Purdue University Graduate School
Lucas Maximiano de Santos Cunha thesis (FINAL).pdf (5.11 MB)

System Design for Power Distribution Dispatch Centers

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posted on 2024-04-26, 19:22 authored by Lucas Maximiano dos Santos CunhaLucas Maximiano dos Santos Cunha

There are 150 fatal occupational injuries on average per year due to exposure to electricity in the United States (U.S.) [1]. Power utility workers are exposed to electrical hazards when restoring power service to utility customers, who experience an average of 2 hours of power outages per year in the U.S. [2]. Utility companies struggle to keep qualified workers from quitting during the highest ever-recorded voluntary turnover in the U.S. with 55 million people quitting their jobs in 2022, raising the risk of safety incidents [3].

This research studies the department responsible for the operations in the power distribution system, Distribution Dispatch Center (DDC), based on a case study of a power company called Ohm-Sweet-Ohm (OSO) Inc. This thesis proposes a 12-step methodology and approach to assess the efficiency of OSO DDC by using a variation of the Collective System Design methodology for the design of enterprises [4].

The methodology consists of developing a system design decomposition that defines the functions and improvements to existing solutions of OSO DDC. The decomposition addresses the inconsistencies of the functions identified without a solution in the current state of OSO DDC.

The proposed methodology's impact is safety improvements in power distribution operations and the potential cost benefit for OSO Inc. of almost four million dollars a year. The measurements to evaluate the success of the proposed solutions are the number of safety incidents per year, the time taken to restore utility customers after power outages, and the voluntary turnover rate in the OSO DDC.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Engineering


  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

  • Fort Wayne

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. David Cochran

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Bin Chen

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Lisa Meneau

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