Keynote Speeches

William Peine

The Transformational Journey and Future of Surgical Robotics

The use of surgical robotics has seen tremendous growth over the last 20 years and now plays an important role in the field of surgery.   These systems allow more procedures to be performed using minimally invasive techniques and improve outcomes over open surgery by reducing trauma and shortening recovery times for patients.  The exciting reality is that this is just the beginning of the transformational power of this technology.  The future of this field lies in the combination of robotics with advanced visualization, navigation, and data analytics.  This presentation will give an overview of Medtronic’s new Hugo Surgical Robotic System and discuss how it is a platform for growth in these areas to integrate new technology and enable advanced procedures.  The presentation will also explore ways that industry and academia can better partner to realize the full potential of surgical robotics by leveraging our strengths and working together.


Bill Peine, Ph.D. is the Senior Director of System Architecture at Medtronic’s Surgical Robotics Unit developing the Hugo Robotic System for teleoperated minimally invasive surgery.  Before joining the company in 2013, Bill was at T2 BioSystems working as a technical lead to develop the T2Dx, a fluid diagnostic system incorporating nuclear magnetic resonance for detecting molecular targets.  He has also been involved with several medical device startups, including Cambridge Endoscopic Devices developing handheld articulating laparoscopic instruments and EndoVia Medical developing a low-cost teleoperated surgical robot.  In addition to his industrial experience, Bill was a tenure track Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University researching novel surgical robotic technology and algorithms for image-guided surgery.  He was also a founder of Pressure Profile Systems producing high sensitivity tactile sensors and systems for industrial and academic applications.  Bill earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and is the author of over 80 patents and peer reviewed publications.


Mohammad Shahidehpour

Blockchain for Transactive Energy Management in Renewable Energy Systems

This presentation offers a vision and analyzes a scheme developed for microgrids that utilizes blockchain technologies to optimize transactive operations in power distribution systems. Technological and socioeconomic developments in distributed energy resources have promoted the use of renewable energy in microgrids as a promising alternative to the traditional use of thermal energy for electricity delivery in a bulk power grid. Microgrids are small-scale self-controllable power systems that interconnect on-site generation resources and loads for striking a local balance of energy production and consumption. Geographically-close microgrids are networked to broaden the merits of microgrids and eventually refine electricity service provisions across the power distribution system. Transactive energy, as the cross-section of technological, political and economic innovations, opens up the door to peer-to-peer autonomous electricity retail markets together with new business and operation models for power generation, delivery, and consumption. Through active participation in the decentralized transactive energy management process, networked microgrids collectively provide additional opportunities for improving the operational performance of power distribution systems. As networked microgrids are intrinsically cyber-physical systems that may unintentionally expose cybersecurity vulnerabilities to potential disruptive agents, blockchain is considered as an option that provides a transformative solution to address the cybersecurity and mutual-trust concerns through the application of cryptography and the execution of smart contracts. Accordingly, networked microgrids will interact in an automatic, credible and auditable manner for maintaining a greater degree of efficiency, reliability, resilience, and sustainability in electricity services offered to local communities. We present several practical examples and conclude that blockchain technologies embedded in transactive energy will play a significant role in the evolution of traditional power distribution systems to active and smart distribution networks.


Dr. Mohammad Shahidehpour is a University Distinguished Professor, Bodine Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Director of the Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). His project on Perfect Power Systems has converted the entire IIT Campus to an islandable microgrid. Dr. Shahidehpour was the recipient of several technical awards including of the IEEE Burke Hayes Award for his research on hydrokinetics, IEEE/PES Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award, IEEE/PES Ramakumar Family Renewable Energy Excellence Award, IEEE/PES Douglas M. Staszesky Distribution Automation Award, and the Edison Electric Institute’s Power Engineering Educator Award. He has co-authored 6 books and 750 technical papers on electric power system operation and planning, and served as the founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid. Dr. Shahidehpour is the recipient of the 2009 honorary doctorate from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest. He is a Fellow of IEEE, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), and an elected member of the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE). He is also listed as a highly cited researcher on the Web of Science (ranked in the top 1% by citations demonstrating significant influence among his peers).