Thursday, November 30, 2017

Werner honored for lifetime achievement

As a child, Val Werner was always tinkering with things. He loved building models and later graduated to electronics kits from Radio Shack.

“I liked seeing how things worked,” said the We Energies employee. “I collected old TVs and would break them down to see how they were built.”

It’s no surprise he became an electrical engineer, but it is surprising to learn that wasn’t his first educational pursuit.

“I have a degree in art history,” Werner explained. “I earned it during my time in the Air Force.”

During his military career, Werner spent time in Europe and had the opportunity to pursue his passion for art. He traveled to world-famous museums and participated in condensed educational programs. Not only did he earn his degree, but he also was named “Outstanding Airman of the Year” by U.S. Armed Forces Europe while serving overseas.

Now, Werner has achieved another national award, this time for his engineering expertise. Werner received an Outstanding Personal Achievement Award at PA Consulting’s ReliabilityOne™ Awards on Nov. 29. Kevin Fletcher, president of We Energies, presented him with the honor.

“Val is a true leader in electric reliability and outage data reporting,” said Fletcher. “He has made outstanding contributions to We Energies and the industry. We congratulate him on this significant award.”

Werner began working at We Energies in 1990, the same year he received his degree in electrical engineering from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is a founding member of the company’s reliability engineering team. He has held key roles in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and co-authored numerous research reports. Annually, his We Energies Electric Distribution Reliability report keeps close track of the company’s outage statistics. 

“I like focusing on reliability. There are new challenges every year – it never gets stagnant,” said Werner. “And there’s always new technology being developed which can help us resolve outages more quickly for our customers. Everyone I have worked with over the years has been passionate and professional.” 

Werner calls his career rewarding, but award-winning? “I was surprised. It’s very humbling,” he said. “I certainly didn’t expect it.”

Werner with achievement award.

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