Perspectives from Our Advisory Board: David Treichler

March 19, 2024
One of our members shares his varied experiences, concerns for the utility industry and thoughts about T&D World Live.

The T&D World Live expert advisory board is instrumental in selecting the topics, presentations and speakers for our program. One of our members shares his varied experiences, concerns for the utility industry and thoughts about T&D World Live here.

David Treichler is director of Strategy and Technology for Oncor Electric Delivery, responsible for strategic analysis supporting the growth of the enterprise. His focus on how technology is changing the nature of human relationships extends to his work as a futurist and widely published novelist. 

Q: How did you get into the utility industry? Is this something that you always know you had wanted to do?

A: I was working for Raytheon Company in classified intelligence and battlefield simulation training systems when I became aware of an opportunity with Oncor. I was selected to lead Transmission development outside ERCOT in a joint venture with what was then Westar and Berkshire Hathaway utilities. This was when FERC 1000 was expected to open transmission development.

Q: Is there anything from your past that really pointed you to where you are now in your career?

A: I have worked in a number of different industries and organizations. That has provided an ability to look at questions and issues from a variety of perspectives. I seldom see a problem from just one side. It also permits me to see opportunities that others are not considering.

Q: Have you had a particular person or mentor that has helped you along the way and how did they do that?

A: So many have influenced my career(s) that the list is long and distinguished. Every person I talk with I learn something from. I hope I am able to share insights as well.

Q: What is one of the biggest obstacles you have faced in your life or career and how did you get past it?

A: My biggest obstacle also enabled my strength. I grew up in a small town where there were more cows than people. But there was a library, which gave my imagination wings. I started creating stories to share with others as my mind tried to comprehend the world. Ever since I read as much as possible and write three to four novels each year. The novels help me solve the problems I cannot in reality.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job now?

A: Gathering data, drawing insights and working with others to develop effective strategies to grow the enterprise.

Q:  What is one of the more exciting things that has happened to you in your career?

A: Enabling a U.S. Army squad fight in a virtual environment with a U.S. Marine squad that was physically 139 miles away in another simulation system and changing the combat terrain and environment throughout the exercise.

Q: From your corner of the industry, what are the major problems do you see that need to be addressed?

A: The biggest challenge we are working through in Texas is how to manage the rapid growth of intermittent generation resources while maintaining reliability and resilience in a rapidly growing service area.

Q: Any ideas on what can help those problems?

A: It will take an all of the above, all-hands-on-deck approach, with smart analysis, constant communications amongst all parties, and the cooperation of nature to manage the transition.

Q: What do you think has been one of the most exciting technologies or events that has happened in our industry in your lifetime?

A: Our industry is so dynamic at the moment that it is the confluence of a range of technologies, enabling tools and insight delivering systems, incredibly bright and dedicated people, along with rapid customer and load growth in our service area, that brings me to the office eager for the day.

Q: What did you enjoy about last year’s T&D World Live event?

A: T&D World Live has been an opportunity to work with colleagues from across the industry and the industries that are attempting to learn how to integrate into our grid, in presenting information and insights that will enable and accelerate that integration.

Q: What are you looking forward to this year at T&D World Live?

A: I am looking forward to having time to chat with my colleagues about what they have learned in the past year, what they are seeing as the next challenges to engage, and how they plan to approach those challenges utilizing new tools and products we may first learn about at the T&D World Conference.

Q: Besides T&D World Live, what other events do you attend or participate in?

A: This year I am keeping closer to home than in the past. I have been in Austin for conferences on the ERCOT market, thermal generation considerations, and an academic conference on the future of electrification just in the month of February.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

A: The pandemic changed the way we learn with another webinar available nearly every day.  In my experience if that is the only opportunity to learn you are limited to information. A face-to-face environment permits gleaning of insights, and a renewal of relationships essential for effective leadership. T&D World Conference is a great place for such contestations.

T&D World Live will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, this fall from Oct. 1-3, 2024. Register here.

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