FE Employees Earn EPRI Awards

March 6, 2020

Each year, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) recognizes leaders and innovators who have applied research and technology to benefit their company, industry or society – and nine FirstEnergy employees were among the award winners. Recipients of EPRI’s Technology Transfer Award used research and technology to solve a significant problem, championed a technology to support the industry, or found better ways to provide electricity to our customers in a safe, affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible way.

For their work in 2019, these FirstEnergy employees were honored in the following EPRI categories:

Energy & Environment Sector

Invasive Plant Species and Pollinators along Transmission Lines

Becky Spach, director, Vegetation Management
Kate Bloss, manager, Transmission Vegetation Management
Karen Terry, supervisor, Transmission Vegetation Management
Kristin Susick, supervisor, Corporate Responsibility
Andy Liedel, transmission program manager IV, Transmission Maintenance

L. to r.: Andy Liedel, Becky Spach, Karen Terry and Kate Bloss. Kristen Susick was not available for the photo.

This team’s research provided fundamental information regarding the impacts of integrated vegetation management to control invasive exotic species and promote pollinator habitats on transmission rights-of-way. The results are based on a five-year research project in partnership with EPRI, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Cleveland Metroparks.

Integrating Technical Analyses of Climate-Related Science into Company Climate Risk Assessment, Planning, Greenhouse Gas Goal Setting, and Outreach

Kim Pickford, analyst V, Corporate Responsibility

Kim Pickford with Energy & Environment award.

Kim’s work led to the development of a technical foundation that helps the company make decisions – and report to stakeholders about – assessing climate risk and setting greenhouse gas emissions goals.

Power Delivery & Utilization Sector

Impact of Cellular Antenna Attachments on Overhead Transmission Line Structures

Dave Kozy, general manager, Substation Engineering
Bill Broskey, engineer V, Transmission Maintenance

Dave Kozy

​Bill Broskey

Dave and Bill conducted field work verifying that cellular antenna equipment increased corrosion rates on overhead transmission line structures. The research also found that cellular equipment attachments must be properly designed with isolation transformers to ensure residential or commercial electric customers are protected from potential fault conditions or lightning events. This led to suggestions on modifying attachments. Dave and Bill were unable to attend the EPRI awards ceremony.

Validation of Overhead Distribution Designs for Improved Reliability and Resiliency

Randy Coleman, manager, Distribution Standards

Randy Coleman (r.) accepts Power Delivery & Utilization award

Randy was part of a utility working group that tested overhead distribution structures designed to help prevent pole breaks. When subjected to a tree strike, these designs shift the failure location to another part of the structure. The test results steered overhead structure design and component changes that can help significantly reduce restoration times after an outage.