About Me


Dr. Tao Hong received his B.Eng. in Automation from Tsinghua University in Beijing (2005), a M.S. in Electrical Engineering (2008), a M.S. with co-majors in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering (2008), and a Ph.D. with co-majors in Operations Research and Electrical Engineering (2010) from North Carolina State University. Dr. Hong is currently the Research Director and Associate Professor at the Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Department of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Dr. Hong’s major areas of expertise are in forecasting and optimization. He has applied various statistical and optimization techniques to the development of algorithms and tools for utility applications of analytics such as energy forecasting; power system planning; renewable integration; reliability planning; and risk management. He has been providing consulting and education services to over 100 organizations across all sectors of the utility industry. The long term spatial load forecasting methodology implemented in his MS thesis and the short term forecasting methodology proposed in his PhD dissertation have been commercialized and deployed to many utilities worldwide. 
Dr. Hong currently serves as the Founding Chair of the IEEE Working Group on Energy Forecasting, where he leads the efforts of improving the forecasting practices of the utility industry. He is the General Chair of Global Energy Forecasting Competitions, which attracted thousands of participants from over 60 countries. He is an editor of IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid and the past Guest Editor-in-Chief of its Special Section on Analytics for Energy Forecasting with Applications to Smart Grid. He is a guest editor of International Journal of Forecasting Special Issue on Probabilistic Energy Forecasting
Dr. Hong is the Lead Instructor of the IEEE Tutorial “Energy Forecasting in the Smart Grid Era”. He is the host of Tao’s Energy Forecasting Webinar Series, which has attracted hundreds of professionals from more than 80 organizations. He is an instructor at SAS Institute teaching the Business Knowledge Series course "Electric Load Forecasting: Fundamentals and Best Practices", the first SAS course dedicated to the utility industry. From May 2012 to June 2013, this course was offered 11 times to 117 professionals from 47 organizations including 30 US utilities, ISOs and REPs.
Prior to joining UNC Charlotte, Dr. Hong was an Senior Industry Consultant and the Head of Energy Forecasting at SAS Institute, where he lead research, development, consulting, marketing and sales of the forecasting vertical of the energy business unit. He was a Principal Engineer at Quanta Technology, where he led forecasting related consulting projects and tasks. He was an adjunct instructor at NC State University teaching load forecasting and demand response related topics at both Electrical & Computer Engineering Department and the Institute for Advanced Analytics

Work Experience

2013 - present    University of North Carolina at Charlotte 
Research Director and Associate Professor of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management (2017 - present) 
Graduate Program Director and Assistant Professor of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management (2013 - 2017)
2011 - 2013        SAS Institute, Inc
Senior Industry Consultant (2013)
Industry Consultant (2012 - 2013)
Analytical Consultant (2011 - 2012)
2008 - 2011        Quanta Technology, LLC 
Principal Engineer (2010 - 2011)
Senior Engineer (2009 - 2010)
Intern/Engineer (2008 - 2009)


Ph.D. (co-majors) Operations ResearchElectrical Engineering, 2010
M.S. (co-majors) Operations ResearchIndustrial Engineering, 2008
Tsinghua University, Beijing, P.R.China
B.Eng. Automation, 2005 


  1. Charlotte Business Journal Energy Education Leader of the Year (2017)
  2. IEEE PES PSPI Technical Committee Prize Paper Award (2016)
  3. IEEE PES PSPI Technical Committee Working Group Recognition Award (2015)
  4. IEEE PES Technical Council Distinguished Service Award (2014)
  5. M2009 Data Mining Conference Poster Winner (2009)


  1. Energy education leader of the year (Charlotte Business Journal: 2017/5)
  2. A five-minute introduction to electric load forecasting (2016/9)
  3. How did you become a forecaster? (International Institute of Forecasters: 2015/5)
  4. Tao Hong: Be Honest (T&D World Magazine: 7/1/2015)
  5. The analytics skill gap: an academic's perspective (AllAnalytics: 8/20/2014)
  6. Using SAS in the Energy Analytics Curriculum at UNC Charlotte (SAS: 7/16/2014)

In the News

  1. Engineering Students Win Top Spots at International Challenge (UNCC / COE: 12/12/2017)
  2. New Research Awards (UNCC / COE: 1/8/2016)
  3. UNC Charlotte Team Wins Energy Forecasting Prize (UNCC / COE: 11/23/2015)
  4. IEEE Power & Energy Society Announces the Winning Universities and Teams for the Global Energy Forecasting Competition 2014 (IEEE PES: 10/14/2015)
  5. New Research Awards (UNCC / COE: 8/6/2015)
  6. Lee College of Engineering Students Take Top Places at Energy Forecasting Competition (UNCC / COE: 5/14/2015)
  7. New Research Awards (UNCC / COE: 1/22/2015)
  8. Use of Advanced Analytics can Help Utilities Save Millions, Says Expert, (iTWire, 12/19/2014)
  9. New Research Awards (INCC / COE: 10/23/2014)
  10. INES Student Wins Analytics2014 Poster Contest (UNCC / COE: 10/22/2014)
  11. Dr. Tao Hong's new Energy Analytics course accepted for IIF Student Forecasting Awards (UNCC / EPIC: 9/5/2014; also available on UNCC / COE)
  12. IEEE Power & Energy Society Launches the Global Energy Forecasting Competition 2014 (IEEE/PES: 8/15/2014; also available on The Wall Street Journal / MarketWatch)
  13. Dr. Tao Hong receives PES Technical Council Distinguished Service Award(UNCC / EPIC: 8/8/2014)
  14. New Research Awards Listing (UNCC / COE: 7/21/2014)
  15. A Peek behind the Forecasting Curtain (Intelligent Utility: 4/21/2014)
  16. Utilities closing analytics skill gap with SAS software, research grant (SAS: 4/9/2014, also available on The Wall Street Journal / MarketWatch;INFORMS / Analytics MagazineYahoo Finance; and UNCC / COE)
  17. Investing in a Future of Analytics & Energy (AllAnalytics: 4/9/2014)
  18. ZE grants software to UNC Charlotte's Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (ZE Group: 3/26/2014)
  19. Global Energy Forecasting Competition (International Institute of Forecasters / The Oracle: 3/2014)
  20. Research funding announcements (UNCC / COE: 1/22/2014)
  21. Energy forecasting analytics: the smart grid unlocks a new era for energy forecasting (Utility Analytics Institute: 12/11/2013)
  22. 15 energy experts reveal top 3 ways to reduce home energy bills (iPowerPlay: 11/14/2013)
  23. Dr. Tao Hong receives gift grants from The Pinnacle Forecast, LLC (UNCC / EPIC: 11/7/2013)
  24. Utility improves collections through predictive analytics (EnergyCentral / EnergyPulse: 11/6/2013)
  25. IEEE Power & Energy Society announces the eight winning teams for the Global Energy Forecasting Competition 2012 (IEEE/PES: 10/8/2013, also available on Yahoo Finance: 10/8/2013)
  26. SAS® Visual Analytics helping energy companies transform big data, power better decisions (The Wall Street Journal / MarketWatch: 9/23/2013)