POWER’s Peter Catchpole hailed as ‘transmission line trailblazer’
HAILEY, Idaho (Dec. 28, 2016) ‒ An Engineering News-Record profile of Peter Catchpole hails the POWER Engineers Incorporated (POWER) engineer as a “transmission line trailblazer.”
Catchpole is an internationally recognized electric transmission system expert who has successfully tackled some of the most challenging transmission line design projects while mentoring a new generation of transmission engineers.
The ENR article focused on two of Catchpole’s best-known projects: the transmission line catenary at the remote coastal mountain Kildala Pass in British Columbia and a high wire across Niagara Falls for famed tightrope walker Nik Wallenda.
The Kildala Pass project, the world’s second high-voltage transmission line catenary, stretches 4,000 feet across a valley, 500 feet above ground. It anchors to the mountains on either side, eliminating the need for structures on the avalanche-prone slopes below. The project required a unique design and custom parts, designed by POWER and fabricated locally.
Catchpole also was behind the high-tech tightrope that made possible Wallenda’s successful walk 1,800 feet above the roaring waters of Niagara Falls.
For the article, Ron Carrington, a project director in POWER’s power delivery project management group, noted that Catchpole is a keen observer of the world, a trait that helps in engineering. “He’s able to observe the environment and the situation his engineering problem has been placed within and tailor solutions that fit that environment,” Carrington told ENR.
The article also reflects on Catchpole’s personal side from “mentoring up-and-coming engineers and watching them grow,” to writing and recording more than 20 songs.
Prior to joining POWER in 1992, Catchpole held various positions in Ontario Hydro and Great Lakes Power and was responsible for transmission line and substation projects and standards development. Additionally, Catchpole has owned his own engineering design company. His experience and creative outlook have allowed the development of a deep insight into design principles and the engineering-construction relationship.