James W. McConnell Professor
Areas of Interest
- Power Systems Engineering and Economics
- Ph.D from Virginia Tech, 2001
- M.S. in Electrical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, China, 1997
- B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, China, 1994
Dr. Li is presently the James W. McConnell Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at The University of Tennessee. He is also an adjunct researcher at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). His current interests include renewable energy integration, distributed energy resources, demand response, energy markets and power system computational methods.
Professor Li had worked at ABB Electrical System Consulting (ESC), a.k.a. ABB Consulting, in Raleigh, NC, from February 2001 to August 2005 as a Senior Engineer and then a Principal Engineer before joining UT. During his employment at ABB, he has been significantly involved first in power distribution systems and then in power market analysis, particularly in GridView related R&D and consulting service for power generation and transmission companies. He had also worked as a part-time engineer at Electrical Distribution Design (EDD) Inc., Blacksburg, VA from 1998 to 2000 and an engineer intern at NARI (China) in 1997. He is a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the state of North Carolina.
He is a Fellow of IEEE (Class of 2017), a Fellow of IET (2011), and a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the state of North Carolina. He has been the Editor-In-Chief of IEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy (OAJPE) since 2020. Also, he has served as Chair (since 2020) and Vice Chair (2016-2019) of IEEE Power System Operation, Planning and Economics (PSOPE) committee.
He has received a number of research recognitions (e.g., 2016-2017 Highly Cited Paper Award by Applied Energy (IF=8.426) – as corresponding author; IEEE PES PSOPE Technical Committee Prize Paper Award in 2019 – as corresponding author; UTK College of Engineering Research Fellow Awards (or its succeeding variants) three times in 2018, 2015 and 2009; 2011 UTK Chancellor’s Award for Professional Promise in Research and Creative Achievement), professional service recognitions (e.g., 2015 IEEE PES Technical Committee Distinguished Service Award, 2017 Excellent Guest EIC of Journal of MPCE, 2017 Excellent Associate Editor of Journal of MPCE, 2018 IEEE PES “Technical Committee of the Year” award as a co-recipient), and teaching recognitions (e.g., 2006 Eta Kappa Nu Outstanding Teacher Award and 2019 UTK College of Engineering Teaching Fellow Award). His research team has been honored with Best Conference Papers/Posters eight times at various conferences.
Dr. Li is the UTK Campus Director and the lead of the Large-scale Test Bed (LTB) of the NSF/DOE Engineering Research Center – CURENT.
In his spare time, Dr. Li is best known as a Tennessee top-10 ranked table tennis player (USATT peak rating: 1900+) and a competitive chess player (USCF peak rating: 1600+, >89.5% registered USCF chess players). His chess students have won state titles multiple times in TN scholastic chess tournaments.