IEEE (PI)2 Past Chairs & History
2020 Ruth Sulzer firstname.lastname@example.org
2019 Andrew Bluiett Andrew.Bluiett@LCRA.ORG
2018 Kris Dehnel email@example.com
2017 James Mercier firstname.lastname@example.org
2016 Joel Sandahl email@example.com
2015 Joel Sandahl firstname.lastname@example.org
2014 Steve Pearson email@example.com
2013 Kevin Ewing firstname.lastname@example.org
2012 Andrew Bluiett email@example.com
2011 Don Drumtra firstname.lastname@example.org
2019: James Mercier, PE, a founder of the IEEE (PI)2 Austin Joint Chapter and the Chapter Treasurer, has been awarded the IEEE-USA George F. McClure Citation of Honor “For dedication leadership promoting vibrant professional activities facilitating cross-organizational relationships within IEEE and with industry partners.”
The congratulatory letter from David Iams, on behalf of the IEEE-USA Awards and Recognition Committee, stated that James has honored IEEE with his contributions and services in the area of professional activities, and the IEEE-USA Board of Directors was very pleased to recognize his efforts.
The selection for this Citation is based on outstanding dedication, efforts, significance, and most particularly on clear evidence of successful accomplishments and achievements in advancing the social, economic, legal, and ethical objectives of the profession and thus securing recognition of IEEE professional activities in the United States. One Citation may be given per year, and does not need to be given if there is no suitable candidate.
Anyone who has attended a (PI)2 Austin program knows James Mercier, with his energy, wit, smile, handle-bar mustache, and a story for every occasion. James works tirelessly for his chapter and section, and supports IEEE members, young and experienced, in the IEEE CTS Section and around the globe.
He has been a tireless volunteer to serve the engineers of Central Texas throughout his 30+ years as an engineer. He is an IEEE Life Member and has been active in the IEEE Power & Energy Society throughout his career. He served 4 years in the US Air Force, and afterward completed an apprenticeship program and became a Journeyman Wireman, working in power plants, steel mills, refineries, schools, traffic signals, and offices. He returned to college at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, and earned a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering, working as an Environmental Engineer before relocating to Texas. He worked for TxDOT for the remained of his career, specializing in reviewing electrical plans, specifying grounding practices, jobsite inspections for code compliance, lightning protection, and open channel hydraulics. He is licensed as a Professional Engineer in Texas and five other states and is a licensed Master Electrician in Texas and the City of Austin James has brought, in addition to his energy and dynamic personality, all this diverse and well-rounded knowledge and experience to IEEE activities and leadership positions in Central Texas and supporting Society activities throughout the United States.
On February 8, 2011, the IEEE PES Central Texas Chapter in Austin members and the IEEE IAS Chapter members received approval from IEEE to form a joint chapter of four Societies, named IEEE (PI)2 Austin:
- Power & Energy
- Industry Applications
- Power Electronics (new to Austin)
- Industrial Electronics (new to Austin)
Earlier IEEE PES Austin Chairs
2010 Bobby Speer
2009 Rheuben Hair
2008 Stacy Shook email@example.com
2008 – IEEE PES Name Change from Power Engineering
to Power & Energy. See PES History
2007 Mike Noth firstname.lastname@example.org
2005 Roy Matthews
2004 Steve Kanetzky email@example.com
2003 Steve Kanetzky firstname.lastname@example.org
2002 James Mercier email@example.com
2001 James Mercier firstname.lastname@example.org
2000 Forrest Arnold, LCRA
1970 Walter May
1969 Walter May
Early History and Articles
The Central Texas Chapter of IEEE PES changed its location to Austin in 2001. It had its inaugural meeting on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 at the then Clarion Hotel at US-35 and Live Oaks Street, with Forrest Arnold opening the meeting, convening elections, which resulted in the following officers: James Mercier – Chair, Steve Kanetzky – Vice-Chair and Roy Matthews – Secretary/Treasurer. Shortly thereafter the meeting location changed to the El Gallo restaurant in Austin.
IEEE PES Central Texas Chapter officers from L-R: Steve Kanetzky, P.E.; C. Walter May, Jr., P.E.; Thad Henry; Forrest Arnold, P.E.; Ron Brown; Roy Matthews, P.E.; and James Mercier, P.E. (Photo credit: Construction News, Austin TX – see 2002 article below, page 7)
Article Construction News 2003 page 4
1970-2001 The Central Texas Chapter of IEEE PES served both Austin and San Antonio, meeting in New Braunfels, halfway between the two cities. Attendance had declined to the point where meetings weren’t scheduled, perhaps because of the distance members from the two cities had to travel.
1970 – IEEE creates Societies, with a President, as opposed to a Chair, as the unit leader, and the Power Group was transformed into IEEE Power Engineering Society. See PES History
1964 – The earliest records available show that the inaugural IEEE Power Group Chapters were in Central Texas (San Antonio), Dallas and Houston (July 1, 1964). See IEEE Power Group
1964 – The IEEE Industry Application Society lists the Austin IAS Chapter as its oldest chapter – formed on February 12, 1964, shortly after the formation of IEEE. See pages 45-46 here: IAS_50th_Anniversary_History_Book