Awards Program

The IEEE PPFIC honors three technical papers for the conference and up to two individuals who have demonstrated years of dedication to the Pulp and Paper electrical community.

2018 Technical Paper Award Winners

First Place Conference Technical Paper

Advances in PM Motors and Their Application in the Pulp, Paper, and Forest Products
Authors: Robert McElveen, Jr.

Nicholas Frank

William Martin

Second Place Conference Technical Paper

The Secret of that Old Black Magic
Authors: Roland Roberge

Chris Heron

Best Mill Conference Technical Paper

How to Write a Mill Paper
 Authors: Greg Drewiske

Steve Pittman

Mark Zawadzki

Rich Butler


 2018 Meritorious Award Winners

Congratulations from the Executive Committee on this well deserved award. This member has worked for the benefit of the committee and the industry in furthering our common goals of professional development.   The PPFIC committee is pleased to announce award winners:

Meritorious Engineering Award

Richard C. Schaefer  – Basler Electric

Rich Schaefer was born May 17, 1952 in Belleville, IL. He attended Althoff Catholic High School graduating in 1970. After high school he started at Belleville Area College, graduating in 1972 with an Associate Electronics Technology Degree.

Rich started his career at Basler Electric in 1972 as lab technician testing transformers of various KVA’s then moved into the systems development lab, testing excitations systems and other products. Soon afterward, his work grew to include field service, troubleshooting excitation systems and commissioning new installations throughout the country. He has commissioned power plants from the typical 20 MVA units used in the Paper Industry to large Utility Power Plants up to 1000 MVA. Later, Rich became a Product Specialist, responsible for developing product specifications for both Analog and Digital Designs. In his next position, Field Application Specialist, he travelled both in the U.S. and internationally, visiting power plants and making recommendations for replacing old rotating exciters and old voltage regulator systems to new excitation equipment. If the system application was unique and never accomplished before, Rich often went to the field, testing and validating the product application and new features in operating software that were used for commissioning the digital systems. His current responsibility is Application Specialist for Excitation Systems, providing Application consulting to power plants to retrofit obsolete excitation systems to new.

Rich has been a member of IEEE for 28 years, the PPFIC for 25 years and a Senior Member of IEEE/IAS for 17. Rich co-authored his first paper with Ken Riddle in 1987 at his first Pulp and Paper Conference. Since then he has co-authored over 50 technical papers of related topics which have been published in various trade magazines including IEEE Transactions, SAE, PES and Industry Applications. A partial list of Technical Papers includes: “Understanding Power System Stability”, “Voltage Regulator Auto Tuning Speeds Commissioning of the Generator Excitation System”,  “Generator Excitation Influence on Engine during Block Load Pickup”, “The Effect of Reactive Compensators and Coordination with Volts/Hertz Limiting”, “Easing NERC Testing with New Digital Excitation Systems”, “Voltage Regulator with Dual PID Controllers Enhances Power System Stability”, “Plant Efficiencies Benefit by Selection of Synchronous Motor”. When digital excitation systems first became available, they were very difficult to tune for performance, especially those units associated with rotating exciters that had two machine time constants. The strategy for deriving the PID gains for voltage regulator performance was tedious, time consuming, and it was very cumbersome to achieve optimum generator voltage response during commissioning. By field testing multiple digital excitation systems, Rich determined the optimum PID gain strategy that would work for any static exciter or voltage regulator system. Using the new strategy reduced the commissioning time of digital voltage controllers from many days to just a couple. The solution was called “Pole Zero Cancellation”. Dr. Kiyong Kim and Rich co-authored a paper of the concept “Tuning a PID Controller for a Digital Excitation Control System” at the Pulp and Paper Conference in 2004. Rich has made significant contributions to the advancement of the understanding of the control of generation excitation systems and the development of new methods in applying, commissioning and tuning them for optimum performance. As Working Chairman of IEEE for 10 years Rich was responsible for three (3) different task forces for updating various IEEE specifications when they came due. These documents included IEEE 421.1 for Definitions, IEEE 421.3 High Potential Testing of Excitation Systems and IEEE 421.4 Guide for the Preparation of Excitation System Specifications. As they expired Rich would lead the group, coordinate the responses from the various committee members and update drafts with committee comments. He also received a Service Award of completion from IEEE for IEEE 421.4.

Rich and his wife Jean have been married for 40 years. They have three children, Lauren, Danny, Michael and 5 grandchildren. Rich has been an annual volunteer on a Habitat of Humanity home construction project with Catholic Holy Family Society organization for more than 20 years. He’s also often served as an adult volunteer with his parish’s high school youth mission trips. These week-long trips, part of the Catholic Heart Workcamp, are to areas where people and/or homes need some assistance. Rich worked with the youth to repair, paint, clean residences and yards. He and his wife designed and built their own passive solar home in 1983 and wrote a book about its design.

 Click here for 2018 Engineering Award Biography

Meritorious Service Award

Pete F Famighetti – Retired

Pete F. Famighetti was born August 14,1952 in Brooklyn, NY.  He attended Waldwick High School, Waldwick, NJ graduating in June 1970. He then attended Bergen Community College part time while working full-time. In 1974 he entered South Dakota State University as a full-time student graduating in December 1977 with a BS in Electrical Engineering.

Pete began his career in 1970 with Western Electric, NJ, as a telephone mainframe system installer. In 1978 he joined General Electric Company, Schenectady, NY as an I & SE Field Service Engineer.  Over his tenure with GE, Pete worked in Erie, PA, Chicago IL, and Appleton, WI.  In 1986 he joined Allen-Bradley/Rockwell as Forest Products Service Manager & Director for Drive Systems Service. In 1992 he moved to ABB to become Vice President, Drive Support, Pulp & Paper Drive Systems. In 1999 he left ABB and was named President Drive Systems and a partner in Q Comp Technologies. In 2006 Pete returned to ABB as Service Sales Manager, MV Drives, for the USA marketplace in Phoenix. In 2014 Pete moved to a new role as Sales Engineer Excitation & LCI Systems and remained there until his retirement in October, 2017. Pete has worked in the Pulp and Paper Industry on Drive systems since Oct 1980.  He has performed start-ups on dozens of drive systems including the first Bel-Bond drive and the first Tandem Off-Machine Coater start up in the USA and successfully managed the commissioning and start-up of the first Allen-Bradley/Stromberg paper machine AC drive systems in the USA.

Pete has been a member of IEEE for 34 years. He became a member of the IEEE Pulp & Paper Industry Committee in 1986 and has attended numerous technical conferences since joining. He was a member of the DCS subcommittee for 28 years and has been a member of the PDS subcommittee since 2015 sponsoring numerous papers over that time. He was also an active member of TAPPI from 1986 to 1998. In 2006 Pete volunteered to be the webmaster for the then PPIC conference, one of the essential roles in the committee. Starting in December of the year before the conference, the webmaster works closely with the local committee to present information for the event and to be certain the registration for the conference runs smoothly. A significant amount of time is committed to that effort. Initially Pete completed on-line training for website design and maintenance to enhance his skills. He has worked with the web hosting and registration software companies to improve their performance and reduce costs. During the last 13 conferences Pete has been the ‘go to’ person for solving its problems and correcting registration issues and single handedly managed, maintained and continued to improve its function and look. His efforts have reduced per conference cost by over $8000.

Pete Famighetti has a long history of community contributions.  He was on the board and treasurer of Evangel Assembly Church for 5 years, on the Board of Directors of Faith Based Church outreach center for 10 years including 3 as President all in Milwaukee, WI.  He was also on the Board of Directors for the 403B Faith Based Organization in Orlando, FL for 10 years, where he organized mission teams to Central America and provided services to assist families of children with special needs.

Pete has been married to his wife, Joyce, for 44 years and they have three daughters and eight grandchildren.  He obtained his private pilot license in 1970 and has a 500-acre farm operation in South Dakota, growing corn and soybeans. Pete and his wife split their time between Arizona and South Dakota.

Click here for 2018 Service Award Biography