In memory of smart grid trailblazer Erich Gunther


Gunther’s unwavering enthusiasm and fervor was evidenced by his contribution to the electric power industry.

According to a statement released by EnerNex, where Erich was chairman and CEO, Gunther was most well-known for his leadership in fostering collaboration among a wide range of stakeholders to accelerate technology adoption in the energy industry.

The statement added: “He was also admired for the excitement and passion he exuded.”

A claimed ‘pioneer’ and ‘stalwart’ in the industry, Erich spent more than 30 years designing and developing innovative solutions for a wide array of power system problems.

His work was focused a lot on engineering communications networks and deploying technologies to improve the efficiency, operating practices and security of the electric power system.

[quote] Gunther was reportedly also part of the original team that developed “EPRI’s IntelliGrid Architecture and helped oversee its development through its first major application at Southern California Edison for the utility’s AMI and Smart Grid programmes.”

Some of his other noted achievements include:

  • Appointment to the US Department of Energy (DoE) GridWise Architecture Council in 2004, and serving as chairman from 2010-2012.
  • Serving on the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Governing Board as member-at-large for Smart Grid. He was also the past-chair of the IEEE PES Intelligent Grid Coordinating Committee.
  • Named IEEE Fellow for his  work in the field of electric power quality
  • Appointed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a “Disaster Resilience Fellow” – a programme which aims to bring in industry subject matter experts to provide review and input to their Disaster Resilience Framework.

He also served as chairman of the Board of the Utility Communications Architecture International Users Group (UCAIug), served as vice-chairman of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) board of directors, member of the UTC Smart Networks Council Advisory Board, and was a member of the IEEE Smart Grid Steering Committee.

Bob Zavadil, EnerNex executive vice president and co-founder, said, “I am so privileged and thankful for the opportunity to work closely with Erich for almost three decades, as a colleague, business partner, and most of all, a friend. He had a zest for all things in his professional and personal lives, and enriched those who were fortunate enough to cross his path. Our industry has lost a bright light, and we will miss him.”

Jeff Lamoree, EnerNex CEO, added, “Erich was not only my business partner for many years, but also a trusted and valued friend. His tremendous leadership, vision and passion for the electric power industry had an impact on the community, the country and the world. We are proud of his legacy and the firm will continue to uphold the standards he set for excellence and integrity. All of us will miss him greatly.”