The Center for Power Systems Studies (CPSS) was formally established by the South Dakota Board of Regents on July 1, 1968, with Dr. Junis Storry and regional power utility companies championing the establishment of the Center.
The resolution cited the following reasons for establishing a Center:
• To promote qualified professional faculty to teach and/or conduct research in the field of power system engineering.
• To address the shortage of young engineers entering the field.
• To address the shortage of financial support available to encourage aspirants to careers in this area; and
• To address the existing interest among utilities and manufacturers to provide more opportunities for young engineers in this area.
The Center was formed as an entity within the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department of the SDSU College of Engineering.
Six charter industry members joined the voluntary association and began annual financial support of the Center.
Soon after the establishment of the CPSS, Professor Wayne E. Knabach assumed responsibility as Coordinator until 1997.
In 1997, Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry of the South Dakota Board of Regents recognized the CPSS and its accomplishments in a letter to Robert T. Wagner, President of SDSU, confirming the Regents' support of the Center.
Dr. Steven Hietpas has served as the Coordinator from 1997 to present.
The current number of members companies is 12 with an additional 17 associate members. These industry partners contribute to an annual budget in excess of $42,500.
The success of the CPSS can be measured in part by the number of graduate electrical engineers. Since 1968, over 350 SDSU electrical engineering graduates have entered power/utility related careers. Another measure of the success is the level of scholarship dollars awarded to students annually. Each year, the CPSS and its member companies awarded scholarships totaling $11,000 to SDSU students.
While the traditional membership of the CPSS has centered on the electrical power industry, changes in the industry point to additional electrical-related organizations entering South Dakota. These could be additional electrical service providers or manufacturers that may benefit from an association with the CPSS. It is our expectation that as those organizations begin to benefit from students trained at SDSU and technology transferred from the university, that they would become dues-paying members of the CPSS.