T&D World Magazine

Richard E. Brown: A Global Instructor

Richard E. Brown has taught courses all over the world, and right now he says that he works with the best people in the industry to solve the worst problems in the industry. Brown will use this expertise and experience to present a course on business essentials in January in San Antonio, Texas.

Brown is co-founder and senior vice president of operations for the Technology division of Quanta Technology. Quanta Technology is the high-growth, independent consulting arm of Quanta Services. Its mission is to provide business and technical expertise to energy utilities and industry, and assist in deploying strategic and practical solutions to improve their business performance.

The "Business Essentials for Engineers" course covers all business concepts important to utility engineers, including regulation, ratemaking, accounting, finance, risk management, economics, budgeting, and asset management. Brown is also author of Business Essentials for Utility Engineers, which systematically presents each business topic to arm engineers with the tools and vocabulary necessary to be more effective when interacting with senior management, and for promotion to senior management.

Brown has taught business and asset management many times as public courses and for in-house utility training. He has courses in the United States, Canada, Spain, India, and Australia. Brown has also lead courses on distribution reliability to hundreds of engineers, and he is the author of the distribution reliability chapter in the IEEE Reliability Tutorial. He has taught this course in the United States, Canada, Panama, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Spain, Portugal, India, and the Czech Republic. Other courses he has instructed include distribution planning, aging infrastructure, and risk management. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the North Carolina State University.

Brown got his start in research and development after earning his PhD. His favorite projects were collaborative efforts involving electric utilities, so this experience naturally led to a career in technology and consulting.

He came to Quanta (then Infrasource) four years ago after working as a senior principal consultant with KEMA, where he led the asset management consulting team. Before that he was the director of technology for the consulting group of ABB.

Brown’s current and past positions has put him in constant contact with many utility people in the United States and around the world. “This allows me to link course content with the important issues facing the industry today and to discuss which approaches have succeeded and failed,” he said.

Brown does travel often, which can be difficult. But his home base was one of the top five places to live in America according to Money magazine in 2006: Cary, North Carolina. There his spare time is taken up by his three children, two dogs and some tennis when possible.

Brown is an expert in engineering and business-related issues related to the electric utility industry, but he said the best advice he can give students is to “Keep learning, keep challenging the status quo, and keep aware of the thoughts and activities that are happening around the industry.”

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