Richard L. Nailen

Richard L. Nailen
San Jose, CA, USA
Associated organizations
Westinghouse Electric Corporation
Fields of study


Over the past four decades, Richard L. Nailen has been without peer in advancing the understanding and proper application of electric motors. His conversational style as an author and lecturer makes complex theory accessible even to the novice, and his publications serve as benchmarks for modern motor design.

A longtime contributor to, and now engineering editor of, Electrical Apparatus magazine, Mr. Nailen is the author of more than 450 articles on motor design and application. His books include The Plant Engineer’s Guide to Industrial Electric Motors, Motors (Volume 6, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Power Plant Electrical Reference Series), Managing Controls and Managing Motors. An expert at communicating technical information clearly and concisely, he has presented numerous university extension courses, seminars and workshops. He also helped create and, from 1991-1998, teach an EPRI class in motor applications for utility personnel nationwide and across Canada.

Richard L. Nailen was born on 2 January 1928 in San Jose, California and received a bachelor in electrical engineering, with honors, from the University of Santa Clara, California, in 1950. After 14 years as a design engineer with the Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Sunnyvale, California, he spent more than two decades as chief electrical engineer for the Louis Allis Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1985, he joined Wisconsin Electric Power Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as project engineer. Since retiring in 1995, Mr. Nailen has acted as a consultant on large induction motor issues.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Mr. Nailen is a member emeritus of the IEEE Industry and Applications Society (IAS) Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee (PCIC), the PCIC Working Group for P1566 and the PCIC Papers Review, Refining and Safety Subcommittees. He has served on the IAS Organization Manual and Membership Directory Committee, the IEEE Standard 1068 (Motor Repair and Rewind) Working Group, the IEEE Red Book Chapter 4 Working Group, and several PCIC Industrial and Commercial Power Systems (I&CPS) committees and subcommittees, among others. Mr. Nailen is the author of several prize-winning papers. He currently serves on the Technical Services Committee of the Electrical Apparatus Service Association.