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Memorial Tributes: Volume 3 (1989)

Chapter: Theodore J. Nagel

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Suggested Citation:"Theodore J. Nagel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page 272
Suggested Citation:"Theodore J. Nagel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page 273
Suggested Citation:"Theodore J. Nagel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page 274
Suggested Citation:"Theodore J. Nagel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page 275
Suggested Citation:"Theodore J. Nagel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page 276
Suggested Citation:"Theodore J. Nagel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page 277

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THEODORE J 1913-1986 . NAGEL BY JOHN E. DOLAN THEODORE J. NAGEL, an internationally recognized author- ity on the planning, operation, anct reliability of electric power systems, ctiect January 14, 1986, in Tucson, Arizona, after an extenclec! illness. He was seventy-two. At the time of his retirement in 1982, Nage! tract spent forty-three years with the American Electric Power (AEP) Service Corporation, rising through the company's ranks from assistant engineer to senior executive vice-presicient ant! assistant to the chairman. He playect a large role in mak- ing the seven-state American Electric Power System what it is today a major force anct leader in this nation's electric util- · ~ ty 1nc ~ustry. In his forty-three years with AEP as an engineer, system planner, anct executive, seventeen were spent as the engi- neering executive responsible for the clevelopment of future planning programs. Toclay, that system, with its 22.S million kilowatts of generating capacity anct more than 2 1,700 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, is his legacy. Tect was born on December 20, 1913, in Ancles, New York. He receiver! his B.A. in 1936, his B.S. in electrical engineer- ing in 1937, anct his M.S. in electrical engineering in 1938, all from Columbia University. He was first employect by the AEP Service Corporation In 1939 as an assistant engineer. After four years of service with 273

274 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES the U.S. Navy during World War IT, he returned as a senior engineer in 1946. He was promoted to head of the System Planning and Engineering Section of the former System Planning and Operation Department in 1954, rising to head of the newly formed System Planning and Analytical Divi- sion in 1959 ant! to cleputy chief engineer and chief planning engineer in 1966. He was named vice-president of system planning in 1967, senior vice-president of system planning in 1973, executive vice-president of system planning in 1974, and senior executive vice-presiclent ant! assistant to the chair- man in 1976. He was also a director of the AEP Service Cor- poration and of two AEP System operating companies-—Ap- palachian Power Company and Wheeling Electric Company. Nage! joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 as an ensign, served mainly in the European theater, and was discharged as a lieu- tenant commander in ~ 946. During his service in Europe, he met ant] later married his wife, Dee. They became the par- ents of a son, Philip, and a daughter, Pamela. Together with Nagel's impressive work history, his service on various industry and government technical and advisory committees established his credentials as an expert on power supply planning anc! reliability. When the Great Blackout of 1965 struck the Northeast, Nage! was not in his New York office but at an AEP System management meeting in Roa- noke, Virginia, approximately four hundred miles away. The blackout disrupted electrical service to thirty million custom- ers over an eighty-thousanct-square-mile area. Nage! was summoned to Washington by Joseph P. Swicller, chairman of the Federal Power Commission. His initial as- signment was to assist in the commission's inquiry into the blackout, which was to be conducted by its Advisory Com- mittee on Reliability of Electric Bulk Power Supply, and eventually to prepare its report to the president. The procI- uct of his research while a member of this committee was released as Volume 2 of Prevention of Power Failures. The (loc- ument ultimately lect to the industry's reliability coordination effort in both the United States and Canacia. Later, when a

THEODORE ]. NAGEL 275 similar but less severe failure hit the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Marylan(1 area, Bagel was called upon again and again he responclec! effectively. Owing to his solid reputation in advisory committee work, Nage! was invited to participate in all three of the National Power Surveys concluctect by the Fecleral Power Commission. During the first, he server! as a member of the Transmission and Interconnection Special Technical Committee; for the second, he was a member of the East Central Regional Ad- visory Committee; in the third, he participated as a member of the Energy Distribution Research Task Force. Nage! was also instrumental in the formation of the East Central Area Reliability Coordination Agreement Group (ECAR), the first of nine such regional groups to be orga- nized across the country. He served as chairman of its Coor- ctinating Review Committee from 1970 to 1976. In acIdition, he was chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee of the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) for two years. The council's membership is composed of all nine re- gional groups. Nagel was also the NERC Engineering Com- mittee's representative on foreign activities. In addition, he was a member of the Conference Interna- tionale des Grancls Reseaux Electriques a Haute Tension, the international organization clevoted to the planning, clevel- opment, anct operation of large high-voltage electric systems. In 1982 he was named international chairman of its System Planning and Development Committee. Bagel was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1973 and server! on its Committee on Power Plant Siting. A longtime member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (lEEE), he was elected a life fellow of that body in 1979. IEEE's Power Engineering Society hon- orec! Nage! and his former AEP colleague Howard C. Barnes by presenting them with its William M. Habirshaw Award in 1979. This award, which is given annually in recognition of "outstanding contributions to the field of electrical transmis- sion and distribution," was presenter! to Nage! because of his

276 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES work in the planning and Barnes' work in the engineer- ing—of the nation's first 765,000-volt transmission system. The network was conceived in the 1960s during research work conducted by AEP at its extra-high-voltage transmis- sion laboratory in Apple Grove, West Virginia. Construction of the first sixty-six-mile section of this 765,000-volt system was begun in 1967, and service began in 1969. The final ninety-six-mile link in the network was not placed in opera- tion, however, until September 1986. This addition increased the system's total length to 2,022 circuit miles. Nage! was a member of three professional honorary fra- ternities: Tau Beta Pi (engineering), Eta Kappa Nu (electrical engineering), and Sigma Xi (science research). He was the author or coauthor of more than twenty professional papers. A final honor was bestowed on Nage! at the time of his retirement: the AEP System named its newest extra-high- voltage transmission station for him- the Nage! Station near Kingsport, Tennessee. Ted Nagel was a man of substance, character, and intellect. He was a devotee! husband, a good father, and, in his work, a dedicated engineer. Perhaps the most appropriate tribute to this quiet, soft-spoken man are the words on the bronze plaque that stands in the Nage! Station yard in the hills of northeastern Tennessee: "Theodore J. Nagel, distinguished engineer and planner who devoted 43 years to the American Electric Power System." Ted, you planned it all very well.

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