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Schweitzer Drive Podcast

Texas Blackout: Why the Lights Went Out and How to Keep Them On

Safe, reliable, and economical electric power is essential to our daily lives. The recent events in Texas are a reminder of just how important these adjectives are when it comes to providing power for homes, daycares, schools, businesses, hospitals—and the power generation facilities themselves. In this episode, Dave Whitehead talks with SEL president and power system protection pioneer Dr. Ed Schweitzer and power systems expert David Costello about what happened and how to prevent it from happening again.

The Guest

Ed Schweitzer

Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III

Founder, President, and Chief Technology Officer, SEL

Ed Schweitzer is recognized as a pioneer in digital protection and holds the grade of Fellow in the IEEE, a title bestowed on less than one percent of IEEE members. In 2002, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Schweitzer received the 2012 Medal in Power Engineering, the highest award given by IEEE, for his leadership in revolutionizing the performance of electrical power systems with computer-based protection and control equipment. In 2019, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

A prolific inventor and the author of dozens of technical papers in the areas of digital relay design and reliability, Schweitzer holds more than 200 patents worldwide.

Schweitzer received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University and his doctorate from Washington State University.

David Costello

David Costello

Chief Sales and Services Officer

David guides SEL’s Sales and Customer Service and Engineering Services divisions worldwide, with a special focus on quality, service, and customer relationships.

The author of more than 30 technical papers and 25 application guides, David was honored to receive the 2016 Best Overall Technical Presentation Award from the NETA PowerTest Conference, the 2013 Outstanding Engineer Award from the Central Texas section of the IEEE Power and Energy Society, and the 2008 Walter A. Elmore Best Paper Award from the Georgia Institute of Technology Protective Relaying Conference.

Since joining SEL in 1996, he has served in a variety of roles, including field application engineer, technical support director, national sales and customer service director, and senior vice president of Sales and Customer Service.

He is a senior member of IEEE, was a member of the planning committee for the Conference for Protective Relay Engineers at Texas A&M University for more than 20 years, and is a registered professional engineer in Texas and Michigan.