Modern Solutions Power Systems Conference

Posted by Eric Haun
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer III, president of SEL

Thomas Alva Edison, who is considered to be one of the most prolific inventors in history, once said, “I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it.” His invention of the long-lasting electric light bulb was exactly what the world needed and has revolutionized the way we live today. Since then, the explosive growth of the electric power industry has brought about as many challenges as it has accomplishments. What the world needs now are solutions for the critical issues affecting modern power systems.

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL) recognized this need and wanted to create an environment where these critical issues could be discussed, where people from multiple industries could converge to share their knowledge, and where today’s ideas could become the foundation for the future.

The result is the Modern Solutions Power Systems Conference (MSPSC). This conference brings engineers, managers, executives, and technical experts into an atmosphere that fosters the collaboration, innovation and creation needed to carry power systems smoothly into the future. This year MSPSC will be held June 3-5 in Houston, Texas—“The Energy Capital of the World.” 

MSPSC is structured to promote in-depth discussion, blending different ideas and perspectives to create lasting relationships across multiple industries. 

“It’s utterly essential to have a cross-disciplinary approach to business planning and professional career development,” said Mark P. Mills, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. “You cannot succeed unless you understand how everything else intersects what you do.”

Mills is among the four keynote speakers featured this year at MSPSC. These speakers are forward-thinking leaders in their fields with significant and notable accomplishments. Their goal is to help propel the discussions, spark creativity, and challenge attendees to think differently.

The opening keynote speaker is Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer III, president of SEL and pioneer of the microprocessor-based protective relay industry. Dr. Schweitzer will discuss the importance of maintaining simplicity in an increasingly complex world.

Next, conference attendees will hear from Dr. Alan Waltar, former director of nuclear energy for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and former president of the American Nuclear Society. Dr. Waltar will present the keynote, The Nuclear World: Can the U.S. Regain Global Leadership? Mills, who is also the founder and CEO of the Digital Power Group, will delve into the economics and physics of electric grids in the modern age during his keynote presentation. Attendees will also learn how hydraulic fracturing has changed the petroleum industry and directly affected business operations and individual lives from keynote speaker Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.

Throughout this three-day event, there will be several sessions, led by panels of industry experts, which will examine today’s key issues, including the benefits of islanding, the effects of standardization, and how humans factor into cybersecurity. MSPSC participants are encouraged to ask questions and push the boundaries of organizations, industries, politics and trends.

“The way that they’ve set the environment up is very intriguing to me, where you have a discussion and then you break to go and network with everybody. The format and those moments where you can actually get together are just absolutely priceless,” said Jonathan Sykes, manager of System Protection at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

The electric power industry needs a solid foundation in order to thrive. Computer scientist Alan Curtis Kay, whose revolutionary ideas helped spur the evolution of personal computers, once said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. The Modern Solutions conference builds on that thought, bringing the industry together and connecting ideas to shape the future.

To register for this event, visit

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