Dave Whitehead is the chief executive officer at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL), overseeing global operations in research and development, sales and customer service, engineering services, manufacturing, human resources, marketing and communications, and business. He is responsible for translating the company's executive vision into effective corporate strategies that prioritize quality, innovation, service, and growth.
He received a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Washington State University, followed shortly by an master of science in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Idaho in recognition of his contributions to the electric power industry.
Dave joined SEL as a hardware engineer in 1994 and climbed quickly through the research and development division, holding positions including research engineer, chief engineer of the government services division, and vice president of research and development.
He served in the latter role for more than a decade, leading the 800-person research and development division while its multidisciplinary teams designed and tested systems that manage, monitor, and control critical infrastructure. He continues to be instrumental in the development of new innovations at SEL and has been credited with 73 patents to date.
Dave is a recognized leader in cybersecurity for industrial and utility control systems and is credited with inventions that have led to breakthroughs and cybersecurity advances throughout the energy sector. He currently serves on the board of directors and as an advisor for Veracity Industrial Networks, a developer of industrial software-defined networking (SDN)-based technology for operational networks. In 2019, he testified before the U.S. Senate and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the importance of proactivity and innovation in cybersecurity. He has also presented at numerous conferences and authored multiple papers on the topic.
Dave is a member of the board of directors for SEL, a senior member of IEEE, and the past chair of the IEEE Power & Energy Society Substations C6 committee.