Smart metering and the smart grid are core to the future of the industry, and Kevin Cornish, executive consultant at Enspiria Solutions plays a part in the plan. Cornish not only supports Enspiria’s AMI and smart grid technology solution initiatives for utilities, he also teaches courses on the subjects.

“The smart grid and smart meter market has exploded in the past few years and we see that continuing, even in today's difficult financial climate,” Cornish said. “The core drivers that are causing the utilities to look increasingly to intelligent automation are well-founded and increasing.”

Cornish just joined Enspiria this month after working as director of investor-owned utility sales at Aclara Group. He started his career at Pacific Gas & Electric right out of college. “It was a combination gas and electric utility. I was good in the sciences so a career in engineering seemed to make sense, and utilities are heavy technical organizations with lots of opportunities for engineers.”

He worked 13 years at PG&E and then another 10 years with other utility solution providers such as CellNet Data Systems, Schlumberger Resource Management Services, BCN Data Systems, and Distribution Control Systems.

Cornish has also taught classes for several years on AMR, AMI, demand response and project management.

“My past career with a utility, coupled with 10 years with vendors, provides me with a well-balanced perspective with which to inform people,” Cornish said. “My new role will expose me to an increasing amount of information about available solutions, experiences, trends, etc. This will help me to keep my classes current and relevant.”

As part of his transition to a new company, Cornish is resetting some of his speaking engagements but he does expect to teach a pre-symposium class at the Utilimetrics Autovation conference. The course focuses on how utilities can successfully implement AMI projects. It is meant to provide lessons learned that can be applied to all utilities’ AMI projects.

“AMI and the smart gird has been highligted by President-elect Obama in his vision of what needs attention. Having a more intelligent and efficient infrastructure and providing end consumers with information to make intelligent decisions on their energy use meet core societal needs,” Cornish said.

Cornish wants his students to realize that the projects that they will be looking at are large, complex, integrated solutions. projects that we are looking at are large, complex integrated solutions. “There are many things that must be done and many things that can go wrong, but with good preparation and appropriate attention to the basics, utilities can successfully implement and receive the benefits that they are anticipating,” he said.

Cornish said that he enjoys framing and solving problems, and his new position is perfect for that opportunity. “I get to partner with utilities to work through their needs and develop solutions.” Enspiria Solutions provides consulting, implementation and support services in the GIS, AMI and Smart Grid areas.

He also enjoys being a student. He earned a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering, then an M.B.A. in marketing and telecommunications management. “When I first started out as a project manager, I soon realized that there was so much that I did not know, so I took night classes for a couple years. I have taken advantage of courses at the many industry trade shows or regional events,” he said. “It all adds up and gives a person a better perspective and increased your success.”

In Cornish’s spare time, he builds furniture. He has a fully equipped woodshop and made all of the bathroom vanities, master bedroom custom closet and bedroom furniture for his family’s new home. “I find that working on the intricacies of making furniture provides me with downtime away from computers and cell phones while also giving me time to reflect and think. It also produces something lasting that will still be around long after I am gone.”