Russell named NAE vice chair for membership

Russell, B. DonDr. B. Don Russell professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University was recently named vice chair for membership of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in Washington DC.

Russell, Regents Professor and Distinguished Professor in the department, is a long-term member of NAE, having been elected to the academy in 1999 for his seminal work characterizing power system faults and his development of new protection and diagnostic tools.

During his time with the academy he served in several responsible positions including serving as chair of the Electric Power and Energy Engineering section for the academy. He also previously has served as liaison to the National Research Council.

In his new role, Russell will manage the membership election process wherein hundreds of nominations result in approximately 70 new members each year.

Russell, who also is the Harry E. Bovay, Jr. Chair Professor in the department, is director of the Power System Automation Laboratory and has been a member of the faculty of Texas A&M for 37 years.

He is past president of the Power and Energy Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and was named recipient of the IEEE Halperin Award, the highest recognition for electric power engineering given by IEEE and is considered an expert on monitoring and protection of electric power systems.

Russell is internationally recognized for his development of automated techniques for detecting arcing faults and failures on electric power systems. His recent work has emphasized predictive diagnostic tools for detecting failing power system equipment before catastrophic failure. This will allow utilities to repair systems before an outage occurs. His work is currently being extended to detect power system failures that cause wildfires, an area of great importance given the increasing drought conditions in the United States.