Virtual Course

Best Practices in Overhead Distribution Line Design

The American Public Power Association is pleased to partner with Collaborative Learning and the Association for Utility Line Design Professionals to offer a comprehensive, virtual overhead distribution line design workshop.
October 6 - 15, 2020
12:00pm EDT - 4:00pm EDT

Virtual Training

Unable to attend an in-person class but interested in pursuing Overhead Distribution Line Design training? Join us from Oct. 6-15 as we offer this course as a series of six interactive online sessions. It’s a convenient way to 'attend' the course, while still having the opportunity to interact with the instructors, your industry peers, and earn continuing education credits.


Attend six real-time sessions from Noon – 4 p.m. Eastern on October 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15.

Course Overview

Review industry best practices, engage with your peers, and complete over 25 practical design exercises using line design software. Learn how to enhance your line design processes and prepare designs that are safe, reliable, and in compliance with National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) requirements.

Although most electric utilities predominantly use overhead distribution lines to deliver electricity to customers, they do not always apply proven industry best practices in design of these lines. Consistent and proper application of engineering principles and ethics leads to higher quality designs that make for a safer, more reliable system. In turn, proper structural design can reduce liability exposure and support cost-effective operation and maintenance. 

Through six real-time sessions, learn how to prepare designs that are safe, reliable, and in compliance with NESC requirements. Apply the latest engineering principles through hands-on exercises with overhead line design software.  

Recommended For

Those who work at all levels of overhead distribution line design including:

  • Engineering managers
  • Design engineers
  • Design/staking supervisors and technicians
  • Resident engineers
  • Consulting engineers

This course builds on content presented in the Overhead Distribution Principles & Practices online course (Sept. 22-30). It is highly recommended that attendees take both courses. 

Course Schedule and Topics

Each session will be held from Noon – 4 p.m. Eastern. 

October 6: Session 1

Overhead Line Design Accountabilities and Process

  • Overhead line design protocols
  • The overhead line design process
  • NESC overview and application
  • NESC general requirements for overhead lines
  • Other considerations in overhead line design
October 7: Session 2

Conductor/Cable Sag, Tension, and Clearance

  • NESC requirements for maximum conductor/cable sag determination
  • NESC and practical requirements for maximum conductor/cable design tension
  • Conductor/cable sag and tension calculations
  • Conductor/cable sag-tension software
  • Application examples and assigned exercises
October 8: Session 3

NESC Clearance Requirements

  • Clearances to ground and water surfaces
  • Clearances to buildings and other structures
  • Clearances between conductors, cables and equipment
  • Clearance application examples and assigned exercises
October 13: Session 4

Overhead Line Structure Loading and Strength (Part 1)

  • Types and functions of supporting structures
  • NESC requirements for supporting structure design (loading conditions and strength requirements)
  • Determination of mechanical forces on supporting structures
  • Supporting structure loading application examples and assigned exercises
October 14: Session 5

Overhead Line Structure Loading and Strength (Part 2)

  • Overhead line guying and anchoring design considerations
  • Wood poles (types, treatments, dimensions, strength classes, and specifications
  • Manufactured poles (types, characteristics, NESC equivalent designs, and specifications
  • Pole embedment designs
  • Supporting structure loading application examples and assigned exercises
October 15: Session 6

Putting It All Together

  • Joint use overhead line design considerations
  • Examples and exercises in overhead line design scenarios

Course Level

Intermediate/Advanced: No prerequisites; some advance preparation including a pre-course survey and logging into the line design software platform.

This course builds on content presented in the Overhead Distribution Principles & Practices online course (Sept. 22-30). It is highly recommended that attendees take both courses. 

Course Materials

Attendees will receive electronic materials in advance of each session and will participate in group discussions, Q&A sessions, work through real-world examples and practical line design application exercises.  

Application Exercises/Homework

Following each session, participants are expected to work independently on online line design application exercises. Further instructions on accessing the line design software and completing the exercises will be provided at the beginning of Session One. Some exercises will be conducted during the live sessions.

Additional Requirements

Participants are required to have a copy of the 2017 National Electric Safety Code® (ANSI C2-2017) on hand to review during the course. Hard copies and electronic version can be purchased from IEEE (; 800/701-4333).


The following continuing education credits will be provided, after successfully completing all six sections. Certificates will be emailed by October 21.

Recommended CEUs 2.4/PDHs 21/CPEs 25.2

Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge


Ted DimberioTed Dimberio, P.E., in an accomplished engineer with over 40 years of experience in electric and telecommunication line design. He is currently President and CFO of Utility Line Design and President of Line Design University. Ted has worked in all capacities of line design including field staking, construction supervision, management, and consulting. He has been an industry leader in developing engineering software for electric distribution utilities that auto-generates profile drawings and required line design calculations to verify and document engineering decisions. Ted received his civil and structural engineering education from Mesabi State Junior College and the University of Minnesota. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
John MinerR. John Miner, P.E., is an accomplished executive manager and educator with over 45 years of experience in the electric utility industry. He is president of Collaborative Learning, Inc., of Austin and San Antonio, Texas and has been an APPA instructor for more than 30 years and an instructor for the University of Wisconsin for 20 years. Before forming his own company, he worked for the Austin, Texas, Electric Utility Department, Rochester Public Utilities in Minnesota, and as an assistant professor for the University of Houston. John earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering (with honors), and a Master of Science degree in engineering science, both from the University of Toledo.  John is a Senior Life Member of the IEEE and is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Texas and Minnesota.
Erich SchoennegelErich Schoennagel, P.E., is an accomplished engineer and manager who works with Collaborative Learning as a technical consultant and continuing education program developer and instructor. Erich began his utility career more than 40 years ago and most recently managed the Transmission Project Engineering group for a large investor-owned utility, which served the company’s needs for transmission system design, substation and telecom site improvement, and civil engineering for transmission, substation, distribution, and telecom structures. Erich has extensive experience in the application of engineering principles and NESC requirements to the design of utility structures and foundations. Erich received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas.


Contact us at [email protected].

Held in partnership with:

Collaborative Learning, Inc., and the Association for Utility Line Design Professionals

CL logo                       Line Design


Registration for this course is almost at full capacity. Please email [email protected] if you would like to register. 


  • $1,195 for members
  • $2,390 for nonmembers

Not a member? Join today and save on your course registration. Call Member Services at 202-467-2926 to learn more.

Group Pricing

Save $100 on each registration when registering a group of 5 or more people. Contact [email protected] for details. 


Registrants who cancel in writing on or before September 29, 2020, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after September 29 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by September 29 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund.


Contact us at [email protected].

Earn While You Learn!

Participate in online programs to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Professional Development Hours (PDHs) and Continuing Professional Education credits (CPEs). This course is eligible for the following credits:

Recommended CEUs 2.4/PDHs 21/CPEs 25.2
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge


  • Attendees are required to attend and participate in all six learning events and complete an online evaluation at the end of each session
  • Partial credit cannot be given
  • Attendance is monitored by an Association staff member
  • Certificates will be emailed out on October 19
  • Sessions are recorded (in case you miss the live version), though credits can only be given for attending live events

What educational credits are available?

You can earn the following kinds of educational credits for attending live sessions during the conference:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) - The American Public Power Association is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. For information regarding certification status, attendance requirements and obtaining attendees transcripts, contact [email protected] or 202-467-2965.
  • Professional Development Hours (PDHs) - The American Public Power Association’s educational practices are consistent with the criteria for awarding Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Course eligibility and number of PDHs may vary by state.
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits - The American Public Power Association is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: There are no prerequisites for the courses offered; no advance preparation is required for any courses. All courses are group-live offerings. Credit hours and areas of study for the courses are listed on the individual course pages. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as clarification of requirements, complaints, and refunds, please contact [email protected].

Format and Log-In Information

This class will be offered on the Zoom meeting platform. Presented in six, 4-hour sessions, this engaging and practical online workshop features real-time presentations, Q&A, online polling, group discussions, and practical application exercises that use line design software.

You’ll receive a logistics email one week in advance of the class with information on the pre-course survey and how to access the line design software portal.

You will receive your Zoom access link the morning of each part of the course from the APPA Academy <[email protected]>. Please reach out to [email protected] if you do not receive that email. You'll receive one Zoom log-in link that will work for all six events. 

New to Zoom?

If you haven't participated in a Zoom meeting before, you may want to download the Zoom web client from the Zoom Download Center. A Zoom account is not required to join the virtual meeting if you use the Zoom web client. For the course, you will need an Internet connection and sound (we recommend using your computer’s audio and microphone, though a phone number will also be provided).

If you are not able to download the Zoom web client, you can still participate via your Internet browser. We recommend using Chrome for the best results. If you use your Internet browser, your functionality may be more limited (for example, you will only be able to see one video feed at a time), and you will need to create a Zoom account. (Account creation is a free and straightforward process, but you will want to do this in advance so you do not miss any part of the meeting).

Privacy and Security

The American Public Power Association takes your privacy and security very seriously. For this reason, we have put the following security measures in place for this course:

  • A random Meeting ID
  • Password-protected
  • Enabled waiting room to screen meeting participants
  • Restricted screen sharing to hosts only

Code of Conduct

Participants agree to abide by the APPA Code of Conduct. If participants engage in unacceptable behavior as outlined in the code, the Association may take any action it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, expulsion from the current and future meetings, with no warning or refund.


Contact us at [email protected].