Industrial Advisory Board

Jean-Paul Chabard
Jean-Paul Chabard
Scientific Director
EDF Research and Development Division

Graduated from the Ecole Centrale de Paris, Jean-Paul Chabard spent his entire career with the Research and Development of EDF which he joined in 1984 as a researcher in computational fluid dynamics. He successively headed the National Hydraulics Laboratory, the Department Thermal Transfer and Aerodynamics and the Service Modeling and Information Technology. More recently, he has held various positions within the management team of EDF R&D including a position as Finance Director and next Director of the Saclay Project and French Academic Partnerships. In this position, he was responsible for the installation of a new research center of EDF on the Paris-Saclay Campus and for the development of collaborations with French Academic Institutions. From April 2015, he is now Scientific Director of the EDF Research and Development.

Jean-Paul Chabard has held various teaching activities. He is currently Professor of Aerodynamics and Thermal Transfer at the Ecole des PontsParisTech.

Also very involved in scientific societies, he is Honorary Member of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR). He served in different positions in this association and he was during 8 years Vice President of the association (2001-2005 and 2009-2013). He is also member of the Board of the Société Hydrotechnique de France (SHF). He was awarded the Seymour CRAY award for numerical simulation in 1988 and the “Grand Prix de l'Hydrotechnique“ by the Société Hydrotechnique de France in 2006.

Vera Silva
Vera Lucia Fernandes de Paiva da Silva
Chief Technology Officer
General Electric Grid Solutions

Portuguese engineer and chief technology officer (CTO) at General Electric (GE) grid solutions part of GE Renewable Energy business. She is one of the few women to hold a chief technology officer position at General Electric. She works on electricity grids technology and renewable energy integration.

As a child Silva visited a large hydro power plant and this sparked her interest for electricity systems. Silva studied electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Porto. She earned a bachelor's degree in 1999 and a master's degree in 2003 both in electrical engineering. She moved to the United Kingdom for her doctoral studies, earning a PhD in the electrical and electronics engineering in 2010. Her PhD investigated the value of flexibility in systems that use wind powerand was supervised by Goran Strbac. She worked as a lecturer and data scientist at the Polytechnic Institute of Porto. After completing her doctorate, Silva joined EDF R&D in France, where she directed their program on Energy Systems and Markets. As of 2019 Silva is the chief technology officer at General Electric grid solutions, where she leads 3,400 engineers around the world. She is one of the few women to be made technology leader. At General Electric, Silva works on new electricity grid technology. She believes the future will involve more sustainable and flexible technologies, integrating microgrids and high voltage direct current (DC) transmission lines. She is pushing for utilities operators to find it easier to integrate renewables in homes.

Pierre-Alain Graf
Pierre-Alain Graf
Member of the Board
World Economic Forum

Resilient, international CEO in telecommunication businesses, power infrastructures and high-tech industries with P & L responsibility. Successful in strategy creation and implementation. Strong track record in transforming organizations and successful government and private stakeholder management. Passion for sales and growing businesses. Used to leading very large and complex M&A projects. Strength in cross-cultural team building; talented communicator and strong negotiator (Sweden and Nordic Countries, UK, US, France, Germany, Switzerland). Bridges technologies with finance, business with politics and strategy with execution.

Pierre-Alain Graf is on the board of Leclanché SA, Landis+Gyr Group AG and Broadband Networks AG and Owner at Pag Consulting & Services GmbH. In his past career Mr. Graf held the position of Chief Executive Officer for Swissgrid AG and General Manager of Cisco Systems (Switzerland) Investments Ltd.

Mr. Graf received a graduate degree from the University of Basel and an MBA from the University of St. Gallen.

Pierre-Alain Graf
Franco Ongaro
Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality
Head of ESTEC (European Space Research and Technology Centre)
ESA (United space in Europe)

Franco Ongaro graduated as a Doctor of Aeronautical Engineering from the University Politecnico of Milan. In 1987 he joined ESA, working at ESA HQ in Paris on the Columbus project. In 1988, he moved to ESTEC in the Netherlands as Head of the Columbus Payload Interfaces Unit. He was shortlisted as candidate in the European astronaut selection of 1991. In 1994, Franco Ongaro moved back to HQ, to join the ESA Strategy Directorate as General Studies Programme Manager. In 2001, he initiated and managed the start of the Aurora exploration programme until 2005, when he became head of the ESA Advanced Concepts and Technology Planning Department, issuing the first ESA Technology Long Term Plan and creating the Advanced Concepts Team. From 2007, he led the preparation and implementation of the Iris programme to develop a 'satcom' component for air traffic management. In 2009 he became Head of the Telecom Technologies, Products and Systems Department in the Telecommunications and Integrated Applications Directorate at ESTEC. On 1 April 2011, he became Director of Technical and Quality Management (D/TEC) at ESTEC in Noordwijk and, since 1 January 2017, Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality.