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Timothy Z. Cole, Principal Engineer & Consultant

Timothy Z. Cole, Principal Engineer & ConsultantProfessional Experience

Tim has 41 years of electric utility operations engineering and senior management, energy regulatory compliance, audit, transmission real-time operations, business continuity, change and configuration management, security policy design and development, process control and continuous improvement. Tim was a major contributor to the NERC 2003 Blackout investigation and root cause analyses of other major disturbance events in the ERCOT, PJM, MISO, SPP regions. He specializes in providing consulting services pertaining to: Compliance program governance, organization and leadership development, critical infrastructure protection, NERC 693 Reliability Standard compliance and mock audit, NERC 706 CIP Standard compliance and mock audit, nuclear cyber security design and implementation, Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) Cyber Security Controls compliance, NEI 08-09 critical digital asset identification and compliance reporting, AURORA mitigation, compliance & security awareness and in-depth training.


  • 41 years of electric utility security and compliance experience
  • Has provided NERC 693 Reliability Standard and 706 CIP Standard compliance support for many utilities including large investor-owned utilities and independent power producers in various NERC regions.
  • Has completed extensive audit readiness support including participating in on-site and off-site NERC Readiness Assessment and Audits, TFE Reviews, Mitigation Plan Reviews, and NERC GridEx 2011 Grid Security Exercise.
  • Has completed many critical infrastructure security risk and vulnerability assessments in support of generation and transmission security enhancement, configuration and change management projects.
  • Extensive experience providing infrastructure design for purpose-built transmission dispatch control centers and disaster recovery control centers in multi-states in US.
  • Extensive experience providing project design and support for RTO Blackstart studies, AURORA Mitigation, Synchrophasor measurement implementation in the PJM region, and Substation asset management automation.
  • Extensive experience providing the development and delivery of FERC Standard of Conduct training, physical and cyber security awareness training, and NERC compliance training.
  • Extensive experience providing the development of business continuity, disaster recovery, as well as pandemic flu plans for major utilities and design drill exercises as well as measurement and evaluation of the plans.
  • Extensive experience with SCADA Industrial Control Systems security controls.
  • Engineering experience in nuclear plant start-up, coal-to-oil power plant conversions, rail-to-barge coal unloading facility construction and EHV (765 kV) substation construction.
  • Managed the real-time operation of 6 dispatching centers that served eleven-state service territory of 197,500 square miles, serving approximately 5.2 million customers.
  • Provided leadership, vision and executive oversight for the transmission dispatching organization to facilitate effective services between the energy delivery regions and transmission dispatching. RTO integration with ERCOT, PJM, and SPP. Developed, implemented and monitored strategies that achieve Transmission Operation organizational goals, objectives and long-range plans. Ensured the efficient and professional operation of the administrative and reliable functions of all Transmission Dispatching Centers. Provided oversight of the real-time operation’s compliance with NERC reliability standard, ERCOT protocols, SPP criteria, and RFC regional standards. Directed emergency storm restoration and reporting to DOE during major disasters. Interconnection services for IPPs for wind farms and energy storage.
  • Following the recommendations of the NERC 2003 Blackout investigations, Tim was instrumental in the implementation of several major initiatives ($82 Million) for a major investor-owned utility:
    • AREVA situation awareness system to improve reliability coordination with ERCOT, PJM, and SPP in the eleven-state service territory of 197,500 square miles, serving approximately 5.2 million customers.
    • State-of-the-art video walls in the primary and backup control centers as well as the five regional dispatching centers.
    • Infrastructure design of three purpose-built tornado resistant, high availability, defense-in-depth, state-of-the-art control centers which exceed the NERC CIP requirements, DOE Control Center and the FEMA shelter-in-place requirements.
    • Hardening and renovation of three regional dispatching centers to meet NERC CIP requirements.
    • Three-year NERC Dispatcher Certification Training and Mentoring Program.
    • Purpose-built training facility for real-time operators equipped with contingency analysis and simulation systems and tools.
    • Human Performance Initiative (INPO HPI) of NERC certified dispatcher training and root cause analyses.

Certifications / Education / Training

  • Licensed Professional Engineer State of Indiana PE60016802.
  • Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAs) for Reliability Auditors, RFC, Dec. 2010.
  • NERC Auditor Training, 2007.
  • GRID Training of Executive Leadership Development, 2005.
  • AEP Management School at The Ohio State University, 1984.
  • BSEE, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana.
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