adequately trained to respond to a terrorist event. Training should include instruction on how to detect and operate within an area that has been contaminated by radioactive, chemical, or biological agents. The training at the engineering workforce level should also include aspects of organizational theory, risk communication, and risk perception. It should also recognize the high likelihood that such areas will be classified as a crime scene. It is important to note that such training is specifically intended to expose utility workers to probable scenarios that are a consequence of malicious attacks, and it should be clearly separated from the training utility workers receive for day-to-day system operation and maintenance.

•   The electric power industry faces serious and growing security and other challenges as a result of more rapid churning of employees in utilities and among contactors. This change is resulting from workforce aging, the attrition of skilled workers, the loss of core competencies and institutional knowledge, and competition for the declining supply of electrical engineers and other skilled professionals. A detailed analysis of workforce issues in the U.S. electric power industry, including a careful examination of associated security issues, is needed and should be a priority activity for organizations representing the industry. Appropriate organizations in the public and private sector (e.g., the Edison Electric Institute CEO Committee) must engage utilities at an executive level to create and implement a set of systematic solutions to these problems.

•   Mid-term and long-term solutions to the shortage of an educated power engineering workforce are dependent on the health of electric power engineering programs in universities—programs that, in many cases, have been eliminated or undergone major contraction. The utility industry must find a systemic, coordinated solution for the support of those universities that have maintained power engineering faculty and are capable of expanding power curricula and increasing student numbers over the near term. While direct student support is important in the form of scholarships and graduate fellowships, endowed chairs and professorships are needed to secure power faculty positions in electrical engineering departments. The key to the success of power engineering programs is a significant increase in direct research support for faculty and students. Increased research funding must be targeted to universities in order to provide incentives to deans and department heads who must decide which technical areas will be emphasized and where new faculty will be hired. To date, no industry organization has provided adequate leadership and “ownership” of the crisis facing power engineering education in universities.

•   All utility service providers should develop business continuity plans that ensure that power can continue to be reliably supplied in the face of a pandemic. Such plans should create a leadership succession process, cross-train people to perform multiple critical business functions, include a crisis health and sanitation plan, provide for advance employee training, and include an internal and an external communication and information dissemination plan.

REFERENCES

Ashworth, M.J. 2006. Workforce Aging in the U.S. Electric Power Industry. Briefng to the workshop on the same topic, Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center, Pittsburgh, Pa., April 17.

Christie, R.D. and P.M. Mahadev. 1994. “Case Study: Visualization of an Electric Power Transmission System.” IEEE Proceedings of the Conference on Visualization ’94.

EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute). 2000. Power Delivery Reliability Initiative: Phase One Summary Report. EPRI Report 1000200. Palo Alto, Calif.: EPRI, December.

Knox, N. 2005. “‘Matter of Time Before Bird Flu Pandemic Strikes,’ WHO says.” USA Today, November 8.

Overbye, T.J., and J.D. Weber. 2001. “Visualizing the Electric Grid.” IEEE Spectrum 38(2): 52-58.

Reder, W.K. 2006. “The Technical Talent Challenge (and Implications of Our Maturing Workforce).” IEEE Power and Energy Magazine 4(1): 32-39.

Venkata, S. 2004. “Human Resource Needs in Electric Energy/Power Engineering.” Presentation. Clarkson University, Albany, N.Y., May 17.

WHO (World Health Organization). 2007. “Cumulative Number of Confirmed Human Cases of Avian Influenza A/(H5N1) Reported to WHO, 29 January 2007.” Available at http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/country/cases_table_2007_01_29/en/index.html. Accessed January 2007.



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