CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Thursday that Dr. Noelle Currey, a TVA project engineer with eight years of service, earned the utility’s highest engineering honor — the Ike Zeringue Engineer of the Year.
Currey received the award for a programming solution that checks electrical drawings with 100 percent accuracy to eliminate errors and rework. In under a minute, the program can evaluate thousands of wires contained in switch house panels — previously reviewed one at a time. The estimated cost savings for TVA is several million dollars. Her work helps TVA deliver 99.999 percent power reliability as it has for the last 20 consecutive years.
“TVA is built on the work of dedicated employees, and each year, we have the distinct pleasure of recognizing an individual who exemplifies excellence in the engineering field and commitment to TVA’s mission of service,” said TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash. “Noelle’s innovation is helping TVA to continue to generate low-cost, reliable, clean energy — a key factor when companies choose to relocate or expand in our region.”
Each day, Currey makes sure TVA’s transmission power supply projects are completed on-time and on-budget in order to keep TVA power rates some of the lowest in the nation.
“Noelle has distinguished herself as a leader who tirelessly helps keep electricity flowing to our homes and businesses,” said Bob Dalrymple, TVA senior vice president, Transmission & Power Supply. “More importantly, her automated solution ensures the continued safety and high performance of TVA’s grid through lower production cost and error reduction.”
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.
Currey is also one of the finalists for the Federal Engineer of the Year Award, which will be presented Feb. 14 in Washington, D.C.
Currey is a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Currey earned her Masters and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving nearly 10 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.