NAE-GRP Colloquium: Opportunities and Challenges in Offshore Wind

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The second NAE-GRP colloquium focused on opportunities and challenges in offshore wind energy.

About this event

Interest in the development of offshore wind is continuing to grow, as more governments and industries are committing to the net-zero goals. This trend is gaining momentum in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) as well. Energy generated by offshore wind will be an important component of reaching net-zero emissions. In order to ensure that offshore wind is best integrated into the US energy landscape, the complex technical and political frameworks must be understood. These include managing the needs of stakeholders involved in bringing wind farms to market, ensuring that local infrastructure can reliably deliver offshore wind energy into the electrical grid, and conducting research and development to produce technologies that make offshore wind energy safe, environmentally responsible, and fiscally competitive. During this colloquium, our panel of experts in research, policy, and technology will discuss the value of offshore wind energy in the United States, highlighting opportunities and challenges in the sector as it aims to meet the nation’s clean energy goals.

Please join us for the National Academy of Engineering and Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences colloquium on Friday, November 5, 2021 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT focused on offshore wind energy in the United States.

Webinar Participants


Barbara Kates-Garnick, PhD, Professor of Practice, the Fletcher School and former Undersecretary of Energy, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Danielle Merfeld, PhD, NAE, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, GE Renewable Energy

Tershara Matthews, Gulf of Mexico Wind Regional Lead, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Kaushik Rajashekara, PhD, NAE, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Houston

Moderator: Al Romig, PhD, NAE, Executive Officer, National Academy of Engineering

About the Panelists

Dr. Barbara Kates-Garnick is Professor of Practice and senior research fellow at The Fletcher School at Tufts University. Most recently she served as the undersecretary of energy for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where she was responsible for guiding energy policy. She also served as the co-chair of Massachusetts’ Global Warming Solutions Act Implementation Advisory Committee that oversees the implementation of the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Act. She has had an extensive career in energy, environment, and clean technology that has spanned the private and public sectors and included the creation of a clean technology incubator at New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering where she also taught courses on energy policy. She served as corporate officer at a major U.S. utility, a consultant on strategic energy initiatives, and as a public utility regulator.

Dr. Danielle Merfeld is the Chief Technology Officer of GE Renewable Energy, reporting to the CEO. In this role, she leads technical efforts to develop differentiated products and services across the broadest renewable energy portfolio in the industry, including onshore wind, offshore wind, grid solutions, solar PV, batteries, and hydro. She also champions sustainability efforts across the business, leading a team focused on achieving carbon neutrality, and leads the GE Renewable Energy Edison Engineering Program. Prior to her role at GE Renewable Energy, Danielle was the Vice President & General Manager at GE Global Research where she advanced disruptive technology platforms across the industrial sector. As a thought leader in the industry, Danielle has delivered remarks and participated on panels at conferences and symposiums on topics like digital platforms, advanced controls, the energy transformation, the future of renewable energy, grid challenges and solutions, and microsystems.

Tershara Matthews manages all resource management functions for offshore renewable energy, alternate use, and marine minerals development on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico OCS. She has worked for the Department of Interior for more than 12 years. During tenure, she has played key leadership roles in advancing the National Sand Inventory Initiative for the Marine Minerals Program in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), developing the renewable program in GOM, and implementing a more interactive format for outreach initiatives. She holds a B.S. in biology from Xavier University of LA and a Master of Public Health from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Dr. Kaushik Rajashekara, NAE, received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, in 1984. In 1989, he joined the Delphi division of General Motors Corporation, Indianapolis, IN, USA, as a Staff Project Engineer. In Delphi and General Motors, he held various lead technical and managerial positions, and was a Technical Fellow and the Chief Scientist for developing electric machines, controllers, and power electronics systems for electric, hybrid, and fuel cell vehicle systems. In 2006, he joined Rolls-Royce Corporation as a Chief Technologist for power conversion/control technologies for more electric, electric, and hybrid aircraft systems. In August 2012, he joined as a Distinguished Professor of Engineering with the University of Texas at Dallas, TX, USA. Since September 2016, he has been a Distinguished Professor of Engineering with the University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA. He has authored or coauthored more than 250 papers in international journals and conferences, has 35 U.S. and 15 foreign patents, and has authored one book. His research interests include power/energy conversion, transportation electrification, renewable energy, and microgrid systems.

Webinar Outline

The webinar will include opening remarks from the panelists, followed by the moderated discussion; there will be time reserved for audience questions.

Registration is available until the webinar begins. Contact Courtney Hill at for any registration questions.

The recording will be posted on our website as soon as it is available.

Disclaimer: This registration information is being collected via Eventbrite. Eventbrite is not affiliated in any way with, or endorsed by, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and your submission via the Eventbrite website is subject to Eventbrite’s privacy and terms of use.

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