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Students showcasing research posters at the 2015 GCEP Symposium

Digital Grid Summer Series: Technology Innovation Panel

July 8, 2020 - 8:00am to 9:30am
Recording Available
Event Sponsor: 
Bits & Watts and EPRI
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In June, EPRI and Stanford University Bits and Watts Initiative co-hosted a virtual workshop, that brought together utility and information technology companies to discuss the development of a data platform and enabling technologies to achieve the Digital Grid vision. This interactive panel series will provide an opportunity to take this vital conversation to the next step, examing the latest advances, emerging policies, and breakthrough research on customer DER integration every Wednesday during the summer quarter.

Session #2: Technology Innovation Panel


  • Astrid Atkinson – CEO, Camus Energy
  • Bill Burke – CEO, Virtual Peaker
  • Tim Schaaff – Chief Product Officer, Intertrust Technologies

Moderator: Steve Comello, Director, Energy Business Innovations, Stanford


Astrid Atkinson is the CEO and co-founder of Camus Energy, which provides open source Grid Management as a Service for distribution utilities and electricity providers. Prior to founding Camus, she was a Senior Director of Software Engineering at Google, where she was an early leader in distributed systems reliability. As lead for reliability engineering for, she led the development of Google’s global web serving platform, and as head of Frameworks Engineering, she led the transformation of all Google products to standardize on common, performant, scalable infrastructure for servers, microservices, mobile apps, and experimentation – to help all teams at Google operate reliably at global scale. She speaks globally as an expert on large scale distributed systems architecture, reliability engineering, and organizational leadership.

Bill Burke is a serial entrepreneur with a PhD from UC Berkeley in Controls and Artificial Intelligence and 10 years of experience with high performance residential energy management and connected appliances. He was previously at GE as an Advanced Systems Engineer in the Connected Home Software Group, but left that role in May 2014 to pursue entrepreneurship full time.

Tim Schaaff is currently Chief Product Officer for Intertrust Technologies. In this role, he is responsible for technology and product development across Intertrust’s data, energy, media and security products. Tim is also a member of the board of directors at Sony Corporation overseeing the company’s information security. Before joining Intertrust, he was President of Sony Network Entertainment where he ran PlayStation Network. Tim landed in Silicon Valley in the early 90’s and spent over 14 years at Apple as an engineer and senior executive during the rebirth of the company under Steve Jobs.

Steve Comello leads the Energy Business Innovation focus area at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is also a senior fellow at the Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, and a research lead at the Bits & Watts Initiative. His work examines the organization of innovation and how technology and policy coevolve to influence the economic attractiveness of advanced energy solutions. Within his current portfolio, he explores policy and business model innovation within the electricity sector, with one set of projects focusing on how digital platform technology diffusion intersects with structural changes in the industry.

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