First-Hand:My Life Over 60 Years in the Development of Our National Energy Systems
My Personal and Professional Life
By Jack Casazza, January 2010
For most of my life I have been keeping copies of materials that I authored or coauthored, from events in which I was involved and writings of others that I considered important. In the attached autobiography, I have tried to provide a review of things that I remember, many of which are not covered in other materials I saved.
I also decided that this autobiography would be a good place to list the other material available. I have also included attachments that mattered to me, specific items that add to the autobiography. In case any are interested the attached Appendix provides a list of various sources in my files where copies of my publications and presentations, copies of books I have written and copies of publications by others I believe important can be obtained, including video and audio tapes and digital copies of correspondence.
I have written this autobiography in the hopes that our children John and Joan, our granddaughters, Lauren and Alison, and their children will be interested in what I did and why, and the events that shaped my lifetime. I hope they will forgive me for the unorganized way it has been put together.
I was born on January 3, 1924 in my parent’s home in Brooklyn.
1930 – My Earliest Memories
One of my earliest memories is of my Lionel electric train set that I loved to assemble, run, and then carefully return to its storage box. I was six years old and already electricity had become of interest. Memories are of visits to my father’s aunts in Manhattan where they lived on the 5th floor of a tenement on Catherine Street. My father at that time had been working six full days a week, 48 hours, and when his Saturdays were cut to a half day he would go to his aunts, who had raised him, for lunch. I would go over and meet him, sometimes with my mother, occasionally with Aunt Mabel, one of my father’s other aunts who lived in Brooklyn.
I can clearly remember sitting up on the fifth floor window in a tenement house looking out on the tiny backyards of all the tenements. I loved to color so they would give me a sheet of paper and a package of crayons and I would draw things. Most often I tried to draw Indian head feathers, the sort of things that the Indian chief would wear when going to a pow-wow.
From time to time we would also visit my father’s aunts on a Sunday, having an old fashioned Genoese dinner, and often afterwards taking the elevated train out to Calvary Cemetery to visit the graves of their relatives.
My schooling began at PS-169 which I attended from Kindergarten through the 6th grade. One of my favorite activities at PS-169 was to play handball in the back of the school against the wall. Also, I sang in the school Glee Club for a while. Finally, I was told please don’t sing any more. You’re voice is changing, you are hurting the chorus, just mouth the words. You’ve come to so many practices we don’t want to tell you to leave. It was time for the school to enter the champion contest for the City at Carnegie Hall. I went with the group and mouthed the words without a sound coming out. Low and behold PS-169 was the champion Glee Club of all the elementary schools in New York. So, from time to time, I still like to brag that I sang at Carnegie Hall, but I don’t mention without any sound coming out of my mouth.
Most of my clothing was made by my mother. She would take my father’s clothes that were no longer useful and cut out any material that could be used for my clothes. She would cut and sew pants I could wear to school. During that period my father’s brother Andy and his family moved to the second floor apartment in our two-family home.
For vacations we would go to the beach at Coney Island and both Luna Park and Steeplechase. We would also go to my father’s Aunt Jennie’s (Manegia) farm in Connecticut for a week where we lived a rural life. They had no electricity until the 1930s.
Each day in the summer we would rise early and my mother took the children to Coney Island. We went by trolley car for 3 cents, arriving at the beach about 9:00 a.m. and coming home around 11:00 a.m.
1935 – My Schooling
Starting with the 7th grade I was transferred to Pershing Jr. High, PS-220. At Pershing I began to see some of the things that I liked, mathematics, logic, and sports. I occasionally would get into trouble for annoying other kids in the classroom, but most of these were solved without difficulty.
I had to walk about a half a mile to get to the school, and in those days along the way the space between the sidewalk and the curb there would be ash barrels, like present day garbage cans, filled to the top. I began to jump over the ash barrels. First one, then two. Finally I got to the point where by taking a good run, laying my books on the side, I could clear five barrels in a row which was quite a distance to broad jump. The school once a year had a field day at a local high school athletic field and I entered a number of events. I finished second in the 100 yard dash and third in the broad jump. I still have the medals sitting in a box that I keep to look at once in a while. While at Pershing they had a program for having certain students take a rapid advance program. They called them RA programs. I was selected and finished the three years of Jr. High School, the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade in two and a half years.
During these years I would often run all the way home after school to go to the various stores for my mother. These chores could be finished by about 4:00 p.m. I would then go out on the street and join the local stick ball game. They involved use of a “spaldine” ball that was pitched on one bounce and sawed off broomstick handle as a bat. On weekends I would play softball or touch football in a large open lot in the neighborhood.
My mother worked at home as a dressmaker. She had a room in the house where she fitted dresses she had made by hand. We all chipped in to help with the home chores. She did the cooking, but my father, my brother Eugene, and I cleaned up after dinner. Usually I washed the dishes, Eugene dried them, and my dad swept the floor and watered our backyard garden where we had a grape vine arbor and lots of vegetable plants such as lettuce, swisschard, tomatoes, et cetera. We ate small amounts of meat, but had lots of vegetables to go with a whole wheel of parmesan cheese that we purchased from time to time. My father also made 50 gallons of wine each year that we used at dinner time. After meal clean up, I would often go out for more stickball. At the age of about 13 I began to ride the subways and trolley cars alone.
1938 – Life as a Teenager
I had taken the entrance exam for Stuyvesant High School believing that I wanted to be involved in science and technology. I was selected and went to Stuyvesant along with some of my good friends, Albert Dib and Robert Valerie. We rode the subway every morning to school and took the subway back. During the first term at Stuyvesant we went in the afternoon with our classes starting at 12:30 and going through until about 5:30. That meant my mornings were free. For a while I used to go to the local park, Sunset Park, and play tennis with Al Dib or stickball with some other kids that I knew. I enjoyed having my mornings free.
Starting with the 10th grade of high school, I went to classes from about 7:00 in the morning until about 12:30. During the period when I was going in the afternoon I had tried out for the school track team, made the freshman track team and ran in a couple of events. The team practiced at McComb’s Dam Park in the Bronx. (This park became the site for the present New York Yankee’s stadium.) I liked running and I was reasonably fast, but once I became involved with going in the morning and having afternoons free I decided I needed to get a job. At the age of 15 I went to work for a company named the Errand Service Corporation that provided people for delivering packages and messages anywhere in the city. I would pick them up one place and deliver them to another place. I enjoyed that very much because I had a chance to go all over the city. In 1939 I was sent to the Aquacade at the World’s Fair and met Billy Rose who produced the show. I delivered packages to famous actresses in Broadway theaters, including Catherine Cornell. I delivered packages to the Ocean Liners just before sailing. And I saw the city in what was really a unique and valuable view.
I became so good at being able to get from one destination to another that I was made parttime officer manager and no longer was out in the field delivering messages. Rather, I stayed in the office and answered telephones. When messengers picked up things and didn’t know quite how to get from point A to B, I would give them instructions over the phone. This gave me a chance also to do some of my homework while working in the office. At the end of my senior year at Stuyvesant High School the Errand Service Company offered me a job as a full-time office manager. This was at the age of 17. I would approximately double my pay and take over the responsibilities for the economic operation of the office.
During the last two years when I worked in the afternoon from about 1:00 o’clock until about 7:00, I came home had dinner, and generally went to sleep very early, about 9:00 o’clock. I’d wake up about 3:00 o’clock the next morning, turning on the light in the bedroom where I had a small desk. My brother was also sleeping in the double bed and was annoyed when I’d do this, but that’s when I’d get up and do my homework. I did my homework until about 5:30. At 5:30 I washed and went into the kitchen. My father was already there. He had been down in the basement to “open up” the coal furnace that we had. (It was “hot water” heat). This would get the heat coming up so it would be sufficiently warm in the house when the others got up. He’d also put on the oatmeal for me each morning. I’d have my oatmeal, finish my coffee, toast, and eggs, and be on the subway train at 6:30 to be in school by about 7:00 o’clock.
As I was finishing Stuyvesant High School I received a lot of advice concerning my career. My parents were not well off and I didn’t want to put a burden on them. I decided that what I should try to do is get a job with a good scientific company and do my education at night. I applied for a job at Bell Telephone Labs, took a two-day exam and was not selected for their special program. I had also applied to CCNY, City College of New York, and was admitted to their engineering program. Lastly I applied to Cooper Union and took their entrance exam. Fortunately I was selected by Cooper Union as one of those admitted in the class of 100. At Cooper Union all tuition had been paid by Peter Cooper as part of his bequest to the school. The only thing I had to pay for was the books, my transportation, and housing. I lived at home so the housing was not that much of a problem.
At Cooper Union in the freshmen year I applied for work trying to make some extra money to help out at home. I was selected under the NYA, National Youth Administration Program, to do a number of jobs. The first one I had was to work in the Cooper Union library where I was assigned organizing exhibits, rebinding books, and generally assisting in the work of the library. I also worked in the Cooper Union museum, now the Cooper Hewitt Museum of the Smithsonian, where I got a chance to see some of the personal collection of Peter Cooper, the hat box collection of one of his daughters, and began to learn a lot about the man who had paid for my education.
In my sophomore year I obtained work two evenings a week for the school’s medical director. Each student was given a physical exam once a year and I had to schedule them and make all the necessary arrangements. I assisted him in the exams. I took blood pressures, heights, weights, respirations, filled in records, made sure everyone knew when they were supposed to come, and basically organized the flow of the office. I don’t recall exactly but I think we did about 25 or 30 students each night. This job provided funds for me.
I also obtained work in the physical education department at Cooper Union. Cooper Union did not have a gym, but rented one. I believe it was called the Lavenberg House, which was about two blocks away. Students had to go there periodically for their physical exercises and I had the job of taking care of the locker room. That meant making sure towels and soap were available and, after the classes were over, all the towels were picked up and put in the right bins for laundry and that sort of thing.
Even though I was doing these jobs I became involved with a number of activities at Cooper Union. I was a member of the first group to organize a trip to Green Engineering Camp where we went the Thanksgiving weekend immediately before December 1, 1941. We played sports, games, and generally had a great time together. None of us knew what was going to happen in about a week that would affect the rest of our lives. My most vivid memory of Cooper Union was the Monday after Pearl Harbor, which occurred on a Sunday, when we were all gathered together in a large room in the basement of the school and we were listening to President Roosevelt tell us that we were declaring war on Japan and Germany. Nobody knew quite what that meant to us, but we knew that from that moment on our lives would be changed.
In spite of the difficult academic program at Cooper Union, and my work schedules, I played intra-mural softball, basketball, and touch football. I was also the sports editor of the school newspaper for one year. I also joined a fraternity, LSK (Lambda, Sigma, Kappa).
I learned from these activities that I have to use my time wisely, have fun, relax from time to time, do more than one thing at a time, and don’t’ let things that need to be done slide.
The War Years – 1943-1946
I turned 18 in January 1942 and registered for the draft. As an engineering student who had completed more than two years of engineering school I was given a deferment for the period needed to get my degree. The Navy needed engineering officers very badly and was trying to train as many as they could for future programs and plans.
After a few months I heard about the Navy having a special program for engineering officers, and I applied with a few others of my classmates from Cooper Union. I was accepted and told to remain at Cooper Union until I received my orders. In November of 1943 I received orders to report to the V-7 program at Cornell University where I received a uniform and was assigned to quarters. When I registered for the electric engineering program I was told that many of my credits were not acceptable by Cornell. The Cornell program sometimes required four credit hours for a course and I had only three at Cooper Union. This happened with a fairly good number of courses and instead of starting as a senior at Cornell, they wanted me to go back and start as a sophomore. I did not want this to happen, so I met with a professor, Eric Gross of the Department of Electrical Engineering and discussed my problem with him. He felt the program at Cooper Union was superior to what they had at Cornell and I should get credit for it. I asked what I could do to solve the problem. He said, “Would you please get copies of all of the reports that you wrote in these prior courses at Cooper Union, list the textbooks used, and any other material to show what had been covered by your Cooper Union courses.”
I immediately wrote home to my mother who knew where I kept material. She put together a package of about a foot cube and sent it up to me immediately at high cost. I gave it to the Department of Electrical Engineering. They went over it and decided that I could be accepted as a senior, giving me credit for all of my courses at Cooper Union.
The courses at Cornell were quite good. I enjoyed particularly the courses by Dr. Eric Gross, who had been a leading power engineer in Austria before coming to the United States in the late 1930s. Dr. Gross was able to talk about real engineering problems he had experienced, as well as the theory of electric power.
My roomate at Cornell was Calvin Carver, a freshman electrical engineer. Calvin’s father Harry Carver, owned a considerable amount of various utility stocks and was involved in ownership of the Elizabethtown Gas Co. We estabished a friendship that affected my life in the future in a number of ways, as I will discuss later.
I was at Cornell for three terms which were accomplished in one year. During this period I took as many courses as I could, including courses in other departments beside the electrical engineering department. I took courses in vector analysis in the mathematics department. I took courses in metalurgy. I took courses in gym and swimming since I realized that I would have difficulty with the swimming requirements for officer candidates in the Navy program and began to swim an hour once a day as best I could. I graduated from Cornell with 170 credit hours and a BEE degree.
For entertainment there were the movies in downtown Ithaca. There was roller skating in the gym every Saturday night and there was time to play sports. Outside my dormitory there was a place to pitch horseshoes. Whenever I had a half hour abnd I wanted to relax I’d go out and practice horseshoes and became a reasonably good horseshoe player.
At the end of the third semester I received orders to go to Princeton University where the next two months were spent in waiting, taking various subjects for a week or two preparing us for midshipmen’s school. I was finally sent to the Naval Academy reserve midshipmen’s program, where I began four grueling months of activities.
The program at the Naval Academy consisted of drilling, taking seamanship courses to compliment the other technical courses we had had in the mechanical, civil, electrical engineering and our other work. From time to time we’d go out on Chesapeake Bay and have to steer a vessel, along with a group, completing various manuvers and following the “rules of the road.” On weekends we were free to take sailboats and go out into the Bay and sail for relaxation and did so from time to time.
There were frequent athletic activities. Soccer games. Rowing contests on the Severn River. Softball games. Volleyball games. The program was very full, starting very early in the morning and ending late at night with lights out in the dorm. I did very well academically and athletically at the Naval Academy and was asked by some of the regular midshipmen if I would be willing to play with them in their intramural softball games. I did so and played on the team which also had Jimmy Carter, who later became President of the United States.
At the Naval Academy I learned a lot about the people who had gone there before me, what they had done, and the traditions of the Navy. It affected the rest of my life and I was proud to have served in the Navy. I was commissioned while at the Naval Academy. The war in Europe ended just before I received my commission. The USA was preparing millions of people for the invasion of Japan. After commissioning, I was sent to Steam School at Newport, Rhode Island, to learn how to operate boilers and other steam equipment such as turbines. After that I was sent to a Navy base, Ft. Schuyler, on Long Island Sound awaiting further orders.
Finally my orders came through. I was assigned to the U.S.S. Springfield (CL-66) which was in the Pacific. During this period the war ended in Japan so I never shot at anybody and never was shot at by anybody. The dropping of the atomic bomb had caused an immediate Japanese surrender. With the unexpectedly rapid ending of the war the government was not in a good position to handle all of the people it was training for the Japan invasion and what should be done with them. They finally gave me orders to go to San Francisco and await transportation to the U.S.S. Springfield from there. I did so and arrived in San Francisco on a fall day in bright sunshine. The four day trip by train by a number of us who were on the same assignment was relaxing and we played a lot of bridge on the train.
In San Francisco I was assigned quarters in the Hotel St. Francis and was there from October through January. During that period I spent most of my day checking with the Navy and performing occaisional duties, sightseeing and reviewing some of my text books I had brought with me hoping that I would know enough to do a decent job in the electrical division on the Springfield.
After several false starts I was assigned to an escort carrier to proceed to Pearl Harbor where I would receive further transportation. The trip on the escort carrier was my first time ar sea. For the first two days I was horribly sea sick. Later on I found that they would rig tennis nets up on the flight deck and put high fences around and you could play tennis during the day. And once I started to play tennis my stomach recovered and I began to eat well.
I believe it was in seven days we arrived in Pearl Harbor and I was given quarters on Ford Island. Again, on checking for transportation I found that the activities of the Springfield were not known at the time. They said “You will have to stay here until we find a place to which the Springfield is going that we can get you to at the same time.” During that period of time I checked in for transportation every other day. We were able to obtain a jeep and went out to the other side of Oahu to Kailua Beach where there was an officer’s club and a beautiful virgin beach with nobody on it, except 20 or 30 Navy personnel. We would spend a day out there sitting on the beach, sitting in the officer’s club having lunch, and driving back at night. During the trips to Kailua we went by different routes and saw a great deal of the island. We went over the top through the pass. This was before the modern highway and tunnel was installed, and that was a thrilling sight. We also went along the shore and saw the geysers that existed.
Finally I was told that the Springfield was going, of all places, to Long Beach, California. I was to go there on another escort carrier, so I went back another seven or eight days to Long Beach and finally was able to board the Springfield. I was greeted warmly by a number of people. They said, we’ve been getting three months of mail for you here and we want to give it to you. They had a fairly large box filled with mail to me which I had never received.
On the Springfield I was told that I was the electrical officer and would take over immediately. The electrical officer was in charge of “E Division”, which consisted of about 50 men, and was responsible for everything electrical on the ship, except communication equipment. I was fortunate to have in the Division a man who had previously been in charge, a Warrant Officer, named Brewer who was very competent. I learned very quickly I was better off letting him make the decisions, simply because he knew how all the equipment worked while I didn’t. I began to learn, however, and spent time doing lots of things on the ship pertaining to the operation of the equipment I was responsible for. I reviewed instructions books and found out where spare parts were located, and did things such as that.
From time to time when in port we would have softball games where each ship had a team. We would play the teams from the other ships and they had a tournament of all of the ships in the harbor. I played on the team for the Springfield. We did very well. I believe we won the championship. I also would take members of the crew out from time to time on Saturday afternoon to a local field and we’d have softball games playing, just among ourselves.
The ship would weekly go out into the Pacific where another ship would tow a target so we would practice gunnery practice. This took time and while never landing on Catalina Island I could see it was a beautiful place. On returning after one of these gunnery practices we were ordered to Mare Island near San Francisco to unload our ammunition. On the way in the channel was very narrow for such a large ship and we went aground. Our condensers for our main engines filled with mud and we had to go to a dry dock in San Francisco for this and other repairs.
In the drydock, after the water is pumped out of it, the ship is out of the water for work. On completion of the work the dry dock is filled with water and the ship can go back to sea. One night I was “officer of the deck” while they were refilling the dry dock to float the Springfield back into the harbor. As ths ship began to float I noticed the fantail of the ship was low in the water. I sent someone to check who reported water was coming into the ship. We discoved a main valve for discharging water from the ship and been left open and water was coming back in. It was promptly closed but some important equiment had been damaged since a lot of water had entered.
Liberty was granted quite frequently to go into Los Angeles and visit some of the locations in the area. We also would go to Long Beach, California where there were a great number of hotels and restaurants to have dinner. The ship was anchored in the Long Beach Harbor and boats would take members of the crew in for their liberty location. When navigation was difficult because of fog or other concerns, a boat officer was appointed to take the boat in and navigate it into the dock where the sailors on liberty would be picked up. One morning I was awakened at about 5:00 o’clock and told you are going to be the boat officer for the next boat to go in and pick up the members of the crew that have been ashore overnight and bring them back to the ship. I went down, got in the boat, found we had a compass, had a seaman who ran the engines and steered the boat, and it was up to me to take them in. I discovered the fog was massive and one could not see more than a few feet ahead. The boat had a fog horn and we would continue blowing it to warn others as to where we were. As we were proceeding cautiously all of a sudden I saw a rock breakwater about 10 feet ahead and yelled “reverse engines”, and we backed up. We went out a little further and started in again. I was trying to navigate with the compass but not doing very well. Suddenly I saw the bow of a huge ship directly over my head, and I said to myself, “Oh God, he’s going to cut us in half,” but the ship was anchored and not moving. Well, after several such misadventures I was able to find the dock, pick up the crew members, and got back to the ship all in one piece. But I will admit that during that trip I began to appreciate very much more the skills of the seamen who guide ships in difficult weather.
Time was ending for my enlistment in the Navy and the question became whether I would like to stay in as an officer. The officer I reported to on the ship suggested that I do that. I had become friends with quite a number of them, playing bridge frequently and sometimes playing poker into the odd hours of the night. I didn’t know what to do, so I wrote to Eric Gross back at Cornell and asked him for advice. He said “I think you should try to do some work that will give you an idea of what you want to do with your future career. After several years of such work come back to graduate school, get your Master’s degree and Ph.D.” I decided to follow Eric’s advice and apply in the Navy for assignment to their nuclear activities. They were beginning to make nuclear tests at several islands of potential nuclear weapons. I thought learning how to handle nuclear materials, nuclear explosives, and that sort of thing would be useful if one were to get involved with nuclear power later on. I was rejected for that program. As a result of that rejection I decided to leave the Navy.
I was separated from the Springfield and active duty in the Navy in August 1946, and went home to Brooklyn.
1946-1948 – The Initial Career Years
I had had some correspondence with a number of companies about potential positions before leaving the service. After arriving home in August I spent about two weeks sending additional letters asking for interviews. Two appointments were made. First with the Atlantic City Electric and Gas Company and then with Public Service Electric and Gas Company. On the date I was supposed to go to Atlantic City I went to Penn Station in New York and found I had misread the timetable. I thought it was in daylight savings time, and it was actually in standard time, and I missed my train. I therefore missed this interview. In the next day or two I went to Public Service for the interview and became quite enthusiastic about it. After some discussion I was offered a position as a “cadet engineer”. The cadet program at Public Service involved two years of training in various departments working from a few months to a few weeks in almost every department of the company. At the end of that period one was asked which department they preferred and subsequently assigned to a department, usually the one requested.
I enjoyed the cadet training program very much, since it gave me a chance to see the entire company operation from a first-hand position. Some of the assignments became boring after a while. In the electric distribution department I discovered the company had a line school for training linemen. I thought that would be an interesting assignment, instead of just going out with crews and seeing what they were doing it involved training in actual line work. The doing of the work can sometimes provide a better education than watching others do it. I went to the line school for a number of weeks where I was given linemen’s training climbing poles, making splices, digging holes, and similar work. I learned very quickly that climbing a pole was not an easy task, or wrapping hard drawn wire to make a splice was not easy.
During the cadet engineering program the company took pains to have the future executives visit manufacturing plants such as GE plants and Westinghouse plants, and saw how circuit breakers, generators and transformers were manufactured. We also gained an understanding of the technology that might be coming in the future. These visits to manufacturing plants and the contacts made with individuals who worked in them were valuable in my future career.
After completing the cadet course which involved several months work in a generating station, work in the testing laboratories, various commercial offices, and a distribution division, as well as the various offices in the main headquarters, I was asked which department I would like for my first assignment. I selected the electric distribution department. I was assigned to the Bergen division of the distribution department where I became an assistant engineer. I quickly learned the work and began to work fairly closely with George Wolf, who was the Division Distribution Engineer. George took an interest in me and gave me assignments that would help me understand the designing, planning, and operating a distribution system. I learned about the types of problems that occurred, voltage variations, protectiom coordination, major outages due to storms, and flickering lights. I also learned a lot about how to predict the future power requirements on a distribution system. At that time television sets were beginning to become common and electric cooking devices were coming into vogue. Air conditioning became much more prevalent. And there was a rash of new ways to use electricity in industry, commercial establishments and the home. I was reasonably successful in finding ways to plan and project the future load requirements of the various circuits and became responsible for planning circuit reinforcements for the entire Bergen division which was a region with more than 1 million people. During this time I lived in my family’s home in Brooklyn and commuted to Hackensack, NJ.
After starting work at the Public Service Electric and Gas Company, I began to go out with Madeline Russo, who lived across the street from me. Madeline was a very shy girl, but we got along very well.
After about a year of dating we decided to get married and were married in April of 1949 in St. Catherine of Alexandria church where I had been baptised. We moved to Hasbrouck Heights, N. J., near the Bergen offices.
One of my most interesting assignments in the Bergen division was in storm trouble. During major wind storms, snow storms, and ice storms, significant outages of the distribution system occurred. To assist in restoring service, the electric utilities exchanged personnel. During a major storm line crews were sent down from Hartford Electric Company to work for Public Service in the Bergen division. I was given responsibility for directing the activities of these crews and guiding them in restoring services. This included the need to explain the type of system that we had in public service which was a four-wire grounded system, different from the system they had in Hartford which was three wire ungrounded. One major outage occurred that caused our home to be out of electric service and my wife was alone there trying to survive the winter. In spite of that, I worked from 5:00 in the morning until 10:00 each night and then went home and tried to take care of the home problems.
1950-1954 Work as an Engineer
At the end of the two year period in Bergen Division I was told that I was going to be transferred to the company’s General Offices where I would work in the planning department, an assignment that I had asked for originally upon completing the cadet course. Public Service had established one of the first planning departments of any utility in the country. On returning to the General Office I found that my assignment was not initially in the planning department, but in the underground group where I would be responsible for developing cable ratings for distribution, subtransmission, and transmission circuits. I was also responsible for designing cable splices, designing pot-heads and stress cones to keep the electric gradients down so they would not flash over.
In this period I worked for a delightful man, Sidney Brookes, who again helped me gain an understanding of cable technology, including manufacturing, maintenance, and troubleshooting. While in the underground group, I found that the cable ratings had not been revised for some time and made major revisions in some of the cable ratings. I issued a large number of changes in the ratings of the various circuits and was astounded to find that a lot of people were very upset. Much of their work had been done using the old ratings. The new ratings meant that this work had to be reviewed and some of the plans changed. There was some interdepartmental friction and a meeting was called to decide what to do. I stuck by my guns and insisted that the new ratings should be put into effect. I made the point that I was not sure what would happen if these new ratings were not applied, but I did know that there was an increased chance of problems and interruptions using the old ratings, which in many cases were too high.
While in the planning department I was asked if I would like to take the GE Power System Engineering Course in Scenectady. This was a one year course that would require a trip to Scenectady on a Tuesday night, spend all day, and return home late Wednesday night. It would also require doing a lot of homework for the courses that were involved. Madeline was expecting our first child and there was some concern as to whether I could get through the course before my son was born. She supported me and said “Go ahead and take the courses. It’s a priceless opportunity,” because it was equivalent to a Master’s Degree program at a university.
This course played an important part in my life. It gave me a chance to learn from some of the most outstanding electric power engineers in the country such as Charles Concordia and Fred Rothe. I finished the course in April 1951 and my son John was born in May.
During my work in the Bergen Division and with the planning department, I became interested in voltage drop calculations for distribution circuits. Distribution circuits have a flat configuration, sitting on cross arms on poles. The voltage drops on the different phases were different, even though the loads on each phase were exactly equal and identical. I began to do some analysis and develop metods for calculating the energy transfer between the phases that occurred because of the magnetic and electric fields that linked them and was able to develop a completely new procedure for calculating the impedances for each phase.
In the planning department I spent about a year reviewing distribution circuit reinforcements. I then became involved in subtransmission planning and developed techniques for using the PSEG DC network analyzer and AC network analyzer for analyzing the various networks which became the basis for my first technical paper. I enjoyed the planning department work decveloping plans or approving plans submitted by the various field divisions whose budget requests I had to review and approve. I found that in many cases these people were very creative and developed solutions for solving our distribution problems that saved considerable amounts of money. On other occasions there were some difficulties because the people that ran the distribution divisions were not happy with the decisions that I and others in the planning department made when we turned down their requests for money. This interaction between the field people, and the office people, and those controlling the financial arrangements in the company, was again valuable experience.
During this period I worked for a man named Robert G. Hooke an outstanding individual. He stressed the need for those of us working in planning to consider our role and our obligations to the community we served. He many time asked “how do we justify the high salaries we get?” His answer was “only by doing a better job for the public than anyone else can do.” He also, from time to time, would look out the window into the slums of Newark and ask “what’s best for those people out there?”
The next step in the planning department was a transfer to the bulk system division where I became involved with the planning of the transmission system. This introduced me to working with PJM. My first assignment at PJM was to chair a committee determining the operating limitations for the bulk power system for 1951. This required work in Philadelphia at the Franklin Institute Network Analyzer about every other week for a month. I also became friendly with the people that operated PJM, Wilmer Kleinback and others. This work involved the provision of adequate reactive power as well as recognizing the time required to recover from various types of faults and disturbances. The operating limitations obtained in this initial study were put into effect and were successful in operating PJM for several years.
In 1950 my parents sold their home in Brooklyn and moved to Hewitt, New Jersey. They had owned a summer home there which they converted to year round use. My father continued to commute to his job in New York City where he had worked since he was 12 years old. He retired in 1962. We were frequent visitors to them and enjoyed the lake and long walks in the woods very much. My father died suddenly in June of 1966, just before his 71st birthday
1952-1963 The Management Role
I had been a member of the IEEE since 1944, and I was active attending annual meetings and local section meetings. I continued this membership in the IEEE in subsequent years and it proved quite valuable. In 1952 my title at Public Service was changed from that of assistant engineer and engineer to a management role. I was made Transmission Planning Engineer with responsibility for the overall planning of the sub-transmission system and the distribution system. In this role the distribution system reinforcements were proposed by the field units of the company and we reviewed them for appropriateness and consistency with overall policy.
The policy for reinforcements on the Public Service system was based on planning standards which had been developed starting a number of years before by Robert G. Hooke. These standards indicated specific outages for which provisions should be made, acceptable loadings on various facilities, acceptable voltages, and overall acceptable conditions such as times for repair for such outages. Based on these standards each of the various proposals of the field divisions were reviewed and accepted or rejected. Plans were developed for sub-transmission and transmission in my office using the available AC and DC network analyzers. Any time a plan was submitted for approval by our department it assured the executives that the plan met the planning standards and was required by them.
I represented Public Service on a number of PJM Committees that were established from time to time. A number of people, particularly Wilmer Kleinback, the PJM Manager, had been proposing that PJM set up an overall service organization and that this service organization do planning for PJM as a whole. This proposal was met with concern by Public Service and many other companies, since we believed that we would be turning over control of our generation and transmission decisions to a committee of PJM, or a group from PJM, with whom our standards might not be acceptable and with whom we might not agree, and that these decisions would require us to make investments of which we were not capable.
The net result was a decision by the PJM Management Committee to establish two committees. One was called Coordinated Planning Engineering and the other was called Coordinated Planning Policy. I was made chairman of the Coordinated Planning Engineering committee. We were assigned to make studies of future generation and transmission requirements and recommend basic generation and transmission plans. Among the generation plans that were considered were mine mouth generation at Key Stone and Connemaugh. This committee work took several years and required a great deal of time in Arlington, Va., where a computer large enough to set up and analyze a network of the size which we were concerned was available. As a result of these studies and economic evaluations we developed plans that showed that installation of mine mouth generation units about 1,000 megawatt each, two at Key Stone and two at Connemaugh, accompanied by 500 KV transmission lines, one to the west and two to the east, would create large savings. The source of the projected savings was lower fuel costs for mine mouth generation. The transmission of “coal by wire” was cheaper than the railroad rates existing at the time. (A subsequent long range benefit from these plans was a significant reduction in railroad rates.)
Part of the assignment required analyses of the costs to each company, a reasonable allocation of construction and ownership responsibilities, and the benefits to each company. Ed Snyder, who was the Chairman of the Board of Public Service, asked me to make the needed analyses and I did so. This lead to a proposal for a fair allocation of costs, including the required annual intercompany payments to achieve a fair allocation of costs and benefits. Some companies had an excessive amount of construction responsibility and capital cost requirements and did not receive benefits equal to these additional costs plus a share of the savings. The net result was the cost allocation and sharing of benefits was adopted by the PJM Executive Committee essentially based on the proposal that I developed.
My daughter Joan was born in 1956. I was the manager of a little league baseball team on which my son played. (We played one of the longest games in little league history, - an eighteen inning 1 to 0 loss. My son was thrown out at home twice during the game.)
Succeeding work as Transmission Planning Engineer and the extensive PJM assignment I was promoted to Assistant System Planning and Development Engineer, increasing my resposibilires by adding three additional departments in the electric operating company, - the budgeting department which prepared the capital budgets for the company, the engineering economics department, and the computer systems and services department. The engineering economics department was headed by Paul Jeynes and subsequently by Bert Blewett, budgeting by Sam Hammond and later Wally Brixner, and the computer and programming department headed by Herb Limmer. These exceedingly competent people were of tremendous value in adding to my knowledge of the overall problems of operating an electric utility. The preparation of the capital budget, which was forwarded all the way up the line to the Board of Directors, brought me into contact with the top level people in the company and helped me learn what they looked for in making decisions and giving approvals of a policy nature.
Hollis Sels, who was a renowned electrical engineer in the industry, was my boss and later Charles Hoffman. Hollis was an unusual person who foresaw many of the needs of the future. He decided that we needed a major effort to develop new and better planning methods. We met with Joe Dillard of Westinghouse and agreed on a major effort to develop new computer programs for use by system planners. Public Service was to contribute its system data and knowledge with about eight people to the effort while Westinghouse was to do the computer programing and calculations. Reports and technical papers were to be jointly written. The overall effort was to be headed by Charles Hoffman of Public Service and Clarence Baldwin at Westinghouse.
This effort required a total analysis of where improvements could be made in planning techniques and engineering policy in the electric utility. It developed new methods for forecasting loads. New methods for calculating probability of loss of load and production costs. New methods for determining the amount of spinning reserve required. New methods for doing automated transmission planning using the computer. In these new methods we used new mathematical techniques and a large number of papers were published over a two or three year’s period summarizing our work. These papers became the foundation for a great many other developments by others in the industry. They were built upon by others in developing production costing methods, reliabilty policies, scheduling operations, etc. The overall approach that we took was given the name of “POWER CASTING”.
During this period I authored or co-authored a number of technical papers listed in under Book I of Attachment A. I also made numerous presentations that are listed in Attachment B and Attachment C.
1964 to 1970 - The Executive Role
Starting in 1964 I became a member of the EEI System Planning Committee which met three times a year for the discussion of the various planning methods and results being achieved by the EEI member companies. These discussions were private and were usually quite frank and open. By keeping them, private people were much more inclined to talk about failures as well as successes in various approaches. I became active in several different areas, including Chairman of the System Control and Protection Sub-committee. Afterwards I became Chairman of the entire committee.
In 1962 I had joined CIGRE and in 1964 I was sent to Paris for my first CIGRE meeting. I was tremendously impressed by the breadth of knowledge and competence of the people I met from other nations. It began to dawn on me that we in the United States were not necessarily as good as we thought we were. There were others who knew a great deal more in many of our problem areas. I immediately became active on a number of CIGRE working groups. These activities were well worth the effort involved while since they helped me establish friendships with many in Electricity de France, the Central Electricity Generating Board in the UK, ENEL in Italy, and some behind the “iron curtain”. These friendships stood me great stead through many years in the future since they enabled me to obtain information and ideas on a personal basis from other countries, not having to wait for publications or formal studies to be made available. I was able to learn about a “security assessor” that had been developed in the CEGB in 1962 and was in operation in their national dispatch center. This made available to the operators information about the effect of potential outages on the transmission system. Circuits that were in danger if an outage occurred had a red light, those close to ratings had a yellow light, and those thast were safe had a green light. I also saw the latest developments in the French national dispatch center.
As a result of what I had seen in Europe I proposed computer systems for monitoring the Public Service and the PJM system. After considerable discussion of costs, benefits and methods computer installation were approved and under installation in 1964.
In 1964 a major blackout occurred in New York and I was assigned the responsibility for developing a report for the govenor of New Jersey covering what had happened and the potential for such a blackout in New Jersey. I chaired a group of executives from each of the New Jersey companies and in less than a month the report was submitted to the govenor.
I had been promoted again to System Planning and Development Engineer which made me responsible for all of the activities that were part of the electric System Planning and Development Department. I was known as the “SPADE”. My role in PJM increased where I became a member of the PJM Planning and Engineering Committee.
The CIGRE activities brought me into contact with Ted Nagle, Charles Concordia, as well as Phillip Sporn and Pete White, CEOs of AEP, and Bill Gould, CEO of Southern Cal Edison. These contacts and working directly with the chief executives from a number of companies was another` important part of my learning experience. I found what a good chief executive required from his subordinates.
In 1967 a major blackout occurred in the PJM system, including the Public Service sytem. Again I was asked to chair the task force Public Service set up to investigate the causes and recommend preventive steps. We worked closely with the other PJM companies and with Charles Concordia in locating the second of the two events that extended the blackout area. We developed a major program (my memory says it was $60 million) to reduce the probability and potential duration for future blackouts in the Public Service syatem.
Reliability had become such an important problem in the public eye that it was decided that a new organization should be formed to ensure reliability of PJM. It was called the “Middle Atlantic Area Coordinateion Committee” (MAAC). MAAC was to develop reliability standards for all of PJM. Some of us felt this was not a wise idea, since it resulted in the “balkanization” of some of the PJM operations. The responsibility for the planning and economics stayed with the PJM organization, while MAAC took over responsibility for reliability. Some still feel that the separation of reliability and economics was a mistake. It was considered necessary, however, by the top officials somewhat for political reasons.
As a result of my work on the blackouts in 1964 to 1967, I also was asked to become involved with the reliability studies for the Public Service gas system and did so. Shortly afterwards the responsibility for planning the PSEG gas system was added to my duties. I was able to apply some of the innovative metnods we had developed for the electric system to the gas system, such as determining supply and storage requirements using probability methods.
This familiarity with the gas system led to the increased realization that the fuel supply was a key element in the reliability of an electric power system. I had discussions with gas transmission companies and tried to encourage them to tie together their gas transmission lines near the points of delivery. By doing so if one line was out of service then another line could provide an alternate emergency gas supply. This approach led to a sharp disagreement. The gas transmission companies refused to tie their lines together at the delivery end. They were concerned that this would lead to one transmission company being able to take business from another company using the emergency ties for delivery. Their concern was profits rather than what was the best way to serve their customers.
This problem became a serious concern to me all the time I was involved with the utility industry. I believe that the first step in setting policy for energy supply, power supply, gas systems, should always be selecting the best system for doing the job without worrying about how this system would affect the profits of the participants. Subsequently one can develop methods for allocating the resulting additional benefits that result as was done for the PJM generation and transmission plans. Rather than fighting the best alternative, the gas transmission companies should have agreed on how to accomplish it and how to share the added benefits. In any multi party project all involved should gain. Only if all participates in the project benefit will it go forward effectively.
During this period I authored or co-authored additional published papers and made a large number of presentations at meeting of various organizations as listed in Attachments A, B, and C. These publications presented some of my most important technical ideas.
1970 to 1977 – The Executive Role
Public Service corporate policy strongly supported research activities. Edwin Snyder, who was President of the Electric Company at the time, was also chairman of the EEI Research Committee. He was concerned about the failure of the investor owned companies to include in national research activities the Federal Government power organizations such as TVA, and municipal and cooperative organizations. He felt the entire effort should be a total industry effort. Some in the investor-owned industry did not want to have government organizations involved in making their research policy and decisions.
In 1970 it was decided that the EEI activity on research should be discontinued and a new organization, the Electric Power Research Institute, should be founded. I participated with Ed Snyder in a number of meetings to discuss the organization and the staffing of it. A “Goals Task Force was established, headed by Raymond Huse of Public Service, which developed a report outlining long range needs of the electric power industry. This valuable report, completed in 1971, is still worth referring to because it outlined what we hoped would be achieved. This can be compared with what was actually achieved.
Under the EEI Research activity I chaired an activity to develop new methods for system control and protection. This came about also because I was chairman of the EEI System Control and Protection Subcommittee. This subcommitte sponsored research by a number of organizations. In one of these we were able to accomplish the calculation of transient stability limits faster than real time, the time it took for such a disturbance to occur. As a result it became possible to analyze system conditions when a possible transient stability event was initiated, calculate the safe limits faster than real time and change the system so as to prevent the resulting instability. This approach was never applied, however, because the EEI activity was discontinued as EPRI began operations. The EPRI was not aware of this activity and did not pick it up. The net result was it languished and was never used. One of the key people involved with some of the theories for accompanying this was a professor, Otto Smith, at Stanford University with whom I had frequent discussions.
Ed Snyder had established a Research Department at Public Service that reporteed to me. A number of very fine people were transferred to it, particularly Raymond Huse, who became Research Engineer for the company. This added another activity to my corporate organization. The first step we took was the development of an annual corporate budget for research expenditures and we were able to get approval of a significant amount of money, totaling over time more than $70 million, for research activities undertaken by Public Service. These included energy storage, electric vehicles, fuel cells, use of hot water from power plant condensers to grow fish and shrimp, and research in a number of nuclear areas.
I was appointed to the EPRI Research Advisory Committee (RAC), the committee that reviewed and approved the funding of various research projects on which I served for several years. I became concerned about some of the procedures and appointments made by Chauncey Starr, who had been selected to direct the EPRI activities. For example he wanted overall control of all decisions on funding rather than the utilities that provided the funds. He also did not want the utilities to perform any of the research required by the selected projects. In view of our PSEG activities I disagreed strongly with his position, to the extent that I recommended to Ed Snyder that we withdraw from EPRI and use out $10 million annual EPRI payment to go our own way. Mr. Snyder felt the overall industry and government reaction to such a step made it undesireable and we remained EPRI members.
While all of these activities and changes were going on, I was promoted to Vice President of Planning and Research for the Public Service Electric & Gas Company and the company’s Maplewood Testing Lab, an organization of several hundred people, was transferred to report to me. This enabled us in our research programs to become directly involved with fuel cells, metal hydride hydrogen storage, electric vehicles and quite a number of other things.
One of these goals was to find ways to integrate the operation of our gas and electric systems and the use of hydrogen seemed to offer some promising alternatives. We were particularly interested in the use of electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen, and to use the hydrogen to blend in natural gas supplies. The concept was to use the electric system, when it was not at maximum use, to produce hydrogen, which could be stored and later blended with natural gas. At other times the natural gas would be used to supply fuel cells to power the electric power system. This would enable us to take advantage of the diversity in needs between the electric system and the gas system. The research lab installed a fuel cell supplied with hydrogen from hydride storage provided by an electrolyzer. The hydride storage had been developed for us by Brookhaven National Lab. The system operated successfully for several years supplying a portion of the laboratory building. We also installed a fuel cell in one of our substations, the first fuel cell operating supplyng a power system in the United States. We made tests that showed conclusively that the natural gas system could accept about five percent of hydrogen and increase our natural gas supply without any leaks in the gas system and any effect on the operation of the devices using the natural gas. All of these activities were of tremendous interest, and the organization was functioning with a great deal of vitality. All involved felt they were doing things that were important and of substantial value to the company and the country.
Because of my concern about what was happening in the electric power industry, and my increased reponsibilities in the company, I contimued to increase my professional activites, giving more frequent talks and co-authoring more articles and technicl papers as shown in Attachments A, B, and C.
Concurrent with these company activities my outside professional interests continued to grow, particularly those concerning power supply reliability and the electric industry structure. I had been asked and agreed to serve on the NERC Inter-Regional Review Subcommittee (IRS) under the chairmanship of Ted Nagle, a man I greatly admired. The role of this committee was to visit the various regions of the country and spend a day or two going over their plans, their operating problems, their future load projections, their key assumptions, the studies they had made, the reliability criteria they were using, and their coordination with adjacent regions. These visits were a review of all their past reliability problems and their plans and procedures for providing reliablity in the future.These visits proved quite valuable. They lead to a better understanding of the varying nature of the problems concerning reliability in different parts of the country, and the differing attitudes of the people planning and operating the systems. Some were more willing to take risks in their development of their systems and the operating of them than others. In part, this was a result of their past experience and public reaction to the service they had rendered. They were summarized in reports that were dixtributed nationally.
The IRS also developed the original definitions for interregional transfer capability between systems. The 1970 IRS report also developed a definition for a transregional transfer capability, namely the ability to transfer power from one system to another across an intermediate system. This definition was not well accepted by the industry, many of whom said “we don’t want the transfer of power for somebody else through our system to a third system”. This, in the light of history, was a serious mistake since it led to the future elimination of the definition for inter-regional transfer capability.
In connection with electric power system policy, I had become quite interested in the work of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. For some time they had been drafting a new constitution for the United States that would recognize the highly technological world of the present and future and the changing geography of the country. Their activity was spurred by their belief that the original constitution really was not functioning significantly, rather far more important were the various decisions of the Supreme Court in determining the mechanism for governing the coumtry. Their objective was to develop a constitution that would be as good for the next 200 years as the last one had been for the last 200 years.
The Center published periodic drafts of proposed new constitutions that were made available for comments. I became engaged in this activity by providing comments, from time to time, on the various drafts. I continue to believe that some of the work they did which has been mostly forgotten is still very relevant in determining the future of the United States. They saw problems and proposed solutions to them which have just been ignored by those having a stake in the existing structure.
The third activity that I became involved in was a study being done by the Sloan School at MIT to determine the effectiveness of the Federal Power Commission. This study evaluated the various costs required of the Federal Government to do the regulation of the power industry and tried to evaluate the resulting benefits through this regulation. An early draft describing their approach concerned me and I started to correspond with those who were doing the study pointing out that the costs for regulation were not just those incurred by the Federal Government in providing personnel, procedures, hearing rooms, etc., but those in the industry where literally tens of thousands of people were spending each year putting together data and collecting information specified by the Federal Government. I was able to put together some costs for the Public Service Company which was about a few percent of the national total and pointed out that if our costs were typical, the costs incurred by the industry in complying with the regulation was greater than the government’s costs, and perhaps it was greater than the benefits achieved. This was in large measure due to the requirement of the government for a lot of information which was not necessary and never used. (Later, when I had my own company, CSA, this background was very beneficial to me in obtaining a contact from the Federal Government to review all the data collected by the Federal Power Commission. (Predicessor to the Federal Energy Commission) and make recommendations for which data should be deleted. The report that resulted was significant and lead to a major cut in the data that the Federal Government required from the utilities).
It required a considerable effort to perform these various activities for NERC, for the Center for Democratic Institutions, and for the MIT study while involved in CIGRE, EEI, and IEEE actives in addition to performing all of my Public Service duties. I found that I was able to obtain an exceedingly broad understanding of the electric power business and electric power technology from these multiple activities.
I was able, over a number of years at the Public Service, to develop a procedure for participating in this wide variety of activities. It was simply to do the outside activity work predominately over a weekend. There were times when my son was not involved with Little League or Babe Ruth baseball, or when I was not rewiring the house, or putting a new tile floor on the basement, or performing other such duties. When I had material to read I would often read it while watching a sports event on television, a skill I had developed. I would dictate on an audio cassettte what I wanted prepared or typed on the various activities and my staff was able to put it together for me during the working week without interfering excessively with their Public Service responsibilities. The ability to maintain these professional activities while still being an executive at Public Service was of considerable value to Public Service. It also allowed me to help coordinate the activities of the groups in which I participated. It led me having a far better understanding of many things, and a far wider group of personal contacts. During this very active period, as during my entire career, I was strongly supported by my wife. My mother died after a short illness in 1974. I was the executor of her will and had the task of distributing her assets among her four children.
Because I thought these activities were important and developed useful information for my company, the electric power industry, and the country as a whole (from time to time), I have maintained copies of a number of different reports that were prepared and have them in my files for any who would like to pursue them further.
In the 1970’s the company had become involved with the new concept for nuclear power, namely floating nuclear power plants. These power plants had the tremendous advantage of being basically earthquake proof since they were floating on water, and they could be made in a specially designed factory in Florida at lower cost than in a field location and with better quality control. After thorough testing they would be floated for installations in New Jersey, New Orleans and other water front locations. The concept was a good one and Public Service committed with Westinghouse for two large units. Later financing problems arose and Westinghouse needed more orders to proceed. Public Service then ordered an additional two units.
Then the need for electric power decreased as load growth halted. The net effect was that Public Service had committed to four nuclear units which were no longer needed. We in the planning department wrote a number of memos recommending that the contracts for the nuclear be cancelled. It was then that we discovered that the company cancelling them would have to pay all the funds expended by the other. The decision of the company was not to cancel. Expenditures continued, increasing the commitment that the company was financially making for something we did not need. The company and Westinghouse were playing a game of “chicken” about halting a project neither no longer wanted. Those of us in the planning department were concerned and wrote a series of memo’s recommending cancelling. I started keeping a series of personal notes about what was going on. I kept these notes and memos in a safe in my office. My memory is that the total exlenditures by Public Service were about $500 million. (When I decided to leave Public Service these notes and memos were left in the safe. I told them about them but they were never acknowledged. The ultimate settlement occurred after I had left the company. It provided for Public Service to recover from it customers $50 million a year for ten years to cover its costs for the floating nuclear project.)
In 1972, as chairman of the EEI System Planning Committee, I was asked to participate in a technology exchange with the USSR as USA planning representative. This involved a trip to a number of cities in the USSR and frequent meetings with the Russians. They also came to the USA and we acted as hosts to them. This was an invaluable experience. In my opinion, in the development technology for power systems the United States had about 90 percent of the good ideas, and the Russians had about 10 percent. It was still worthwhile to find out what they were doing that might be useful to us and this was done with a subsequent report that that was distributed widely.
For some years I had been thinking about ways to control the division of power among AC units so that better use of the network could be achieved. Based on techniques I had used in my early days of operating a D.C. Network Analyzer to have power divide over various D.C. circuits when making studies, I developed a concept for an AC device that I patented and called a “Power Injection”. If installed on an AC circuit, a phase angle could be inserted that would change the power flow in the circuit. I contacted EPRI and suggested a study of the application of such a device in a typical network. This would enable an analysis of the costs and benefits of such devices. EPRI turned down the proposal.
About three months later EPRI announced a major program called “FACTS”, Flexible AC Transmission Systems similar to what I had proposed. EPRI never acknowledged my device or my proposed study. From time to time ways to control AC System Power Flow were suggested by others, but not proved economically feasible.
In 1976 my son John was diagnosed with cancer of uncertain type. I spent several weeks with him at hospitals and later at the National Cancer Institute in Washington. Based on their studies they advised that he be treated at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York City, since we lived in New Jersey.
In 1977 some of the PS key executives with whom I had worked for many years retired, including Ed Snyder. A number of new people were brought in to change the organization. A change was made under which I would report to an individual who had little background in any of the areas in which I had worked. I tried working with him for a few months and decided I was going to be very unhappy. Following Ed Snyder’s advice, when you’re not happy at a job get another one, because you can’t work well and it does affect your health adversely. He predicted additional changes would occur in the company that would downgrade the importance of technical expertise and competence. Fortunately I received an inquiry from Stone & Webster as to whether I would like to join their organization, working in New York. I decided to do so and left Public Service. This would enable me to go with my son John for his early morning radiation treatments at Sloan Kettering. My wife could come with us and drive John home while I took the subway down to work at Stone and Webster.
I was given a very sentimental send-off party at Public service, attended by many people I had worked with. I will always miss my many friends made in my thirty happy years spent with them. Copies of the pictures that were taken at that party are available in my picture collection.
1978–1979 - The Stone and Webster Experience
In my discussions with Stone and Webster before accepting a position with them, a number of factors were agreed. I would have the title Vice President, report to the President of the Management Company, for an agreed upon salary considerably higher than my Public Service salary.
Starting work in Stone and Webster in New York involved quite a different culture than had existed in Public Service. Stone and Webster had “retainer contracts” with a number of utilities for providing services on request throughout the year. These retainer contracts funded a good deal of the management consulting operation. I was given a number of assignments at Stone and Webster, initially trying to obtain business for them. For example, developing proposals for cogeneration projects and for solar power consulting work. I also had a very interesting assignment that involved working with the staff of Bill Clements, the head of SEDCO, a major oil drilling company from Texas, and former Governor of the Texas. In these consulting assignments I found the main objective was to determine the client’s wishes and then try to develop a program that would fulfill these. There was not as much free and open interchange concerning what the right thing was to do as there was in Public Service.
After about a year and a half I was informed by Stone and Webster that my reporting arrangement would be changed, and I would no longer report to the President of the company, but to another Vice President. This bothered me considerably because this was a deviation from our initial agreement. During most of the year I was supposedly reporting to the President of the Mangement Company, Frank Bradley, whom I had known prior to joining Stone and Webster. I had an opportunity to talk to him only two or three times. He generally did not communicate well with his subordinates. I also worked with some of the financial people at Stone and Webster and learned the financial problems of running a consulting business. This background on the consulting operation, which I gained after a year and a half, was valuable. I began to think about how I would do it if I had my own company.
While working in New York I went to Mass at noon each day at the small Catholic Church that had been built on the site of Mother Seton’s home at the lower tip of Manhattan Island. My son John was recovering well from the treatment he had received for his lymphoma problem answering my prayers.
One of the contacts that I renewed while at Stone and Webster was Calvin Carver who was my college roommate at Cornell. One day Cal called me up and said there is a company for sale in Washington, the RA Ransom Company which does consulting work mostly for the gas industry, but may be of interest to you. I contacted Ray Ransom and visited him twice and discussed the overall situation. My principle concern was the ability to get enough work to make the company financially successful. The Ransom Company had been quite a bit larger than it was at the time I talked to Ransom. They had been reducing personnel as business fell off. The key question was, could I turn the business decline around? I was not sure what to do, but in any event, Albert Dib, a lifelong friend of mine, drafted a letter covering the sale of a majority of the stock in the company to me and the financial terms. The terms were acceptable, the company name was to be changed to Ransom and Casazza and I would take over as Preident and Chairman of the Board and run the company. I had until the end of 1977 to sign the agreement, or the deal was off.
In early December 1977, there was a major blackout in France. I was called by a friend of mine in the Federal government and asked if I could be of help in investigating the causes of the blackout. Top level people in the United States, including the President, were concerned about the potential risks of such an incident covering the whole United States. The government had people in Paris who were not able to get any information from the French officials. Some of the people in Washington knew that I had excellent contacts with EDF personnel and might be able to help them. They asked me what I could do. I called France and talked to about four people, who knew I had been responsible for blackout investigations in the USA, and asked if they would provide information to me if I came over and discussed it with them. They agreed they would, on one condition, that whatever I said or wrote would be cleared with them before I distributed it to anyone in the United States, or to any USA official. I agreed to this condition. I was able to get a contract with the Department of Energy covering my expenses and providing a fee for providing a report covering what had happened and why in six weeks. This convinced me I could get work to be successful with the Ransom Company
I immediately signed the agreement to buy control of the RA Ransom Company and resigned from Stone and Webster effective the end of December 1977. On leaving Stone and Webster I was asked to prepare a memo outlining my reasons for leaving. I did so. This process enabled me to review the problems they had in managing their consulting firm. This list became a good list for me to use with my new endeavor where I would be managing the consulting firm of my own. I eagerly looked forward to running a company as I thought it should be run.
1979-1997 – The CSA Consulting Experience
On New Years Day 1978 I watched the football game between Penn State and Alabama with my family and my daughter’s college roommate at Penn State. At the conclusion we left and drove back to Penn State in a very heavy fog, arriving after midnight. I dropped the girls at their dorm and went to a local motel for a few hours sleep. Arising a 4:00 A.M., I left for Washington, DC, eager to begin my first day running the company.
I arrived at my new office at 1000 Connecticut Ave at 8:30 AM, ready to run Ransom and Casazza, the name we had chosen for the company. After greeting my employees, I reviewed the work we had, and potential future work. My past activities and contacts could be an invaluable source of consulting assignments. These included my IEEE membership, my Chairmanship of the IEEE Energy Committee, my Cigre Contacts in the USA and in other countries, my EEI contacts as Chairman of the System Planning Committee, my PJM activities, my activities in the technology exchange with the USSR, my special committee and task force assignments, and my many, many written and verbal presentations. With a limited staff, a number of key decisions were necessary:
- How to maintain positive cash flow?
- What were the key areas to focus on initially?
- In what areas could the existing staff have the best qualifications?
- What changes and additions were necessary to the existing staff?
During the next 18 years I became involved in a complex web of activities. We had to move our family to Virginia, our son and daughter were married. On the professional side, it was a web of activities, all of which interlocked to a certain degree. It included the planning, operating, and growing of Ransom & Casazza, the managing and performing a wide range of consulting activities, and continuing some of my professional activities such as CIGRE and IEEE. Our location in the Washington, D.C., area made it possible for me to become involved in a large number of political and policy matters, participating in government discussions of energy and regulatory matters on a personal basis. Perhaps the best way to tell this story is to talk about the consulting, professional, and technical activities, interspersing from time to time the business activities as well as the personal developments.
The first key move I had to make was to relocate my family from Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey where we had lived for almost 30 years to the Washington, D.C. area. By pure coincidence one day I was in New York City and accidentally met Doug Bauer who informed me he had just taken a job with the American Electric Power Company and was moving from Springfield, Virginia to New York with his family. I asked him if his house was for sale. He said it was and suggested I go down and look at it to see if I’d be interested in it.
At this time I was commuting on a Monday to Friday basis, working in Washington, staying at a DC hotel weekday nights, and going back home to Hasbrouck Heights on weekends. I was able to visit the Springfield area one weekday and the house was in a good location and acceptable to me. When I discussed the house with my wife, she would have preferred some other arrangement of rooms and location. We decided, with the urgency to make the move as quickly as possible, and the possibility of saving some broker fees through a direct purchase of the house from Doug Bauer, it might be the right answer. Helpfully, decision was also made easier from my viewpoint since the house was just a short walk from a local golf course and one of my objectives had become to play more golf and become a better golfer. My wife recognized this and said “let’s go ahead and buy it. You’ll be happy playing more golf.” We bought the house and were able to move in June 1979. For the first six months of 1979 I commuted to Washington sometimes by car and sometimes by air.
Starting work at R&C we obtained a number of assignments to go with our French blackout work and the work that Ray Ransom was doing for a number of gas companies. My background in nuclear power lead to a consulting assignment to investigate licensing problems for a utility. My background in research lead to an assignment from the Department of Energy on the use of solvent refined coal and the possibility of using it to fuel a gas turbine at a power plant site.
These activities indicated the need for additional personnel. While at Stone and Webster my background in cogeneration lead to an assignment to review the energy supply to a naval base in Jacksonville. It was here that I had met Jeff Palermo. I hired Jeff as our first new employee. On a personal level, I had applied for membership in the Springfield Golf and Country Club and was accepted and started playing golf fairly regularly in June of 1979.
We also had decided that we should help market our service by providing educational programs for the industry and began doing so. First in New Brunswick, New Jersey and later at various locations in the Washington area. These educational programs covered the full range of subjects in which we were knowledgeable from planning generation through transmission system operations, blackout prevention, and strategic planning. We also continued to write articles and publish them in various magazines such as Public Utilities Fortnightly and Electrical World. Participation in various federal hearing resulted in a fairly large number of hearing transcripts in which we were important contributors. All of these steps created a wide industry knowledge of the services we could provide.
A number of significant clients developed in this early period. In Venezuela – CADAFE, where we became the principal advisors in the development of a power pool for Venezuela. We also worked at times for the pool organization called OPSIS. We received a significant contract from the Mokan Pool (Missouri Kansas Pool) where they were developing an overall strategic pool long-range plan for generation of transmission. We guided their activities and wrote the final reports outlining of what we believed to be the most desirable future plans.
Our most significant client was the Southern California Edison Company (SCE) where the Chairman of the Board was Bill Gould, a fine man who provided advice and counsel during my son’s cancer problems since his wife had a difficult cancer problem and recovered. SCE was being charged with violating the anti-trust laws in the use of their share of the Pacific Intertie. A number of municipal systems claimed that SCE had denied them rights to use the Pacific Intertie to prevent competition, causing large damages to them. Our role was to review hourly dispatch of power over the intertie over a number of years and determine if the decisions on use where based on sound technical limitations and not arbitrary decisions to prevent competition. About $2 billion in penalties to SCE were possible and the proceedings went on for almost 2 years ending in Federal Court in Los Angeles where I was the key technical witness for SCE, spending more than a day under cross examination. The court’s decision was in favor of SCE.
These activities generated a considerable amount of funds and indicated we needed additional help because they were more than what Jeff Palermo and I could handle.
My contractual arrangement with Ransom provided that I could buy out his ownership shares. After about a year I decided to excercize this option and became the sole owner of R&C.
As a result of our good fortune Dick Wakefield was looking for a job and had come to know us as a result of our blackout investigations and the resulting publicity. He visited us one day and we discussed the possibility of him coming towork with us. We were very fortunate that we were able to arrive at an arrangement whereby he started work and began to take over some of the system engineering work that Palermo and I had been doing pretty much on our own. He had become my key assistant in the SCE proceeding
By this time we were generating sufficient revenue that we began to think about expanding. The thought had occurred to us that it might be good to have another office in another geographic location. We discussed our objectives with a number of different people and some suggested that it might be good to talk to Allan Schultz, who had a small consulting operation office in New York. We met with Allan and discussed the possible arrangements and were able to agree on an basis for a merger. R&C’s name would be changed to Casazza, Shultz, and Associates, and the Shultz New York office would become an office for the new organization. As part of this arrangement, Shultz was given shares of stock.
We also began looking for additional office space, since our lease at 1000 Connecticut Avenue was expiring and the new lease would be considerably more expensive. We finally decided on a location in Rosslyn, Virginia, where rent was considerably less, yet transportation was excellent and travel for employees to the office would be improved in many cases since it did not involve crossing into Washington. In 1984 we moved to Rosslyn, Virginia and established our new offices. It was a remarkable move with everyone in the company participating and helping out over one weekend. We worked from Friday afternoon at 5:00 through midnight. Came in Saturday morning at 6:00 o’clock and worked all day Saturday and Sunday. The net result was that by Monday morning we were a functioning organization with phones in place, people working, and we were able to carry on without interruption at our new location.
We adopted a number of practices in the business that were based on some of the work I had been involved with back at Public Service. One we called an “operating study” where we predicted the cash flow by months for each of the next 12 months, and by years for the next five years, based on reasonable assumptions concerning workload, cost, personnel additions, et cetera. These computer studies became the basis for evaluating alternate business plans. If we wanted to hire someone, increasing our costs, we could examine the effects on the overall profit and loss statement by revising data input to the computer programs that had been run in the operating study and seeing the net results of the changes.
In all of our decisions our objective was to maintain positive cash flow. Underlying our overall business philosophy was a “mini-max strategy” based on the work of John VonNeuman and Oscar Morgenstern during World War II, minimize the probability of the maximum possible error. In business the maximum possible error is going broke. Jeff Palermo was put in charge of handling the operating study and projections. We met with our board of directors several times a year to review the results of our business studies. The Board had been enlarged by adding my son John Anthony. This was a move I took in order to protect my interests if something would incapacitate me.
Our workload continued to grow. We were given several studies by EPRI. One involved the examination of the potential power supplies for electric vehicles. This analyzed on a national basis the availability of off peak electricity for charging of batteries. The results were presented at a major meeting in Chattanooga in 1982. Another of the studies for EPRI included evaluation of the degree of overall utilization of transmission capacity in a region using a new method I had developed. A study was made of the Pacific Northwest with the cooperation of the Bonneville power Administraation. Improving the use of transmission became a major goal of ours in the early 1980s. We wrote several papers, presented at IEEE meetings, and presented various talks on the use of new technology to accomplish this.
In between, we were making frequent visits, several a year, for at least a week at a time, to Caracas, Venezuela to work with the groups down there on developing their new power pooling arrangements and contractual arrangements. There were frequent disagreements between the various utilities in Venezuela over the methods to be used depending on how each of the methods would affect their costs and revenues. We acted as arbiters, and provided in many cases, alternative methods which eliminated the arguments between the participants.
In the mid-1980s we became involved with activities in Africa. The first was a visit to Dakar, Senegal for an IEEE “Africon” meeting which reviewed problems in the various African West Coast nations. We also returned in 1987 for an additional visit to Ghana, where we participated in an overall power systems technology program sponsored by Howard University, the U.S. Government, and the African Electric Association. These visits to Africa were very interesting. What became apparent was many of the problems in Africa were caused by individuals, organizations, and governments seeking power and profits rather than the overall welfare of their countries. This was true in Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal. I was disturbed by the failure to recognizde the ethical view that the engineer’s job is to do the best we can for the people of our country and those who are providing the funds for the systems that we need.
As part of this work in Africa and increasing the use of transmission, we began to examine the changing role of transmission and what needed to be done to make the maximum use of the existing facilities while keeping the required additional facilities to a minimum to accomplish the objectives that were being established.
Our work for Mokan continued involving both planning and coordination procedures in scheduling generation.
In 1985 I was honored by the IEEE by being given the Citation of Honor. I had continued with my IEEE activities as chairman of the Energy Policy Committee, and then subsequently chairman of the Environmental Quality Committee. The award was in recognition of the amount of time I had spent in these activities. In addition to chairing the committees I had testified four or five times before Congressional committees on behalf of the IEEE presenting their various position papers.
From a business viewpoint, it had become quite apparent that the profitability of a consulting operation depended on the load factor at which its various consulting personnel could be billed. A 50% load factor was essential to a break even in operations. Overall billable hours had to be 50 percent of the total hours for which the people were paid.
At first we used the employee non-billable hours to help in the operation of the office by building databases for use in the future. One of the most important ones was a collection of the various contracts that existed among utilities and power groups around the country for pooling and coordination. We had more than 100 of them and had them categorized. If a question ever came up whether anyone else used a possible coordination arrangement, we could look at our database and come up with the answer.
A suggestion was made by Dick Wakefield that what we needed to do is to develop a work product that was saleable on which we could work when billable work was not available. After review, the conclusion was we should develop a national rate book which would summarize the distribution rates in all power systems above a certain size in the United States and sell the book to clients. Part of the operation would be that we would continue to update the rate book for those who subscribed. We hired an additional person for this assignment who had some background and performed the task working with existing personnel very well. The net result was several hundred companies bought our rate book. Having it available with the Casazza/Shultz label on the binder in the various offices also created an important image for us that was valuable. The rate book also successfully generated repeat revenue for periodic updates. There were other activities we developed for the non-billable hours for personnel to keep the company functioning on as profitibable basis as possible.
Our work for Mokan continued and it became involved with scheduling generation to minmize costs.
From the beginning of our operation I was concerned with the welfare and benefits of our employees. I had learned from previous experience that when employees feel that a company is giving them a fair salary, fair compensation, and treating them as human beings you get far better performance from them. We paid for health and life insurance for them. In addition, starting with our first year, we had a number of events to which employees and their families were invited. For a number of years we sponsored weekend skiing trips of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to Canaan Valley where an employee could bring his/her spouse and children and go skiing at our expense. These outings were enjoyed by all. Also, some time during the year we would sponsor either a picnic on a weekday for employees, giving them the afternoon off, or go to a dinner and the theater at night. These outings for employees helped cement relationships.
As time went on I decided I would like to have our key employees have an ownership interest in R&C and later CSA. I hired an attorney to develop a stockholder’s agreement and proceeded to give 10 percent of the shares of stock of the company each to Dick Wakefield and Jeff Palermo and provide arrangements for employees to buy shares of our stock. Alan Shultz had already received 10 percent of the shares when he joined the company. The title of Alan Shultz was Senior Vice President. Palermo and Wakefield became Vice Presidents.
We also hired one disabled person to assist in some of our work. The individual had had a severe stroke and had difficulty functioning to earn a living for himself and his wife. He worked for us for about a year, during which we helped him learn the use of the computer.
In the personal side, our granddaughter, Lauren Fram was born in 1986 in Buffalo. She became an important part of our lives.
I had personally become increasingly concerned with the development of electric power policy for the United States and how this was done. This concern affected in the educational programs that we ran. Several dealt with the costs and benefits of deregulation. I also began to comment on FERC notices of proposed rulemaking.
I had an important disagreement with FERC. The West Coast utilities were developing a system for exchange of power that would lead to lower overall production costs. They decided they would need a consultant for this assignment. We bid on the job and received a $160,000 contract from the utilities involved and were told to start work on it I flew to San Francisco for a meeting with the group to discuss our procedures. When I arrived there I was told that the Chief Economist at FERC had decided that we could not have this contract. This was startling. The reason given was that this was an economic problem and only economists could work on it, engineers could not. This was doubly disconcerting since engineers had worked on this sort of analysis for many years and we had done this sort of work for FERC in the past, we also did it regularly for clients. We were not given the contract, but instead were given a settlement of about $25,000 for the work we had already put in preparing for the assignment.
Alan Shultz and I discussed this matter and we decided we didn’t want to let this sort of behavior pass unnoticed. We visited Joe Swidler, a friend of mine and former Chairman of the Federal Power Commission, and discussed what had happened with him. He said FERC had violated the federal guidelines since it had subverted a valid open bidding procedure giving us sound grounds for a lawsuit against them. He said it would be quite expensive, probably lasting a couple of years, and the real question was, did we want to undertake such a procedure. We asked him “what are the alternatives?” He said, why don’t you watch closely what FERC does and when you find a situation where they are behaving improperly, make it public and punish them for denying you a contract which you had won in open bidding and were well qualified.
At that time FERC was proposing new rules for new procedures for development of bulk power supply systems for which significant savings were claimed from improved generation development and operation. The law required an environmental review be made. This review had been completed and I obtained a copy. It was several hundred pages long, but I read it carefully. The open hearing to discuss the proposed new procedures was held in Washington and I asked to be one of the speakers. In reviewing the environmental impact statement I had found a footnote with the conclusion that the proposed new procedures would have almost no environmental effect since generation installation and dispatch and transmission additions would not be significantly affected by them. This was in direct contradiction to the public statements being made by Martha Hesse, Chairman of FERC. It was quite evident that she was not aware of this conclusion in the environmental impact report. At the hearing I pointed out that FERC’s own report contracted Ms. Hesse’s statements, citing the specific page number. I also made the statement that we needed to have people involved in setting policy with better qualifications than we had at the that time. Martha Hesse was furious. She said, “We are well qualified and have been appointed by the President”. This is all on a videotape which became widely circulated in the industry.
Within three days of the hearing the Chief Economist for FERC resigned. Within six months Martha Hesse was no longer at FERC. Joe Swidler’s advice had been good and we had rid the Federal Government of some undesirable employees. We hadn’t gotten the contract we deserved, but we had done something good for the American public and the US Government. (We heard later from a friendly source in FERC that key staff had been told not to give us any more consulting contracts.)
The request for consulting services from us dealing with contractual arrangements increased. We had one for a major cogeneration contract for chemical plant to supply an adjacent aluminum plant. Contracts with independent power producers also became fairly frequent. From time to time we had requests for consulting services, which were quite startling. In one case a major independent power producer that operated quite a number of power plants asked us if we could locate a new gas turbine to cause congestion problems on the transmission system for its competitors. This would enable them to charge higher prices for the generation they owned by reducing the competition they were receiving from external sources over the transmission system. They were willing to install an additional gas turbin to increase the profits at existing plants.
In 1990, our second granddaughter, Alison Fram, was born adding another important person to our family. She continues to amaze me with her ability to learn on her own.
I continued to make speeches at various NERC meetings and EPRI meetings. I also served as Chairman of the Keynote sessions for the IEEE Power Engineering Society annual meeting for three years. Attachment F is a list of the available videotapes of these meetings.
On the educational front we continued to emphasize the costs and benefits of deregulation. We presented a number of courses on how the transmission systems functions, the causes of blackouts, the difference between loop flow and circulating power flow, etc. We presented courses in Costa Rica, Venezuela as well as the USA. All of these things were part of our educational courses, some of which were presented to the FERC staff. We continued publishing papers in various magazines, IEEE and CIGRE.
We received an assignment from the Gas Research Institute (GRI) to develop a database for a commercial and residential gas rates for some 45 cities. This was our first venture into rate data for gas as well as electricity.
About that time I was appointed to the IEEE Pension Committee on which I served for a number of years. I became very concerned with how the industry was handling the pensions for engineers and wrote a number of articles, some of which were published in IEEE journals. I also became concerned about the insurance programs that the IEEE had obtained in which its members participated. In reviewing how rates were determined for these policies, I discovered that the insurance companies charged not only their current costs but an additional amount to accumulate in reserves for emergencies and uncertainties. I had no problems with having reserves for uncertainties, but I was concerned about the amount of money accumulated. At that particular time it was $75 million, which startled me. The next question I asked was, if the insurance company went out of business who would get that $75 million which had been contributed by the IEEE members? This was a question they did not want to answer and basically stonewalled giving an answer. I tried several times to have people in the IEEE, including a later Pension Committee Chairman, investigate. He did not want to do it.
This indicates that there are times in the IEEE we get members running activities who really don’t deserve to be in that position, not because of their qualification, but because of their ethics and belief about their role. The most important thing in selecting people to run financial matters is to have a clear understanding of their basic philosophy as to their role, who they are to protect, and what they are to accomplish. All too often procedures are written that take several pages, but lack the flavor of what should be done if questions are raised concerning the welfare of the members. One approach is to stonewall it and not do any investigation. Another is to proceed vigorously and try to find out what’s going on. In any event there was $75 million of IEEE member’s money in this reserve. I don’t know where it stands now or what happened, but it bothers me that we just never took a look at it and got a good answer.
As part of my concerns about FERC, pensions, et cetera, I began to focus on the need for engineers to exercise greater leadership. In this effort I met Barney Capehart from the University of Florida who was working in the same area. We had many discussions and tried to increase the leadership activities of engineers through education. There were some benefits, but some of the people who ended up leading the IEEE tended to be concerned with developing their own careers as much as they were the welfare of the general public and the benefit of the IEEE members.
In my CIGRE activities I increased significantly my work with other countries as chairman of a special subcommittee to investigate the effects of deregulation and other changes being made on their power systems. I became familiar with most of the countries in Europe, Japan, and the steps being made to restructure the power industry. As a result I was asked to go to Australia several times and discuss the restructuring of the systems worldwide and provide consulting advice to Australia on these potential changes for their electrical power system.
In 1992 I was appointed to the Energy Engineering Board of the National Research Council. This activity involved investigations of the potential for nuclear power, alternative types of nuclear plants, the effects of increased gasoline taxes and prices on our use of gasoline and other similar national policy issues. One of the reasons for appointment to this prestigious board had been the special assignment CSA had performed for EPRI investigating a number of different types of new nuclear units for use in the electric power industry. Several of these involved smaller units which could be built easier and faster. In this assignment we worked with United Engineers in preparing an analysis for EPRI. This analysis was considered quite valuable by the USA Energy Engineering Board and led to my appointment. I served for three years on the Board and became involved in many investigations.
We obtained an important contract from the National Energy Board of Canada to develop a policy for transmission for Canada. This report and our presentation to the Board became the basis for initial decisions by the Energy Board which dealt with the transfer between provinces.
We organized a group of IEEE members to prepare a statement concerning the IEEE views relating to the proposed Federal legislation which later became law in 1992. The group consisted of top officials from utilities, a former president of the IEEE Power Engineering Society, and many industry leaders who were concerned that the pending legislation would be harmful to the country. To obtain desirable publicity contributions were taken and CSA contributed $5,000 to publish a full page ad in Roll Call, the newspaper of Congress. In spite of all of these activities, not a single member who signed the newspaper ad was ever asked to testify before Congress, even though they were the industry leaders. The legislation was passed. This demonstrated clearly the nature of the problems of engineers. Congress did not want to know what engineers thought about potential policies. The government decisions would be based on legal questions and procedures.
I was asked by the IEEE after this event to prepare a book on the history of transmission in the United States. This book discusses the role of quite a number of individuals who were involved with developing their transmission systems which became known as the greatest accomplishment of the century.
Our work on the blackout studies and some of our other activities lead to a number of consulting assignments. One of interest was with the Tampa Electric Company who asked us to educate their executives and to help them with strategic planning. Another was with American Electric Power Company which asked us to provide a briefing for their top executives on what was going on with developments in connection with electric power policy worldwide. There were several other utilities that asked for similar briefings.
We opened an office in the Dominican Republic to assist them in developing their transmission and distribution systems, and operating their systems. Their technical competence was limited. For example, they were installing capacitors to reduce power loads on generation and they were disconnecting large amounts of load every night. Some of these practices could be changed by altering the system operating procedures, such as power dispatch from generation and other steps. We helped them for one year, and staffing the office with one man, Jack Miller.
Our rate work continued to grow with additional purchases of our rate book. The group working on this undertook additional activities in attempts to develop innovative rates to help utilities foster economic and wise growth.
I received the Herman Halperin award from the IEEE for my contributions to the development of transmission systems (See Attachment G). As a result, I made a gift of $25,000 to Cooper Union to help them work to improve the technical competence of the government.
We became involved in a number of arbitration procedures. One in particular was the dispute between the New Mexico Public Service Company which had a contract with San Diego G&E which San Diego had not fulfilled and caused PS NM economic losses. The basic question was “what contractual deviations had occurred and what were fair damages for New Mexico.” Dick Wakefield and I worked on this assignment. The final decision, however, was unfavorable.
Since we had first moved to Washington and I had become a member of the Springfield Country Club I had been playing golf on the average of twice a week, occasionally with Springfield retiree’s team and others. This exercise I enjoyed very much. It involved walking, and I did walk up until the last couple of years of my golf career. I walked five miles for every round of golf, so that indicated about 10 to 15 miles of walking every week for quite a number of years. The net result however was some hip damage and I began to limp, indicating the need to reduce activities.
I had been giving increasing thought to how to proceed with CSA in the future. I decided to take a number of steps, the first of which was for me to retire as President of the company and have Dick Wakefield take over as President. This was done. I also decided to buy out Alan Shultz’s interests in CSA since Alan had developed a problem with his sight and was having difficulty reading and focusing. Both of these steps were taken, and Jeff Palermo was made Senior Vice President. I remained as Chairman of the Board, however, and tried to cut down my operating hours significantly.
In 1997 we received an offer from KEMA Consulting to buy out CSA. Both Jeff Palermo and Dick Wakefield were in favor of this. I had for some time not been taking my full compensation from the company in order to reserve cash for operations. The future did not look like it would be much better. This offer provided me with an opportunity to recover my back earnings and plus some compensation for CSA. I decided to accept the offer and we negotiated an appropriate contract.
1997 – 2009 – The Years of Reflection
The contract called for all of CSA’s consulting activities to be taken over by KEMA but not the activities of the American Education Institute, which had been founded by CSA as a separate entity controlled by a separate board. It also called for CSA’s employees to become employees of KEMA. This was something I was concerned with, as I did not want to see our employees lose their jobs. Along with Dick Wakefield and Jeff Palermo, Liz Casazza, my son’s wife, went to work for KEMA where she handled all of their USA marketing. The offices of what had been CSA were to be relocated to KEMA’s offices in Fair Lakes, Va.
My right hip had been bothering me considerably, particularly since Madeline and my trip to the CIGRE meeting in Japan in 1995. I decided to have a review of my overall health situation made at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. After two days of examination they told me that I had arthritis problems, particularly bad in the right hip and growing worse in the left knee and left hip. They predicted I would need joint replacements in that sequence or be in a wheelchair within a year or two. I elected to have the right hip replaced and it was done at Mt. Vernon Hospital in 1997. I recovered surprisingly quickly, and after about four weeks was driving a car, and after two months playing golf again. I began “water walking” three times a week in the county pool, typically walking about ¾ mile a day. I continued these water exercises when able to the present day.
I received an inquiry from the Oglethorpe Power Company concerning a possible appointment to their Board of Directors. Oglethorpe provided bulk supply services to about 40 cooperatives in Georgia and supplied about ½ of the electric power in the State of Georgia. I went to Atlanta, spent a few hours being interviewed, and was asked to join the Board which I eagerly did. I had always been interested in the operations of cooperatives in which the customers own the system. It seemed to me this provided far less incentive for skullduggery, manipulation, and power grabbing than with investor owned utilities. Customers as owners would not institute rates, procedures, or other steps that hurt the customers as users. This was a step that I was glad I took, and I served for the next eight years as the organization changed and divided, ending on the Board of the Georgia System Operating Company (GSOC) that provided the bulk supply system for about one-half the power supplied in Georgia.
In 1997 I was also interviewed to become a member of a Board of Adjustment investigating the reliability conditions in the Commonwealth Edison system in Chicago. Commonwealth had a significant public and political demand for improvements in service reliability. The “Franchise Agreement” of 1903 enabled Commonwealth Edison to have exclusive rights to supply the city of Chicago and the surrounding area. It included a requirement that if either party believed that the other was not meeting its obligations under the Agreement it could ask that a “Board of Adjustment” could be convened to investigate the dispute. The Board was to consist of three nationally known engineers. (Note: That in 1903 engineers were responsible for settling such problems.) The findings of the Board would determine the penalties involved. The City had called for such a Board. Each party, namely the City and Commonwealth Edison, appointed one member to the Board. The two Board members would select a chairman. Commonwealth Edison asked me if I would represent them and I agreed. The City was to be represented by Greg Vassell. The two of us selected Herb Woodson, former Dean of Engineering at the University of Texas, as the Chairman of the Board.
The overall proceeding was to be conducted in accordance with the Rules of the American Arbitration Association, but not under the AAA jurisdiction. The proceedings involved a complete review of Commonwealth Edison’s procedures and results, from all aspects of the distribution system, sub-transmission system, substations, transmission, but not generation. The hearings went on for almost two years and were drawing to a close when the parties agreed to a settlement they developed on their own.
After I started working on my own without the CSA staff, I had been fortunate to obtain the services of a lady living nearby in Springfield, Brigid Williams, who assisted greatly in putting together my material. The general procedure I used was to dictate my text on an audio cassette which she would pick up, type at her home, and send it to me by e-mail. I could then revise and edit the text and put it in the shape I wanted on my own. This procedure was very valuable for 12 years and very helpful.
One day in August 2003, I was playing golf. When I came home I was told by Madeline that I had a phone call from NBC. Please call this number. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon. I was sweaty, hot, and looking forward to my shower. I called NBC first. They told me there had been a blackout in the mid-west and they wanted me to go in to their Washington studio and be interviewed on live television as soon as I could. I told them I needed time to clean up. They said, don’t worry about that. Just get yourself clean from the waist up and come on in. I called a neighbor of mine who drove me into Washington where I went to the NBC studios. While driving into Washington, I had a cell phone and they conducted a live interview of me over the cell phone that was broadcast nationally.
I spent about five hours in the NBC studio being interviewed periodically with questions about what was happening in the blackout and munching on candy bars. I was concerned with some of the other people they interviewed who had made statements which were not correct. One of these was Governor Richardson from New Mexico who stated that the reliability criteria had been violated and that the transmission system was in terrible shape. I tried to counter these claims with information that I had available. I had written an article in 1998 published by Electric World telling that our blackout risks were increasing and in my novel, “Sham? Shame!” published in 1991 had predicted a major Midwestern blackout in August 2004. It occurred in August 2003.
As a result of this experience, I decided to form another organization, Power Engineers Supporting Truth (“PEST”). I asked people that I knew if they would like to join and about 50 joined and we began an investigation into what had really happened. We had enough money for Frank Delea to go to one of the investigative meetings and we reviewed a great deal of material. In doing the investigation the government appointed team was told to investigate only technical causes and not to investigate any other causes that might have been involved. This meant that they would not look at the contribution of deregulation to the blackout. After reviewing the FERC report, which came out after a number of months, listing the causes, it had one recommendation, not ranked highly, to investigate the contribution of the restructuring of the utility industry to the blackout.
PEST had already been investigating all the material available to us and prepared a report on the contributions of government policies to the blackout. We published it widely and received quite a number of people supporting us. After about two years, the DOE and the Canadian Energy Board decided to have a task force, one of whom was to be me, investigate the basic question of contributions of government policy to the blackout. We spent several months, about 10 people, providing our views. A report was written with a majority conclusion that government policy had been an important cause of the blackout. This report was completed in July of 2005. It was not made available to the public until September 2005, after legislation had been passed in August. Congress was not given the report information before passing legislation. Astounding procedures, but it shows how Washington really works.
I continued to write and publish material, including a number of books. I appeared frequently as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer in various parts of the country and at such meetings as the Carnegie 58 Mellon Conference in Pittsburgh which took place annually. Among the books which I completed were the following:
- Understanding Electric Power Systems – An Overview of the Technology, the Marketplace, and Government Regulation (Second Edition);
- Forgotten Roots – Electric Power, Profits, Democracy and a Profession;
- The Development of Electric Power Transmission – The Role Played by Technology, Institutions, and People;
- Understanding the Electric Power System – A Review of the Technology and the Market Place;
- Sham? Shame! - Inside the Electric Power Industry;
- The Evolution of Electric Power Transmission Under Deregulation; and
- How New Competitive Mechanisms Can Affect Electric System Reliability.
Starting with 2003 Madeline had become increasingly incapacitated, not being able to walk or do other physical activities. She had severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis and peripheral neuropathy. In March of 2009, she started to have chest pains and, on check by a cardiologist, was put immediately into the hospital where they decided that she had severe narrowing of the three heart arteries. Because of the conditions of her bones, a heart bypass operation was not feasible and they decided to undertake the risky insertion of stents in the arteries. These stents helped, but the procedure caused problems. The dye used in inserting the stents had caused a problem with her kidneys which ceased to function. The net result is she was in the hospital for four weeks, with my daughter Joan staying with her every night, sleeping on a reclining chair. She then went to a rehab center for three weeks where I stayed with her every night, sleeping in her room on a cot. During all of this period she was undergoing dialysis daily.
When she came home she had to continue to undergo dialysis and I, or my daughter Joan, would take her three-times a week for her treatments. Thank God her kidneys started to function better and at the end of June she was able to cease the dialysis and solve her problems with diuretics. Since she returned home from rehab a full-time assistant has been living here at our home who has helped tremendously. This assistant helps her with meals, dressing, going to the toilet, et cetera. While she was in the hospital and rehab I had to cease my physical therapy for my legs, and my legs have gotten quite a bit worse. I am having increasing difficulty with balancing and walking.
Madeline’s and my own physical problems did not prevent me from continuing with my writing activities. The electric industry in Korea had previously arranged to translate our original version of “Understanding Electric Power Systems” into Korean and published it. This was done through Wiley and the IEEE. I was also contacted by my friends in Japan who asked for permission to translate my previous book, “Forgotten Roots” into Japanese and incorporate it into a book that discussed what had happened in the USA versus what had happened in Japan in developing the electric power industry. In this work I worked with Professor Sekine. The Japanese were also very interested in the draft constitution that had been developed for the future of the United States by the Center of Democratic Institutes, and I sent them a copy of this report that has a large number of good suggestions for changes needed in our government structure.
For a good part of 2008 and most of 2009 I focused on working with Frank Delea and revising our previous book about understanding electric power systems. In this I was able to obtain help from quite a number of my friends who gave us advice and suggestions for the revisions of the text. The text is scheduled to be published at the beginning of 2010.
As the USA proceeded with the restructuring of the electric power industry, it became quite evident that a significant number of people were “playing games”, manipulating data and information and using many marketing techniques that I considered to be unethical, to increase their profits. Engineers were involved in some of this work and I began to raise the issues concerning the engineering ethics. I read the transcript of the hearings in California which discussed the procedures that had been used there by some to increase profits and how data had been distorted and information concealed. This led to a 2005 IEEE session in Toronto, Canada at the Summer Power Meeting to discuss overall activities and ethics. Unfortunately no record was ever kept of this session by the IEEE. I, however, did write a number of articles which were published, one in the IEEE national magazine Spectrum, which got quite a bit of attention about the lack of ethics in the engineering profession. As a result a number of schools began to initiate ethical training for engineers.
The American Educational Institute (“AEI”) was continuing to function, but our activities were decreasing mainly because of my lack of time and ability to contribute to the operation as I had in the past. Frank Delea was able to pursue a number of alternatives, and we obtained consulting work in El Salvador to provide educational lectures. After talking to Frank and George Loehr, who had helped with AEI, I met with John Estes who had been Chairman of the Power Society to discuss the possibility of turning AEI over to IEEE in the future. I offered to transfer all of our course notes, work products, and other material for IEEE use. Estes thought this was a good idea and suggested that John MacDonald, PES President, and I try to work out the arrangements. We did work them out and we began the transfer to IEEE. John had told me that the IEEE had approved the overall basis for the transfer, which provided for Frank Delea and myself to have a continuing role in the IEEE activities when they took over AEI. John’s assurance that the agreement was approved by IEEE led us to legally halt the operations of AEI and begin the transfer to the IEEE. We were startled to hear later that the IEEE had decided not to proceed as we had agreed. It was too late to stop the dissolution of AEI, however. The net result was that the IEEE took over some of our courses, but never received the full benefit of the educational product we had available to give them.
This terminated my fourth career --- US navy officer, engineer and executive with the Public Service Electric and Gas Co., Owner and CEO of CSA Energy Consultants, and President of the American Education Institute. At this point I decided to prepare a brief autobiography that I could leave to my descendents. In it I would try to summarize some of the key things that happened in my personal and professional life and stress some of my key activities and writings. I would also list some of the key ideas that were the basis for my decisions and possibly worth remembering, some technical ideas that I have that I believe are worthy of further investigation but seem to be beyond my reasonable future capabilities, and some beliefs that I have about God and life. This document is the inadequate result of this effort.
2009 – Ideas for Future Thought
Learn From Nature How to Use Solar Energy
I have always felt that we need to obtain a far better understanding of how energy is obtained and used in nature. For many years I have looked at the tall trees (some 100 feet) that grow in Cardinal Forest in back of my home and wonder about the energy required to raise water to the branches and very top of these trees. What was the source of this energy? What was the process for converting it into the mechanical energy needed to raise the water? Could this be a way for us to use solar energy? I knew that osmosis was involved, but did it somehow provide the energy?
If time and resources were available, an approach to getting answers might involve several steps:
- Develop methods to determine how much water was raised and how far to learn the energy required.
- Do this for related pieces of land, and various types of growth, e.g., a forest, a corn field, an apple orchard, a lawn, etc.
- Estimate from the data the amount of energy needed for each piece of land and compare it with the solar energy that each had received.
- Decide if further research is justified and, if so, how to proceed.
Perhaps this can be done in connection with a university.
Solving Flood and Drought Problems
In our travels I have been impressed by the system of aqueducts built by the Romans in many parts of their empire for transporting water. Each year in the United States we see regions having floods while other regions have drought. They usually occur at different times of the year and are separated by relatively long distances. Will it be valuable to develop a “water network” similar to the “supergrid” that was developed for the electric power network to make possible the use of this diversity?
A water network would need the following:
- A means of pumping the water from one location to another;
- Locations where water could be stored.
The coordination of the development of the electric power network with the development of such a network offers interesting possibilities. Off-peak electric power could be used to do the pumping. Water storage locations above surrounding locations could be developed. When a flood is possible in a region, water could be pumped to a distant storage location. When water is needed in regions experiencing a drought, the water could be delivered from storage to them by the water network. This may require additional pumping power, and it may return energy to the electric power system using low-head hydro units if the storage is at a higher location than the drought region.
A brief study of the feasibility of such a water network would require:
- Selection of a region in the country to analyze, perhaps the West Coast of the United States;
- Analyzing past history of floods and droughts;
- Determining the amount of energy storage needed;
- Finding a location for the storage; and
- Analyzing coordination with the development of the electric power system.
New Ways of Protection of the Public Interest
I have been concerned for some time about the qualifications of many whom, by their decisions, affect the public welfare. For many years ways have been developed to protect the public interest. These have required that those in professions such as lawyers, doctors, and engineers, have certain qualifications. In some cases this has required passing an exam to obtain a license. In others, it has required a degree from a qualified organization. (ABET is an organization certifying the qualifications of our engineering schools).
In the last year or two, the United States and much of the world have experienced a financial collapse harming billions of people as a result of actions by those controlling government policies and financial institutions. Who checks the qualifications of those making these decisions? Should we not establish qualification requirements for these people who are far more important to the public welfare than the designer of a bridge?
Why not develop on a national basis, qualification requirements for those in key financial positions and develop procedures for implementing them? Of great importance are the qualifications of those sitting on corporate boards of directors.
An approach to establishing these requirements would be the following:
- Review which boards of directors make decisions which can have important effects on the public interest.
- Develop qualification requirements that will be applicable only to these boards.
- Sponsor legislation to implement the appropriate qualifications and procedures.
My Basic Philosophy
As I conclude this life story it dawns on me that I have failed to talk about my personal philosophy in a number of key areas. I will try to make up for this short coming at this point.
An important part of my personal philosophy has been my religious beliefs. I have been a practicing Roman Catholic all my life. In times of personal problems, serious illness in my family, and important decisions, prayers and faith have provided important guidance and support.
I have seen similarities between the Holy Trinity of One God in Three Persons and all matters existing in the universe in three forms as discussed in Attachment I.
My contacts with Muslims helped me see that abortion is a major prevention of world peace as described in Attachment H.
I was interviewed in 1994 by the IEEE History Center. This interview provides an insight into my philosophy in a number of areas, particularly the obligations of an engineer to society. It is included as Attachment J.
I have been concerned with the “Me Now” generation that is dominated by an obsession with our entitlements, wealth, and power and not with our obligations as discussed in Attachment K, and on my Web site (www.obligationsneeded.com).
The increased national trend to eliminate religion in all areas of public life and government,contrary to the freedom of religion provided by our constitution, has worried me deeply. Attachment L provides my views on how our schools promote this trend.
Attachment M tells the story of my contacts with a young black man in the 1960’s and the results of riots in Newark.
In 2007 my granddaughter, Lauren Fram, interviewed me about my experience with racial problems. Attachment N helps explain why the past has shown that only peaceful solutions will solve our problems.
In addition, I have been guided in decision making by these core principles:
- Minimax strategy: minimize the probability of the maximum possible error.
- Where there is a range of solutions, pick one that is somewhere near the center of the two extremes.
- Think like an oyster, convert every grain of sand into a pearl.
Appendices and Attachments
Supplement to Personal and Professional life of Jack Casazza - added January 2011
References and Notes
- My memories of Green Engineering Camp were summarized in an article published in the Cooper Union Alumni magazine, a copy of which is included in Attachment E.
- J.A. Casazza, see the Appendix of “The Development of Electric Power Transmission – IEEE Case Histories of Achievement in Science and Technology”, www.lulu.com/ameredinst.
- J.A. Casazza, See the Appendix, “The Development of Electric Power ransmission – IEEE Case Histories of Achievement in Science and Technology”, www.lulu.com/ameredinst.
- See Attachment A, paper No. I-1, American Power Conference, 1974.fckLR
- See, J.A. Casazza, “The Development of Electric Power Transmission – History of Achievement in Science and Technology”, www.lulu.com/ameredinst.
- See Attachment D, “Reliability Criteria and Their Enforcement – Talk to FERC Staff”, 1998.
- See discussion in J.A. Casazza, “Development of Electric Power Transmission – IEEE Case Histories of Achievement in Science and Technology”, www.lulu.com/ameredinst.
- See Attachment O for a summary of our R&D objectives.
- See Report, Attachment A, Report III G, on USA/USSR Technology Interchange.
- See Attachment Q.
- See “Forgotten Roots – Electric Power, Profits, Democracy and a Profession”, a book by Jack Casazza.
- See J.A. Casazza, “The Development of Electric Power Transmission – IEEE History of Achievement in Science and Technology,” www.lulu.com/ameredinst.
- See Attachment P.
- See “The Center Magazine”, September/October 1970, listed in the Appendix in important report file.
- In December 2009 the United States House of Representatives passed the Energy and Water Integration Act (H.R. 3598 RFS).
- 1 My Personal and Professional Life
- 1.1 Foreward
- 1.2 1924
- 1.3 1930 – My Earliest Memories
- 1.4 1935 – My Schooling
- 1.5 1938 – Life as a Teenager
- 1.6 1941
- 1.7 The War Years – 1943-1946
- 1.8 1946-1948 – The Initial Career Years
- 1.9 1950-1954 Work as an Engineer
- 1.10 1952-1963 The Management Role
- 1.11 1964 to 1970 - The Executive Role
- 1.12 1970 to 1977 – The Executive Role
- 1.13 1978–1979 - The Stone and Webster Experience
- 1.14 1979-1997 – The CSA Consulting Experience
- 1.15 1997 – 2009 – The Years of Reflection
- 1.16 2009 – Ideas for Future Thought
- 1.17 My Basic Philosophy
- 2 Appendices and Attachments
- 3 Further Reading
- 4 References and Notes