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EECS Executive Speaker Series: Kristina Newhouse-Avista Corporation

Engineering Teaching Research Laboratory, Pullman, WA
ETRL 101
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About the event

Automating Generating Facilities

It is an exciting time to be an engineer at a power utility. There is a strong need for new solutions to replace aging infrastructure and innovative ways to think of new possibilities for the utility. At Avista the Generation Controls Engineering team is faced with complex challenges as they work to automate hydroelectric and thermal generating facilities while keeping up with external requirements such as compliance and Energy Imbalance Markets (EIM.)

My team is always busy engineering designs for PLCs that need to be upgraded and programed. They are looking forward to upcoming projects to replace HMI screens and projects to prepare for joining an EIM. There is never a dull moment! I will share challenges with these project but it might be a surprise to hear that some of the more perplexing issues are not always developing robust designs but rather getting end-user buy-in and helping personnel adapt to the changes that automation brings to their roles. These challenges require successful engineers to have emotional intelligence (EQ) in addition to their IQ.

About the Speaker:

Kristina Newhouse works at Avista as the Generation Controls Engineering Manager and the Engineering Development Program Manager. She received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Washington State University. She lives in Spokane and has two young sons with her husband, Adam. Together they work hard to be able to balance their professional careers with parenthood and family life. Kristina enjoys yoga and making fun memories with her family.