New Pitt lab to aid training of electrical engineers
By Debra Erdley
Published: Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 5:36 p.m.
The electrical engineers of the next generation will face major challenges when they become guardians of the nation's electrical power grid.
But University of Pittsburgh graduates may have a leg up, thanks to a $1 million-plus electrical power systems lab that debuted Thursday.
The lab in Benedum Hall is the product of an ongoing partnership between Pitt and Eaton Corporation, which helped design the facility and donated the equipment. The 1,500-square-foot facility will provide electric power engineering students with experience using equipment that industrial companies use, as well as a state-of-the-art center for research, said Pitt professor Gregory Reed.
Pitt students were in awe of the new facility.
“This is a beautiful lab. Everyone was amazed about getting it. This is hands-on learning,” said Natalie Janosik, a sophomore electrical engineering major.
Revathi Advaithi, president of Eaton's American electrical sector, said the company sees its investment in the lab as part of an ongoing effort to help develop Pittsburgh as an energy hub of the future.
“Eaton's mission is to create an area where the future of energy management from traditional and emerging sources comes together,” she said.
Reed said research capabilities in the lab, which is hooked to solar panels on the roof of Benedum Hall, could help lay the groundwork in areas such as microgrid development, smart grid technologies, energy management and storage, renewable energy and emerging electric power technologies.
“Universities typically (own) donated equipment that was 30 years old when it was donated. This lab has new equipment that will be used for the next 20 years,” said Dan Carnovale, an Eaton executive who helped Pitt students and researchers design the facility.
That could be crucial in a field in which up to half of working engineers are expected to retire in the next decade, leaving a new generation to guard the nation's aging power grid from both terrorist attacks and its own vulnerabilities.
“Our nation's energy grid is at a crossroads and its security will depend on how we manage a system built in the 20th century with 19th-century technology,” said Gerald Holder, the dean of Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering.
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
- Starkey: Penguins’ arrogance astounding
- More women seize opportunities to start businesses
- Lone & flocking legal eagles
- Matt Calvert’s goal in double OT evens series for Blue Jackets
- Murrysville woman sues Giant Eagle over burns
- Draftees’ longevity key for NFL success
- Pair of Braun homers spells defeat for Pirates
- State police: People injured in Parkway crash resulting from police chase
- Patients denied as donor organs discarded
- Film tax credits bill would bump up state budget