T&D World Magazine

Aleksandar Dimitrovski: Controlling Power

A simple fact of life is that only power that is under control is useful power, according to Dr. Aleksandar Dimitrovski. The same goes for electrical power, and Dimitrovski, researcher and instructor with Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, helps students understand how “electrical power can be controlled even when it gets out of control.”

Dimitrovski teaches courses in power system protection at SEL University, Pullman, Washington, and he will cover the principles of protection of power systems for engineers (PROT 401) in his next course in November. This course addresses the basic elements of designing power system protection for distribution lines, transmission lines, transformers, and buses. Course participants will also review power system basics, including per-unit and three-phase power concepts; symmetrical component concepts and fault analysis; relaying fundamentals; instrument transformers, basic digital relay concepts.

Dimitrovski has taught the whole series of PROT courses offered by SEL University on protecting different parts of power systems. SEL gives him access to “all the resources that a power engineer would need,” he said. He has direct contact with power engineers all over the world and enjoys SEL’s power engineering library.

He brings an extensive academic background to the SEL courses, having earned his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in power engineering at Sts. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Macedonia, and an M.Sc. in computer science application from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. He also earned tenure as assistant professor at the University Sts. Cyril and Methodius.

After coming to the United States, Dimitrovski was first a postdoctoral fellow and then a visiting and adjunct professor at the Washington State University in Pullman.

He was first introduced to SEL University while preparing for a power system protection lab at Washington State. He was auditing the accompanying course, which was taught by an adjunct professor at WSU who also worked as an instructor at SEL. “His approach and style in teaching the subject, exposing real-world problems and tying them to the material presented, connected very well with the students—better than what I had experienced in my classes before,” Dimitrovski said.

So he applied for an opening at SEL, and continues to enjoy teaching. “Teaching should be fun,” he said. “If you don’t have fun doing it, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.”

He said he learns something new each time he teaches, as he communicates to students how to solve problems and control power. He tells students that often times, what appears to be a difficult problem looks rather simple if looked from a different perspective. “Step back and see if you can take a look from another angle,” he said.

Dimitrovski likes to step back once in awhile to do some trout fishing as well. “There are some great waters in this part of the country that are simply too good to pass up. Fishing helps me ‘recycle,’ as I like to put it, both physically and mentally,” he said. “It can also provide me with the highest level of concentration in solving whatever technical problem bothers my mind."

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