NIST JUNE 2016 News Letter

Shared by Sharon Allan on June 29, 2016
Smart Grid Community Loses One of its Leaders, Erich Gunther (1958-2016)


The smart grid community was deeply saddened last week by the untimely death of one of its pioneers, Erich Gunther. 


“Erich was an exceptional talent, collaborator, and dear friend to me and many others at NIST,” said Dr. David Wollman, Deputy Director of NIST’s Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office. “Many of us, both on the NIST Smart Grid team and in the Community Resilience Program, had the great privilege of working closely with Erich in recent years.  He brought a rare combination of intelligence and passion—of head and heart—to his work, his hobbies, and, most of all, to the many communities he touched.  We offer our deepest condolences to his family, his friends, and his co-workers at Enernex.”


Among the many tributes appearing online last week, these two may be of special interest to the readers of this newsletter:


Sharon Allan, President of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP), initiated an Erich Gunther memorial website at, and many members of the smart grid community have been contributing their tributes, pictures, and stories.  NIST launched the SGIP as a public-private partnership in 2009, and Erich Gunther (and Enernex) played crucial roles in its formation, growth, and evolution. “Smart Grid Today” established a public link to a special issue remembering Erich Gunther.  The issue contains links to every story that was ever published with Erich Gunther’s name in it. (There are more than 50 stories, dating back to 2009.) “The stories are open to the public and offered in honor and celebration of his life as a true leader, visionary and mentor to the smart grid industry and the broader electricity industry.

News Story by GTM by Eric Wesoff

Shared by Sharon Allan on June 25, 2016

 Some sad news. Smart grid industry pioneer Erich Gunther passed away "unexpectedly on June 18 at the age of 57," according to a release from EnerNex, the company he co-founded and where he served as chairman and CTO.

It's shocking. Erich was a long-time friend of GTM. We were supposed to be seeing and hearing from him this week at our upcoming Grid Edge World Forum. He will be missed. But all of us in this industry share Erich Gunther's life's mission of advancing the modernization of the electrical grid.

The last discussion I had with him was about an article he wanted to write for GTM on potential new regulatory rules that would allow utilities to take bigger technology risks.

Gunther worked with some of the world’s largest utilities and vendors on "how to plan, architect, deploy, test and scale smart grids from end to end. He was 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 programs."

According to EnerNex, "Gunther was a licensed private helicopter and instrument-rated fixed-wing airplane pilot and aircraft owner, as well as an accomplished home brewer and grill master."

He will be missed.

Share a story

Illustrate your story with a picture, music or video (optional):