The Electric Power Research Institute recently named 10 FirstEnergy Corp. employees as winners of its annual Technology Transfer awards. The one individual and four team awards recognize major contributions over the course of 2007 by FirstEnergy employees toward the successful development and implementation of EPRI solutions to address the challenges of electric power through strategic research initiatives.

"It is very rewarding to see that ten FirstEnergy employees are being honored by EPRI for the leadership role they have taken in our industry," said Anthony J. Alexander, president and chief executive officer of FirstEnergy. "Many of EPRI's research efforts involve collaboration, where good ideas are made even better by the creative skills of talented professionals like ours."

The FirstEnergy winners include:

  • Daniel B. Patten, principal consultant, FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company, was honored for advancing the implementation of the industry standard for welding guidelines on weld overlay repairs of nuclear plant components during outages. This marks the second year in a row he received an EPRI award for his work with nuclear plant weld overlays.
  • Carl Bridenbaugh, director, Transmission Planning and Protection, John Gest, engineer, and James Kozlosky, associate engineer, were recognized as a team for advancing technology that helps ensure more accurate thermal limit models for electrical equipment, allowing the capacity of a transmission system to be used more efficiently.
  • Joseph Waligorski, Delivery Operations Technical Manager, FirstEnergy Technologies, and Ken Wirt, senior consultant, IT-Network Engineering, were recognized as a team for leadership in developing a roadmap for integrating grid, communications, and automation technologies as a guide to future standards for intelligent devices.
  • Brian Wilkins, staff generation specialist, FirstEnergy Generation Corp., Jim Gillen, senior engineer, FirstEnergy Technologies, and Stephen Briggs, Technical Transfer and Retail Technologies Manager, FirstEnergy Technologies, were recognized as a team for using technology guidelines to improve education and training for new employees at the company's fossil generating facilities.
  • Eva Gardow, senior engineer, FirstEnergy Technologies, was recognized for providing strategic direction for the Energy Efficiency Retail Interest Group, which helped EPRI refocus on research and development activities involving end-use customer energy efficiency programs. She shared this team award with representatives from the Tennessee Valley Authority, Southern Company, and the Salt River Project.

"The key to successfully utilizing EPRI's research is technology transfer, which is the process of an electric utility applying its research results," said Mike Howard, EPRI's senior vice president, Research and Development. "We applaud these individuals and all of those who advance this concept."