March 5, 2024

Wei Du Named Interim Co-Director of the Advanced Grid Institute

Du will lead one of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Washington State University’s joint institutes

Man wearing glasses with dark sports jacket, white shirt, and multi-colored tie.

Wei Du, electrical engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, now serves as interim co-director of the Advanced Grid Institute. 

(Photo by Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) 

The Advanced Grid Institute (AGI) appointed Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Electrical Engineer Wei Du as an interim co-director. The PNNL-Washington State University (WSU) joint institute makes this announcement as co-director Jeff Dagle undertakes a temporary assignment for the Department of Energy (DOE).

“With a demonstrated track record of providing thought leadership to the Department of Energy and building programs and partnerships that benefit all stakeholders, Wei is ideally suited to grow new programs and capabilities that drive our collective Institute strategy to deliver regional and national impact,” said Jud Virden, associate laboratory director for Energy and Environment at PNNL. “He is an open-minded and creative collaborator with a solid record of publication and a strong commitment to partnering with WSU.”

The joint institute, which assembles scientists, faculty, and students, is creating and implementing a national-scale simulation platform and data framework to enable advanced grid controls and operations for complex power systems of the future.

“I am thrilled to join the Advanced Grid Institute and work with Anamika Dubey to develop innovative research collaborations by bringing together the extraordinary strengths and capabilities of both PNNL and WSU,” said Du. “I look forward to continuing to bring the resources of a national laboratory to WSU students in support of developing the skills needed for them to become the next generation of power system engineers—ready for a decarbonized power grid.”

Researchers at AGI are working to meet emerging industry requirements while delivering scientific and engineering results that would not be possible by either institution acting alone.

AGI Co-Director Anamika Dubey said, “I am excited to work closely with Wei Du and cultivate meaningful collaborations. Wei's demonstrated expertise in power systems research and success in leading research partnerships highlights the importance of his new role at AGI. I am honored to welcome him as the new co-director, and I am confident that his leadership will strengthen our collaborative efforts and drive transformative advancements.”

Du brings valuable experience to AGI, including working with industry partners and with DOE clients.  

One of his major accomplishments was leading the development of a grid-forming inverter model called REGFM_A1. The REGFM_A1 model was designed to allow utility operators to test how to safely add new inverter-based resources, or renewable power sources like wind and solar, to the electric grid.

It was recently adopted by the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), a non-profit corporation that assures reliable electricity in 14 western U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and northern Baja, Mexico. WECC’s adoption of the model means that REGMF_A1 is included in all major commercial simulation tools used by utilities in North America and other parts of the world.

“As a research engineer with experience in both power electronics and power systems, my goal is to accelerate the renewable integration and enhance grid stability through innovative control design and modeling of inverter-based resources,” said Du. “I am very excited to participate in AGI’s cutting-edge research, help further initiatives, and develop new programs for the joint institute.”