Robert John Thomas

Robert John Thomas

Electrical and Computer Engineering


Robert Thomas passed away in October 2022.

Dr. Thomas was a Cornell faculty member since 1973 and Emeritus since 2009. He has had assignments with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electric Energy Systems (EES) in Washington, D.C and the National Science Foundation as the first Program Director for the Power Systems Program in the Engineering Directorate's Division of Electrical Systems Engineering (ESE). He is the author of over 100 technical papers, and two book chapters.

He has been a member of the IEEE United States Activity Board's Energy Policy Committee since 1991 and was the committee's Chair from 1997-1998. He was a member of the IEEE Technology Policy Council, has served as the IEEE-USA Vice President for Technology Policy, and has been a member of several university, government and industry advisory Boards or Panels. He was an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems. He is the founding Director of the 13-university member National Science Foundation Center, PSerc (Power Systems Engineering Research Center). He was a member of the USDOE Secretary's Power Outage Study Team (POST) and is a founding member of the Coalition for Electric Reliability Solutions (CERTS). He was on assignment to the USDOE in 2003 as a Senior Advisor to the Director of the Office of Electric Transmission and Distribution and a member of the DOE August 14, 2003 blackout investigation team and contributed to the 2007 National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor NIETC) study. He was an Advisor to the DOE Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability from 2006 to 2011. He served as one of 30 inaugural members of the U.S. Department of Energy Secretary's Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC) from 2008 - 2010. He was a member of the PJM Advanced Technology Advisory Council.

Prof Thomas' research has centered on transient control and voltage collapse problems in electric power systems as well as various technical, economic, and institutional impacts of restructuring. His recent work has involved development of stochastic computational tools for planning and operation of future bulk electric power systems.

Selected Publications

  • Murillo-Sanchez, Carlos, Ray Daniel Zimmerman, Catherine Lindsay Anderson, Robert John Thomas.  2013. "A Stochastic, Contingency-Based Security-Constrained Optimal Power Flow for the Procurement of Energy and Distributed Reserve."  56: 1-10.
  • Murillo-Sánchez, Carlos E., Ray Daniel Zimmerman, Catherine Lindsay Anderson, Robert John Thomas.  2013. "Secure Planning and Operations of Systems with Stochastic Sources, Energy Storage and Active Demand."  4 (4): 2220-2229.
  • Mount, Timothy Douglas, Surin Maneevitjit, Alberto Lamadrid, Ray Daniel Zimmerman, Robert John Thomas.  2012. "The Hidden System Costs of Wind Generation in a Deregulated Electricity Market."  33 (1): 161-186.
  • Zimmerman, Ray Daniel, Carlos E. Murillo-Sánchez, Robert John Thomas.  2011. "MATPOWER: Steady-State Operations, Planning and Analysis Tools for Power Systems Research and Education."  IEEE Transactions on Power Systems 26 (1): 32-29.
  • Mount, Timothy Douglas, Alberto Lamadrid, Surin Maneevitjit, Ray Daniel Zimmerman, Robert John Thomas.  2011.  "Integrating Wind Power: Can Controllable Load Substitute for Transmission Upgrades?."  Proceedings of the 44th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences,  Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii


  • Wayne State University, 1968
  • Wayne State University, 1969
  • Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering), Wayne State University, 1973