Petra Solar’s chief technology officer, Johan Enslin, has been named director of the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His appointment becomes effective August 1. Enslin will also continue as Petra Solar’s CTO. In addition, Petra Solar and UNC Charlotte have established a collaborative agreement for technology exchange and intellectual property development.
EPIC, headquartered in a new $76 million building under construction on the Charlotte Research Institute campus, will train the next generation of engineers as well as conduct research in new energy technologies. In January, Duke Energy and Siemens Energy announced $8.8 million in support for the EPIC center, which will serve existing and new energy companies.
The EPIC building will house the university’s civil and environmental, and electrical and computer-engineering departments. The building’s lab facilities will give students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with industry leaders such as Duke Energy Corp., Siemens, Shaw, AREVA, and others.
Petra Solar will become an industry partner at EPIC, with a focus on research goals and IP development in the areas of distributed PV and Smart Grid systems, management of distributed renewable resources as a virtual power plant, high efficiency power electronic converter technologies, and distributed energy storage solutions.
Enslin is currently an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University, and holds 14 patents.
At EPIC, he will succeed Steve Patterson, who is returning to his position as SPX Distinguished Professor in Mechanical Engineering.
Petra Solar president and chief executive officer, Shihab Kuran, comments, “We are very pleased that Dr. Enslin’s role of Chief Technology Officer at Petra Solar has helped position him for the exceptional opportunity with UNC Charlotte to serve as leader of a world-class, multi-disciplinary energy research center in the epicenter of smart grid technology development.”
UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university, with more than 25,000 students, including approximately 5,500 graduate students.