Damir Novosel, President

Damir NovoselDear colleagues,

In previous decades, IEEE Power & Energy Society (IEEE PES) initiatives have been catalysts to improved industry operation and to the research, development, and deployment of new technologies necessary to address electrical power system complexities. Our industry is rapidly changing which demands new and innovative ways of planning and operating, e.g. the integration of distributed energy resources, energy storage, and electrical vehicles. PES will continue leading and become even more beneficial to our industry and the overall society. Our Society’s strength and value to our members are in its ability to support our membership in creating and implementing new technical ideas and to share and apply best practices through collaboration.

As your new president, I plan to focus on global membership involvement, growth, and retention by focusing on benefits of participation. When members around the world are getting more involved as volunteers and bring their colleagues to join our society, we are doing it right. It is important to publicly acknowledge volunteers and recognize our most active members for their great efforts and contributions.

The following are concrete goals and priorities that can be accomplished only through your active engagement:

  • Strengthen involvement of industry practitioners by increasing and communicating benefits of active participation.
  • Improve international involvement and leadership, including awareness, technical participation, and use of international meetings and chapter activities to foster cooperation.
  • Providing objective technical leadership and support for industry initiatives that lead to developing the key regulatory policies by responding to changing industry needs. It includes development of required standard together with IEEE Standards Association (SA) (with having some on “fast track” if necessary), and cooperation with U.S. DOE and other needful government agencies worldwide.

Accomplishing these goals will require creating more industry leading technical, educational, coaching and connection programs through chapters, technical committees, conferences, etc. These initiatives should serve to energize and promote our diverse membership at all grades through sharing your knowledge, best practices, and innovative ideas.

As we emphasize importance of IEEE standards and technical reports, it is good to remember that they have been providing fundamental value to our industry since the dawn of electricity. The images below show our first standard and committee report, published by AIEE (IEEE predecessor) in 1893 and 1899, respectively.


We need to use all venues and media at our disposal to promote great output and value of our membership and do a better in doing so. For example, there is a saying that valuable output of our committees is “the best kept PES secret”. Our newly enhanced PES Resource Center provides access to industry best practices, references and career development that helps our practicing engineers and technologist better do their jobs. It contains Technical Reports, Tutorials, E-Learning Modules, Plain Talk Courses for Non-Engineering Professionals, Videos, Webinars and more. I encourage you to visit the Resource Center and let us know what you think. Use of modern media to promote our initiatives should also encourage greater participation of our younger generation.

Considering the volunteering nature of our involvement and our members’ broad knowledge, it is also necessary to share and cast a wider net to recruit more PES members into technical activities. We draw benefits from global synergies between private and public sectors (utilities/ISOs, vendors, academia, national labs, regulatory organizations, and other industry participants) and by sharing our members’ technical, business, and research experiences and contributions. PES is perceived as very strong academically. However, there is a room to improve active involvement and participation by industry practitioners, particularly globally. By expanding our communities globally, our members and industry benefit from the sharing of regional perspectives, challenges, priorities and successes. It enables PES to make a difference in modernizing global electrical power delivery to serve energy consumers’ demands for reliable, secure, and economical services while addressing environmental needs.

We have been regularly updating you on proposed changes to the structure of our technical committees led by the PES Technical Council to respond to changing industry needs. Our goal has been to have a transparent review process of the proposed structure, including addressing membership ideas and comments. Our plan is to start implementation of new Technical Committee Structure by April 2016, including Town Hall meetings to inform the membership in-person about the changes at the 2016 PES General Meeting in July.

As our nature is to do better, it is very important to continue benefiting from our members’ inventive ideas on how to improve. Under the leadership of Miroslav Begovic, IEEE PES Immediate Past President, the Long-Range Planning (LRP) committee has developed the PES 2013 -2018 Long-Range Plan to pave the way to continuous growth that can only be achieved by providing unparalleled value to our members. Some of the key successes and initiatives planned are addressed below.

PES membership grew from 21,000 to an all-time record of 35,500 plus members by the end of 2015. A very important factor in the increased membership has been the formation of forty new Chapters since 2010, nine in Region 8 (Africa, Europe, Middle East) and fourteen in Region 10 (Asia and Pacific). The growth of student branch chapters over the same period has exceeded the growth of regular chapters, reflecting a global success in attracting young practitioners and researchers to the Society and the profession, and responding to the need of PES to rejuvenate itself. In addition to efforts by our volunteers to promote the value that PES provides, the growth is attributed to increased worldwide interest in energy, new energy technologies, and changing workforce demographics. Like most IEEE Societies, PES membership is concentrated in North America, where just over 50 percent of our members reside. However, our membership is growing most rapidly in Regions 8 and 10, with 22 and 34 percent growth, respectively. There is continued potential forEEE PES to attract new members, e.g. Region 9 (Latin America) that presently has 9% of our membership. As language barrier presents an obstacle for some professionals to joining PES and benefiting from its many resources, our plans are to continue working toward translation of our information into the common language(s) of the Region. We also need to continue welcoming new members into the society and our industry, including providing easy access to technical training.

The vision is to enhance the value and contributions of PES members globally in the coming years. Membership growth in those regions has not yet reached the levels and potential that we could achieve with a more focused effort to provide services and value tailored to the cultures and circumstances under which the professional careers of our members are developing. Part of the solution should involve increased industry engagement and offering products in regional languages. Following are initiatives envisioned:

  • Establish new PES Chapters and increase the number of High Performing PES Chapters to enhance the value of PES membership.
  • Attract, engage and retain under represented member segments to insure the future of our society, such as young professionals and women.
  • Support the IEEE initiative on Humanitarian Activities to provide affordable energy throughout the world.

One of our highest priorities is to improve international involvement and presence by:

  • Involving more global participants in standard and guideline activities, both in the main groups and as part of regional working groups
  • Publicizing technical committee work at global meetings and have representatives from technical committees presenting work.
  • Holding local/regional technical meetings in coordination with technical committees and hold more technical committee meetings throughout the world, encouraging participation by local PES chapter and local students
  • Identifying the most pressing issues for power and energy in systems world-wide.
  • Educating utilities, RTOs, manufacturers and software makers world-wide about Technical Activities and get local (regional) global groups to work on common issues.
  • Reaching out to chapters in the regions and discuss with Regional Representatives the issues that committees can help with.

Additional priorities by the team to support the membership are:

  • Improving the value of publications and access.
  • Implementing the committee structure and coordination initiatives.
  • Continuing developing tools to enhance effectiveness.
  • Addressing emerging technologies.
  • Enhance cooperation with IEC and CIGRE.

Engaging industry executives provides important awareness about the following benefits achieved by active PES involvement of engineers from the industry:

  • Participation in standards development helps the company drive and understand key technical issues and protects and enhances its current and future investments in key technologies.
  • Allowing members to learn new technical information, anticipate upcoming issues, and gain information and insight from others.
  • Learning new skills and technologies through meeting attendance and committee participation provides cost-effective workforce training
  • Enabling participants to build a network of professional colleagues for fast access, advice and problem-solving.
  • Technical committee participants can gain mentoring and management skills,

We are part of a vital industry that is re-inventing itself at a fast pace. Our industry’s metamorphosis has created an increased demand for practical expertise and a shortage of new talent to support the developing engineering technologies. PES members have dedicated their time to these challenges, providing the industry with technical leadership and a vibrant partnership for a better future.

The key to success of any organization are common goals and teamwork. I am confident that my colleagues on the Governing Board and I will put every effort into promoting and benefiting from your ideas and provide even greater value to our membership through active participation.

I am proud of what PES has become and excited about what we can do in the future to provide global technical leadership to the industry and society.

Damir Novosel

“Teamwork is wanting and helping your colleagues to succeed”