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CPSS Minutes - Fall 2015

Center for Power Systems Studies - Fall Meeting
Brookings, SD – October 05, 2015

Call to Order

Steve Hietpas called the meeting to order at approximately 2:15 p.m.

Recording Secretary

Blair Metzger (DGR Engineering)

Roll Call


  • Steve Hietpas – SDSU
  • Chad Orris – MidAmerican Energy Company
  • Austin Hoekman – Missouri River Energy Services
  • Greg Vaselaar – Western Area Power Administration
  • Mark Buchholz – Western Area Power Administration
  • Mike Sydow – NorthWestern Energy
  • Jim Edwards – East River Electric Power Cooperative
  • Frank Kornbaum – Minnesota Power Company
  • Nate Jones – Heartland Consumers Power District
  • Joe Dold – Otter Tail Power Company
  • Brian Bigge – Xcel Energy, Inc., South Dakota

Associate Members

  • Ted Smith – Sioux Valley Energy
  • Dick McComish - Electrical Consultants, Inc.
  • Blair Metzger – DGR Engineering
  • Jay Dring – Nebraska Public Power District
  • Chris Graff – Power System Engineering, Inc.

Members not represented

  • Basin Electric Power Cooperative
  • Black Hills Energy


  • Reinaldo Tonkoski – SDSU
  • Zhen Ni – SDSU
  • Tim Hanson – SDSU
  • Reed McKee – NorthWestern Energy
  • Steve Arbach – NorthWestern Energy

Approve Agenda

Nate Jones moved and Jim Edwards seconded to accept the agenda as submitted.

Motion Carried.

Approve Minutes of April 23, 2015 spring meeting

Mark Buchholz moved and Joe Dold seconded to accept minutes. Motion Carried.

Coordinator: The Coordinator’s Report was included in the meeting packet. Some of the highlights of the report included:

Initial discussion regarding planning for the “50th Anniversary of CPSS” celebration
Summer 2015: Faculty and Student Summer Projects/Research Update (Tonkoski)

  • Importance of the Power Technology Tour in keeping students interested in Power
  • Introduction of new Assistant Professors Zhen Ni and Tim Hansen

Power-Faculty Course Update

  • A quick review of this topic was made.

Scholarship Activity

  • Recipients of scholarships reviewed.
  • Approximately 58% of scholarships are sourced from the power community.

IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Fellows from SDSU

  • Recipients are unknown at this time, but historically SDSU has done well.

Status of Power Students

  • Reviewed the list of Spring 2015 graduates.
  • 36% of EE graduates have found positions in the power industry, or are in graduate school (historical average has been 25%).
  • Reviewed the list of prospective power students for 2016 and 2017.

Review of CPSS Impact

  • A quick review of this topic was made.

Membership Update

  • It was noted that Mike Sydow is retiring soon, and that Steve Arbach will become the representative for NorthWestern Energy.

Thank you letters

  • The letters of thanks from scholarship recipients were reviewed.

Conference Committee

Selection of new Conference Committee Member – 3-year:

  • Outgoing member(s): Austin Hoekman (Missouri River Energy Services)
  • 2013-2016: Mike Ropp (Northern Plains Power Tech.)
  • 2014-2017: Frank Kornbaum (Minnesota Power Company)
  • 2015-2018: Mark Buchholz (Western Area Power Administration)

Special Project Committee

Selection of new Special Project Committee Member – 2-year:

  • Outgoing member(s): Chris Graff (Power System Engineering, Inc.)
  • 2014-2016: Jim Edwards (East River Electric Power Cooperative)
  • 2015-2017: Steve Arbach (NorthWestern Energy)

Budget Committee

Selection of new Budget Committee Member – 2-year:

  • Outgoing member(s): Frank Kornbaum (Minnesota Power Company)
  • 2014-2016: Randy Diede (Western Area Power Administration)
  • 2015-2017: Nate Jones (Heartland Consumers Power District)

Awards Committee

Outgoing member(s): 2015 Recipient: Dick McComish (Electrical Consultants, Inc.)

  • 2013-2016: Jay Dring (Nebraska Public Power District)
  • 2014-2017 Austin Hoekman (Missouri River Energy Services)
  • 2015-2018:  Blair Metzger (DGR Engineering)

Old Business

Tonkoski conducted a review of the Senior Capstone Design project charter.

New Business

2016 Conference Update (Austin Hoekman)

  • Hoekman reviewed the list of topics under consideration.  The agenda is expected to be solidified by the Spring CPSS meeting.

2014-2015 Financial Report (Frank Kornbaum)

  • Kornbaum reviewed the Financial Report and proposed FY16 budget in detail.  Hietpas provided additional information.
  • Frank Kornbaum moved and Chad Orris seconded to accept the proposed budget.  Motion carried.

Place/Date for 2016 Spring Meeting –

  • Place/Date for 2016 Spring Meeting – MRES, Sioux Falls, April 21, 2016


The meeting adjourned at approximately 3:40 p.m. with a motion by Mike Sydow and seconded by Austin Hoekman. Motion carried.


Respectfully submitted,

Blair Metzger (DGR Engineering)
Recording Secretary
October 23, 2015
Typed and Submitted October 27, 2015