27+ years of experience in the battery/power industry. He has been involved with Battcon for about 2/3 of that time. In addition, he served a term on IEEE RevCom, is the former vice-chair of ATIS-STEP, the former vice-president of the IEEE PELS Intelec Executive Committee (TC7), and is the present IEEE PES ESSB chair. He is also an NFPA member, and has a patent to his name dealing with line-powering of fiber networks. He has been published numerous times in many publications, and has presented at many conferences, along with being a primary author of a few IEEE standards. 

J. Allen   Byrne

J. Allen Byrne, Consultant

Brass Tacks Power System Advisors

BATTCON TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEMBER (Emeritus) Allen is a 40-year veteran of the battery-backed power industry. He has worked in all aspects of the field, including DC power systems, UPS, and batteries. Allen is one of the initiators and founders of Battcon and has acted as co-chair and moderator for 17 years. He has contributed to IEEE, ATIS, BICSI, NFPA and other code and standards setting bodies. Allen has had numerous articles and technical papers published in industry magazines and journals and has presented many times at national and international conferences. For several years, he was a contributing editor for Power Quality Assurance Magazine. He is the original author of the Power Distribution chapter of the Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual published by BICSI. Allen is a Senior Member of the IEEE and is honored to be a member of the Battcon Hall of Fame. 

John   Kim

John Kim, Director of Utility market


BATTCON TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEMBER John Kim has been in the battery industry for 30 plus years. Currently, John is a Director of Utility Market at EnerSys. He has written numerous papers and presented at many industry-related conferences including Battcon, Doble, Eurobat, Intelec, Infobatt, and IEEE chapter meetings. His battery background includes Engineering (technical support, R&D, project management, and manufacturing), Sales, and Technical Marketing. He is also knowledgeable in battery selection, specification writing, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

Dan   Lambert

Dan Lambert, Product Manager, Data Center Solutions


BATTCON TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEMBER Dan Lambert has over 30 years of commercial and industrial electrical experience. He has worked with AC and DC power systems since 1983, installing, maintaining and repairing UPS and rectifier systems with a primary focus on mission-critical power systems. Dan has experience in the Electrical industry from the perspectives of a Certified Journeyman Electrician, a Critical Systems Service Technician, a Global Service Manager, a Systems Engineer, and as a Product Manager. Installing, maintaining and testing stationary battery systems since 1985, Dan has worked with many of the commercially available battery chemistries, and has extensive experience with battery monitoring and fault detection. He has contributed to large scale energy storage analysis projects, and has investigated mechanical and electrical energy storage systems, as well as various chemical storage systems. Dan is currently a member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society and serves as the chairperson for the IEEE Energy Storage and Stationary Battery Committee’s IEEE 1491 Battery Monitoring Working Group. He has been a presenter and discussion panel member at the Battcon International Stationary Battery Conference in the past, as well as contributed to several other battery related conferences. 

Bill   Cantor

Bill Cantor, Vice President Technology


BATTCON TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEMBER William (Bill) Cantor is the Vice President of Technology for TPI. He has earned a BS degree from Pennsylvania State University and an MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Bill has 26 years of experience in the battery industry. He was inducted into the Battcon Hall of Fame in 2014. Additionally, Mr. Cantor has been the chair of the IEEE 1188 working group since 1995 and is a member of the IEEE ESSB Committee of the Power and Energy Society since 1992. He is also the past Chair of this organization and a member of SCC-18, where he represents IEEE on NFPA 70, NFPA 70B and NFPA 855 technical committees. He is also a Assistant Teaching Professor in the Information Sciences and Technology Department at Pennsylvania State University and is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE).