Technical Committee


Battcon recognizes the following distinguished Technical Committee members who have made valuable contributions of time and effort towards making the conference a success.

Curtis Ashton, Senior Lead Power Technical Support Engineer, CenturyLink

Curtis has 25 years of experience in telecom power and has been published numerous times. He is a former Battcon Battery Person of the Year, former vice-chair of ATIS-STEP, member of the Intelec Executive Committee, and presently vice chair of IEEE PES ESSB. Outside of work, his interests include Spanish, Scouting, and refereeing basketball and soccer games.

J. Allen Byrne, Consultant, Brass Tacks Power System Advisors

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.

Bill Cantor, Engineer, TPI

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 John Hopkins University. Bill has 25 years of experience in the battery industry. He has authored / co-authored six INTELEC papers and was induced 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 Stationary Battery Technical 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 and NFPA 70B technical committees. He is also a Senior Instructor in the Information Sciences and Technology Department at Pennsylvania State University and is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE).

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

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.

Garth P. Corey, Consultant, Energy Storage Systems (Retired)

In November, 2006, Garth retired from Sandia National Laboratories as a Principal Member of the Technical Staff, working in the US DOE Energy Storage Systems Program. During his tenure, he developed broad expertise in utility scale energy storage devices and was responsible for many R&D activities. He managed projects that span the utility scale energy storage arena that include flywheels, ultracapacitor systems, sodium sulfur, nickel cadmium, lead acid, (including advanced lead-acid technologies), flow batteries (plating and redox), and Li Ion batteries. Since retirement, he has been a consultant to companies bringing new energy storage technologies and systems through R&D to commercialization. As a Consultant, at Energy Storage Systems, Garth has become a recognized subject matter expert in utility scale energy storage applications and systems and frequently provides expert advice on emerging energy storage systems and energy storage device development and deployment. He is now considering full retirement and is looking forward to some idle time.

Jim McDowall, Business Development Manager, Transportation, Telecom & Grid Division, Saft America, Inc.

Jim McDowall has worked in the battery industry since 1977 and is currently Business Development Manager 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, Director of Technical Services, Quality Standby Services, LLC

Mike Nispel has been in the industrial battery field for 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 a frequent, invited speaker on industrial battery technologies. He is an active member in the IEEE/PES Battery Standards Committee.

Kurt Uhlir, President, Standby Power System Consultants, Inc.

Kurt Uhlir, founder, principal owner and President of Standby Power System Consultants, Inc. received a BS in Electrical Engineering and Technology from Southern Illinois University in 1981. For the past 36 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 member of the IEEE, has been an active member of the IEEE PES Energy Storage and Stationary Battery Committee (ESSB) since 1988, and is the current Chair of the ESSB Stationary Battery & Electrochemical Energy Subcommittee. He has been on the Battcon Technical Committee since 2004.

Lesley Varga, President, Quality Standby Services, LLC

Lesley Varga has been in the standby power industry for over 25 years. Lesley’s primary job functions include specifying standby power equipment for telecom, switchgear and control, and UPS applications. Her company provides engineering, furnishing and installation services, 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 Stationary Battery Committee.