Official ASME Group

Columbia Basin Section

Welcome to the Columbia Basin Section of ASME. The Columbia Basin Section covers 6 counties in Washington State (Kittitas, Yakima, Klickitat, Benton, Franklin, and Walla Walla). Check back for...
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News & Updates

  • Toward a Resilient Electric Power Grid

    Join the Columbia Basin Section on Wednesday, April 14th at 7pm for a presentation by Jeff Dagle on electric power grid resilience.

    Jeff Dagle has worked at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland Washington, operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), since 1989.  During that time has had led numerous projects in the areas of transmission reliability and security.  Recent project highlights include leading  the North American SynchroPhasor Initiative (NASPI) and serving on the leadership team of the DOE Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium, leading the multi-laboratory system operations and control technical area.  He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Washington State University in 1989 and 1994, respectively, and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Washington.  

    The interconnected North American power system that underpins our modern society has been recognized as the top engineering achievement of the 20th century.  Access to affordable and reliable electricity enables many of the things that we take for granted today and has enabled unparalleled economic growth and significantly enhanced our quality of life.  And while this vast power system remains affordable and reliable now and into the foreseeable future, there nevertheless remains potential hazards that threaten the resilience of this critical infrastructure.  This presentation will introduce the engineering basics of the power grid, discuss prior blackouts and lessons learned gleaned by engineers, delve into resilience concepts, and summarize steps being undertaken to understand and enhance power system resilience in the future.

    Topic: Toward a Resilient Electric Power Grid

    Time: Apr 14, 2021 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 860 9392 6883

    Passcode: 006019

    If you would like to call in by phone or have questions, please email Kelly Mears at

  • LIGO — A Feat of Modern Engineering

    Join the Columbia Basin Section on Thursday, March 25th at 7pm for a presentation by Dr. Jeff Kissel of the LIGO Hanford Observatory. 

    Jeff Kissel [he/him/his] is the Controls Engineer for the LIGO Hanford Observatory. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Astronomy and Astrophysics in 2005, went on earn his doctorate in Physics from Louisiana State University in 2010, with a thesis focusing on Calibration and Seismic Isolation Control Systems for the “initial" and “enhanced” generations of LIGO detectors, respectively. After a three year stint at MIT as a post-doctoral researcher leading the design, testing, and commissioning of the Suspension Control Systems during construction of the “advanced” generation of LIGO, he arrived in Eastern Washington as a staff scientist in 2013. His control system specialties have since ballooned to touch all aspects of the myriad of control systems LIGO needs to achieve its ground-breaking sensitivity.

    The title of Dr. Kissel's presentation is "LIGO — A Feat of Modern Engineering!"  The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, comprised of two detectors in the United States continues to provide a new and ground breaking insight in to the invisible universe through its 5 years of detecting of gravitational waves. Detecting these disturbances in space-time — and determining the properties of astrophysical sources that produced them — would not be possible with out a tremendous amount of precision engineering. In this talk, Dr. Kissel will discuss an overview of the LIGO detectors, how they work, and cover some of the highlights in vacuum, optical, electrical, controls, systems, and mechanical engineering that help LIGO ``hear’’ explosions in the universe from billions of light-years away.

    Topic: LIGO — A Feat of Modern Engineering
    Time: Mar 25, 2021 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 863 8470 8524
    Passcode: 544211

    If you have any questions or would like to join by phone, please email Kelly Mears at