Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Unfinished Load Forecasting Presentation for Crystal Glidewell

Last week in Chicago, I chaired two panel sessions with Prof. Hamid Zareipour on "Integrating Energy Forecasts into Utility Planning and Operations". Without any surprise, the sessions attracted many people and generated some good discussions, thanks to the speakers who brought the field experience and expertise to the panel.

However, we missed one speaker, Crystal Glidewell from Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), who was going to present "Joining the Energy Market: Experiences from AECC". A few hours ago, I got the message that she passed away on April 13, 2014, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

I first got to know Crystal in spring of 2012 from her email inquiries about how to select software packages for load forecasting. At that time she was going to set up the load forecasting system to help prepare AECC to join two energy markets, MISO and SPP. Since then, we have had many interactions. She visited me in the summer of 2012, took my load forecasting course in October 2012, and worked with me closely to build her forecasting system since early 2013.

I kept telling her to tell her boss to double her salary, because typically the task like what she was doing took a village to accomplish. When she told me in late 2013 about her medical treatment, I asked who would be running the forecasts during her leave. She said "it runs automatically everyday". I was very much impressed. She knew almost nothing about load forecasting prior to 2012. In such an unbelievably short time frame (just a few months), she set up the system from scratch, with minimal outside help.

Her biography listed her education experience, including a Suma Cum Laude from UALR, and three Master's Degrees. In fact, she was recently admitted to the Infrastructure and Environmental Systems program of UNC Charlotte to be my PhD student. The last phone call we had was in early April, ten days before she passed away, to discuss several ways to further improve her forecasts, her future study plan, and my substituting her presentation at the IEEE T&D conference. I couldn't tell how serious her health condition was, because she was as positive and enthusiastic as usual. Everything seemed to be fine...

I wish I had a minute to present Crystal's work at the conference last week. If I could have summarized it in one sentence, it would be
A girl set up the automatic load forecasting system from scratch single-handedly in a few months, while she was fighting with death. 
In memory of sweet Crystal, my friend, student and colleague.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note that you may link to your LinkedIn profile if you choose Name/URL option.