In Memoriam – Pat Ryan

The IEEE Power & Energy Society is saddened to announce the passing of Patrick Ryan, IEEE PES Executive Director on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

Pat Ryan was a courageous individual who fought very hard to beat his battle with cancer. He faced this challenge with his usual tenacity and positive attitude, but he was sadly unable to overcome it.

Pat became the third PES Executive Director in 2007 and was a driving force in transforming PES into the second-largest society within the IEEE. He had a relentless focus on the IEEE and PES Mission & Vision and a strong belief that there needed to be significant volunteer engagement to pursue anything new. Pat was recently selected as the 2020 recipient of the IEEE Eric Herz Outstanding Staff Member Award “for leadership in creating a successful model for IEEE and Society memberships by fostering member value and partnerships with volunteers.”

No matter how good an idea was, Pat would not pursue it unless there was significant volunteer engagement. He clearly held the volunteers at the core of the organization. Under his leadership as executive director, Pat drove several significant achievements for PES, including:

  • Changed the name of the society from IEEE Power Engineering Society to the IEEE Power & Energy Society to better reflect the PES Mission & Vision
  • Increased PES membership from 22,000 in 2006 to more than 40,000 by the end of 2019
  • Developed business processes which helped increased PES Reserves which enabled the society to create and establish humanitarian programs
  • Founded the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative which has distributed more than 1,500 scholarships to undergraduate students
  • Launched the IEEE PES Resource Centers which provide practical content and educational courses to industry professionals
  • Supported the development of the IEEE Smart Village program which integrates sustainable electricity, education, and entrepreneurial solutions to empower off-grid communities
  • Established four new publications to meet the growing demand of PES membership – The Transactions on Smart Grid; The Transactions on Sustainable Energy; Electrification Magazine; and The Open Access Journal of Power and Energy
  • Expanded the portfolio of PES Conferences to a global audience and inaugurated Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conferences worldwide
  • Fostered the development of the IEEE Smart Grid and IEEE Smart Cities programs

Pat had a unique sense of humor, and with his panache for making friends and cultivating relationships, one of the main focus in his life, along with his cherished wife, was to raise his three children with strong values. He was so proud to watch them each become positive, contributing citizens of the community at large.

He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and anything involving the great outdoors.

Surviving are his wife, Patricia J. Hunkele Ryan; his children, Roman Ryan, Nicholas Ryan, and Bridget Ryan; a sister and brother-in-law, Sandy and Les Kiss; several extended family members; and many dear friends.

IEEE members who would like can make tribute gifts in memory of Pat. Details of the online giving page can be found at: https://www.ieeefoundation.org/PatrickRyan. Contributions can be made in memory of Pat designated to IEEE Smart Village, PES Scholarship Plus, and to the PES Awards Endowment.  The Ryan family will receive notification of all donations that are received.

Pat’s obituary is available here. You can also view our memorial page to Pat on the PES website.