IEEE Power & Energy Society

Society News

In Memoriam

The IEEE power & energy society (PES) mourns the passing of two of its esteemed members: Paul Anderson and John Vithayathil.

Paul Anderson

Paul M. Anderson

Paul M. Anderson died 26 April 2011 at age 85. Paul died peacefully at home after complications following congestive heart failure and a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He will be remembered for his contributions to the field of electrical engineering as a researcher, professor, and author as well as being a loving father and family man.

Paul was born 22 January 1926 in Des Moines, Iowa, and grew up in Winterset. After high school he served in the Army Air Corps until 1945. He then attended Iowa State College, majoring in electrical engineering. After college, he worked for the Iowa Public Service Co. and then returned to Ames as an instructor at Iowa State University while working on his master's degree. He found that he loved teaching and after obtaining his Ph.D. from Iowa State University, he ended up spending most of his career as a university professor of electrical engineering with an interest in power systems. In addition to teaching engineering at Iowa State University (1955–1975), Paul was president and principle engineer of Power Math Associates, Inc., San Diego, California (1978–1998). Other accomplishments include program manager at Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California (1975–1978); chair in electric power systems, Arizona State University (1980–1984); and Schweitzer Visiting Professor, Washington State University (1996–1997).

He published over 50 papers in professional publications and authored or coauthored six books. His books are still highly regarded in the field of electric power systems and some have been translated into Chinese and Russian.

He was elected a Fellow of IEEE in 1981 for “contributions to power system engineering education and research in system planning and operation.” In 2009 he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

Paul's wife of 60 years, Virginia, their four sons and spouse/partners, and one granddaughter survive him.

John Vithayathil

John Vithayathil, age 74, passed away peacefully on 24 May 2011 at his Portland, Oregon, home surrounded by his family after a long and courageous battle with lung cancer.

John received the Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in 1967. Impressed by his doctoral dissertation related to HVdc, the Bonneville Power Administration offered John a position in Portland. After 20 years with the Bonneville Power Administration, John worked as an independent consultant for nearly 25 years. Though widely recognized as a leading expert in HVdc transmission, he also made key contributions to HVac transmission, including the invention of the Rapid Adjustment of Network Impedance (RANI) scheme, a system he named after his beloved wife, Rani. John was awarded several patents, distinctions, and awards during his professional career.

John was elected an IEEE Fellow in 1997 for “ contributions to the analysis and design high-voltage dc power systems.” He received the IEEE Herman Halperin award for lifetime contributions in his field in 2002. His highest professional honor came in 2000 when he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.

John is survived by Rani, his loving wife of 46 years, four children, six grandchildren, two sisters, and three brothers.

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