IEEE PES Region 4: Always in Motion

Across the midwestern US, PES Chapters are hosting conferences and workshops, and visiting wind farms and power plants

As always, the IEEE PES Region 4 was very busy over the summer, whether it be formal technical sessions or enjoying the great outdoors with a little bit of learning to go with it.

Leading the way since the last Region 4 update was the Wayne State University Student Branch.  In March 2017 they hosted the Region 4 Student Leadership Conference and had former PES President, Wanda Reder, discuss new technologies being introduced to the power industry. Photos of the conference can be found at (  Wayne State student branch also hosted two great event facility tours: In December they visited the Monroe Power Plant in conjunction with DTE Energy and learned how a coal-burning plant works, and in October they toured the Gratiot Wind Park in Breckenridge, MI. Owned by DTE Energy, we learned about wind power and even saw inside of a wind turbine. It was a great experience for the students!

Wayne State University Student Branch tours Gratiot Wind Farm in Breckenridge, MI

Wayne State University Student Branch from Detroit, MI

Very close to the Wayne State Student branch is the Southeastern Michigan chapter.  They held the successful 2016 IAS Industrial and Commercial Power Systems Conference and held 6 technical meetings including one on Offshore Wind Farms.  Another exciting update is the tour of the University of Michigan’s Battery Lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The chapter is also pleased to announce two outstanding volunteers within the chapter who received awards for their contributions: Don Bramlett and Ian Hutt.  Thank you to those two and thank you to the entire chapter for the activity!  Future activities are planned for the Southeastern Michigan chapter including a technical workshop on interconnecting distributed resources (IEEE 1547) and distribution automation and management systems (DA/DMS).

The Chicago Chapter was also very active.  Averaging 9 technical seminars a year, there are always interesting topics coming up on the horizon.  Several highlights from recent times are the seminars on The Ukraine Electric System Cyber Attacks, Microgrid Challenges and Opportunities, and a very helpful session on Power System harmonics.  The chapter toured a new and impressively large 765kV substation in Reynolds, Indiana with NIPSCO in October 2017.  And for those interested in obtaining PDHs, the chapter hosted an all-day technical workshop on IEEE 1547, related to microgrids and distributed energy resources.  Two awards were given out this year to outstanding engineers of two generations: Brian Mugalian of S&C Electric Company and Mahir Gosalia of GE.

The Milwaukee Chapter was also pleased to host a distinguished lecturer, hand-selected from the IEEE PES distinguished lecturer program (DLP).  The topic of “Field-Reliability of High-Density Power Converters” was well received in June 2017.  The DLP is a great avenue for chapters to increase exposure and attendance to upcoming meetings by utilizing some of the best resources in the power & energy industry by coming to your local chapter and presenting.  More information can be found on the IEEE PES website. 

Paul Pabst, P.E.
IEEE PES Region 4 Representative