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Home : Volume 25 : Fall 1998 :
Distinguished Service Award for Hermann W. Dommel

Hermann W. Dommel

Hermann W. Dommel
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Colleagues at the University of British Columbia describe Hermann Dommel as one of the great figures in electric power systems research this century. They say that in every aspect of his research he has been a pioneer, setting himself apart from the "pack" and putting himself at the forefront of his field.

Dommel is widely recognized as the "Father of EMTP." The Electromagnetic Analysis of Power Systems software package is used to analyze electromagnetic transients in electric power systems. The package, used by many utility companies and manufacturers throughout the world, predicts overvoltage surges caused by network switching and lightning.

Although most of Dommel's research has been in developing and improving the EMTP, he is equally well known for his contributions to optimal power flow theory and transient stability analysis. His works in these areas are still used today as the main reference landmarks for efficient computer solutions for large power systems. This work has allowed capital- and personnel-intensive analog simulators to be substituted with simple computer programs.

Most recently Dommel has been working with one of his colleagues on real-time power simulators, overcoming the real-time constraints to achieve solutions for realistic-size systems. Yet another project involves applying artificial intelligence to assist power engineers in performing sophisticated power system analysis studies.

Dommel is also a renowned educator. He is sought after by industry and academic institutions around the world to lecture and give short courses. For more than 20 years, his annual short course at UW-Madison has attracted professionals from nearly every continent.

As a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of British Columbia, he has mentored numerous graduate students who often come from senior positions in industry to work with him.

Dommel began his academic and research career in 1959 as a research associate and lecturer at the Technical University in Munich, Germany. He also taught at the University of Santa Clara, California.

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