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PES Technical Activities Update

A Year in Review and a Glimpse Ahead

As I progress into the second year of my two year term as VP of Technical Activities and Chair of the PES Technical Council, I wanted to take an opportunity to update you on some of the technical activities and accomplishments from 2013 and provide a glimpse into ongoing efforts for 2014.

First, I want to take the opportunity to share some information about myself.  I’ve been married to my beautiful wife Lisa for almost 25 years, and we have two children, Emily and Matthew.  I received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from Auburn University in December of 1989 and have worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority in Chattanooga, Tennessee USA, since March 1990.  During my career I have worked in various engineering and supervisory roles in application and specification of substation equipment, technical management of substation equipment and material contracts, substation equipment and design standards, technical and design process support, substation physical engineering, and project scoping and estimating.  My current position with TVA is Manager of Project Development for the Transmission Business Unit.

My involvement in PES technical activities began with the T&D Committee’s Capacitor Subcommittee in January of 1992, and since then I’ve been involved at various levels with technical activities of the T&D, Switchgear, Substation and Power System Relaying Committees.  My previous leadership roles within PES have been Chair, Shunt Capacitor Standard Working Group; Chair, Capacitor Subcommittee; Chair, High Voltage Circuit Breaker Standard Working Group; Chair, High Voltage Circuit Breaker Subcommittee; Chair, Switchgear Administrative Subcommittee; TCPC for Switchgear Committee; Chair, Switchgear Committee; Chair, Technical Council Organization & Procedures Committee; Chair, Technical Council Meetings & Marketing Committee; Chair, Technical Sessions Committee; and Editor for Transactions on Power Delivery.

Technical Council Priorities:

Some of you may not be familiar with the PES Technical Council.  The membership of the PES Technical Council consists of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Past-Chair; the Chairs of the seventeen PES Technical Committees; the Chairs of the four Coordinating Committees; and the chair of the Standards Coordination Committee.  In general, the Technical Council is responsible for establishing policies which will stimulate among PES members the acquisition of new knowledge and technical expertise, the interchange of ideas and experiences, methods for appraising the performance of the Council’s committees, and the coordination and oversight of all PES technical activities.

In Nov of 2012 the PES Technical Council held a strategy planning retreat to review opportunities for the PES’ Technical Committees and members to better serve our membership. The key objective was to recommend solutions and priorities for the organization and develop an action plan.  Twenty-five PES leaders, including sixteen representatives of the PES Technical Committees, two representatives of the Coordinating Committees, and region 8-10 representatives, participated in the retreat.  A report was developed after the meeting to summarize the issues of greatest concern in priority order, articulating the problems and laying out some preliminary recommendations.  This report was utilized in 2013 by the PES Governing Board Long Range Planning Committee to develop PES level long range plans.

Following is an update on some of the top priorities identified by the Technical Council.

1) Tools to Enhance Tech Committee & Leaders’ Effectiveness

The technical committees identified the need for additional tools and training in order to be more effective with the day to day operations of their committees, receiving and managing all of the information that comes in from PES and other committees on new and on-going matters, and executing PES’ business smoothly and quickly.  A Task Force was created to look at needs of committees and potential tools or processes that could increase effectiveness of committee work.  These could include document sharing capabilities, AV equipment, conference call and web meeting facilities with central reservation set-up capability, and administrative management tools.

Discussions were initiated in 2013 with the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) on what support tools and services could they provide for the standards development activities within PES.  The IEEE-SA has plans for pilot projects utilizing WebEx facilities for standards development groups to support work between face-to-face meetings and facilitate the ability of individuals who have travel impediments to actively contribute to PES standards development.  PES Technical Committees plan to be involved in the pilot process.

2) Committee Structure and Coordination

There is a perceived proliferation of and overlap between existing PES technical committees, subcommittees, and task forces. These overlaps, in some cases, result in duplication of scope and effort, with additional time demands placed upon those members who participate in multiple committees.  It also results in isolated work within committees, without knowledge or input from other committees, being developed on subject areas that are cross-cutting through PES technical committees.

To assure that PES remains relevant and a leader in the industry, initiatives need to be taken by the PES Technical Council and its technical and coordinating committees:

  • Better communication between/within the Technical Council and Technical Committees.
  • Joint committee sponsorship and development of technical reports, white papers, journal publications and other technical material relevant to the industry.  Specifically, we’ve set a goal to publish 8 to 12 documents, jointly developed by 2 or more technical committees, by 2016.
  • Joint committee sessions at the General Meeting, T&D Conference & Expo, and other PES sponsored conferences, with the goal of having 2 to 4 jointly sponsored sessions over the next year and increasing that number in future years.
  • Evaluation of the existing committee structure and scopes to identify overlaps and gaps in technologies/subject areas.

As one of the first steps, a Technology Mapping Task Force was created and charged with the following:

  • Develop the lists of technologies and issues that the committees will be mapped against.
  • Using the catalog of committee scopes and the technology list, the mapping task force will map the committees to technologies and issues to identify overlaps between groups and gaps where key technologies or issues remain unaddressed.
  • The mapping will offer specific conclusions on the appropriateness and shortcomings of the current committee structure for review to the Technical Council

The Task Force has conducted two surveys to date, with representatives from each Technical Committee providing input, to identify areas of overlap in the traditional areas of focus for PES technical committees and technology gaps that are not adequately addressed or not covered at all.  A follow-up survey is being conducted to include the gap areas that were identified in the first surveys.

3) Improving International Involvement & Presence

The goal is to increase international awareness of PES technical activities and contributions, increase overall participation in PES technical activities, and recruit more international participants to PES technical committee work.  Recommendations on how to accomplish these goals were:

  • Hold more technical working group and committee meetings abroad, and encourage local PES chapter and local student participation in the meetings.  A goal has been set to hold a minimum of two such meetings in 2014, and increase that to a minimum of eight by 2016.
  • Publicize technical committee work at international meetings.  Potentially by having representatives from technical committees make presentations at various conferences or other technical meetings.  Our target is to have a minimum of two representatives present technical committee work at meetings outside the U.S. and Canada in 2014, and increase that to a minimum of twelve representatives in 2016.
  • Involve more international participants in the development of standards, guides and recommended practices.  Utilizing available communications technologies, such as WebEx, can facilitate the realization of this goal.  A target has been set to hold a minimum of two WebEx working group meetings in 2014 to facilitate international participation.  As stated earlier, the IEEE Standards Association is looking into providing WebEx facilities and plans to pilot meetings in the near future.  Working in partnership with the IEEE-SA should help to significantly increase the PES capability to hold such meetings in future years.

4) Membership, Recruiting and Articulating the Benefits of PES Participation

As older members of the PES ranks retire, there are fewer new members coming in to work in technical committees, with the result that more work falls to the remaining members.  A strategic goal is to recruit students and younger members (early- and mid-career) as working participants by making the benefits of participation in PES obvious, and demonstrate and market the value of PES participation to employers.

  • Attract more practitioners into the PES work and share and spread technical work across more PES members.
  • Reach out to younger members (especially mid-career members) about specific opportunities to participate in and contribute to technical committee work.
  • Better marketing and messaging of technical committees to younger members – use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other media and invite local students to meetings.  PES has a Facebook page which the Technical Council and its committees need to better utilize in the future to disseminate information on PES technical activities.
  • Promote management participation and support.  PES industry leadership can be a catalyst for increased membership.  PES needs to better engage company executives and mid-level management to foster a better appreciation and support for PES technical activities, and there is a specific effort being planned in coordination with the PES Governing Board to approach industry executives to help extol the benefits of PES participation in technical committees by their staff, such as:
    • Participation in standards development can help a company drive and understand key technical issues.
    • A company benefits by helping to shape industry practices, gains a voice at the technology table, and influences new developments.
    • Conferences and technical committee meetings are cost-effective workforce training opportunities where members can learn new technical information, anticipate up-coming issues, and gain information and insight from others.
    • Accelerates identification of best practices, distilled into application guides.
    • Allows the participant to build a network of professional colleagues for fast access, advice and problem-solving.
    • Technical committee participants can gain mentoring and team management skills.

5) Improve Branding of PES Technical Committees as Expert Technical Bodies

There needs to be a better awareness of the PES technical committees and their work, and of the Technical Council.  Desired measures for this branding include:

  • Present technical committee work at conferences and in the PES’ annual report and newsletters.
  • Improve the quality of PES websites.
  • Include more information on PES technical activities in general membership training.

An effort to further identify PES Technical Committees as expert technical bodies and brand our technical work has been to create new technical document categories.  For many years, a number of PES technical documents that didn’t fit into the standards development area categories of standard, guide or recommended practice have been published under a generic category of Special Publication, or they were published as long transactions papers or as white papers and placed on various web pages.  The generic category of Special Publication made it more difficult to identify specific types of technical information.  As for the PES Transactions Journals, a policy decision was made several years ago not to publish Working Group or Committee papers greater than 8 pages for publication in one of the PES Journals. The Technical Council, in cooperation with the PES staff and the PES marketing group Interprose, has created two new document categories: Technical Reports and Technical Paper Compendiums.

Technical Reports will be utilized for various purposes.  They provide an avenue for the PES Technical Council and its Technical Committees to address a subject that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a standard, application guide or recommended practice, though it could later form the basis of a standard, guide or recommended practice.  A technical report may address a subject within the power & energy area that requires more information than can be published in a magazine article, or a journal or conference paper.  It could be utilized to document the basis, or background information, for requirements within a PES developed standard; document the results and conclusions of a PES industry survey; address emerging technologies and industry issues; develop roadmaps for tactical direction in a specific subject area; or document technical or policy positions on industry practices.

Technical Paper Compendiums are another document category created to enhance a current committee practice of bundling together IEEE papers that were previously published in PES Transactions Journals or as part of a PES sponsored conference.  A committee, or sub-group within a committee, may pick a specific topic within the power and energy area and select significant papers published in the subject area to compile into a compendium for the benefit of the power and energy community. The compendium of papers will typically include additional commentary/discussion from invited committee experts and/or the original authors.  The additional information would typically fall into one of two types.  The compendium of papers may be preceded with a summary introduction providing an overview of the papers selected and may additionally provide the groups viewpoint of the technical works from an industry and/or academic perspective.  Or, the group may select individuals from the power and energy community to write discussions of the papers and invite the authors to write closures in response to those discussions.  The commentary/discussion provides valuable additional insight, from industry experts, into the subject area that wasn’t part of the original published papers.

The Technical Reports and Technical Paper Compendiums, plus other technical information, will be available free to PES members via the new improved and recently launched PES Resource Center, accessible from the PES homepage.

Standards Development:

PES is still heavily involved in the development of IEEE standards, guides and recommended practices.  The PES is responsible for over 50% of these types of documents published by the IEEE-SA.  Below are the statistics for documents processed through the IEEE-SA in 2013.

  • 11 New
  • 29 Revisions
  • 1 Ammendment
  • 3 Corrigenda
  • 48 PARs approved to develop new, or revise existing, documents

Smart Grid Roadmap:

In 2013, the Technical Council’s Intelligent Grid Coordinating Committee (IGCC) began an effort to facilitate development of a PES Smart Grid Roadmap, at the request of the PES Governing Board.  The IGCC held a planning meeting at GridWeek 2013 for the roadmap development and began having Task Force meetings in March 2013 to start drafting the document.

PES has led efforts to educate the industry, such as the Innovative Smart Grid Technology conferences, and has been an influential partner to NIST and SGIP in structuring new and revised standards that support the industry’s new direction.  It also led the multi-society effort to formulate a 2050 vision for the electric grid, the IEEE Smart Grid Vision 2050, which is a forecast of the future power system with guidelines and priorities to support new formulations of generation, transmission, distribution and end use of electricity.  Now PES has taken the next step, initiating the development of a roadmap that will hopefully better prepare the society for future industry changes.

The core uses of the PES Smart Grid Roadmap will be:

  • Prioritizing standards development
  • Identifying key industry issues that need solutions
  • Supporting needs of PES members beyond standards, (e.g. Smart Grid training, workforce development)
  • Tool to coordinate with other societies and organizations
  • Tool to discover what kinds of standards are needed before application deployment
  • Tool for Working Group chairs to see how their efforts fit into the overall PES mission

Input for the roadmap development has been solicited from PES members around the world.  While in attendance at the Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Latin America Conference, held in Sao Paulo, Brazil in April of 2013, I was able to present an overview of the roadmap effort.  As a result, a few members from South America became engaged at some level in the roadmap development.

Completion of the roadmap is targeted for mid-2014.  Stay tuned for further information on this important PES effort.

General Meeting (GM) Technical Activities Highlights:

At the 2013 GM, the Technical Council and its Technical Committees sponsored 5 Super Sessions, a Late Breaking News Sessions, 89 panel sessions, 24 Transactions Paper Sessions, 16 Conference Paper Forum Sessions, and a Monday night poster session with approximately 500 conference papers.  We also coordinated with the Power & Energy Education Committee to develop and present 14 tutorials.  The Technical Committees also held numerous working group meetings for development of future educational sessions, standards, guides, recommended practices, technical reports, and other technical information.

In recent years, the PES GM conference paper submissions have increased considerably.  In 2011 there were just over 700 conference papers submitted and then for 2012 there were just over 1000 submitted.  For the 2013 GM we received a record number of almost 1600 conference paper submissions.  This represented almost a 60% increase above the 2012 GM submissions, and more than double the 2011 conference paper submissions.  Based on historical acceptance rates for GM conference papers, we determined that we could not physically handle the potential number of papers that would be accepted and a significant increase in conference paper sessions would further detract from our other technical sessions, tutorials, and committee meetings being held concurrently at the GM.

Prize Paper: Theodor Borsche

Prize Paper: Theodor Borsche

In order to maintain a manageable number of paper presentations for the conference, the PES Technical Council’s Technical Sessions Committee agreed upon a limit of papers that each Technical Committee could accept for the 2013 GM and agreed upon a ranking system for choosing the final papers accepted.  This allowed for a more selective acceptance criterion in 2013, where only the higher ranked papers were accepted for presentation at the conference.   A total of 821 papers were accepted for the 2013 GM, a little over 50% of the total submissions.

Prize Paper: Dan Trudnowski

Prize Paper: Dan Trudnowski

Four of the 16 paper forum sessions were Best Paper Forum Sessions.  For the first time ever, it was decided to select 4 papers as GM Prize Conference Papers.  Out of the 821 conference papers accepted for the conference, 69 were chosen to be presented in the Best Paper Forum sessions.  These 69 conference papers were chosen based on the paper’s technical merits by members of the Technical Sessions Committee prior to the GM.  The presentation of the papers at the GM was a final component taken into consideration in the selection of the 4 prize conference papers, which were identified at the Monday night poster session and announced at the Tuesday Awards Dinner. The four papers chosen as the 2013 GM Prize Conference Papers were:

  • Power and energy capacity requirements of storages providing frequency control reserves.  Authors: T. Borsche, A. Ulbig, M. Koller and G. Andersson.  (Presented at the conference by Theodor Borsche.)
  • PDCI damping control analysis for the western North American power system.  Authors: D. Trudnowski, D. Kosterev and J. Undrill.  (Presented at the conference by Dan Trudnowski.)
  • Methodology for evaluating the impact of GIC and GIC capability of power transformer designs.  Authors: R. Girgis and K. Vedante.  (Presented at the conference by Ramsis Girgis.)
  • A unifying approach to assessing market power in deregulated electricity markets.  Authors: Chenye Wu, S. Bose, A. Wierman and H. Mohesenian-Rad.  (Presented at the conference by Hamed Mohesenian-Rad.)

We congratulate all the authors of these four papers as being the first ever selected as Prize Conference Papers for the PES General Meeting, and thank them for their technical contributions to the power and energy community.

Prize Paper: Ramsis Girgis

Prize Paper: Ramsis Girgis

In the Call for Papers for the 2014 GM, PES stated that approximately 800 conference papers would be accepted for presentation at the conference, either in a paper forum or at the Monday night poster session.  We received 1466 conference paper submissions for the 2014 GM, and as of this writing the Technical Sessions Committee is working to complete the review and ranking process to select the conference papers that will be accepted for presentation at the 2014 GM.  We are also planning 4 Super Sessions, over 90 Panel Sessions, and a number of Transactions Paper Sessions and Conference Paper Forum Sessions in addition to the Monday night poster session.  There are also 12 tutorials planned for the GM.  And, we plan to select 4 prize conference papers again this year.

Prize Paper: Hamed Mohesenian-Rad

Prize Paper: Hamed Mohesenian-Rad

We’re looking forward to being in National Harbor, Maryland USA, which is in the Washington, D.C. area, for the 2014 PES General Meeting and hope to see you there.  For conference and registration information, visit the 2014 PES General Meeting website.

Technical Council Awards:

The Technical Council currently sponsors three awards to recognize the contributions of the members of our Technical Committees.  Recipients are selected by the Technical Council Awards Committee.

The 2013 Technical Council awards were announced at the 2013 GM and are as follows:

Technical Committee of the Year_crop

Technical Committee of the Year

Technical Committee of the Year – Substations Committee, Chair, Mike Dood

The Technical Committee of the Year Award recognizes a committee that has had an active, impactful year in promoting and advancing the technical influence and value of PES.  The award was presented to the Substations Committee Chair, Mike Dood, at the Technical Council meeting held at the 2013 GM in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada.

Tech Council Distinguished Service Award_Orths_crop

Tech Council Distinguished Service Award

Distinguished Service Award – Anjte Orths

The Technical Council Distinguished Service Award recognizes a Technical Committee member who has consistently “gone the extra mile” in contributing to PES.

The award was presented to Anjte Orths at the Technical Council meeting held at the 2013 GM in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. Ms. Orths is a member of the Energy Delivery & Power Generation (EDPG) Committee.  She has chaired the European Infrastructure Working Group for several years and has organized 13 sessions on timely topics that cover the European power industry.  She has been tireless in promoting the technical activities of the International Practices Subcommittee and the EDPG.  Ms. Orths graduated in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany and received her PhD from the OvG University in Magdeburg.  She is with the Danish TSO and is an adjunct professor at the OvG University in Magdeburg.

Tech Council GOLD Award

Tech Council GOLD Award

Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award – Matthew Bauer

The Technical Council GOLD Award recognizes the technical contributions of young members of PES (within 10 years of graduation).

The GOLD Award recipient was Matthew Bauer, who was unable to attend the Technical Council meeting in Vancouver and Mike Dood accepted the award on his behalf.  Matthew sent the following statement in his absence:

“I would like to share with the council that I am very appreciative of being recognized by them.  I originally got involved with the working groups to hopefully gain some knowledge on the topics being discussed.  I quickly realized that not only was I having a great opportunity to further my industry knowledge but was also making excellent technical contacts in which I could ask questions.  I look forward to continual involvement in IEEE and feel what they do significantly helps our industry.  I also want to thank my company Burns & McDonnell for making it possible and supporting my involvement.  Without their support I am sure I would not be as involved as I am today.”

Mr. Bauer is active in the Substations Committee and is Vice-Chair of Working Group E2, Guide for Containment and Control of Oil Spills (IEEE 980).  He was very active in supporting the WG Chair for balloting IEEE 980, including facilitating web seminars for review and WG communication.  Matthew has his PE and is a civil/structural engineer for Transmission & Distribution Services at Burns & McDonnell.

Jeffrey H. Nelson
PES VP of Technical Activities
Chair, PES Technical Council