SEL is proud to announce that its Founder and President, Edmund O. Schweitzer III, received the prestigious 2012 IEEE Medal in Power Engineering on Saturday, June 30, 2012, during an award ceremony held in Boston, MA, honoring 26 top technologists. IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional association. The Medal in Power Engineering, sponsored by the IEEE Industry Applications, Industrial Electronics, Power Electronics, and Power & Energy Societies, recognizes Dr. Schweitzer for leadership in revolutionizing the performance of electrical power systems with computer-based protection and control equipment. For more information about the 2012 ceremony, please visit http://www.ieee.org/about/awards/HonorsPresentations/honors_ceremony.html.
According to the IEEE website (http://www.ieee.org/about/awards/medals/index_%20medals.html) IEEE Medals are the highest awards that the IEEE presents on behalf of the IEEE Board of Directors. IEEE Medals embrace significant and broad IEEE interests and purposes. The IEEE Medal in Power Engineering was established in August 2008 to honor individuals for outstanding contributions to technology associated with the generation, transmission, distribution, application, and utilization of electric power for the betterment of society.
Upon receiving his award, Dr. Schweitzer exclaimed, "I would like to thank IEEE for the recognition, and I'd also like to express my appreciation for all that IEEE does for the electric power industry and the IEEE's growing role in engineering education. Frankly, it's a dream come true and a real privilege to be able to serve an industry that we all depend on every day, all the time. Thank you all so very, very much." concluded Dr. Schweitzer.
The 2012 IEEE Honors Ceremony can be viewed at: https://ieeetv.ieee.org/player/html/viewer?dl=#2012-honors-awards-ceremony. The video tribute to Dr. Schweitzer begins at 1:39:55 followed by Dr. Schweitzer's acceptance of the Medal in Power Engineering Award.
IEEE Press Release
Edmund O. Schweitzer, III, an engineer who drove the migration of computer-based protection and control technology from theory to real-world products that have greatly enhanced the safety and reliability of electric power generation, transmission and distribution, is being honored by IEEE with the 2012 IEEE Medal in Power Engineering. IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional association.
The medal, sponsored by the IEEE Industry Applications, Industrial Electronics, Power Electronics and Power & Energy Societies, recognizes Schweitzer for leadership in revolutionizing the performance of electrical power systems with computer-based protection and control equipment. The award will be presented on 30 June 2012 at the IEEE Honors Ceremony in Boston, Mass.
Schweitzer envisioned the concept of the "smart grid" long before the term was popularized. He recognized early in his career the importance of computer technology for power protection and how it could change the field. Microprocessor-based methods, such as digital protective relays, use microcontrollers and software to detect electrical faults in a power system. Compared to traditional electromechanical protective relays, digital methods enable engineers to locate power outages more quickly and protect against widespread loss of service. Schweitzer’s pioneering inventions and leadership in bringing computer-based methods to the marketplace starting in the 1980s have revolutionized safety, reliability and efficiency in generating, transmitting and distributing electric power and have transformed operation of the power grid. By the mid-1990s, digital protective relays had practically replaced the use of electromechanical relays in new installations.
Schweitzer was not deterred by those in the industry who told him that applying digital technology to power systems was impractical and that computers could not perform at the required speeds for protection and control. Schweitzer founded Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) to develop and manufacture digital protective relays, driving his research to commercial application. Schweitzer's innovations have allowed engineers of all backgrounds to monitor, control and protect power systems in ways not previously imagined.
The application of Schweitzer’s digital technology as replacement equipment or in new installations has led to reduced design work in protection and control systems, flexible operation options and increased reliability, resulting in reduced cost. Examples include SEL digital protective relays featuring negative sequence overcurrent functions. These devices minimize the cost of backup protection for distributed power applications and maximize the effectiveness of ground fault detection in transmission lines. SEL equipment is in service at voltages from 5 kV through 500 kV, protecting feeders, motors, transformers, capacitor banks, transmission lines and other power apparatus.
An IEEE Fellow and member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, Schweitzer’s honors include an Alumni Achievement Award from Washington State University (2001) and the Purdue University Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer Award (2003). He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., and his doctorate from Washington State University, Pullman. Schweitzer served on the electrical engineering faculties at Ohio University and Washington State University before founding SEL, Inc. in 1982. Schweitzer is currently president and chief executive officer with Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Pullman, Wash.
IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional association, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more at http://www.ieee.org.