Wayne E. Knabach was an important figure whose legacy includes hundreds of South Dakota State University electrical engineering graduates working in the power industry. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from South Dakota State University in 1949 and his M.S. in Engineering from SDSU in 1961. Joining SDSU in 1957, the same year that Crothers Engineering Hall opened, Knabach taught for 38 years, retiring as Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering in 1995.
Before joining SDSU, Knabach worked for Northwestern Public Service Company in Yankton and Huron from 1949 to 1957, which provided him numerous practical applications to share with his students.
In the photo, Knabach (left) was honored by members of the CPSS in 2009, receiving the first CPSS Lifetime Achievement Award presented to him by Mike Sydow of NorthWestern Energy, one of Wayne’s students.
After several years battling cancer, Wayne Knabach died on August 5, 2014.
Because of his extensive work in the power industry, the Center for Power Systems Studies annually presents the Wayne E. Knabach Award for Excellence in Power to an engineer and/or company that has had a great impact in the power community.
Past Wayne E. Knabach Awardees for Excellence in Power
2010 – Ed Cannon
2011 – Rod Scheel
2012 – Wanda Reder
2013 – Jeff Nelson
2014 – Steve Arbach
2015 - Dick McComish
2016 - Bob Zavadil
2017 - Jim Wilcox
2018 - John Kappenman
2019 - Jim Edwards
2020 - Mike Ropp, Ph.D., PE
Below is information on this award.