Nearly two dozen Southern Company (No. 44 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) system employees have been recognized by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) with its 2017 Technology Transfer Awards for demonstrating research and development excellence to solve significant industry issues.
This marks the 20th consecutive year Southern Company system employees have been honored with the highly regarded Technology Transfer Award since its inception in 1997.
"As the industry continues to experience unprecedented change, our employees are meeting the challenge with vision and innovation," said Southern Company Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kimberly S. Greene. "The EPRI Technology Transfer Award recognizes their leadership and technical acumen in finding solutions that deliver clean, safe, reliable, affordable energy for the customers and communities we are privileged to serve."
This year, Southern Company's 21 Technology Transfer Award winners, who worked individually and as teams, were represented in every EPRI award category – generation, power delivery and utilization, energy and environment and nuclear. Many of the efforts involved collaboration of employees across multiple Southern Company business units and subsidiaries.
Winning projects focused on a variety of key industry issues, including solar photovoltaic adoption, cybersecurity and methods for optimizing power plant performance, costs and safety.
"Each of Southern Company's Technology Transfer Award recipients has demonstrated the collaborative ingenuity necessary to solve some of the electric industry's most pressing challenges," said Arshad Mansoor, EPRI's senior vice president of Research and Development. "The invaluable contributions of this year's recipients reflect Southern Company's continued commitment to shaping the future of energy through cutting-edge R&D."
Southern Company's 2017 Technology Transfer Award winners, listed by EPRI sector, are:
- Generation – Chethan Acharya (Southern Company Services), Josh Barron (Southern Company Services), Stephen Langham (Southern Company Services), Noah Meeks (Southern Company Services), Andrew Peleaz (Georgia Power), Dean Sheffield (Southern Power) and Thomas Wideman (Southern Company Services)
- Power Delivery and Utilization – Elaine Kwarcinski (Alabama Power), Christine Ledoux (Southern Company Services), Guy Palmer (Southern Company Services), Steve Sanders (Southern Company Services), Joseph Stewart(Mississippi Power) and Christopher Taylor (Southern Company Services)
- Energy and Environment – Dorian Afanador (Southern Company Services), Bill Garrett (Alabama Power), Jonathan Ponstein (Alabama Power), Tyler Sullens (Alabama Power) and Justin Walters (Southern Company Services)
- Nuclear – Ryan Joyce (Southern Nuclear), Gary Lofthus (Southern Nuclear) and Tim Wells (Southern Nuclear)
As an independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI's research is conducted in conjunction with scientists, engineers and experts from academia and industry. Its members represent around 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the U.S., with international participation in more than 30 countries.
Known for its historic commitment to innovation, Southern Company remains at the forefront of research and development for the production, delivery and end-use of energy, managing approximately $2.3 billion in research and development investments since the 1960s.