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Tech alumnus Daleep C. Mohla to receive 2012 IEEE Charles Proteus Steinmetz Award

Tech alumnus Daleep C. Mohla, an engineer whose dedication to developing safer equipment and practices and promoting safety standards has helped reduce the number of electrical-related accidents in the workplace, is being honored by IEEE with the 2012 IEEE Charles Proteus Steinmetz Award. Mohla received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Tech in 1973.

The award, sponsored by the IEEE Standards Association, recognizes Mohla for contributions to the preparation, dissemination and advocacy of consensus safety standards for operation and maintenance of industrial and commercial power systems. The award will be presented on February 2, 2012, at the IEEE Industry Applications Society Electrical Safety Workshop in Daytona Beach, Fla.

A proponent of “electrical safety by design” concepts, Mohla’s contributions have aided the decline seen over the past 25 years in industrial workplace injuries in the United States related to electrical shock and burns. Early on as an electrical engineer, Mohla had a willingness to recognize the problems faced by electrical systems operators and electricians in the workplace. He took the time to learn about and understand the hazardous conditions presented to industrial workers, developed safer equipment and procedures and advocated safety changes throughout industry via standards development with the IEEE Standards Association and the U.S. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Petrochemical manufacturing facilities present challenging safety issues for employees with their combination of extensive electrical infrastructure and a flammable process. Mohla was directly involved in the design and construction of the electrical infrastructure of such facilities while with Union Carbide from 1976 to 2001. It was in this setting that he employed his “safety by design” concepts in which each infrastructure design aspect is examined to maximize safety. Mohla incorporated safety innovations such as high-resistance grounding, arc-resistant switchgear, insulated boots for terminal lugs, insulated buses for low-voltage panel boards and finger-safe low-voltage fuse holders, all of which have enhanced electrical safety in the workplace.

To spread his safety concepts and practices, Mohla became very involved in the standards field, assisting in creating new standards and modifying existing ones to improve workplace safety. During the 1990s, Mohla served as chair of the Electrical Functional Team of the Process Industry Practices group. In this role, he was instrumental in convincing industrial entities to share electrical safety design details to harmonize electrical equipment and installation specifications and improve safety for affiliated customers. Mohla continues to contribute his expertise to the standards process today, serving multiple IEEE Working Groups on safety standards related to the petrochemical industry and arc flash hazard analysis and recommended practices to improve electrical safety in the workplace. He is also the IEEE Principal Representative to NFPA 70E (Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace).

An IEEE Fellow, Mohla’s honors include the Dave Azbill Award (2007) and three prize paper awards from the IEEE Industry Applications Society’s Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee. Mohla is currently a principle consultant with DCM Electrical Consulting Services, Inc., Missouri City, Texas.

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