TVA Honors 2016 Engineer of the Year at February Board Meeting

February 11, 2016

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Robert M. Frye, a principal engineer for the power transmission system, was honored as the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Ike Zeringue Engineer of the Year during the TVA board of directors meeting Thursday in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Frye, a 29-year TVA veteran, leads an electrical engineering team dedicated to ensuring TVA’s critical transmission system remains highly reliable, routing power across the TVA system and to local power companies without interruption.

“TVA is proud to name Robert Frye the 2016 Ike Zeringue Engineer of the Year,” said TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson. “Each year, we have the pleasure of recognizing an individual who exemplifies excellence in the engineering field and a steadfast commitment to TVA’s mission of service. Robert has earned the trust and respect of his colleagues, and he is well-deserving of this achievement.”

Frye’s innovative engineering work has helped TVA spend fewer ratepayer dollars while improving functionality and reliability of critical system components. Among his designs is a unique digital relay replacement used to protect high-voltage transmission lines. Frye’s modern design saved about 80 percent in total costs compared to a typical replacement for this type relay.

“Robert brings exceptional talent and dedication to his role on the Substation Engineering team,” explained Jacinda Woodward, TVA senior vice president, Transmission and Power Supply. “Not only is Robert a highly capable engineer who supports TVA’s mission of service and reliability every day – he’s a trusted leader and mentor for our department.”

“Robert is part of the dedicated TVA workforce across the Tennessee Valley that has helped TVA provide 99.999 percent reliability to our customers every year since 2000,” Johnson added.

The award is TVA’s highest honor for an engineer and named for O.J. “Ike” Zeringue, a former TVA president and chief operating officer, and chief nuclear officer.

Frye is also one of 10 finalists for the Federal Engineer of the Year Award, which will be presented Feb. 26 in Washington, D.C.

A 1985 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Frye holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering. He is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Robert lives in Chattanooga with his wife, April.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving more than 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.


Gail Rymer
TVA Public Relations, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000
(865) 632-2911
Knoxville, TN