FREEDM adds New Faculty and Staff in 2024

Mr. and Mrs. Wuf joke and pose for a photo on a gym in Carmichael Gym. Photo by Marc Hall

In January, FREEDM welcomed three new employees to the Center: John Gajda, Dr. Alyssa Kody, and Erik Bishop.

John will primarily support our Electric Power Systems Engineering program as a Professor of the Practice and teach several classes this spring. John has a long resume in the power industry with roles in industry, regulatory, cooperative utilities, investor owned utilities, consulting, solar power, federal government, and academia. He has been an adjunct lecturer at NC State for more than 10 years. “After working for 33 years in utility distribution, transmission, and generation roles, I am beyond excited to be able to come back to my alma mater as a professor and give back to the next generation of power system engineers,” said John. “I look forward to sharing my experience with FREEDM Center researchers so we can make the future power system more affordable, reliable, and cleaner than ever.”

Alyssa comes to NC State from Argonne National Laboratory. She was the Maria Goeppert Mayer Fellow, named for the nobel prize winning physicist who worked at ANL in the 1960s. Alyssa’s research is at the intersection of machine learning and power systems with a goal to increase the resilience of electric infrastructure to extreme weather events. She received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan where her research focused on control systems for vibration-based energy harvesting devices. As an Assistant Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Alyssa will work closely with the power systems team at FREEDM.

Erik will serve as our hardware technician supporting design and fabrication needs for the lab. Much of his career has been in CAD for high volume manufacturing, and he’s listed on 12 patents for telecommunications products. Erik also has experience in machining, welding, product design, and woodworking. “I am excited to be on board with FREEDM,” said Erik. “Bringing a background of mechanical design and fabrication, I hope to engage the students and formalize some processes to advance their research to solve our energy challenges.”