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John H. Brunke

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Biography

John H. Brunke’s pioneering work on high-voltage surge control technology has found widespread use in reducing stresses on the power grid. During the 1970s, Dr. Brunke was one of the first engineers to design, install, and test a high-voltage switching scheme using “controlled closing” to energize 230-kV shunt capacitor banks. Controlled switching is the switching on/off of high-voltage equipment and lines at a precise instant when the transient generated by the switching is reduced or eliminated. This improves power quality and reliability while lowering equipment costs. Projects coordinated while at the Bonneville Power Administration concerning staged systems and fault testing have provided important models for identifying problems and solutions for high-voltage systems. As chair of the IEEE and CIGRE (International Council on Large Electric Systems) committees responsible for switchgear technology, Dr. Brunke has provided the industry with important standards information and has fostered cooperation between the two organizations.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Brunke is currently a consulting engineer.