Alumnus Mark Lauby Elected Member of National Academy of Engineering

University of Minnesota Twin Cities alumnus and ECE graduate Mark Lauby has been elected member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), class of 2020 “[f]or the development and application of techniques for electric grid reliability analysis.” He will be joining the ranks of over 2500 professionals who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, and education. 

Election as member of the NAE is “one of the highest professional honors accorded an engineer. Members have distinguished themselves in business and academic management, in technical positions, as university faculty, and as leaders in government and private engineering organizations.”

Mark earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1980, and went on to earn his master’s degree in 1989. Currently, he is senior vice president and chief engineer of North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)

MARK’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Mark has several accomplishments to his name, and has made significant contributions to the  power industry in areas of reliability assessment and analysis. He has rejuvenated NERC’s reliability assessment and performance analysis, identifying emerging issues affecting reliability. His efforts have led to collaborative industry initiatives that investigate the integration of new technologies and policies, their benefits, and their effect on reliability factors. 

Mark has actively supported the University of Minnesota in the development of new curriculum that is accessible to academic institutions across the United States so they can prepare to meet the workforce challenge.

On the subject of skilled workforce, Mark early on recognized the adverse impact of workforce shortage on keeping up system reliability. He has consistently encouraged industry groups including IEEE PES to focus on this critical issue, and has actively supported the University of Minnesota in the development of new curriculum that is accessible to academic institutions across the United States so they can prepare to meet the workforce challenge. 

In view of the growth in renewables-based generation, Mark created the Integration of Variable Generation Task Force (IVGTF) to identify technical considerations for integrating variable resources (such as wind and solar) into the bulk power system, and the development of specific actions such as enhancing existing standards, and/or developing new ones. He established the NERC Smart Grid Task Force to evaluate the effect of smart grid device and system integration on system planning, design, and operations, to maintain its reliability. 

Mark has developed a reliability categorization scheme, pioneered the development of transmission outage contingency selection and enumeration algorithms, and the application of advanced probabilistic methods to measure bulk power system reliability.

Mark has also developed a reliability categorization scheme and supported the development of the Demand Response Data System to collect data on demand response, as it increasingly becomes industry standard practice. Additionally, he has pioneered the development of transmission outage contingency selection and enumeration algorithms to support transmission planning. In relation to this, Mark has also led the development of transmission outage data statistics and pioneered the application of advanced probabilistic methods to measure bulk power system reliability. He also chaired the development of IEEE Standard P859, “Terms for Report and Analyzing Outage Occurrences and Outage States of the Electric Transmission Facilities.” 

Mark’s work has had far reaching impact. His work on system reliability assessment has impacted reliability standards, not only because of his support of such standards, but also through his initiation of critical conversations on accommodating unprecedented changes in the system while simultaneously maintaining reliability. Transmission outage data collection and analysis is now an industry-wide tool for the measurement and cause analysis of transmission performance. Mark’s theoretical contributions to contingency selection methods, and fast power flow analysis is used by planners in reviewing reliability studies, and by operators to main reliability.

AWARDS AND HONORS

Mark has been the recipient of several awards and honors including the IEEE-PES Roy Billinton Award (2014), the Utility Wind Integration Group Achievement Award (2010), and IEEE-PES Walter Fee Outstanding Young Engineer Award (1992). He was elevated to IEEE Fellow in 2012

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and ECE are proud of Mark’s achievements and we congratulate him on his election as a member of the NAE. Incidentally, Mark earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees under the guidance and support of professors Bruce Wollenberg, and Ned Mohan who are also NAE members.

Members of the class of 2020 will be formally inducted at the NAE’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on October 4. The Academy has elected 87 new members and 18 international members this year. 

Founded in 1964, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. The mission of the National Academy of Engineering is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology.

We recently had the opportunity to connect with Mark and learn about his professional journey, and the evolution of NERC and its vision. Read the interview here.