T&D World Magazine

Jon Steinmetz: Customer Supporter

As a field application engineer for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Jon Steinmetz interacts with a wide variety of customers with an equally wide variety of protection applications and questions. He will be covering protection of the electrical power system in SEL-651R Advanced Recloser Control course at SEL University later this month.

Steinmetz, application engineer at SEL, said that the customer support that he has been able to provide in the field in the past gives him fresh ideas to share with students. And he said that customer support is actually the best part of his job.

“Getting paid to support designers and operators of the best electrical power system in the world, it doesn't get any better than that,” Steinmetz said.

SEL University will feature the Advanced Recloser Control course on Oct. 26 and 27 in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. The class provides an introduction to the SEL-651R Advanced Recloser Control. It will also cover basic recloser control functions, advanced capabilities, and application examples, including automatic network reconfiguration, single-phase trip and reclose, and harmonic analysis. The course also includes introduction to acSELerator Designer SEL-5031 Software for creating customized settings templates.

“Implementing new protection schemes for gains in safety and efficiency requires planning,” Steinmetz said. “The SEL courses are, effectively, dry runs in this important planning process.”

Steinmetz has found in his more than 30 years of experience in the power industry that preparation is important, and he communicates that concept to students. After graduating from West Virginia Institute of Technology in 1980, he began his career at American Electric Power Co. in the Charleston, West Virginia, Transmission and Distribution engineer department. In 1990 he moved into the System Protection and Control group, expanding his experience in generation, high-voltage transmission protection and SCADA systems. In 1999, Steinmetz joined the energy services group of Dow Chemical, formerly Union Carbide Corp., at the technical center in Charleston. He has also worked for Tennessee Valley Authority in the Hydro Electrical Engineering design group in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

He said that family tradition and a genuine interest in the field of electrical engineering got him started on his career path. Now he can work in engineering and share his knowledge with others. He said that he learns from teaching as well. Open discussions are key to his teaching method.

Steinmetz enjoys kayaking when not supporting and teaching customers. He, however, is not “up the creek without a paddle. Not with SEL.”

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