October 11 2023 Overland Park Kansas 6478c7fe2284f

Powerline Conference Announces Agenda for 2023 Event

June 1, 2023
The conference will be colocated with the 2023 International Lineman's Rodeo this October in Overland Park, Kansas.

The POWERLINE 2023 Conference will review new developments and recognize best practices for wood pole overhead systems.  The one-day conference on Oct. 11, 2023, features insights on national wood pole standards, pole preservatives, poles and the environment, sustainable overhead design and maintenance and remediation.  

Register here for the event, which is co-located with the International Lineman's Rodeo. The conference is presented by Endeavor Business Media and The North American Wood Pole Council.

It will feature the following sessions:

"Effectiveness of Wood Pole Traditional Assessment Methods"
Speaker: Chad Newton, Portfolio Director, Wood Infrastructure

 Recently a comprehensive study has been undertaken to better understand the effectiveness of various traditional wood utility pole assessment methods in identifying groundline "reject" poles compared to the most comprehensive current method, full excavation. These traditional inspection methods can range from simple visual inspections to more involved partial excavations. This study has thoroughly reevaluated these estimates with a more involved real-world process on thousands of poles and tens of thousands of unique assessments. Learn more about how the study was conducted, the results and what impact they have on understanding their ability to identify structures at risk as well as drive better wood pole health programs that extend useful life and retain structure strength.

"Sustainable Overhead Wood Pole Design"                                                                                                
Speaker: Tom Greene, Sr. Director of Pole Sales for Stella-Jones Corp.

 When it comes to increasing the resiliency of overhead systems utilizing wood poles, increasing the size of poles is not always the best option. This presentation will review the impacts of modern forestry on pole size availability and offer sustainable options to harden overhead systems using pole sizes readily available from today’s forests.

"Leveraging Infrastructure Funding for Overhead Systems"

Speaker: Patti Metro, Senior Grid Operations & Reliability Director for NRECA                                                                                         

Cooperatives are utilizing infrastructure funding for significant investment in the communities they serve. Project proposals that enhance grid resiliency and improve grid operations of overhead systems will be shared.

"Assessing Aging H-Frame Structure Strength"                                                
Speaker: Larry Vandergriend, Vice President of Engineering for Hughes Brothers

Hughes Brothers has conducted more than 100 full-scale structure tests on new and aging H-frames to confirm design methods and verify the strength of older structures. Testing older structures has helped some Midwest utilities determine if they had to replace, or could delay replacement based on remaining strength, saving millions and deferring upgrades to lines. The focus will be on how structures react and what can be done to increase service life.                                                             

"Today’s Wood Crossarms"                                                                                                                                         
Speaker: Evan Hull, Sales Engineer Associate, Brooks Manufacturing

An in-depth look at the history, importance and functionality of wood crossarms as a key structural component in utility overhead systems.

"This Ain’t Your Grandpa’s Crew Anymore
Speaker: Jerry Lemm, Safety/Loss Instructor, Montana Electrical Cooperative Association

 In order to move into the “next frontier,” we need to stop comparing it to the “old frontier”.  This presentation will be a hard-hitting and straightforward discussion about moving from the “it’s not how we do it” to a “how we all need” to look at our company’s and our personal work ethics, habits and approaches.  While the delivery is fast, the presentation will interactively ask direct questions about the mindset, the culture, and the expectations your company might have with and for its workforce.

"Extending the Life of Treated Wood Utility Poles: a Case Study"         
Speaker: Phil Landers President, Director of R&D, ICORP-IFOAM

Since the 1990s, major strides have been made in the use of ionic liquids (cold atmospheric plasma and plasma-activated water) as antifungal agents for wood preservation. An Electro-Static Activated Polymer (E-SAP) has been developed that uses nano-technology to generate ionic liquids from energy harvested from surrounding electromagnetic fields (cell towers, satellites, etc.).  E-SAP has been used for more than 35 years that structurally repairs damage done by woodpeckers to wood poles and prevents decay from continuing in the repaired wood pole sections.

"Understanding Lineman Safety with Utility Poles"                                       
Speaker: Kevin Ragon of Mississippi State University

This session will provide a review of common safety practices for utility personnel and lineworkers in working with poles in overhead systems.

The conference is sponsored by the following companies. Click here to learn about additional sponsorship opportunities. 

  • Wood Quality Control
  • Genics
  • Inner-Pole
  • Osmose
  • Stella-Jones 
  • Power Line Systems\Bentley 
  • Hughes Bros. 
  • Smart Fume
  • Almetek
  • Power Line Sentry
  • Laminated Wood Systems

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