Professor Li has been a faculty member since 2005 (James W. McConnell Professor in 2017, Professor in 2016, Associate Professor in 2011, Assistant Professor in 2005) in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at The University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK). He is one of the core faculty members of the NSF Engineering Research Center, CURENT, recently funded by NSF at $30.5 million in 8 years (with the probable extension for another 2 years). He is presently serving as the UTK Campus Director of CURENT. He is the Director of the Smart Home & Grid Lab (SHGL). He is also a part-time researcher at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
Professor Li is a Fellow of IEEE (Class of 2017), a Fellow of IET (formerly IEE, elected in December 2011), a Member of Sigma Xi - The Scientific Research Society, an Editor of IEEE Transactions on Power Systems (since 2017), an Editor of IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy (2011-2017), an Editor of IEEE Power and Energy Society Letters (since 2011), a Guest Editor of IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid (2014-2015), a Guest Editor of IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics (2016-2017), an Editorial Board Member of Journal of Modern Power Systems and Clean Energy (MPCE) by Springer, and an Editorial Board Member of CSEE Journal of Power and Energy Systems (by Wiley-IEEE). He is serveing or has served the IEEE PES PSOPE Committee as a Vice Chair (since 2016), the PSPI Committee as a Secretary (2010-2014) and Vice Chair (since 2014), and the President of North America Chinese Power Professional Association (2013~2015). He has been a chair/organizer of numerous panel sessions at a number of international conferences.
His current interests include renewable energy integration, distributed energy resources, energy markets, reactive power, demand response, and power system computational methods.