Ph.D., E.Eng. ESCI Director of Testing and Research
Mr. Gela is an internationally recognized electric utility expert with a doctoral degree in electrical engineering and extensive background in research, testing, and teaching. Mr. Gela has authored and co-authored 20+ technical peer-reviewed papers, 100+ major research reports, and 30+ technical conference papers, as well as delivered 80+ technical seminars and presentations worldwide. He has participated in 80+ technical panel discussions, and provides the electric power utility industry with specialized services, including:
- Design, performance analysis, testing, and live maintenance of HVAC and HVDC overhead lines, underground cables, and equipment
- Consulting and support in HVAC, HVDC, lightning and switching impulse, and high-current testing of equipment
- Development of procedures for safe live work and de-energized work (voltage and current induction issues); and seminars and training sessions for new and seasoned professionals
- Live Line Maintenance
- Control Room & Switchyard Switching Procedures
- Transmission Line Transients, Design, Modeling, Performance, Maintenance & Inspection
- Arc flash Issues
- Underground Distribution Cable Failure Analysis & Manhole Events/Explosions
- Substation Grounding
- Regulatory Compliance and Electric Industry Policy, Procedures & Standards (IEEE, ANSI, ASTM, NEMA, NESC, NEC, OSHA, IEC, CENELC, BSI, VDE)
- Deterioration Assessment
Mr. Gela is currently an adjunct professor at Western New England University in Springfield, MA, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in AC Power Systems, Power Electronics, and Renewable Energy.
From 2006 to 2014 Mr. Gela held the position as Technical Executive and Senior Project Manager at ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE (EPRI), in Lenox, MA. At EPRI he managed a wide range of projects involving the R&D into generating, delivering and using electricity for public benefit. Mr. Gela collaborated with other scientists and engineers, as well as experts from academia and industry, to address challenges in electricity, such as reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety, and the environment. He provided training and consulting to EPRI member utilities (representing more than 90% of the electricity generated and delivered in the US), and international participants from 20 plus countries. He also prepared EPRI research reports and developed EPRI reference books.
Mr. Gela assisted First Energy in minimizing the cost of replacing bundle spacers on a 500 kV line by establishing a live-line procedure using helicopter-based work methods, which reduced the work duration from 6 months to 22 days and lowered cost to the utility by 10%. He enhanced worker safety, improved system reliability/availability, reduced line maintenance costs, and prevented revenue loss for Public Service Electric & Gas, Western Area Power Administration, and other utilities by developing and proof-testing devices such as the Portable Protective Air Gap (US Patent 6,957,111 B20 with PSE&G), which allowed lines up to 500 kV to remain fully operational during live-line work while protecting workers from excessive transient over voltages.
Education and Licensure
- Industrial Research Fellowship and Industrial Postdoctoral Fellowship, Trench Electric Company (The Trench Group), Toronto, Canada
- Ph.D., M.A.Sc., and B.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
- Registered Professional Engineer, Ontario, Canada
- Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) License Number 15767015
- International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee 78 "Live Working," International Chairman
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Member, Senior Member, Chair of Working Groups, Local Chapters of the PES, and various other posts (named Outstanding Engineer for 2000 by the IEEE/PES Berkshire Chapter and IEEE Region 1; received the IEEE/PES Working Group Recognition Award for Best Technical Report)
- International Conference on Large High-Voltage Electric Systems (CIGRÉ), Individual Member