After Summer’s Heat and Washington’s Dysfunction, We’ve Still Got D-TECH

Editor in chief TERESA HANSEN

I usually love summer, but I’ve had a hard time embracing this summer. I read recently that the website thedailybeast.com ranked Tulsa—the location of PennWell’s corporate office—one of the five hottest cities this summer. I knew it was hot here, but because most of the country has been sweltering in the heat, I didn’t feel especially bad, at least not until I read that I’ve been sweltering more than most.

If the heat isn’t enough to get a person down, the political dysfunction in Washington, D.C. over the debt ceiling and deficit might be. As I write this, the United States is less than a week away from defaulting on its loans, and our lawmakers still haven’t reached an agreement on how to move forward. In the meantime, the stock market is down and many doom-and-gloom scenarios are being predicted. I’m not going to suggest the best way to handle the debt situation. I’m thankful that’s not my job, but it is the job of those in Washington, and I wish they’d come up with something before we must get second jobs to fund our retirements.

This difficult summer has a couple of bright spots, though. The DistribuTECH Conference Advisory Committee met in Minneapolis in mid-July to plan the 2012 program. A respite from the extreme heat and the evening (mostly bad) news was nice, but seeing the conference come together was better. The 2012 conference will be the largest in DistribuTECH’s history. The outstanding advisory committee members worked hard to put together another stellar program. They reviewed more than 550 abstracts—a record number—and created 76 paper and panel conference sessions distributed across 14 tracks. I’m excited about the quality of papers and speakers for 2012, and I’m grateful to the hard-working committee members for their help.

Preparation is also underway for POWERGRID International’s Projects of the Year Awards, which will be announced at DistribuTECH. The awards entry form is on the POWERGRID International website. We are accepting entries in four categories: Smart Grid, Smart Metering, Demand Response/Energy Efficiency and Renewable Grid Integration. Please think about the projects you’ve worked on during the past year and consider entering one or more of them. Entry deadline is Oct. 28, and the winners will be recognized at DistribuTECH’s keynote session Jan. 24, 2012.

When the conference kicks off in San Antonio in January, the summer heat will be behind us, and, if our lawmakers do their jobs, so will the debt ceiling dilemma. If you submit your project to the Projects of the Year Awards contest, your efforts also could pay off with an award at DistribuTECH. One thing I’m sure of: You will reap the benefits of the DistribuTECH Conference Advisory Committee members’ hard work if you attend DistribuTECH. The registration page is live, so go ahead and sign up. It’s never too early to make your plans or to start dreaming of cooler days. I hope to see you there.

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