Student Industry/Faculty Session Panelists


Alexander J. Flueck - Moderator

Dr. Flueck joined the faculty of Illinois Institute of Technology in 1996. He currently serves as Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering with a focus on power system operations, planning, reliability and stability, as well as hands-on engineering design. Dr. Flueck's research group has completed several transformational projects, including the following funded by the US Department of Energy: 1) A High Fidelity Faster than Real-Time Simulator for Predicting Power System Dynamics Behavior, 2) Protection and Dynamic Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis of Cascading Failures, and 3) A Tool Suite For Improving Grid Performance and Reliability of Combined Transmission-Distribution with High Solar Penetration. Dr. Flueck is a member of the Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research, a member of the Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation, and a senior member of the IEEE. He attended his first IEEE PES meeting, as an undergraduate student from Cornell University, in 1990 (Atlanta, Winter Meeting). He is excited to serve as moderator for the Student Industry/Faculty Panel Session.


Manar El-Fashny

Manar El-Fashny is an Electrical engineer who graduated from McGill University in 2010, with a specialization in Power Engineering from the IGEE Institute (Institut en génie de l’énergie électrique). She worked for 6 years in electrical distribution design for a consulting firm, for various clients mostly in the mining, metals and industrial fields. Since 2016, she has been working at Hydro-Québec as a project engineer, overseeing and coordinating various projects to refurbish, update and build new power substations. She is also currently working part-time on a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering (Renewable Energy) at the École de technologie Supérieure (ETS).



Chunyan Lai

Chunyan Lai received the B.S. degree in Engineering from Sun Yat-sen University, China, in 2010, the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Windsor, Canada, in 2017. She was as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Windsor, Canada from 2017 to 2018. Currently, she is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Concordia University, Canada. Her research areas include electric machine drives and controls, power electronics, electric vehicles, battery charging and renewable energy.




Majid Pahlevani

Dr. Pahlevani received his Ph.D. degree from Queens University, Kingston, ON, Canada, in 2012. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Queen’s University. Prior to Queen’s, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada, from 2016 to 2019. He was also the Chief R&D Engineer and then the VP of Technology with SPARQ Systems, Inc., from 2011 to 2016. At SPARQ, he invented multiple innovative power circuitry and digital control techniques for SPARQ’s main product, QUAD micro-inverter. He collaborated with Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., where he was the Leader of a research team working on the design and implementation of the power converters for a pure electric vehicle from 2008 to 2011. He has conducted more than 20 industrial projects in renewable energy systems, energy storage systems, electric vehicles, and LED lighting. He has authored more than 150 journal and conference proceeding papers and is the holder of 50 U.S. patents (issued/pending).

Dr. Pahlevani is the Associate Editor of the IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics and a Member of the IEEE Power Electronics Society. He is also the recipient of numerous awards such as the “Early Research Excellence” Award form Alberta, Canada, “Research Achievement Award” and “Teaching Achievement Award” from the University of Calgary, “Engineering and Applied Sciences Outstanding Thesis” Award from Queens University, Kingston, ON, Canada, “Research Excellence Award” from IEEE Canada, and “Distinguished Research Award” from the University of Calgary.



Syed Qaseem Ali

Syed Qaseem Ali got his B. Engg. Degree from NED University of Technology, Karachi and his MS in Electrical Engineering Power and Control from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago in 2010. He obtained his PhD in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in the area of integrated battery charger design for electric vehicles in 2018. He joined OPAL RT Technologies in the January 2017 and currently is a lead simulation expert for the Distribution and Generation team in the Application eXpertise and Electrical Simulation (AXES) division.Before joining McGill he worked as a Research Engineer at King Saud University, Riyadh. His current research interests include microgrid controls, DER integration, and power electronic converters for renewable energy applications. He has been an IEEE member for the past nine years and has served as the chapter chair and vice chapter chair for the for the IEEE PELS, and IAS Montreal section chapters respectively.