SEL Founder Inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame

Source: T&D World, January 11

Edmund O. Schweitzer, III, president and chief technology officer of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, is to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in recognition of his invention of the digital protective relay. Schweitzer was included in the list of 19 inventors to receive this honor that was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

“Schweitzer brought the first microprocessor-based digital protective relay to market, revolutionizing the performance of electric power systems with computer-based protection and control equipment and making a major impact in the electric power utility industry,” stated the NIHF in its press release. “Schweitzer’s more precise, more reliable digital relay was one-eighth the size, one-tenth the weight and one-third the price of previous mechanical relays.”

Schweitzer invented the digital relay while a doctoral student at Washington State University in the late 1970s. He founded SEL in 1982 and began manufacturing and sellingthe new product out of the basement of his Pullman, Washington, home. Over the years, Schweitzer has continued to invent a steady stream of technologies and products. He will be awarded his 200th patent on January 15, 2019.

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