In an interview with Professor Satish J. Renade, New Mexico State University, IEEE T&D Conference Technical Program Chairman; Stu Lewis, IEEE T&D Update Newsletter Editor, asked about the features that made the 2005/2006 IEEE T&D Conference and Exposition a success.
SL What would you say was the most outstanding feature of the 2005/2006 IEEE T&D Conference and Exposition?
SR This conference was planned for New Orleans but moved to Dallas because of the tragedy brought by Hurricane Katrina. The work of the committee led by Tommy Mayne and Judd Putnam, TXU, Entergy and IEEE staff to accomplish this is nothing short of amazing. I have been privileged to have seen first hand this incredible mix of determination, cooperation and professionalism.
SL As always the conference offered a wide range of topics. Which ones drew the most interest?
SR Every session was very well attended. Many sessions such as the one on Iraqi Reconstruction, Broadband on Power Lines, and Distributed Generation were standing room only. Sessions that presented topics of current interest were a big draw. The Reliability tutorial, Ethics tutorial and the Education track had overflow registration. It is clear that the attendees value continuing education.
SL Some of the major issues now facing the Electric Power Industry, such as the need to build more transmission and power system reliability, were discussed. As a result of those discussions what actions to confront these issues do you anticipate will be taken?
SR I know that the sessions had good questions and discussions. In sessions such as the one on Distributed Generation, which I attended, proposals were made for a workshop to expand on the themes and coordination of ideas. In every session, though, people left with new ideas on how to approach challenges or create opportunity. We will see some of these panels repeated at future meetings with updated material addressing the question raised.
SL Among the 200 or so first-time exhibitors this year, what did you see in innovation and new products?
SR The large number of new companies with innovative and quality products as well as the new companies providing services to established vendors was impressive. Many new companies are challenging established ones and this in time is sure to encourage innovation worldwide.
SL What did you discover from this year’s conference program that will help you make decisions for future IEEE conferences?
SR The T&D show combines the trade show and technical conference formats. Under one roof a professional can learn new technical material and see its use in practical devices and methods. The show is critical to the vendors in terms of meeting current and future customers and bringing awareness to their product lines. The networking opportunities available to participants are unmatched. If there is one thing we know, it is that we will continue with this format.