ECE Hall of Fame: Michael A. Franchek

Posted: December 15, 2020

Distinguished alumnus Michael A. Franchek earned both his BSEE in 1977 and MSEE in 1978 from The Ohio State University. He specialized in Power Electrical Engineering and Computer Architecture and Power Systems Engineering.

He served at Weidman Electrical Technology, Inc. (WETI) as Vice President Technology and Innovation from 2006 to 2017. From 1997 to 2006, he was Vice President and General Manager at Weidmann-ACTI, Inc. & Weidman Technical Services, Inc. Global. From 1997 to 1994 he was Vice President of Technical Marketing. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, he served as Vice President of Technical Services at EHV-Weidmann Industries Inc. in St. Johnsbury, VT. From 1979 until 1984, he was the Senior Design Engineer for High Voltage Insulation Systems at Westinghouse Electric Corporation - Large Power Transformers, in Muncie, IN.

Franchek's distinguished career is highlighted for his role as senior executive with 40+ years of experience in the power industry with concentration on transformers and dielectric insulation systems. He is recognized globally for EHV and UHV transformer insulation system development, evaluation and failure analysis for dozens of manufacturers world-wide.

At Westinghouse, he developed new insulation design techniques that produced designs based on dielectric stresses within the insulation system. This allowed for the reduction of insulation structure by over 25 percent, reducing transformer costs by $4.5 million per year. He received the Westinghouse Corporate Award.

He developed and deployed “Re-Engineering with Nomexâ” for DuPont that increased the MVA capacity of equipment with the use of high temperature hybrid insulation system. This is todays standard for mobile, traction and recovery transformers.

He created and grew the Weidmann end-user transformer products from start up to $5.5M in 8 years. Introduced a formal innovation process at Weidmann with an Executive Growth Board and stage gate process.

Franchek is a Senior Life Member of the IEEE with extensive work in developing global industry standards including: PES Transformer Committee, Chair High Temperature Insulation Working Group 1990-2017, Secretary Dielectric Test Sub-Committee 1995-2003, and Chair Dielectric Test Sub-Committee 2012-2017. Franchek is also the author of several technical articles in industry publications.