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Technology & Innovation Award

WAPA's Media Line: 720-962-7411

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 24, 2016
CONTACT: Randy Wilkerson, mediarelations@wapa.gov, 720.962.7411

WAPA announces first-ever recipients of Technology & Innovation Award

Lakewood, Colorado. — Western Area Power Administration presented its first Technology and Innovation awards today at its inaugural Technology and Innovation Summit. The awards recognize significant contributions related to the development, testing, and/or implementation of emerging new technologies or business process innovations.

“Technology and innovation are the lifeblood of every organization in our dynamic, ever-changing industry,” said Administrator and CEO Mark Gabriel in his opening remarks. “Those of you nominated today represent the very spirit of the industry that drives us every day.” WAPA employees provided peer nominations of individuals and teams, representing more than 65 individuals across the organization. Four total awards were given: two individual and two team. Recipients included:

  • Ron Burbridge For inventing a device which allows an overhead static wire on a wood H-frame to be disconnected under tension and lifted so that the static connection hardware can be more easily replaced;

  • David Katich For developing a virtual high resolution video system which enables office employees to have access and visibility about system conditions without always having to go out into the field;

  • Team of Lane Cope, John Quintana, and Gary Zevenbergen for developing and calculating new safe minimum working distances for maintenance employees working with high voltage equipment;

  • Team of Anne Anderson, John Athanasiou, Grover Bray, Carol Hammans, James Higgins, Timothy Padden, Jon Ridout, Steven Smith and David Tucker for developing a WAPA-wide approach for identifying and automating collection and monitoring of dissolved gases to measure the health of transformers.

Innovation and technology officers Terry Oliver from Bonneville Power Administration and Paul Lau from Sacramento Municipal Utility District joined the celebration, addressing the assembly before the demonstrations of other technology currently under development at WAPA.

“We must look for ways to identify and adopt new technologies and new ways of doing business,” Gabriel said as he presented the awards. “Standing still is not an option.”  

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