ECE Hall of Fame: John P. Stovall

Posted: December 19, 2020

Alumnus John P. Stovall earned his MSEE in 1975 from The Ohio State University, with a focus on Electric Power Systems Engineering. He earned his BSEE in 1974 from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He served at the Public Service Company of Indiana from 1975 to 1978, joined the Oak Ridge National Laboratory on its Senior Research Staff from 1978 to 2012. Stovall joked that his current role is that of cruise ship passenger (part-time) after retiring in 2013.

Stovall told us he had the good fortune of spending his entire career working on research, development, and demonstration projects pertaining to power systems engineering.  

"This allowed me to build a personal knowledge base of electric transmission and distribution delivery systems over the years. Our most successful projects involved working with a company, typically an equipment manufacturer, who wanted a new or improved component or system for their product line," Stovall said. "We would work together on a design, build a prototype, build a unique test lab, test and perfect the prototype, and then select a suitable location for a complete system field test. For one project, we built a very unique outdoor testing facility for overhead transmission line conductors comprised of two 600-foot spans for 2,400-feet of conductor with a 5,000-amp power supply (15,000 lbs)."

For his service to the industry, Stovall's recognition came by reporting the project progress and results in meetings, conferences and papers. He said one of the most enjoyable projects he worked on is, “Installation and Operation of the Southwire 30-meter High-Temperature Superconducting Power Cable,“ IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 2467–2472, March 2001.