Benner named top reviewer by prestigious journal

Carl L. Benner, a senior research engineer with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, was named "Top Reviewer in 2010" by the journal Electric Power System Research.

Photo of Carl L. Benner

"[This] is one of the highest ranked international journals in electric power," said Dr. B. Don Russell, Distinguished Professor in the electrical and computer engineering department. "Carl has been a reviewer and on the review panel for many years and I am very glad to see him receive this recognition."

Benner, who has worked for the department more than 20 years, is assistant director of the Power System Automation Laboratory. As a research engineer he focuses on electric power system monitoring and diagnostics, primarily for electric utility companies.

Originally from El Campo, Benner came to Bryan in 1983 to study at Texas A&M. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1986 and a master's degree in 1988, both in electrical engineering.

When he first started, he said his main focus was computer-based monitoring technology to detect when power lines break, fall to the ground and remain energized, creating fire and safety hazards. This technology was patented and licensed by GE in the early 1990s and is now broadly used by PEPCO, the utility company that serves the nation's capital. Benner and his co-reseachers hold multiple patents for developing this technology. They also won an R&D 100 Award, dubbed the "Oscars of Invention," in 1996 from R&Dmagazine for developing this system.

Benner's new focus is on developing a computer-based real-time monitoring system to detect and indicate that line hardware is nearing a point of failure before it happens. This provides a utility company with the ability to proactively take steps to avoid or mitigate the consequences of outages. In 2006, he headed a team that worked with BTU to test this Distribution Fault Anticipation technology under the aegis of an American Public Power Association Demonstration of Energy Efficient Developments grant.

In addition to his role at Texas A&M, Benner is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power and Energy Society. He is a frequent speaker at industry trade meetings and serves as a peer reviewer for multiple professional trade journals. Benner also is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas and is eager to bring his unique expertise to the Board.

Electric Power Systems Research is an international medium for the publication of original papers concerned with the generation, transmission, distribution and utilization of electrical energy. The journal aims to present to the international community important results of work in this field, whether in the form of research, development, application or design. The scope of Electric Power Systems Research is broad, encompassing all aspects of electric power systems.