IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2017 - 76

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

figure 1. The evolution of the PSERC logo: (a) the original version from 1986 showing
four "buses," representing the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Cornell University, and the University of Texas at Austin;
(b) the 1992 version; (c) the 1995 version; and (d) the current version.

the gas industry, that indicated deregulation was on the way. The proposal for
an engineering research center (erc)
was based on problems that prospectively needed to be solved when that
happened. By then, the logo had changed
to the image shown in Figure 1(b).
a proposal for an erc in power
systems was submitted to the nsF in
november 1993, with the addition of
howard and hampton universities. On
4 February 1994, the nsF notified the
team that they had been selected for a
site review. In March 1994, the universities visited companies to elicit support
for the proposal, and the site review was
held at the lead school-cornell-on
22-23 March 1994. at the site review,
the proposal received high marks for
ideas and performance.
The next stage of this nsF erc
proposal process included a brief "blue
ribbon panel" review, during which the
center director had about 30 min to
present a proposal overview. We were
told afterward that we were unsuccessful, mainly because one panelist said he
thought a multiuniversity center was an
76

ieee power & energy magazine

oxymoron. centers are, by definition,
single universities, he said. That was
the culture of the time, and it was hard
to convince people that several geographically dispersed universities could
meaningfully collaborate. Today, multiuniversity centers are the norm.

Third Try
With all the momentum that had been
accumulated over the previous few
years, the group wanted to continue.
so additional planning meetings were
held, and a national advisory Board
(naB) was formed. Following a meeting of the naB at General electric in
new York in January 1995 (with discussion led by Tom Garrity, chair of
the naB), a first-stage proposal was
submitted to the nsF erc program for
Us$12.4 million and showed Us$10.2
million from "other" sources, all over
five years (1996-2000). The logo for
Pserc had evolved to the one shown
in Figure 1(c). The proposal included
four technical research thrusts, with
a "problem-solving environment" as
thrust number one.

To solidify the research scope, the
group decided that there was a need
for a flagship project-something that
could rally researchers and industry.
a power system visualization software
project was selected as the Pserc
flagship project. In april 1995, commonwealth edison company (comed)
vice president Paul Mccoy responded
to a proposal and demonstration on the
flagship project. he had been asked
for Us$50,000 to initiate the project.
his response can be paraphrased as
"If I give you twice as much funding,
will you give it to me twice as fast?"
comed did fund the flagship project
at the Us$100,000 level. It was the real
beginning of Pserc's major industrial support and launched the idea for
a spin-off business for tech transfer of
the visualization technology, PowerWorld corporation.
On 1 May 1995, the group was
notified that 24 out of 117 first-stage
erc proposals had survived the initial
round of reviews. On 15 July 1995, a
full proposal was submitted to the
nsF. On 2 October 1995, the group
was notified that our proposal was not
selected for an erc site visit.

Phase 1 of the
I/UCRC Program
alex schwartzkopf, who had been following the erc program proposal, contacted Bob Thomas and, when he heard
we were not chosen, asked whether
we would like to apply to his nsF
Industry/University cooperative research center (I/Ucrc) program. Bob
told alex he would discuss it with the
Pserc leadership and, as a result, became the founding director of the newly
established Pserc. an nsF I/Ucrc
planning meeting was held at the University of Wisconsin on 22-23 May
1996, and by august alex schwartzkopf had established Pserc as an
nsF I/Ucrc. The initial leadership
team included Bob Thomas (cornell),
Peter sauer (Illinois), robert lasseter
(Wisconsin), Felix Wu/shmuel Oren
(Berkeley), and James Momoh (howard). Frank Wayno (cornell) was hired
by the nsF to be the evaluator for
march/april 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2017

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2017 - Cover1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2017 - Cover3
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