Skip to main content

CPSS Minutes - Fall 2017

Center for Power Systems Studies - Fall Meeting
Brookings SD – October 2, 2017

Call to Order

Steve Hietpas called the meeting to order at approximately 2:00 p.m.

Recording Secretary

Kevin Doe – Ulteig Engineers  

Roll Call


  • Steve Hietpas – SDSU
  • Chad Orris – MidAmerican Energy Company
  • Steve Mundahl – Basin Electric Power Cooperative
  • Mark Buchholz – Western Area Power Administration
  • Steven Arbach – NorthWestern Energy
  • Jim Edwards – East River Electric Power Cooperative
  • Frank Kornbaum – Minnesota Power
  • Nate Jones – Heartland Consumers Power District
  • Joe Dold – Otter Tail Power Company
  • Randy Diede – WAPA – Watertown
  • Jean Waltz – Xcel Energy, Inc. South Dakota

Associate Members

  • Blair Metzger – DGR Engineering
  • Kevin Doe – Ulteig Engineers

Members not represented

  • Missouri River Energy Services
  • Black Hills Corporation

Approve Agenda

Buchholz moved and Edwards seconded to accept the agenda as submitted. Motion Carried.

Approve Minutes of April 20, 2017 spring meeting

Dold moved and Diede 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

Summer 2017: Faculty and Student Summer Projects/Research Update

Hietpas attended SD Board of Regents campus-wide 2-day sessions. Hietpas joined Dean Brown in Pierre and served as session presenters. Department Heads discussed administration, budget, HR best practices.
Hietpas chairs Central States Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads (ECEDHA) association. Hosting CSECEDHA fall meeting in late October on SDSU Campus.
Tonkoski was busy with researching, collaborating internal and external universities. He was granted money for equipment, and is IEEE student branch advisor.
Hanson landed a $150k grant, which is exceptional after only one year at SDSU. Won an $80k grant that puts him in running for a $500k grant from Board of Regents. Also in 2nd year of leading Eta Kappa Nu, the Electrical Engineering honors group.
Ni has received several seed-level grants to grow. His research in computational intelligence stretches across EE, CS, ME and BioMed engineering.

Power-Faculty Course Update

Hietpas will teach Circuits and Machines spring 2018 (hasn’t taught since 2010).
Ni will teach Linear Control Systems spring 2018 (Hietpas has taught this course for 23 consecutive years).
Hanson will teach Power Systems Analysis II in spring 2018 (to both SDSU and SDSMT students).
Tonkoski will teach Photovoltaics Applications spring 2018.

Student Activities

45% of EE Department scholarships are in power.

Scholarship Activity

Hietpas shared some anecdotes about a few scholarship recipients. Generally speaking – all very good students and highly deserving.

EEE PES Scholarship Plus Fellows from SDSU

Tonkoski, Edwards and Johnson serve on this committee.

Review of CPSS Impact

There was a question on timing of CPSS scholarships. Hietpas makes students aware of IEEE PES and CPSS during freshman and sophomore year.

Membership Update

Members present updated contact info.

Conference Committee

Selection of new Conference Committee Member – 3-year:
Outgoing member(s): Frank Kornbaum (Minnesota Power Company)
2015-2018: Mark Buchholz (Western Area Power Administration)
2016-2019:  Richard McComish (Electrical Consultants, Inc.)
2017-2020: Jim Edwards (East River Electric Power Cooperative)

Special Project Committee

Selection of new Special Project Committee Member – 2-year:
Outgoing member(s): Steve Arbach (NorthWestern Energy)
2016-2018:  Chris Graff (Power System Engineering)
2017-2019: Nate Jones (Heartland Consumers Power District)

Budget Committee

Selection of new Budget Committee Member – 2-year:
Outgoing member(s): Nate Jones (Heartland Consumers Power District)
2016-2018:  Kevin Doe (Ulteig Engineers)
2017-2019: Joe Dold (Otter Tail Power Company)

Awards Committee

Outgoing member(s): 2015 Recipient: Bob Zavadil and Austin Hoekman (MRES)
2015-2018:  Blair Metzger (DGR Engineering)
2016-2019:  Frank Kornbaum (Minnesota Power)
2017-2020:  Jean Waltz (Xcel Energy, Inc. South Dakota)
2017-2018:  Jim Wilcox (Xcel Energy, 2017 Wayne E. Knabach Excellence in Power Recipient)

Old Business

Notes on above Special Project Committee:
-Discussion of the role. Amongst the roles are to set scope of a Senior Design project in the past.
- Hietpas to invite Cory Mettler to spring 2018 meeting and present on capstone (cross-department) senior design projects. As an example, if Mettler finds 4 projects from various power-related companies, then in fall meeting, the CPSS team chooses a project to support and/or sponsor. Also, Mettler will further define roles between Senior Design Coordinator (i.e., Mettler) and Members of the CPSS.

2017-18 CPSS Sponsored Student Project (Arbach)
Due to timing difficulties and scope creep SDSU was unable to adopt a CPSS project for 2017-18 academic year. Each year, the deadline for submission is July.

FY 17 Extra Funds Distribution Update (Hietpas)
$3000 – Scholarships
$3000 – 50th Anniversary Seed

MSE Program – Power Track (Hietpas)
The Master of Engineering (MEng) course example sheet was reviewed, which was an example for a Power Engineer track (based on electives). It is not entirely online yet, a big reason is there are labs in the coursework. Hietpas emphasized the requirement for students admitted to the MEng program will necessarily be required to complete a comprehensive capstone project, such that students demonstrate mastery by including material learned in all MEng courses. Hietpas requests help from CPSS member companies to promote the MEng program.

CPSS 50th Anniversary Planning Committee (Hietpas)
$3000 – Scholarships
$3000 – 50th Anniversary Seed

Committee members are Edwards, Metzger and Hietpas
Dates favored were Sep 24/25 or Oct 1/2 but not Oct 8/9 (Native American Day).
Topics discussed were what changes in past 50 years? Any visuals, or building pictures or technologies?
Every CPSS member is encouraged to attend.
There was discussion of making a booklet where each CPSS member shows 5 decades worth of stories or technologies.
In regards to “who is the audience”, we envision an audience like the conference – for example, 40 utility attendees, 40 students and other area power alumni.
We are aiming for over 100 attendees.
A College of Engineering tour was discussed, but limited to power people to keep size smaller to ease planning.
Idea was discussed to have conference wrap up at 4PM, then possible tour, then banquet. Bear in mind may need a shuttle for those who have trouble walking.
The $3000 seed budget is far and beyond the revenue of the banquet.
Jones to look into logistics of a tour.

New Business

2018 SoDaRP Conference Update (Kornbaum)
2016 SoDaRP: 53 paid attendees. Goal is 70 for next year.
2018 is in planning stages.

2016-2017 Financial Report (Jones)
Starting around $6191, ending balance $15,622. Goal is 4K-6K in carryover. When factor in Xcel, ending is $19,100 since Xcel membership dues was few days late.
Scholarships increased from $8,000 to $11,000.
Tonkoski’s large grant was discussed. College of Engineering supports it with $50,000 from Dean’s office and $50k from EE Department. The equipment can be used for undergraduate projects. Getting this high-speed simulator equipment increases modeling ability and opens the door for even bigger grants. Hietpas proposed $6,000 to $10,000 contribution from CPSS, as in the past we have not used up much R and D Equipment Materials.
We are increasing CPSS scholarships to $4,000 as a standard (previously was $3,000).
Arbach moved and Buchholz seconded to approve the FY 2017 Financial Report.
Kornbaum moved and Arbach seconded to approve an $8k contribution to Tonkoski’s equipment.

Place/Date for 2018 Spring Meeting –

Host: Basin Electric – Location: Deer Creek Station (near Elkton) – Date: April 19, 2018


The meeting adjourned at approximately 4:20 p.m. - with a motion by Doe and seconded by Kornbaum. Motion carried.


Respectfully submitted,


Kevin Doe, Ulteig Engineers
Recording Secretary
October 2, 2017
Typed and Submitted December 4, 2017