html{display:none} Agenda | Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories


Wednesday, June 6

8:00–9:00 a.m.

Keynote: Service

Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III
President, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Service has roots in our psychology, whether we are receiving it or providing it.

Service brings us together and has many dimensions: compassion, empathy, sympathy, camaraderie, family, professionalism, manners, performance, importance, timeliness, value, patriotism, military service, customer service, emergency service, technical service, and electric power service.

My dad referred to our electric power utility as the PS Company—the public-service company. Samuel Insull referred to the industry that he and Edison fathered as Public Service.

Electric power service is fundamental to all aspects of our daily lives today because it is safe, reliable, economical, and always ready to serve us at the flick of a switch and at the speed of light.

Our industry is in business to serve our customers. Or, as Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of a company is to make a customer.” I like that, and we must take it one step further. The purpose of a business is to make a customer happy.

We will be talking about how we might ensure we’re staying true to our service-centered roots so that our businesses, customers, and world advance together.

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9:00–10:30 a.m.

Executive Panel

Moderator: Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III
President, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

David Costello, Chief Sales and Customer Service Officer, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
Mary Rezac, Ph.D., Professor of Chemical Engineering, Dean of the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, Washington State University
Robert Yeager, President, Power and Water Solutions, Emerson Process Management

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11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.


Horst Schulze
Legendary Hotelier Renowned for Creating a Culture of Service

1:00–2:45 p.m.

Customer Service—Developing and Maintaining Trust

Moderator: Travis Mooney
Director of Quality, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Good people trying their best to serve others can make mistakes. However, those crucial situations present us with excellent opportunities to learn, to grow, and to care for our customers in ways that strengthen our relationships.


  • Embracing customer service as an obligation
  • Valuing human-to-human interactions over business-to-business transactions
  • Learning how to operate perfectly with imperfect people
  • Maintaining strong partnerships; teamwork is essential when responding to unforeseen events

Horst Schulze, Legendary Hotelier Renowned for Creating a Culture of Service
Tony Lee, Chief Manufacturing Officer, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

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3:15–5:00 p.m.

Building In Resilience to Prevent Damage

Moderator: Shankar Achanta
Engineering Director, Research and Development, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Restoring service after hurricanes, floods, and wildfires has reduced from weeks to days because of our lessons learned, mutual assistance, and improved preparation. Where can we build resilience into our systems that balances well with our restoration efforts?


  • Minimizing damage and expediting service restoration with resilience strategies from industry leaders
  • Planning for and working through unexpected events in an emergency
  • Making coordination efforts smoother and environments safer with new technologies
  • Mitigating disasters through system design modifications

Colonel Kirk Bruno, United States Marine Corps (retired)
Tim Douglas, Automated Rapid Infrastructure Evaluation System (ARIES™) Technical Lead and Senior Systems Engineer, Lockheed Martin

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Thursday, June 7

8:00–10:00 a.m.

Modern Solutions for Grid Control

Moderator: Dr. Greg Zweigle
Fellow Engineer, Research and Development, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Microgrids deliver reliable, safe, and efficient ways to serve customers. How will today’s factors like faster dynamics, decreasing inertia, time-domain protection, and better communications drive network control going forward?


  • Understanding the importance of fast, simple, reliable, and secure solutions when selecting technology for today’s power system
  • Modeling and understanding power systems from first principles when considering technical solutions
  • Presenting the future of microgrids: where the industry is going and what that means for the rest of the power system
  • Discussing practical examples and what it takes to make grid automation work reliably

Erik Limpaecher, Group Leader, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Dr. Robert H. Lasseter, Emeritus Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Carl Monroe, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Southwest Power Pool

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10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.


Chris Inglis
Deputy Director, National Security Agency (2006–2014)

1:00–2:45 p.m.

Inherently Safe Cyber

Moderator: Dr. Ryan Bradetich
Vice President of Automation and Communication, Research and Development, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Cyber needs a fundamental change to realize a future where our communications networks and information systems are inherently safe. Can we take advantage of operational technology applications to solve the problem for the power industry? By posing a hypothetical solution, the panel will discuss engineering a cybersecure power system network.


  • Removing complexity to make a shift towards a more cybersecure world
  • Achieving an inherently cybersecure system is easy for industrial control system (ICS) and power utility operational technology networks
  • Figuring out what we can do today to engineer cybersecure networks

Robert Lee, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Dragos

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3:15–5:00 p.m.

Valuing Today’s Dynamic Mix of Energy Sources

Moderator: Tyson Salewske
Regional Sales and Service Director, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

The dynamic mix of distributed energy resources, regulatory policies, and changing technologies adds complexity and costs to the value chain and clouds understanding of the value of energy. In this session, we’ll examine the challenges of maintaining system reliability in the wake of new technology adoption, the true levelized cost of energy, and the role standards play when integrating new technology.


  • Valuing grid services like voltage and frequency regulation, cold-load pickup, and motor starting current amid the changing landscape
  • Analyzing provider compensation
  • Defining and conveying the true value of energy amid great transformation

Dr. Carey W. King, Assistant Director and Research Scientist, The University of Texas at Austin, Energy Institute
Mark Siira, Director of Utility Compliance and Solutions, ComRent International
David Angell, Delivery Planning Manager, Idaho Power Company

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Friday, June 8

8:00–9:30 a.m.


Dr. James Merlo
Vice President of Reliability Risk Management, North American Electric Reliability Corporation

10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

The Optimal Power Grid Composition

Moderator: Dr. Normann Fischer
Fellow Engineer, Research and Development, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Clean, economical, and dependable energy comes from a combination of renewable and conventional energy sources. What are the financial factors that determine an optimal composition? Are we able to control such a power system with present technology? In this session, we’ll discuss what technologies we need to invent or develop to maintain a controlled, stable power system.

  • Determining the optimal mix of renewable and conventional energy sources from utility to utility
  • Determining the control and protection challenges associated with a new power system
  • Redefining the role of system operators as power systems change

J. Charles Smith, Executive Director, Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group
John Moura, Director of Reliability Assessment and System Analysis, North American Electric Reliability Corporation
Clyde Loutan, Principal Renewable Energy Integration, California ISO

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