George Pedersen: The Advanced Battery Management Specialist

Pedersen brings years of hands-on experience in the battery/power solutions industry that he translates into all his teachings whether it’s in the classroom or on-site.

November 2017

 

George Pedersen has been immersed in the battery industry for over 40 years, with hands on experience in battery maintenance and testing in four out of seven continents. Before retiring, George was engaged in design, installation, commissioning and operation of communication and secure power systems. Since then, he has dedicated himself to educating various industries on NERC PRC-005-2 and IEEE compliance, battery management and monitoring and analysis through courses at Eagle Eye University.

 

Team members at Eagle Eye had the opportunity to sit down and interview with Pedersen on why he chose to educate others on what he’s learned throughout his career and what he hopes his students take away from his teachings.

Interviewer: When did you decide to become an instructor, and why did you choose this field?

In the years before I retired I did a lot of user training on battery monitoring systems. During that time, I realized many of the people that were tasked with maintaining the batteries did not have the necessary battery expertise required to understand the value of the information the battery monitoring system was providing. So, when I retired I decided to keep myself busy by offering my services as an instructor covering batteries and the associated standby power systems. 

 Interviewer: How does your current teaching career and past job experience translate into the classroom?

I start all my classes by giving a brief overview of my long career. So that the class understands that there isn’t any aspect of what I will be teaching that I haven’t done myself. I also explain that I will use all the mistakes I have made over the years, and there are many, to try and ensure they don’t make the same ones.

 Interviewer: How did you get into the power solutions Industry?

At one point I worked with some colleagues in Saudi Arabia installing the Telex system for a US manufacturer. As part of the project we had to install three large DC power systems and in doing so we got to know the principal of the company that supplied them very well. So when the contract finished he convinced us one by one to come to the USA and work for him designing and building standby power systems.

 Interviewer: What is your favorite aspect of teaching? 

There is a point in every class when they stop just listening and start asking questions. It is at that point I know they have learned and understand enough not to feel stupid asking a question, so I know I am achieving my objective, and that gives me great satisfaction.

 Interviewer: In a short summary, what types of courses do you teach?

There are a couple of classes that provide a general introduction into Battery Management and DC Power Systems. The remainder cover specific aspect of battery management such as Battery Data Analysis and Discharge Testing.

 

 

Interviewer: What’s your teaching philosophy?

A lot of the attendees at the classes are not book learners. So, I try to bring context into all the classes by using real battery data and my own practical experiences to demonstrate the theory working in practice.

Interviewer: What one thing do you want your students to take away from your teaching?

An interest in learning more about Batteries and the associated Standby Power Systems. We live in a world that is totally dependent on batteries to sustain our infrastructure, but we have lost at least one generation of expertise due to changes in business practices.

Interviewer: What advantage do your students have over others who don’t attend your courses?

They know a lot more about the practical aspects of battery management than most people do. As a result, they are in a position to manage any failures when they occur as they most certainly will.

Interviewer: What are your hopes for your students’ futures?

I would like to think that the companies they work for recognize the resource they now have, to ensure battery reliability and reward them adequately.

Interviewer: What do you think is the greatest challenge facing students today?

Getting the additional training that will allow them to become even more knowledgeable in Battery Management. Too many companies rely only on outside expertise to analyze the status of their batteries and then often ignore the advice because they don’t understand what they are being told.

In house expertise is required to understand the implications of a failure on the company’s business something no external contractor can do.

Interviewer: What do you like most about training as a career?

I didn’t intend this to be a new career, it was just going to be something to keep me involved in an industry that has been very good to me. One of the things I do enjoy is when the students bring their own power problems to class and I get to help them analyze what the problem is, and come up with the necessary corrective action.

Interviewer: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I really don’t have a lot of spare time but if I did, travel would be at the top of the list. I have been very lucky and seen more of the world including the USA than most people, but there are still many places I would like to visit. I still have three states in the USA that I haven’t been to yet, South Dakota, Idaho and Montana and I would be very happy to do on-site training in any of these states.

 

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