The U.S. National Committee of CIGRÉ (USNC)

by Clark W. Gellings,  Electric Power Research Institute, USA

CIGRÉ is the International Council on Large Electric Systems.  The U.S. National Committee is an organization of the U.S. members of CIGRÉ.  Its primary function is to organize participation of U.S. power engineers in the international organization and to facilitate symposia and workshops within the U.S. CIGRÉ was founded in Paris in 1921 as a worldwide, non-profit association.  It addresses issues related to the development, operation and management of electric power systems as well as the design, construction, maintenance and disposal of equipment and plants.  CIGRÉ’s members form a collaborative network consisting of individuals from all aspects of the power sector. 
The goals of CIGRÉ are to facilitate and develop the exchange of power system-related engineering knowledge and information; to develop knowledge and distribute it.  CIGRÉ adds value by sharing ideas and information, synthesizing state-of-the-art and world practices.  In addition, it produces and delivers high-quality technical information in support of society’s needs.  CIGRÉ covers all technical, environmental, operational and economic issues related to power systems.

How is CIGRÉ organized? The heart of CIGRÉ’s organization is its individual and collective (corporate or institutional) members.  In the U.S., these members are supported by the U.S. National Committee.  CIGRÉ’s activities are governed by a hierarchy of a President, Treasurer, Technical Committee Chair and Secretary General.  These individuals, along with others appointed by the USNC, form a Steering Committee and an Administrative Council.  The Technical Committee organizes and conducts CIGRÉ’s technical activities. The numerous challenges highlights the need to sharpen our power engineering skills.

CIGRÉ USNC operation:                                         
CIGRÉ’s Study Committees are its working bodies (Figure 1).  Through them, members represent their country in CIGRÉ technical activities.  These representatives, in turn, liaise with the U.S. National Committee.  The USNC is represented in every Study Committee and in more working groups than most any another country. 

Membership Benefits
Members have access to over 6,000 references on CIGRE’s web site which contains papers and proceedings of sessions and symposia as well as technical brochures based on the work of the Study Committees.
Members in the U.S. National Committee have the ability to raise personal development through knowledge transfer.  They have unique access to international best practices and benchmarking representing a global resource of expertise.  Members in CIGRE become aware of different issues from around the world and, at the same time, make the international community aware of themselves. For example, Mike Heyeck, Senior Vice President of Transmission for American Electric Power believes that “CIGRÉ provides American Electric Power access to practical high-voltage solutions to today’s problems.”  Terry Boston, Chief Executive Officer of PJM Interconnection suggests that the “USNC of CIGRÉ provides a forum for understanding the issues facing system operators around the world.”  And Keith Lindsey, Chief Executive Officer of Lindsey Manufacturing believes that “CIGRÉ is an exceptional forum for networking with potential clients and to hear experts describe industry issues and technology needs.

Individual members have the opportunity to collaborate in CIGRÉ technical activities by becoming Study Committee or Working Group members.  By getting involved with CIGRÉ, individual members will be more effective and fulfilled, reaching their potential more quickly.

For Further Information
For additional information on the USNC, including individual or corporate (collective) membership, visit the USNC webpage at
Additional membership questions can be addressed to: USNC Vice-President of Administration:
B. Don Russell, Regents Professor, Texas A & M University
Phone: 979-458-1100

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