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Thursday, December 2nd
All times in US Mountain time



  • UAV Industry Personnel

  • FAA Officials

  • Cartographers

  • GIS Users and Managers

  • Mapping contracting agencies

  • UAV Enthusiasts


09:00 AM - 09:15 AM

Moderator's Welcome Remarks

Moderator: Gavin Schrock
Consulting Editor, GoGeomatics


An overview of the Role of Digital Twins in the Utilities Industry issues and welcome to presenters and attendees. 


09:15 AM - 09:45 AM

Automating Overhead Inspections

Presenter:  Dexter Lewis
Principal Technical Leader, EPRI

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During this presentation, EPRI will provide an overview on lessons learned related to automated data collection and artificial intelligence for post-data review.  The intent of the presentation is to describe the state of the industry and identify opportunities for industry collaboration to advance the technology. 


09:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Panel Discussion on Digital Twins in the Utilities Industry

Panel Moderator: Barbara Ryan,
Executive Director, World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC)

Matt Shellenberger, Staff Engineer, American Electric Power
Craig Stenberg, UAS/Remote Sensing Program Manager, Southern California Edison (SCE)
Peter Atalla, Founder and CEO, Voxelmaps Inc

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Once the purview of the manufacturing sector, Digital Twins are increasingly being developed and used in the built and natural environment across all scales – local, regional, national and global.  This Panel will take a look at some of the limitations of the existing utility-infrastructures, and also illustrate how Digital Twins of these infrastructures can improve service delivery.  Technological advances in data acquisition, management, storage, and visualization -- all necessary components of 3- and 4-D Digital Twins will be showcased.


10:45 AM - 11:15 AM

Advance Grid Resilience with Digital Twins 

Brian Flett, Senior Director of Product Management, Bentley Systems

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Imagine visualizing a virtual representation of your entire grid in real time. A robust digital representation of physical grid assets, processes, systems, and engineering information allows you to understand and model grid performance especially with an increase in distributed energy resources. From design through construction to operations, maintaining an evergreen digital twin helps you to focus on reliability and resilience through every phase of the asset lifecycle. With the latest developments in reality capture and machine learning, you can enter this digital world by taking pictures of what you currently have. This presentation will further examine digital twins in the power industry, their current and potential uses, and how they enable informed decision-making around grid resilience.


11:15 AM - 11:45 AM

Mirrored Utility Network - The role of digital twins in the utilities industry

Bhoopathi Rapolu, Sr. Business Development Manager, Cyient


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Identifying potential risks in the right of way (ROW) of utility assets is a recurring and expensive exercise when done manually. Cyient combines advanced automation and digital capabilities to build a mirrored utility network that enables monitoring and condition assessment of utility network for asset and vegetation management. Cyient’s solution helps safeguard assets, improve network reliability, and reduce maintenance costs and address multiple other business challenges using the GIS data acquired for veg. management which makes the overall solution highly cost competitive.  This session will discuss Cyient’s solution and a case study with one of the largest investor owned Utilities in the United States. The scope of work includes development of a working digital twin for the transmission and sub-transmission network by acquisition of aerial LiDAR, ortho imagery, and oblique imagery of structures for transmission and sub-transmission for thousands of miles. Cyient’s solution enabled automated processing of LiDAR and imagery to a large extend and deliver multiple data products such as PLS-CASS sag and say analysis, as surveyed, planimetrics, ground models, wetlands delineation, and vegetation modelling for grow-in & fall-in analysis. All of these data products were embedded in a 3D digital twin of the power network and delivered over a cloud hosted web application that enabled both canned and adhoc reporting capabilities.  Cyient’s solution has addressed the business needs of multiple departments within the Utility such as Transmission Engineering, Vegetation Management, Asset Management, and Environmental Compliance Group, reducing the overall cost of the solution significantly.


11:45 AM - 12:15 PM

Utilizing Drones for Utilities

Ken Kranz, Acting CIO, Cognizant Drone Venture
Carson Zerpa, Associate Director, Cognizant


A discussion of the best case uses of drones for utilities information capture.


12:15 PM - 12:45 PM

Challenge of Keeping a Utility Digital Twin Up-to-Date in Real Time

Skye Perry, CEO, SSP Innovations
Peter Batty, CRO, SSP Innovations

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A discussion of the challenge of keeping a utility digital twin up to date in real time, which from our perspective is still an unsolved problem. But we have been leading some innovative work looking at how new technologies like computer vision, machine learning and augmented reality can help with this.


12:45 PM - 1:15 PM

Presenter Roundtable and Closing Remarks

All panelists

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A wrap up and round table discussion with all panelists


1:15 PM - 1:45 PM

Speaker, Sponsor and Attendee Networking

All panelists and attendees

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Meet by proximity-audio-based video to network one-on-one or in small groups with sponsors, speakers

and other attendees

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Event Emcee/Moderator

Roundtable Discussion Moderator

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Gavin Schrock

Consulting Editor, GoGeomatics

Gavin Schrock, PLS, is a surveyor, technology writer, consulting editor for GoGeomatics, and operates a cooperative statewide GNSS network (RTN). He has worked in surveying, mapping, data management, GNSS, and GIS for more than three decades in the civil, utility, defense, and mapping disciplines. He has published in these fields and has taught these subjects at local, state, national, and international conferences.

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Barbara Ryan

Executive Director, World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC)

Under Barbara Ryan’s leadership, millions of satellite images have been made available to the general public at no charge, allowing scientists, planners and policy makers to make better-informed decisions on environmental problems. Barbara’s career began in 1974 at the USGS. From 2008 to 2012, she was Director of the WMO Space Programme, and from 2012 to 2018, Ryan was the Secretariat Director of GEO in Geneva, Switzerland. In January 2021, Barbara became Executive Director of the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC), a global not-for-profit trade association of private-sector companies working in the geospatial and Earth observation ecosystem. 


Peter Atalla

Peter Atalla

Founder and CEO, Voxelmaps Inc

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Peter Atalla is CEO and Founder of Voxelmaps Inc, a leading GIS mapping company building 4D Maps for Machines. He has been in the mapping industry for 17 years and has led large scale international mapping projects for some of the biggest technology companies in the world. Previously he was CEO and founder of Navmii a navigation and mapping company with over 30 million users that mapped 180 countries. Peter is a technology entrepreneur with 2 successful exits.


Peter Batty

CRO, SSP Innovations

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Peter Batty is the CRO of SSP Innovations.  He has been an innovator in the GIS industry for 35 years. He has served as Chief Technology Officer at GE Smallworld, Intergraph (now Hexagon), and IQGeo. He has created multiple successful products including the IQGeo myWorld platform and the GE PowerOn electric outage management application. His focus at SSP is on researching new technologies and building out innovative new product offerings, as well as providing guidance to the Executive Leadership Team and the overall strategic direction of the company.

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Brian Flett

Senior Director of Energy Solutions, Bentley Systems

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Brian Flett is senior director of energy solutions at Bentley Systems, responsible for leading Bentley’s digital twin product portfolio for the energy and utilities industry. He has over 25 years of global experience leading the development and implementation of software to improve infrastructure asset performance in the utility, power generation, oil and gas, and process industries. Brian's leadership roles within Bentley include product management of Bentley’s asset performance management solutions and overseeing Bentley’s AssetWise implementations in the Americas. He received an M.B.A. from Schulich (York) University in Toronto.

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Ken Kranz

Acting CIO, Cognizant Drone Venture, Cognizant Technology Solutions

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Ken Kranz is Acting CIO for the Cognizant Drone Venture, where he focuses on business growth, client solutions implementation and growing the partnership base in the aerial inspection vertical. He is additionally responsible for delivering big data based sensor storage designs, best practices, design patterns and various white papers for the aviation, banking/financial, healthcare and utility industries. Ken is a Senior Enterprise Architect and thought leader focusing on the emerging Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) market. His tasks routinely include business and partnership development, technology evangelism, solution architecture, and patent development. Previously Ken held positions with Software AG, CA Technologies, Cablevision and Sun Microsystems.  Ken is an established author, public speaker, patent developer, a private pilot, and a certified commercial remote drone operator as per CFR 14, part 107.

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Dexter Lewis

Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

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Dexter Lewis is a Principal Technical Leader at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), where he is part of EPRI’s Transmission and Distribution Program in the Power Delivery and Utilization sector. His working responsibilities include supporting EPRI’s ongoing UAS research portfolio and identifying new research opportunities.  His main area of research is related to automating overhead transmission and distribution inspections.  Before joining EPRI, Dexter worked for 10 years for Southern Company Services in their Research and Development department.  Dexter is a registered professional engineer in the state of Alabama.  He received his Masters and Bachelors of science in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Dexter is also a certified private and remote pilot.  Dexter lives in Birmingham, AL with wife, two kids, and their two dogs. 


Skye Perry

CEO, SSP Innovations

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Skye Perry is the CEO of SSP Innovations and has provided technical architecture, development, and management solutions for GIS-centered implementations since 2000. Skye’s roots tie back to Convergent Group, Miner & Miner, and Enspiria Solutions where he has focused on implementing Esri GIS customizations and system integrations. In December 2020, SSP Innovations acquired 3-GIS, which now represents the telecom business unit of SSP and is being operated as a subsidiary with shared resources across the C-level and various support organizations, with a commitment to the same thought leadership and amazing products across the telecom industry. Skye is still involved on a number of SSP’s project implementations and supports technical marketing in addition to leading the company.

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Bhoopathi Rapolu

Senior Business Development Manager, Cyient

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Bhoopathi Rapolu is a Big Data Strategist, speaker and author of The Race for Work. He helps professionals thrive in the industry swept by automation.  Bhoopathi explores emerging technology products around the world leveraging Artificial Intelligence to create solutions with them for his clients in the Aerospace, Transportation, Healthcare, Utilities, Communications, Geospatial, and Heavy Engineering industries. He has spent last five years meeting hundreds of business leaders in multiple industries around the world, helping them to use the emerging disruptive technologies for automation and for their business growth. He is concurrently Senior Business Development Manager with Cyient, where his primary market focus includes the Geospatial, Utilities, and Telecommunications industries. Prior to joining Cyient in 2013, Bhoopathi was with a Senior Business Consultant with Infosys for 8 years.

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Craig Stenberg

UAS/Remote Sensing Program Manager, Southern California Edison (SCE)

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Craig Stenberg is a UAS/Remote Sensing Program Manager at Southern California Edison (SCE).  He has been with SCE since 2011, working as a Helicopter Operations Specialist and Flight Operations Manager prior to his current role. As the Remote Sensing Manager for SCE Air Operations, Craig focuses on overhead inspections driven by the Grid Safety and Resiliency Program, as well as the development, implementation and the synergistic combination of contemporary Remote Sensing technologies. Craig is a U.S. Navy Veteran, and also a multi-engine and instrument rated commercial pilot with over 40 years in aviation.

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Matt Shellenberger

Staff Engineer, American Electric Power

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Matt Shellenberger is a Staff Engineer at American Electric Power.  Matt has been with AEP for 22 years and he currently leads the Distribution Engineering Best Practices group.  Matt is an Alternate Voting member for the IEEE National Electrical Safety Code Subcommittee 5, and a System Administrator for Distribution Design Studio - an engineering design tool, Asset Designer - a survey data collection tool, Asset Scout – a damage assessment tool, and Trimble Sitevision – an augmented reality tool.  He is a subject matter expert for distribution drone activities.  Matt has previous experience as a consulting engineer at Buckeye Power for RUS Cooperatives in the State of Ohio.  Matt has a BSEE from the University of Toronto, and MSEE from Michigan Technological University and a Land Surveying Certificate from Columbus State Community College.  He is a Professsional Engineer in the State of Ohio and an FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot.


Carson Zerpa

Associate Director, Cognizant

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Carson Zerpa is an Associate Director at Cognizant. He specializes in Service Line and IoT Sales. Previous to this position, he was the Solutions Director at Landis+Gyr. His Alma Mater is University of Florida. 


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Voxelmaps is building the world’s most accurate 4D volumetric model of the earth, combining high resolution scans using the latest LiDAR and HD imaging sensors, fused with temporal data. The result is a new form of mapping which provides superior levels of accuracy and information of the areas mapped. Voxelmaps has developed a technology that splits the planet into a dense matrix of multi-resolution voxels, each voxel has a permanent location and address. The automated feature extraction is performed using Voxelmaps’ developed AI software tools.

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Bentley Systems is the infrastructure engineering software company. We provide innovative software to advance the world’s infrastructure – sustaining both the global economy and environment. Our industry-leading software solutions are used by professionals, and organizations of every size, for the design, construction, and operations of roads and bridges, rail and transit, water and wastewater, public works and utilities, buildings and campuses, mining, and industrial facilities. Our offerings include MicroStation-based applications for modeling and simulation, ProjectWise for project delivery, AssetWise for asset and network performance, Seequent’s leading geosciences software portfolio, and the iTwin platform for infrastructure digital twins. Bentley Systems employs more than 4,000 colleagues and generates annual revenues of more than $800 million in 172 countries. 

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