Thomas J Overbye

Thomas J Overbye
Thomas J Overbye

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  • Ph.D. Electrical Engineering University of Wisconsin 1991


Thomas J. Overbye is the Fox Family Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983, 1988 and 1991 respectively. Prior to joining UIUC he was employed with Madison Gas and Electric Company from 1983 to 1991. He has served on the U.S. DOE Power Outage Study Team in 1999, helped with their National Transmission Grid study in 2002, and served on the August 14th 2003 Blackout Investigation team. Dr. Overbye is the original developer of PowerWorld Simulator, an innovative software package for power system analysis and visualization, and a co-founder of PowerWorld Corporation. He is also the recipient of the Alexander Schwarzkopf Prize for Technological Innovation, a University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering Distinguished Achievement Award, and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

Teaching Statement

I continue to pursue excellence in teaching. Given our high course enrollments, my current teaching focus is ECE 333, ECE 476, ECE 530 and ECE 576.

Research Statement

My general area of research is power system operations, visualization and cyber security. I have specified projections looking at 1) visualization of power system information, 2) increasing the penetration of renewable energy sources such as wind and PV, 3) application of phasor measurement unit information for enhanced power system operation, 4) cyber security aspects of the power grid operation (associated with TCIP), 5) power distribution system modeling, 6) modeling of power system impacts of geomagentic disturbances.

Research Interests

  • Smart Grid Cyber Security
  • Renewable Electric Energy Systems
  • Power System Visualization
  • Power System Analysis by Computer Methods
  • Power System Stability
  • Power Systems Operation and Control

Research Areas

  • Dynamics and stability of power systems
  • Operation and control of power systems
  • Power and Energy Systems
  • Power system computational techniques

Teaching Honors

  • BP Amoco Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education, 2000.
  • Andersen Consulting Award For Excellence in Advising, College of Engineering, UIUC, 1993, 1994
  • UIUC, "Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students," Fall 1991, Spring 1992, Spring 1995, Fall 1999, Spring 2000, Spring 2001, Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Fall 2013, Spring 2014

Research Honors

  • Distinguished Achievement Award, University Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering, 2005.
  • Alexander Schwarzkopf Prize for Technological Innovation, NSF I/UCRC Association, 2005.
  • Prize Paper Award, IEEE Power Engineering Power Society, System Analysis, Computing and Economics Committee, 2004.
  • Grainger Associate, University of Illinois Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2002-2015.
  • IEEE Region 4 Power Engineering Society Outstanding Engineer Award, 2001.
  • IEEE Power Engineering Society Chapter Outstanding Engineer Award, 2001.
  • National Academy of Engineering, Invited Speaker to Frontiers in Engineering Symposium, 1999.
  • Prize Paper Award, IEEE Power Engineering Society, 1999.
  • Best Paper Award, Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 1997.
  • Walter Fee Outstanding Young Engineer Award, IEEE Power Engineering Society, 1993.

Public Service Honors

  • Main developer of the PowerWorld Simulator computer package, and principal founder of PowerWorld Corporation. PowerWorld Corporation, which is currently located in the UIUC Research Park, has eleven full-time employees including four UIUC PhDs, 1994-Present.
  • Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer, 2001-2003.
  • IEEE Third Millennium Medal, 2000.