Electrical Power Affiliates Program
The Kansas State University’s College of Engineering is continuing our long history of supporting the power and energy sector in the region and nation. The Kansas State Electrical Power Affiliates Program (EPAP) was established in 2008 and in the last seven years has provided programs and activities to benefit our affiliate partners, our students, our faculty and our region.
Six faculty research projects received approximately $115k in funding from EPAP for the 2014-2015 year. These funds were disbursed to faculty in four College of Engineering departments or programs and involved nine faculty members, seven graduate students and four undergraduate students. Additional details are available at http://www.k-state.edu/epap/research/. In the spring of 2015 another $81k in industrial support funds will be distributed to faculty and students for 2015-16 research and educational projects.
In addition to the research projects, EPAP funds have also provided support for over 100 students on road trips to see power plants, substations and control centers as well as participating in the IEEE Power & Energy Society Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition in New Orleans in 2009 and 2013. These activities are combining to create a well-prepared workforce for the future.
Every September, the EPAP companies all converge on the Kansas State University Engineering atrium for our mini-career fair, EPAP Day. During the day, companies interact with hundreds of engineering students across our eight departments about job opportunities in the electric power industry. EPAP company representatives present in classrooms as well.
In the fall of 2012, we opened our Burns & McDonnell Smart Grid Laboratory http://www.k-state.edu/epap/smartgridlab.html. This facility includes state-of-the-art equipment for electric power control, protection, communications and networking. We are using this facility in our pre-college recruitment activities, undergraduate and graduate classes and research activities. We are excited that the Smart Grid Laboratory moved to the new Phase IV engineering building in January of 2016.
We are excited to have continued support from our industry partners for the EPAP program. We currently have two members at the Executive level: Burns & McDonnell, and Westar. Three groups are at the member level – Black and Veatch, Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Sega, Inc. We continue to have discussions with other utilities, manufacturers and consultants about collaborations with Kansas State and EPAP.