Online Best Practices in Overhead Distribution Line Design Course

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.
June 16 - 25, 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 June 16-25 as we debut this course as a series of six interactive online classes. 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. These events will be recorded, in case you miss the live version.

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.  

Course Schedule and Topics

Each in-depth learning module will be held from Noon – 4 p.m. Eastern (with two 15-minute breaks). Attendees will receive electronic materials in advance of each session and will participate in group discussions, Q&A sessions, and work through real-world examples. After each session, apply what you learned by working independently on practical line design application exercises.

June 16: Part 1
  • Legal, regulatory and business environment for overhead line design
  • Overhead line design protocols
  • The overhead line design process
  • NESC overview and applicability to overhead lines
June 17: Part 2 
  • Overhead line conductor/cable types and properties
  • NESC requirements for maximum conductor/cable sag determination
  • Conductor/cable sag and tension calculations
  • Sag-tension software and application examples and assigned exercises
June 18: Part 3
  • NESC Clearance requirements
    • To ground and water surfaces
    • To buildings and other structures
    • Between conductors, cables and equipment
  • Clearance application examples and assigned exercises
June 23: Part 4 
  • Overhead line structure loading and strength
    • Functions of supporting structures
    • NESC requirements for structures (loading conditions and strength requirements)
    • Mechanical forces on structures
  • Structure loading application examples and assigned exercises
June 24: Part 5
  • Joint use overhead lines
  • Overhead line guying and anchoring
  • Wood and manufactured poles
  • Line design application examples and assigned exercises
June 25: Part 6
  • Overhead line grounding
  • Overhead line lightning protection
  • More line application examples and assigned exercises

Course Level

Intermediate/Advanced: No prerequisites; some advance preparation (complete a pre-course survey). While there is review of topics in APPA’s Overhead Distribution course, this program is more focused on the critical aspects of overhead line design and provides the opportunity to learn by using software in the application of design principles to a wide range of practical design cases. 


The following continuing education credits will be provided, after successfully completing each of the six sections. Completion certificates will be emailed out within two days of each live event. These classes will be recorded, though certificates can only be awarded to those who participate in a live event.

Per session: Recommended CEUs .4/PDHs 3.5/CPEs 4.2 (all six: CEUs 2.4/PDHs 21/CPEs 25.2)

Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge

Recommended for

This workshop has value for those who work at all levels of overhead distribution line design including:

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


Ted 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.
R. 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 Schoennagel 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.

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).


Contact us at [email protected].

Held in partnership with:

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

CL logo                       Line Design


  • Full course (6 classes at a discounted rate): $1,195 for members; $2,390 for nonmembers
  • Individual modules: $250 each (members); $500 each (nonmembers)

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


Registrants who cancel in writing on or before June 9, 2020, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after June 9 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by June 9 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund. Email your cancellation request to [email protected].


Contact us at [email protected].

Earn While You Learn!

Participate in the online program to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Professional Development Hours (PDHs) and Continuing Professional Education credits (CPEs).

Attendees are required to attend and participate in the entire learning event and complete an online evaluation at the end of each class. Partial credit is not given. Attendance and participation will be monitored by an APPA staff member and completion certificates will be emailed out within two days of each class. These classes will be recorded, though certificates can only be awarded to those who participate in a live event.

What educational credits are available?

Academy events include the following opportunities for educational credits:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) - The American Public Power Association is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and. 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]

Technology Platform and Log-In Information

Presented in six half-day sessions, this engaging and practical online workshop features real-time presentations, Q&A, group discussion, and exercises that use line design software.

These live sessions will be hosted through Zoom. Instructors will combine lecture style teaching with interactive features to stimulate dialogue and participation. They will also incorporate practical design exercises that utilize line design software. Instructions on how to join and participate in these events will be sent out in advance of each section

Training Materials

Attendees will receive emailed copies of the course materials in advance of each session.

Technology Requirements

Zoom can be used on laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Participation is required during class, though using a webcam is optional. The current technical requirements for Zoom, along with recommendations for various devices, are available on the Zoom website:

  • Desktop Computers (Windows and Macintosh)
    See the Zoom Help Center documentation for system requirements for Windows and Macintosh desktop computers
  • Mobile Devices (Smartphones and Tablets)
    See the Zoom Help Center documentation for system requirements for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets running either the iOS or Android operating system.