welcome to epic

October 28, 2019 
The Electric Power Industry Conference at the Swanson School of Engineering continues to lead the way in exploring energy production and delivery potential.
Partners & Sponsors
The Engineering Society of Western Pennsylvania
The University of Pittsburgh Energy GRID Institute
Typhoon HIL


David Roop, Director - Electric Transmission Operations & Reliability, Power Delivery Group 
Dominion Energy

EPIC-portraitDavid W. Roop is currently Director of Electric Transmission Operations & Reliability in the Power Delivery Group.

He is responsible for the operation of Dominion Energy’s transmission assets, including substations in three states. This includes over 6600 miles of transmission lines, 390 substations and 42,000 relays. Presently manages an organization that provides technical support and engineering resources for electrical equipment, protective relays and operations including research activities to support Transmission System development. His organization also provides technical support for Dominion Generation
substations, including protective relaying, for both regulated and merchant plants.

Mr. Roop has a 42-year career in the electric utility industry focused on electric transmission and substation operations and management. During his career he has developed innovative approaches to improving operating procedures, resulting in cost savings to the Company. He serves as chair of Dominion Energy Virginia’s resiliency strategy team resulting in industry leading initiatives.

He is an active member of CIGRE presently serving as the President of the CIGRE U.S. National Committee. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2018 and the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Mr. Roop is currently a Senior Member of the IEEE and is a recipient of the IEEE Power Engineering Society, 2014 Leadership in Power Award for industry-wide leadership in: changing the landscape of utility human performance and safety; reliability driven asset strategy development; novel catastrophe recovery planning; and the renaissance of the power engineering research and education.

His other professional activities include membership on various advisory committees for EPRI and the North American Transmission Forum (NATF) that support resiliency and nuclear power. He is past Chair of the NATF Nuclear Power Plant Practices committee. He also actively supports Virginia Tech, University of Pittsburgh and the University of Tennessee Electrical Engineering departments to further develop future engineers for the electric industry.

He earned his Bachelors of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1976 and is a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He currently resides with his family in Henrico, VA.



Ronald Gdovic, PhD is the founder and CEO of WindStax Energy, based in Pittsburgh. WindStax Energy is a full-service developer of integrated alternative energy solutions. The company is a pioneer in large vertical wind turbines and microgrids that are changing industry’s perspective of energy as a commodity to energy as an opportunity. He is the Co-Director of CEO’s for Sustainability, a leadership network recognizing the strong link between sustainable business practices, profit, and quality of life. Ron is the former Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Information Technology and Society and Adjunct Faculty at Carnegie Mellon University. Considered an authority in infrastructure policy and an agent of change, Ron has appeared as a visiting scientist on the Discovery Network’s Mythbusters series. He recently received the Pittsburgh Mayor's Award for Public Art for illuminating the Rachel Carson Bridge with wind energy. He has helped launch several companies in varied industries in energy, consumer products, information technology, land development, and construction. A University of Pittsburgh alumnus, he holds a degree in economics and advanced degrees in urban and regional planning.




John Vernacchia is the Segment Manager for Renewable Energy solutions within Eaton's electrical business. Vernacchia has over 35 years of experience in marketing, sales, product management and operations and has played a major role in the development of Eaton’s Renewable Energy solutions to help customers connect solar, wind and energy storage resources to buildings and the utility grid. Vernacchia is a member of the IEEE Power & Energy Society and holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech.