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avatar for Dr. Erfan Ibrahim

Dr. Erfan Ibrahim

National Renewable Energy Lab
Director, Cyber-Physical Systems Security & Resilience

Erfan Ibrahim is a well-known engineer, speaker, and executive who is widely recognized as a smart energy thought leader. Erfan has over 27 years of experience in the Energy, Telecommunications and Software industries with specialties in cybersecurity, data communications, wireless networking, network management, smart energy networks, standards development, product management, business development, and entrepreneurship. 

Erfan is currently serving as the Director of Cyber-Physical Systems Security & Resilience at the National Renewable Energy Lab.  In this cross-cutting role Erfan is collaborating across NREL’s Science & Technology programs as well as other national labs, State & Federal Agencies, utilities, vendors, academia, integrators and individual subject matter experts to develop cyber-physical systems security testing methodologies and resilience best practices that will enable the safe and reliable integration of large scale Distributed Energy Resources onto the nation’s electric grid.

During 2014 Erfan served as a consultant for CMG Consulting LLC collaborating with his colleagues to write whitepapers and respond to Request for Proposals from utilities and State agencies.  During 2013 - 2014 Erfan served as the Chief Scientist and Strategic Innovations Director for the GridSTAR project at Penn State University.  GridSTAR was a $10 million DoE funded project that Penn State led for workforce development and education in the electric sector.  GridSTAR is based at the Philadelphia Navy Yard with a Micro Grid testing facility connected to an unregulated grid that has a Smart Home, Electric Storage, Electric Vehicle charging station and solar panels. During 2012 – 2014 Erfan served as the Energy Lead for Scitor Corporation building relationships with utilities, vendors, State & Federal Agencies, national labs and academia.

Erfan established the Smart Grid Educational Series in January 2012 through his consulting company, The Bit Bazaar LLC. This forum offers monthly seminars and webinars on a wide variety of topics in Smart Grid, Clean Tech and Energy Efficiency.  Leading experts in the industry have presented over the past 3 years.  The audience has grown to over 2700 people across 10+ countries.

During 2008 – 2011 Erfan served as a Technical Executive in the Intelligrid program area of the Power Delivery & Utilization Sector of EPRI, where he led the research on the communications, systems management and cyber security infrastructure for the utility Smart Grid with particular emphasis on Demand Response, Home Area Networks, Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Smart Energy Profile, OpenADR and Internet based Wide Area Networking for customer premise integration.

Prior to his consulting days and EPRI, Erfan held the titles of VP of Sales & Marketing at Jyra Research, Product Manager for Network Management at Pacific Bell Network Integration (now AT&T), Science and Math Lecturer at National University, Nuclear Fusion Research Engineer at UCLA and Plasma Physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

Erfan received a Ph. D. in Nuclear Engineering from University of California Berkeley, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas Austin and a B.S. Honors in Physics from Syracuse University (Suma Cum Laude).

Erfan is a Phi Beta Kappa, a Tau Beta Pi, Who’s Who amongst American Colleges & Universities and Who’s Who amongst IT professionals.  He is a frequent public speaker in Electric Sector conferences and workshops on Smart Grid globally and has participated in International Toastmasters as a Competent Communicator since 1996.