College of Engineering & Science

College of Engineering and Science dean awarded patent

Dr. E. Randolph Collins, Jr., associate dean and professor in the College of Engineering and Science, has been awarded US Patent 7598751, entitled “Impendence-based arc fault determination device (IADD) and method.”

The patent was a result of a research project with Duke Entergy Corporation. Working with Tim Smith, a former Clemson graduate student, and Randy Emanuel, a Power Quality Engineer at Duke who is also a Clemson alum, the patent was developed to be able to determine the energy available during an arching short circuit in an electrical power system, so that personnel will know what type of protective clothing and equipment needs to be worn to protect them in the event of an accident.

Between five and 10 times a day, an arc flash explosion occurs in electric equipment in the United States that sends a burn victim to a special burn center, according to statistics compiled by CapSchell, Inc., a Chicago-based research and consulting firm that specializes in preventing workplace injuries and deaths. The development of this patent could lead to a dramatic drop in these numbers and save hundreds of workers from devastating burn injuries.