TU, PSO announce AEP Foundation gift in support of Power Lab - Engineering & Natural Sciences

TU, PSO announce AEP Foundation gift in support of Power Lab

Students join TU President Brad R. Carson, Professor Kaveh Ashenayi and PSO Vice President for Distribution Jennifer Ellis in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Power Lab.

The University of Tulsa and Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) are pleased to announce the receipt of a generous AEP Foundation grant to fund new software and upgrades to an Electrical & Computer Engineering Department lab at TU’s J. Newton Rayzor Hall.

Tulsa-based PSO is the local operating company of AEP. AEP Foundation is the charitable arm of AEP.

“PSO has been a key partner for the university and the engineering college for many years,” said James R. Sorem, dean of the TU College of Engineering & Natural Sciences (ENS). “This latest gift from the foundation allows our students to run real-world simulations in a safe environment and fully prepare to serve in important roles within the power and utility industry.”

The support provides critical seed money for Matlab, the state-of-the-art simulation software that can be utilized in multiple disciplines across campus, in addition to ETAP, a specialized software for electrical power system analysis and operation.

“Until now, TU has only had access to the student version of Matlab, which has limited capability. The AEP Foundation gift covered half of the cost of the site license, and the college covered the remainder. This investment allows our students to gain access to the complete set of tools for free,” said Professor Kaveh Ashenayi, chair of the ECE Department. “Our students are learning how to use ETAP to conduct ‘arc flash’ studies, which in the real world could cause serious injury, as well as load-flow analysis.”

A portion of the gift also was used to upgrade the physical space and make the lab more user friendly. Large-screen monitors were added so students can easily visualize the details when they run Matlab, ETAP or physical security information management software.

Rayzor Hall, a 37,600-square-foot facility, houses 24 integrated classrooms and laboratories for the ECE Department and Tandy School of Computer Science.

“PSO is honored to work with the AEP Foundation and TU to prepare the next generation of electrical engineers,” said PSO President and Chief Operating Officer Peggy Simmons. “This is an investment in the future of safe, reliable, affordable, electrical service, which is exactly what our customers will expect from us.”