CAPER Fall 2017 Meeting Highlights
November 8 -9, 2017

Talley Student Center
NC State
Raleigh, NC

The Center for Advanced Power Engineering and Research (CAPER) is a collaboration among three universities and industry members focusing on research and educational needs in the electric power industry in the southeast region of the US. The Industry Advisory Board (IAB), composed of industry members, meets twice per year with CAPER researchers and students to update sponsored projects and take part in discussions about the Center’s research and education activities.

The meeting took place at NC State University in Raleigh. NC.
Many thanks to Johan Enslin, CAPER Director; Mesut Baran, NC State Site Co-Director; Ning Lu CAPER Researcher, AJ Arena and Melissa Kaisner for their support.

There were 87 participants with 19 Industry, 20 University Faculty and 48 Students in attendance. (List of members available upon request)

Day One:
The meeting started at 1:00 pm with a Welcome and Introductions by CAPER Steering Committee Chair Steve Whisenant.

 Session ICAPER Sponsored Senior Design Projects led by Steven Whisenant

Andrew Kling of Duke Energy presented the original Problem Statement and each member of the Senior Design Project #1 Teams, which began in Spring 2017, delivered their final presentations.

Senior Design Project #2, which began in fall 2017, began with Joe Hodges of SCE&G presenting the Problem Statement. Each Team followed with a status update of their work achieved this semester.

Session IIUniversity Power Curriculums  – A Student Perspective was moderated by Randy Collins of Clemson.
Two recent graduates and one current graduate student presented their views of what was good in their educational experience and where we their gaps. Klaehn Burkes of Savannah River National Labs and Cara Chacko of Duke energy presented their thoughts. Catie McEntee a current graduate student at NC State offered her thoughts on what was good and what was lacking in her undergraduate experience.

Common good points were presentations by industry at IEEE PES Student Chapter meetings, industry sponsored field trips, internships and co-op experience, undergraduate research opportunities and industry networking opportunities. Some gaps identified were lack of industry involvement in Sr Design projects, some power topics can be very boring, technical writing, introduction it industry standards, emphasis on obtaining FE certificate, outdated laboratories and lack of real data to work with in assignments.

The CAPER Steering plans to develop a white paper on the series of sessions on Workforce Development. Student feedback is key to that paper.

Session III – Teaching and Learning Styles was led by Steven Whisenant.

The purpose of this session was to present current research on  learning techniques and actual experiences with alternative delivery modes in the classroom.

Megan Patberg began with a presentation on how Personality, Preferences, and Procedures can affect performance and multiple learning styles used in the engineering classroom. Next Badrul Chowdhury of UNC Charlotte presented his experience with on-line classes. The attitude of the student has much to do with the success of such courses. Mesut Baran of NC State shared his experiences with video course, both live and recorded. Many times in the recorded courses, actual attendance is extremely low because students can view the recordings on their own. Bad for the instructor to talk to an empty classroom. Randy Collins has had positive experiences with hybrid classes in which a class is taught live in one location and delivered vain video conference to other locations. These classes are not recorded. A Panel discussion followed it was determined that academia needs to try new and different techniques to affectively reach students.


A Reception and Job Fair was held before dinner. More than 60 students took part in the table-top Career Fair with eight companies and Universities present.

Dinner Presentation
During dinner, we heard “What Really Happened During the Solar Eclipse” or DEP System Impacts from the Solar Eclipse by Adam Guinn, an operations engineer with Duke Energy.


Day Two:
The next day was devoted to updates on current CAPER projects and new proposals for 2018 research.

Session IV – CAPER Project Updates was led by Johan Enslin.

Base funded project, DM-1 Cyber Vulnerability Assessment of Electrical Power of Systems using Distributed Synchrophasors, was presented by the team from UNC Charlotte and NC State.
Next the team of NC State and Clemson provided an update on PD-3: Customer-Oriented Planning Strategies for Active Distribution Systems.

Next the three Enhancement Projects were covered:

  1. EHP-01-PD: Resilient Distribution Systems and Optimization by UNC Charlotte and Clemson.
  2. EHP-02-PG: Development and Demonstration of a 40 kW Photovoltaic Synchronous Generator (PVSG) by NC State and Clemson.
  3. EHP-03-EP: How State Regulators are Attributing Costs and Benefits to Distributed Generation by NC State and UNC Charlotte

Session V – Power System Data Applications was led by Ning Lu.
The following topics were presented:

  1. Smart City by Brad Klenz of SAS
  2. Cyber Security and Data Analytics by Eric Harper of ABB
  3. Advanced Grid Analytics Using AMI Data by Frederic Dubois of Landis & Gyr

A short panel discussion on future of data analytics conclude the morning sessions.


In the afternoon, the Industry Advisory Board listened to six project proposals for consideration in 2018. The IAB discussed each proposal to develop its recommendations to the Steering Committee for consideration in project selections for 2018 and beyond.

Meeting was adjourned with announcement of the following activities for 2018:

  1. Spring IAB Meeting – March 12 – 13 at UNC Charlotte in Charlotte, NC
  2. Sumer Research Planning Workshop – TBD
  3. Fall IAB Meeting – November 15-16 at Clemson in N. Charleston, SC