George Dorwart Rockefeller
George Dorwart Rockefeller’s prescient work on how to use computers to provide real-time analysis of voltages and currents for fault detection laid the foundation for today’s digital protection, control, and monitoring of the electric power grid. Known as “the father of digital protection,” Rockefeller invented the concept of on-line, real-time protective relaying of electric power systems in 1967 while with Westinghouse Electric Corporation—well before the advent of microprocessors made it a cost-effective reality. His development of the Prodar 70 digital relay, installed in a California transmission substation in 1971 by Westinghouse and Pacific Gas and Electric, transformed protective relaying of power systems and set the standards for modern microprocessor relay products. Rockefeller’s contributions inspired the industry to look at protection and control in a completely new, and smarter, way.
An IEEE Life Fellow, Rockefeller is retired and works as an engineering consultant, New York, NY, USA.