WPI to Hold Symposium on the Electric Power Industry

Theme 'Building a Pipeline' of new engineers to meet increasing demand
September 24, 2013

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will hold a symposium titled "Building the Pipeline" to discuss developments and career opportunities in the electric power industry. Current industry leaders will provide an overview of the field, and WPI staff will talk about progress in building a pipeline of well-qualified, diverse professionals to lead the industry. The program will include a panel discussion on energy-related careers.


Keynote speaker Gordon van Welie, president and chief executive officer of ISO New England, will talk about the technical complexity of operating the electric grid, as well as the industry's aging demographic, and issue a call to action for people who are beginning their engineering careers.

During the symposium, George Gela, technical executive at the Electric Power Research Institute, will talk about EPRI research at Lenox Laboratory, and Mark Olson of the North American Electric Reliability Corp. will discuss geomagnetic disturbances.


Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Campus Center Odeum, WPI campus, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, Mass.


"WPI provides electric power education and research in a continuing partnership with some of the nation's leading utilities and grid operators," said Michael Ahern, director of power systems engineering at WPI. "This year's WPI Energy Symposium is focused on building the pipeline of new engineers to meet ever-rising customer expectations for reliable and cost-effective energy."

More Information

The need for reliable, affordable, and environmentally friendly energy increases every day, but few engineers have the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfill this worldwide demand. In addition, a large attrition rate is anticipated among power engineers over the next five to 10 years, compounding the shortage of skills at a time when energy innovation is most needed.