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TVA Honors 2017 Engineer of the Year at February Board Meeting

Feb 16, 2017

GATLINBURG, Tenn. – Theo L. Laughner, a veteran power quality engineer, was honored as the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Ike Zeringue Engineer of the Year during the TVA board of directors meeting Thursday in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  

Laughner, a 20-year TVA employee, leads a team dedicated to improving the quality of electricity that is routed across the utility’s system to local power companies and businesses.

“TVA is proud to name Theo Laughner the 2017 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. Theo has earned the trust and respect of his colleagues, and he is well-deserving of this achievement.”

Laughner’s innovative engineering work – deploying a network of over 1,800 sensors and an automated fault location system – allows TVA to monitor power delivery better and respond to problems before service interruptions occur. Preventing power interruptions is critical to sensitive advanced manufacturing equipment that depends on a stable flow of TVA energy.

“Theo has distinguished himself as a leader and subject-matter expert in his field,” said Mike Skaggs, TVA executive vice president for Operations. “He has committed his professional endeavors to helping ensure the quality of our power delivery to customers across the Tennessee Valley.”

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.

Laughner is also one of 10 finalists for the Federal Engineer of the Year Award, which will be presented Feb. 17 in Washington, D.C.

A 2000 graduate of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga with a degree in engineering, electrical concentration, Laughner, is a senior program manager for TVA’s Power Quality group and registered professional engineer in Tennessee.

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.


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