Electric Grid Impacts of Geomagnetic Disturbances Short Course

This short course, instructed by Mr. Bob Arritt, Dr. Jenn L. Gannon, Dr. Tom Overbye, Mr. Tracy Rolstad and Ms. Komal Shetye, will be held at the Texas A&M Center for Infrastructure Renewal (CIR) of the RELLIS Campus on April 23-24, 2019.


Geomagnetic disturbances (GMDs), caused by solar coronal mass ejections, have the potential to significantly impact the operation of the high voltage electric grid by causing geomagnetically induced currents (GICs). Over the last decade there has been significant research, industry interest, and regulatory concern about the impact of GMDs on the high voltage electric grid. The purpose of this two-day short course is to put the GMD issue into proper perspective by providing a comprehensive coverage of what is currently known about the impact of GMDs on the grid, the tools being used for their assessment in planning and operations, and the current areas of research.
The course philosophy is to provide in-depth coverage of the topics, but to do so using a practical, hands-on approach. For example, the course provides a detailed consideration of what is needed to do the GMD assessments required for NERC TPL-007-1, and also contains an interactive, real-time simulation of the operational impacts of GMDs on the grid. Throughout the course concepts will be illustrated using common industrial tools including those from EPRI and PowerWorld Simulator. Collectively the course instructors have wide experience in this area doing electric power system studies, software tool development, research and engineering education (Hours: CEU 1.4, PDH 14).

Who Should Attend

The course is designed to provide a comprehensive coverage of the impacts of GMDs on high voltage electric grids.  It is ideally suited for electrical engineers who work in the areas associated with either electric grid planning or operations, and for new graduates who would like to rapidly gain experience in the area of GMD grid impacts.   The course will also be useful for technical staff in regulatory agencies, for technical managers, for academics wishing to gain practical knowledge in this important area, and for graduate students interested in careers in the power industry.


  • Overview and history of electric grid geomagnetic disturbance impacts
  • Geomagnetic disturbances: from the Sun to the Ground
  • Power flow modeling of geomagnetically induced currents (GICs)
  • Ground model impact on geomagnetically induced currents
  • Hands-On:  interactive, real-time electric grid simulations of GMD impacts
  • Real-time monitoring, analysis and visualization of geomagnetically induced currents
  • NERC TPL 007 (Transmission System Planned Performance for Geomagnetic Disturbance Events)
  • Transformer modeling for GMD studies
  • Modeling of harmonics for GMD studies, including the EPRI Harmonics Analysis Capability Tool
  • Hands-On: EPRI Harmonics Analysis Capability Tool
  • Measures for GMD mitigation


Mr. Bob Arritt

Technical Executive at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
Current research activities include leading geomagnetic disturbance work, distributed resources, system transients, harmonics and protection.
Mr. Arritt joined EPRI in 2007. Prior to joining EPRI, Mr. Arritt worked for Raytheon in Sudbury, MA where he worked in the Power and Electronic Systems Department.
2006 Raytheon Technical Honors Award for Peer and Leadership Recognition for Outstanding Individual Technical Contribution
2005 Raytheon Author’s Award for design of a Phase-Shifted Transformer for Harmonic Reduction
Chauncey Award for his outstanding innovative and achievements in science and technology
Holds a US Patent as the lead inventor for “Method for Detecting an Open-Phase Condition of a Transformer”
Authored several technical papers and is a Senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
BS, magnum cum laude, in electrical engineering from West Virginia Institute of Technology in Montgomery, West Virginia
MS degree in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts
Mr. Arritt is a Professional Engineer, licensed in the State of Tennessee

Dr. Jenn L. Gannon

Computational Physics, Inc (CPI), serving as their Geomagnetic Disturbance Division Lead in CPI’s Boulder office.
B.S. from the University of Virginia in 2000
Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 2005
For research she has been studying charged particles and electromagnetic phenomena in near-earth space and the solid earth throughout her scientific career.
Previous to joining CPI Jenn served as a scientist at the NOAA Space Environment Center and its successor agency, the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, and later as a Federal researcher at the U.S. Geological Survey.
Jenn co-founded Space Hazards Applications, LLC, of Boulder, Colorado, a consulting firm for space hazards to built infrastructure.
Author or co-author of many publications in the peer-reviewed literature, as well as several U.S.G.S. Open-file Reports and conference presentations.

Dr. Thomas Overbye

TEES Eminent Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University (TAMU)
BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Before starting his academic career, employed by Madison Gas and Electric Company, working in their planning and operations departments
Original developer of PowerWorld Simulator (a widely used power system planning tool)
Co-founder of PowerWorld Corporation
Author of a widely used Power System Analysis and Design book
Recipient of the IEEE Power and Energy Society Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award, IEEE Fellow
Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering

Mr. Tracy Rolstad

Senior Power System Consultant at Avista Utilities
BSEE from the University of Idaho and a graduate diploma from the Naval War College
Early career in power systems in the US Navy.
Power system planning and modeling experience at the Joint Warfare Analysis Center, Bonneville Power Administration, and Avista.
WECC Technical Studies Subcommittee Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary
WECC RAS and Relay Workgroup Chair.
Member of the IEEE and the VFW

Ms. Komal Shetye

Associate Research Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University (TAMU)
Received her B. Tech. degree from the University of Mumbai, Mumbai, India, and a M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
Prior to joining TAMU she was a Senior Research Engineer with the Information Trust Institute at UIUC.
Komal has been extremely involved in the area of GMD impacts on the electric grid both from doing numerous studies for electric utilities and in doing research.
Her other research activities include power system dynamics, model validation, and wide-area system issues.
She is a Senior Member of IEEE.

For more information, go here.

Registration link available, here.