College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ECpE’s Ian Dobson quoted by National Geographic

It’s scary enough to envision the nation’s electrical grid collapsing under an enemy attack or because of a powerful solar radiation onslaught. But it’s even more disturbing, perhaps, to think that we might someday suffer a massive nationwide blackout because the grid simply breaks down on its own. “What happens is, a failure occurs somewhere …Continue reading “ECpE’s Ian Dobson quoted by National Geographic”

Quantifying Cascading Failure

Around 2 p.m. on August 14, 2003, an overhead transmission line carrying 345 kilovolts of electricity near Walton Hills, Ohio sagged too close to a nearby tree and shorted out. By 4 p.m., more than 50 million people were affected by one of the largest blackouts in history. In September 2011, an Arizona Public Works …Continue reading “Quantifying Cascading Failure”