Mark Enns (October 13, 1931 - August 25, 1997)
Mark founded Electrocon in 1981 and served as its President and later as
Chief Executive Officer until his death from cancer on August 25, 1997.
All who knew him will long remember him for his creativity, intellectual
capacity, sense of humor, and his innumerable contributions to his chosen field
of electric power engineering.
Following graduation from Kansas State University in 1953 and two years in
the Air Force as a Radar Maintenance Officer, Mark went to work for Westinghouse
in the then Electric Utility Engineering Department. This later became Advanced
Systems Technology, the group that passed over to ABB several years ago before
being broken up in 1992. His first assignment was actually the Westinghouse
"Design School" which, by that time, was a semester of graduate work. This got
him started toward an M.S. and eventually a Ph.D. degree from the University of
Pittsburgh under the generous financial and time allowances made by Westinghouse
at that time.
Mark transferred to the Westinghouse Research Laboratories in 1964 and
attended Stanford on the "Lamme Scholarship" during the 1964-65 academic year.
This gave him an exposure to general systems theory. Most of his work was in
feedback control during the next few years.
After finishing his doctoral work in 1967, he joined Carnegie-Mellon
University for teaching and research in control theory. He realized after a
couple years that he wasn't very well matched to control theory - and also that
power systems had become much more interesting with the introduction of sparsity
methods for the solution of network analysis problems. He was therefore ready to
take a position as head of a power systems program at the University of Michigan
Mark stayed there until 1978 when the small firm with which he (and also
Don MacGregor, Paul McGuire, Jeff Quada, and Anne Guise - all still with us) had
been associated as a consultant was purchased by the Harris Corporation. Mark
and this core group spun out of Harris in 1981 to found
After starting Electrocon, he worked with the others on our staff to
develop our software for power system planning, operations, and protection. When
time permitted, he liked to indulge his technical interests in developing
methods and algorithms for power system network analysis programs, particularly
the application of sparsity methods for their efficient solution.
His widow, Patricia, formerly worked for Electrocon as a programmer. She
has three children in their late 20's and early 30's. During all the time we
knew him, Mark's main recreation was jogging and various endurance events such
as runs and triathlons. This interest culminated in 1992 in his successful
completion of the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.