Professional Development Courses

Professional development courses are short-term classes intended for students who want to gain general knowledge, learn a new skill, upgrade existing skills, or develop personal interests.  You may receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) at the completion of these courses.

The EPRC group has had a tradition of strong interaction with the electric utility industry. EPRC is involved in a variety of short courses offered via ISU Extension to Business and Industry. Presenters come from utilities, manufacturers, consulting organizations, and Iowa State University. Attendees work for investor owned utilities, municipals, rural electric cooperatives, and public power districts.

2017 Professional Development Courses

Spring GMD Webinar Series: Power Grid Effects of Geomagnetic Disturbances: Fundamentals, Requirements, & Solutions

Watch the webinar series on YouTube.

Online Courses

relayRelay Theory and Basic System Protection

This online course continues a long history of Iowa State University short courses in applied protective relaying. Engineering-LAS Online Learning has partnered with EPRC to offer this course designed for relay technicians and engineers who need basic or refresher education and training in protective relaying for electric power systems. You can move through the course at your own pace online and sign up anytime throughout the year. You may receive 0.8 CEUs at completion.

General Information

Several short courses are offered annually to serve timely needs of the electric utility industry. Typical subjects for 1 to 3 day courses are:

  • Protective Relaying
  • Power System Protection
  • Electric Substation Design and Maintenance
  • Distribution and Transmission Line Design
  • Distribution Engineering
  • Engineering Economics
  • Power System Operations

For more information on any of the programs listed, contact:

Anne Kimber, P.E., Ph.D.,
Executive Director, Electric Power Research Center
Office phone: 515 294-7678
Mobile phone: 515 291-4378
1111 Coover Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011

Past Courses

SEL University

Schweitzer Labs SEL University will teach a 3 day course on Distribution System Protection, SEL PROT 403, from August 16-18, in Room 3041/3043 Coover Hall (2520 Osborn Road) on the ISU Campus. The course provides 2.1 CEU (21 PDH), details are here:

The course has two cost components: an SEL U cost, and and an ISU cost. The SEL U cost will be $1,725 for instructors, materials and CEU certificate; the ISU cost will be $105 for EPRC members for breaks, lunches, parking pass and administration. The ISU cost for registrants who are not EPRC members will be $115.

Engineering Economics for Utilities

The purpose of the course is to provide the skills and tools necessary to evaluate the costs and benefits of utility projects.  The course covers both profit and non-profit utilities. Numerous application problems will be presented and solved. Spreadsheet software will be given to attendees for their later use.
Major topic areas include: Financial mathematics and financial concepts, carrying charges, present Value analysis; applications problems, and other topics, such as regulatory treatment (taxes), and impact on rates. Examples will come from utility asset purchases, renewable energy projects, energy efficiency investments. 1.4 CEUs (14 PDH) will be provided for this class. Course details: Engineering Economics short course

Distributed Generation Integration

The purpose of the course is to provide methods, best practices and cases studies for DG integration. Application problems will be presented and solved.
Major topic areas include: Characteristics of DG, planning for microgrids and utility resiliency, distribution protective relaying for two-way flows, power electronics, including smart inverter technology, power quality problems (volt/var optimization) and solutions.
This class will provide 15 hours of instruction.  1.5 CEUs (15 PDH) of continuing education, with CEUs  provided by Iowa State University. Course details: EPRC Distributed Generation Integration: EPRC Distributed Generation Integration: EPRC Distributed Generation Integration (2)

Protective Relaying for Electric Power Systems

This is a one-day basic course on protective relays for electric power systems.  The science and skill of protective relaying is fundamental to ensuring high reliability in the operation of the distribution, transmission and generation systems. The course will be taught by Tim Ernst, P.E., a practicing expert in the field. Pending approval, 0.8 CEUs (8 PDH) will be provided for this class. Course details: Short Course in Protective Relaying:EPRC Protective Relaying Short Course description

Cyber Security of the Electric Power Grid with Attacks-Defense Training

A short course offered on July 15–16, 2014. This two-day, hands-on workshop is designed for the engineer or engineering manager who works in operations, substation design, protective relaying, SCADA, communications, or other business areas where cyber security is a concern. The class covers not only the basic principles of cyber security, both offense and defense, but also gives participants a look at specific problems and regulations in the utility business. About 50% of the course is spent in a laboratory environment allowing participants to try out attacks and defenses. The class will be held on the Iowa State University campus.