October 27th:  Grid Transformation with Solid State Transformers

Speaker: Iqbal Husain, PhD, Director, FREEDM Systems Center & ABB Distinguished Professor of Electric & Computer Engineering at NCSU Our final 2020 virtual Technical Meeting was held with Dr Husain from the FREEDM Systems Center at North Carolina State University  where engineers are developing solid-state transformers that promise to make the electrical grid more reliable… Read more

September 22nd, 6:30 PM Central: IEEE (PI)2 Austin Technical Meeting:  “New Developments in The Visualization of Wide-Area Electric Grid Information with Application to Grid Interconnection Studies”

September 22nd, 6:30 PM Central: IEEE (PI)2 Austin Technical Meeting:  “New Developments in The Visualization of Wide-Area Electric Grid Information with Application to Grid Interconnection Studies” Speaker: Tom Overbye, PHD, Texas A&M Tom Overbye reviewed the ongoing power system challenge of how best to utilize and ultimately present information to a human user derived from either… Read more

August 31, 2020: James Mercier awarded the IEEE-USA George F. McClure Citation of Honor

On August 31st, James Mercier, PE, a founder of the IEEE (PI)2 Austin Joint Chapter and the Chapter Treasurer, received the IEEE-USA George F. McClure Citation of Honor “For dedicated 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… Read more

August 25, 2020 ““The Florida International University Pedestrian Bridge Collapse: How did Engineers Allow this to Happen?“

IEEE (PI)2 Austin August 25, 2020 Virtual Technical Meeting “The Florida International University Pedestrian Bridge Collapse: How did Engineers Allow this to Happen?“ Dean Van Landuyt and Mark J. Bloschock provided a terrific tag-team presentation on the the events leading up to this event on March 15, 2018, when a 175-foot-long span collapsed while under construction at Florida International University.  Surprisingly,… Read more

July 28. 2020 Technical Meeting “Commercial Lighting Controls – The Path to Code Compliance and an Amazing User Experience”

Abstract: Say farewell to your toggle switches!  The future is here and like so many other things, lighting is becoming automated.  Driven by government mandated energy programs, lighting control requirements are becoming more stringent but also more useful. This presentation was fascinating as Douglas Braun went through the evolution of lighting control stages from the early days of… Read more

June 16, 18, 23 and 25, 2020 IEEE (PI)2  virtual  Workshop on Energy Storage

The COVID health emergency forced the postponement of the planned 8-hour in-person Workshop on Energy Storage scheduled for March. Rising to the challenge, (PI)2 officers James Mercier and Andrew Bluiett worked with David Hood and Daniel Youngs of Saft Battery Systems and Thomas Domitrovich of Eaton to reschedule the Worksop into four 2 ½ hour segments on Tuesday and… Read more

JUNE 23, 2020 , Technical Meeting: Distributed Residential Generation

Scott Hinson, CTO for Pecan Street, Inc, provided insights on energy use changes due to the COVID pandemic “Stay-At-Home” orders.  The Pecan Street unique Real-Life test bed is ideally suited to provide detailed data on residential energy usage changes. The Pecan Sweet staff conducts groundbreaking data research and product testing that accelerates the development and… Read more

May 26, 2020 Tech Meeting: The Role of Sector Coupling in Renewable Integration

Webex Meeting Dr. Ross Baldick, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin  introduced changes to the traditional planning and operation of the electricity system to motivate consideration of sector coupling in the context of increased renewables, that is combining complementary methods to increase the benefits of… Read more

April 28, 2020 Tech Meeting: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Usage for an Electric Utility

Webex Meeting Steve McMinns, LCRA Remote Sensing Specialist presented the ways in which UAVs have been implemented at the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) to assist in structure inspections, mapping, thermal inspections, videography, and safety. UAV’s reduce the cost and risks of inspections and can effectively track equipment condition. In addition, UAVs can save time and money the… Read more

February 25, 2020: IEEE (PI)2 Austin Technical Meeting: Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure

Michael Allgeier,  Critical Infrastructure Security Director, ERCOT, gave an interesting and informative talk about protecting our Critical Infrastructure and understanding the various threats to it.  He described what Critical Infrastructure is and why should we care, and discussed what’s being done about it and what still needs to be done.  His review of  recent attacks from around the… Read more