Louis VanSlyck (1931 - 2014)

The late Louis S. VanSlyck earned his Doctorate in Electric Power Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in 1965. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Electrical Engineering in 1955 and 1957, respectively, from North Dakota State University. His Ph.D. Thesis, entitled "Protecting Transmission Lines from Lightning", was based on research work done at the IIT Research Institute, sponsored by the Edison Electric Institute.

Taking early retirement from American Electric Power Service Corporation in 1994, Lou co-founded PCE with Dr. Nasser Jaleeli. In addition to providing strategic guidance and technical consultations, he has been instrumental in the success of several projects at PCE.

As a Principal Investigator for the EPRI/NERC project, he developed many constructive concepts for shaping a set of new theories for interconnected operation. These theories describe how to maximize the benefits of interconnected operation and how to provide equitable opportunity for all participants to take advantage of these benefits. His presentations at the NERC CCTF meetings helped lead to the understanding of these theories and NERC’s adoption of the PCE-recommended control performance standards.

Other projects included working with CAs to resolve generation control problems and to develop functional specifications for power marketing software. Lou joined AEP in New York City in 1968, where he helped develop the world’s first State Estimator to be implemented on a large transmission system. He transferred to AEP's System Power Production Center in Canton, Ohio, in 1972. At the SPPC, Lou was responsible for all computer applications related to system operation, including economic dispatch, automatic generation control and energy data processing—in addition to transmission and generation reliability aspects and state estimation.

Lou transferred to AEP's new Columbus headquarters in 1985 where he was given responsibilities for directions of research and development. He directed designs of methodology for analyzing generation response to frequency disturbances, three-phase load flow development, and phasor measurement techniques for analysis of network imbalances, power system contingency assessment, studies of environmental regulations on operating cost, transmission loss and power transfer analyses, etc. In addition to these duties, he was instrumental in developing AEP's Power Systems Concepts Course. Lou chaired the PSCC Committee until he retired in 1994, and continued serving as a committee member until 1999. The course lecturing staff of over 90 personnel included almost all AEP engineering managers through the Executive Vice-President level.

Before joining American Electric Power, Lou was Professor of Electrical Engineering at North Dakota State University where he had spent 13 years on the faculty. Throughout the years at NDSU he was engaged in various consulting work for Otter Tail Power Company. These assignments included work for the Transmission and Distribution Engineering, System Planning, and System Operation Departments. Earlier OTP Company experience dates back to 1950 with duties in Power Plant Maintenance, as Electric Serviceman, Diesel Plant Operator, et al.

Lou's interest in engineering education continued after moving from academia to industry. At various times he has been invited as a Seminar Lecturer at Drexel University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University of West Virginia, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Minnesota, the University of Akron, the University of Toledo, Cornell University, the University of Illinois, Ohio State University, Purdue University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and the Imperial College of London. Dr. VanSlyck is the author, or co-author, of numerous research papers in electric power engineering.

Dr. VanSlyck was one of the original members of the Power Engineering Education Committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and served that Committee from 1963 through 1975. He was Secretary from 1967 through 1970 and Chairman of its Educational Resources Subcommittee during 1971-74. He was responsible for publishing the 1970, 1972 and 1974 surveys of Electric Power Engineering Educational Resources for those schools accredited by the Engineers Council for Professional Development in the United States.

Lou has been a registered Professional Engineer since 1959, he has been registered in Ohio since 1972, and is a member of the Professional Honor Societies; Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and the Society of The Sigma Xi for dedication to research in science. In 1980, the IEEE awarded him the Distinguished Service Award for Power Engineering Education. He attained the Institute's highest membership grade by being elected a Fellow of the Institute in 1991. He qualified as a Life Fellow of the IEEE in 1995.

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