INMR is pleased to announce that Dr. Andrew Phillips, Vice President at EPRI in the United States, has been chosen as recipient of the 2019 Claude de Tourreil Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Field of Electrical Insulators. This is the 10th anniversary of this annual award, created to honour one of the insulator world’s most dedicated, respected and beloved experts, who passed away from leukemia in March 2006. Award recipients have come from across the globe – from China to South Africa, from Sweden to Canada – and included industry luminaries such as Prof. LIANG Xidong of Tsinghua University, Dr. Wallace Vosloo of Eskom, Prof. Ravi S. Gorur of Arizona State University, Dr. Igor Gutman of the Independent Insulation Group, Dr. Vaclav Sklenicka of EGU HV Laboratory, A.J. Carreira of K-Line Insulators, consultant Dr. Alberto Pigini, Dr. Frank Schmuck of Pfisterer and J.M. George of Sediver.
Claude de Tourreil became intrigued by insulators while on staff at the research laboratories of Hydro-Québec in Canada during the 1980s and 90s. This was a time when composite insulator technology had already started to attain acceptance on important line projects across the globe. Still, much remained unknown about how best to select, handle and test them. Thanks to his many scientific papers as well as his efforts within CIGRE and as Expert Columnist for INMR from 1998 to 2006, engineers the world over began to learn salient details of this rapidly emerging technology. Claude was also an expert Presenter at INMR WORLD CONGRESS events, beginning in Miami in 1996 and extending to Hong Kong in 2005. In his later years, Claude worked at an insulator research center in France. During these final years he had grown increasingly pessimistic, concerned that market pressures focused mainly on low price combined with less utility investment in R&D programs would together undermine what had been achieved over years of painstaking work. Nevertheless, it is fair to state that the dominant position enjoyed today by composite insulators on new overhead line projects the world over is in large measure a result of the knowledge people like Claude helped assemble, verify and disseminate.
As Vice President of Transmission and Distribution Infrastructure for EPRI’s Power Delivery and Utilization research sector, Andrew Phillips has management and technical responsibility for the annual research budget and numerous activities linked to T&D programs conducted for its global membership.
I first met him at an IEEE event in Berlin during the mid 1990s, when, as a dynamic newcomer to the industry, he first presented results of ground breaking research on water drop corona and the potential impact on polymeric housing materials. One of his EPRI colleagues at the time, Dr. Herman Schneider, was also at this event and I recall him predicting that Andrew was someone destined for many achievements. Indeed, Andrew’s body of work over many years has helped users of insulators the world over better understand the origin as well as indications of incipient insulator failure and also to know how best to inspect for and assess the severity of internal problems and other types of degradation. In this respect, Andrew’s many contributions have been the perfect complement to the design and application knowledge Claude and his colleagues helped promulgate. For example, during his career, Andrew has been intimately involved in development of advanced inspection techniques and technologies including radio frequency sensors, robotics and data analytics. These have helped EPRI members and the power industry at large improve not only selection and design criteria but also monitoring of the components that are most often implicated in unplanned power disruptions.
Claude would have been very pleased to know that someone with Andrew’s numerous professional achievements has been selected recipient of the award to honour his memory and lasting contributions. Andrew will be presented this award at the 2019 INMR WORLD CONGRESS this October in Tucson, Arizona. I am sure engineers across the globe join me in extending deep appreciation and warm congratulations to Andrew.
Marvin L. Zimmerman