T&D News

T&D News

T&D News

T&D Alum Uses Program Skills at NERC & Army Cyber Intelligence  

T&D Alumnus Sam Chanoski (’15) started the program when he was working as a shift supervisor at Duquesne Light in Pittsburgh. After beginning Gonzaga’s T&D coursework, Sam moved to NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) and just before graduating was promoted to Director of Situation Awareness and Event Analysis. He credits the program with giving him important skills needed for his new responsibilities.

“The perspective I gained across an end-to-end breadth of the technical side of transmission and distribution has been invaluable,” he says. He notes the knowledge and skills he gained in the T&D program help him “confidently add value to, and sometimes lead, a number of significant initiatives that would have been outside my capacities before the program.”

Those responsibilities include leading NERC's Situation Awareness and Event Analysis departments.  Situation Awareness serves as the eyes and ears of NERC, to constantly understand operational conditions on the bulk power system. Event Analysis, “helps all of us understand the true causes behind system disturbances and learn from each other to continually improve reliability performance.”


Sam is currently deployed to Kuwait with the Army Reserve and is acting as Cyber Intelligence Chief for the Southwest Asia Cyber Center.

He leads a team of military intelligence and signal soldiers and contractors to “provide timely, actionable, threat intelligence to improve the defense of the Army’s computer networks across the Middle East.”

While not a new skill, Sam says the critical thinking he honed in the METD program is something he uses every day. “The program gave me repeated opportunities to practice and learn new techniques in an environment far more intellectually diverse than I could find at any single employer.”

While he appreciates the depth of his coursework, he admits TADP 548 (TLine Electrical Aspects) and TADP 521 (Utility Communications) were his favorites. “Both courses flowed well to a comprehensive final project that closely resembled a real-world undertaking.”

The program has asked Sam to help rebuild the TADP 543 Grid Operations course when he returns to his duties at NERC. We look forward to working with Sam in his transition from student to faculty!

Spring 2017 On-Campus Residency Announced!

Students admitted to the Master of Engineering program must take the TADP 556 capstone course to graduate.  This year the course will be offered over a 15-week schedule during the spring semester. The course includes a two-day, on-campus residency component which will be held on March 17 & 18, 2017. 

The residency will once again be paired with the Annual T&D Meeting so students may meet T&D faculty from various courses in the program, tour the campus, work on team projects, and participate in ethics and strategic planning/system thinking sessions.

2016 556 class Students will be able to meet and visit with online faculty during the TADP 556 on-campus visit on March 17 & 18.
556 pix 556 pix2

Congratulations 2016 Graduates!

The T&D Program Faculty and Staff would like to congratulate the following students for completing the Master of Engineering in T&D Engineering degree in the 2015-16 school year.

Alan Johnson, Black & Veatch 
Charles Prentice, CH2MHill
Nick Coulson, Puget Sound Energy
Kassahun Aschenaki, SNC-Lavalin
Zachary Starkey, Vectron Energy Delivery
Yigal Kopinsky, Suriname Energy
Zachary Scott, Snohomish PUD
Jawid Arghestani, ABB
Chris Bruno, Brookhaven National Lab

GRad2016 Program Director, Dr. Peter McKenny, Marciano Hellings, Yigal Kopinsky, Zackary Scott, and School of Engineering & Applied Science Dean, Dr. Stephen Silliman attend the 2016 Graduate Commencement ceremony in Spokane on May 7th. 

2016 Admits!

The School of Engineering and Applied Science's Graduate Admissions Committee is pleased to announce the following candidates have been accepted into the Master of Engineering in T&D Engineering degree program.

Chris Schnetzler, Pepco
Mike Hill, Clallum PUD
Doug Adams, Clallum PUD
William Allen, Memphis Power and Light
Scott Hult, Schneider Electric
Patricio Hernandez, Provo City Power
John Paulett, EnergyUnited
Bryce Priest, Salt River Project
Kevin Damron, Avista 
Matthew Korneychuk, SaskPower
Les Wolf, Xcel Energy

T&D Alum Prepares for Cloud Invastion


Josh Lankford, (METD, ’13) is the only fulltime engineer working at the Umatilla Electric Cooperative in Oregon. The UEC is a small rural power company serving a growing customer base drawn by a busy Columbia River port and affordable energy prices.

When he started there in 2009, UEC served 14,000 members and provided 875 million average kilowatt-hours (kWH) of power a year. Now, several technology-based companies have opened, or are planning, large data centers in the coop’s territory and within five years the power load is expected to increase by 400%.

It was serendipity that Josh had entered Gonzaga’s Transmission and Distribution Master’s program, hoping to find mentoring and practical knowledge as he tackled the complex problems from such a dramatic shift in his company’s power load.

Josh describes his job duties as, “a little bit of everything that we have going on, including, but not limited to: construction workplan development, GIS conversion, new transmission lines and substations, rebuilds of aged infrastructure , upgrades to existing lines and substations, power quality, SCADA system upgrades and development, and anything else that passes through the engineering department.”

Josh says that over time his work has moved into managing teams of consultants and he appreciates the broad knowledge the T&D program gave him. “I have used something that I’ve learned from each class since I graduated. I didn’t realize how helpful the program really was until I finished it... The T&D classes aren’t like the classes I’ve taken where I ask myself, ‘how does this help me?’ or ‘when will I ever use this in my career?’; they are all relatable to my job in some way.”

Josh feels that he gained more than ten years of experience in the twelve classes he took toward the master’s and that depth fits well with his varied responsibilities. “The calculations I learned, stories I heard, and reasonings you discuss within the transmission line design classes help me every day while I oversee the design and construction of the transmission line projects we have going on here at UEC.”

He continues, “The leadership and project development classes help me with my every day interactions with the membership, colleagues, and consultants, or project management in general. The underground system design course helped me put a safety demonstration together on pulling in underground cable for our lineman. Each class gave me the tools I needed, I just need more time in the day to put them all to use!”

Congratulations 2015 Graduates!

Several ME students were able to complete their coursework and Graduation Portfolios in time to graduate in the 2014-15 school year and five students traveled to Spokane to attend Gonzaga's Graduate commencement ceremony on May 9. Congratulations everyone!

2014-15 Graduates:

Amie Fish, Eaton
Sean Grier, Duke Energy
James Wallace, Riviera Utilities
Ryan Adams, Salt River Project
Sam Chanoski, NERC
Marty Gulseth, Avista
Chad Thoman, Adams Electric Coop

2015Commencement Kassahun Aschenki, Ryan Adams, Alan Johnson, Charles Prentice, and Nick Coulson attend the 2015 Graduate Commence Ceremony at Gonzaga's McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane
We are honored to announce the newest recipients of the Master of Engineering in T&D Engineering. We will miss you!

2015 Summer Residency a Success!

Students admitted to the Master of Engineering program must take the TADP 556 capstone course to graduate.  This course includes a two-day, on-campus residency component which was held on May 19-20 this year. The instructors were pleased with the turn-out and great work from everyone.  Students came from as far as Namibia, Africa and Suriname, South America for the course.  

The residency was once again paired with the Annual T&D Meeting so students were able to meet T&D faculty from various courses in the program, tour the campus, work on team projects, and participate in ethics and strategic planning/system thinking sessions. 

2014 Attendees- TADP 556 Weekend Residency, Spokane

2015 Admits!

It was another busy year for the Admissions Committee.  The program admitted 17 new students in school year 2014-15. Congratulations students!

Emily Stallman,  Rocky Mountain Power
Dallas McClain, Console Energy
Wail Abu-Rashed, Chrysler
Chris Bruno, Brookhaven National lab
Ajay Singh, Crown Cork & Seal
Nick Coulson, Puget Sound Energy
Riaan Van Zyl, PowerLine Africa 
Matt West, Southern Co.
Marciano Hellings, Suriname Energy
Yigal Kopinksy, Suriname Energy
Francisco Martinez, Kinder Morgan 
Mikayla Nichols, NorthWestern Energy 
Mark Rankin, Sargent & Lundy 
Jay Arghestani, ABB 
Larry Li, Northeast Utilities
Joshua Flake, Eaton
David McKinnon, Greater Essex County School District

Registration Open!

We are currently accepting registrations for Spring 2017 courses. New students may begin the registration process by filling out a non-matriculated registration form and send to:

Jilliene McKinstry
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Gonzaga University

502 E. Boone Ave.
Spokane, WA  99258-0026
Phone: 509-313-5701
Fax: 509-313-5871
email: mckinstry@gonzaga.edu

Peter McKenny, PhD
Transmission and Distribution
Phone: (509) 313-5702
Email: mckenny@gonzaga.edu

Jilliene McKinstry
Assistant Director
Transmission and Distribution
Phone: (509) 313-5701
Email: mckinstry@gonzaga.edu