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Preparing for FERC 797

Grid reliability track

While physical security has attracted the most attention in recent years, the potential for geomagnetic disturbances (GMDs) to disrupt grid operations should not be understated. In this session we’ll explore the impact of GMDs on the grid in general and on transformers in particular. We’ll also talk about what to consider in preparing contingency plans, and what technologies are available to reduce the impact of GMDs.


Dr. Ramsis S. Girgis

Dr. Ramsis S. Girgis is presently the R&D manager at the Power Transformer Division of ABB located in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also the leader of the global ABB R&D activities in the area of “Transformer Core Performance”.  

Dr. Girgis received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, in EE in 1978.  He has over 45 years of R&D experience mostly in the area of power transformers. He has published and presented over 60 scientific papers in IEEE and other international journals. In the nineties, Dr. Girgis was the Technical Advisor representing the US National Committee in the IEC Technical Committee 14.

His first association with the effects of GIC on power Transformers started on March 13, 1989; the day the highest GMD storm hit the Northeast region of North America. Dr. Girgis is a contributing member to both the NERC GMD TF and the IEEE Transformers Standards committee TF developing a GIC Guide.
Dr. Ramsis S. Girgis

Dr. Arnold P. Vitols

Arnold P. Vitols (Arnie) received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the Institute of Technology in the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
He worked as a research and development engineer at General Electric’s High Voltage Laboratory in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He was instrumental in the development and design of the gapless EHV metal oxide surge arresters and was the Project Manager for series capacitor designs. 

In 1988, he moved to the series capacitor projects group in Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Bloomington, Indiana.

From 1990 to present, he is responsible for developing and testing new products and providing technical support to the product department in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania.
He is a committee member of IEEE, American National Standards Institute, ANSI C62 surge arrester standard’s group, IEC 60099 advisory group and National Electric Manufacturing Association, NEMA 8LA Section.
Dr. Arnold P. Vitols