Powerline 2020

Conference Sponsors

Powerline 2020

Wood utility poles have served for more than a century as the backbone to the North American electrical distribution system. While new technologies for overhead systems have emerged, the proven performance of wood utility poles has secured their position as the preferred choice for utilities.

The POWERLINE 2020 conference will review new developments and recognized best practices for wood pole overhead systems. The two-day conference feature insights on wood pole quality and design, service life and the environment, maintenance and remediation, system resiliency and high voltage assemblies.

Conference overview

The conference will be held June 2-3 on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss. It is sponsored by the North American Wood Pole Council and the Mississippi State Department of Sustainable Bioproducts.

RegisterThe program will include classroom presentations and a field visit to the Mississippi State High Voltage Laboratory, the largest university operated high voltage lab in North America. Laboratory demonstrations will include what happens when objects come in contact with lines.

Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided each day and there will be a reception for attendees.

Who should attend

Attending POWERLINE 2020 will be beneficial for utility personnel at all levels who are involved with design, purchasing, installation, management and maintenance of the electrical distribution and transmission systems. This includes:

  • Design engineers
  • Systems executives
  • Pole purchasing managers
  • Operations and engineering managers
  • Line staking engineers
  • Utility contractors
  • Asset/Investment recovery specialists

Each registered attendee will receive a certificate of completion for 12 hours of instruction, which can be used to qualify for Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits. All attendees will receive digital versions of the presentations and NAWPC technical guides and a copy of ANSI O5.1-2017 Wood Poles, Specifications and Dimensions.

Program schedule

Conference headquarters will be at the Franklin Center on the Mississippi State campus

Monday, June 1

Afternoon Arrival in Starkville

Tuesday, June 2

7 a.m. Continental breakfast
8 a.m.


National Wood Pole Standards
Nelson Bingel, chair, NESC and ASC O5

Today's Wood Crossarms
Brooks Auld, Brooks Manufacturing

Wood Pole Service Life and the Environment
Butch Bernhardt, North American Wood Pole Council

Performance of Pole Remediation Treatments
Gerald Presley, Oregon State University

Noon Lunch
1 p.m.

Technology in Wood Pole Processing
Brad Brewer, Pole Mill Optimizer

Sustainable Structure Design
Martin Rollins, H.M. Rollins Compay, Inc.

Storm Preparedness for Utilities
David Barnard, BGE Engineering

Wood Pole Plant Inspection

Analytics of Overhead Restoration

5 p.m. Conference Reception

Wednesday, June 3

7 a.m. Continental breakfast
8 a.m.

NRECA and Wood Quality Control

Panel: Today's Wood Pole Preservatives
(Invited) CCA - Tim Carey, Lonza Wood Protection
Copper Naphthenate - Jeff Lloyd, Nisus Corp.
Creosote - Heath Huschak, Koppers, Inc.
DCOI - Kevin Archer, Viance, LLC
Penta - TBA

Rural Utility Service (RUS)

Pole Restoration Demonstration

Noon Lunch
1 p.m.

MSU High Voltage Lab Demonstrations
Dr. David Wallace, Mississippi State

  • Tree contacting a power line
  • Insulator flashover on crossarm, wet and dry
  • Defective insulator on crossarm
  • Ground short due to animal contact
  • Prevention of ground short due to animal contact
  • Flashover due to worker proximity to line
  • Flashover due to lightning strike

3:30 p.m. Conference closes


CLICK HERE to register for the conference. Cost is $250 per attendee. Each attendee will receive digital versions of the presentations and NAWPC technical guides and a copy of ANSI O5.1-2017 Wood Poles, Specifications and Dimensions.

Hotel accommodations

Since the conference will be held on campus, there is no headquarters hotel. Attendees are responsible for making their own hotel arrangements. The following hotels are near the Mississippi State campus:

Questions, additional information

For any questions or additional information about the Powerline 2020 conference, contact the North American Wood Pole Council at