Virtual Course

Overhead Distribution Principles and Practices

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 course.
September 22 - 30, 2020
12:00pm EDT - 4:00pm EDT

Virtual Training

Unable to attend an in-person class but interested in pursuing Overhead Distribution training? Join us from September 22-30 as we debut this course as a series of four 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 four real-time sessions from Noon – 4 p.m. Eastern on September 22, 23, 29, and 30. 

Course Overview

Overhead distribution continues to play an essential role for most utilities in delivering electric service to end-use customers either directly or as the source for underground line extensions. Learn about the characteristics and functions of the components that comprise the overhead distribution system as well as the legal/regulatory and business requirements that drive today’s overhead distribution practices. Explore specific requirements and practices associated with overhead line conductors and cables, structural components, grounding, and lightning protection.
This course—comprised of four, real-time sessions—is applications-oriented, including online lecture, interaction, and learning by doing. All sessions incorporate high-quality presentations by qualified instructors, Q&A, group interaction, case studies, and hands-on exercises.

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

Those who are relatively inexperienced in the industry or to overhead distribution, as well as those with experience who want to “refresh and update” their understanding of underlying principles, practices, and the components and equipment that comprise today’s overhead distribution system will benefit from participating.

It is highly recommended that you attend this course in conjunction with the Best Practices in Overhead Distribution Line Design online course (October 6-15). 

Course Schedule and Topics

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

September 22: Session 1

Introduction to Overhead Distribution

  • The overhead distribution system: purpose, characteristics, components and equipment
  • The legal, regulatory and business environment for overhead distribution design, construction and operation
  • Overhead line electric supply and communication joint use
September 23: Session 2

Overhead Line Conductors, Cables, and Structures (Part 1)

  • Overhead line conductor/cable types, properties and applications
  • Basic concepts of sag-tension design and its impact on clearances
  • Overhead line structure types and applications
  • Basic concepts of structure loading and strength requirements
September 29: Session 3

Overhead Line Conductors, Cables, and Structures (Part 2)

  • Overhead line guying and anchoring
  • Wood and manufactured poles
  • Line design application examples and assigned exercises
September 30: Session 4

Overhead Line Electrical Considerations

  • Overhead line grounding
  • Overhead line lightning protection

Course Level

Basic/Intermediate: No prerequisites; no advance preparation.

It is highly recommended that this course be taken in conjunction with the Best Practices in Overhead Distribution Line Design online class (Oct. 6-15). It provides a good foundation for those new to the industry and a helpful refresh and update for those with experience on overhead distribution principles, practices, components and equipment.

Course Materials

Attendees will receive electronic materials in advance of each session, allowing you to work with them before, during and after the online sessions.

Application Exercises/Homework

Some exercises will be included during the program sessions, but participants are also expected to complete other online exercises on their own time as they progress through the program. 

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 four sections. Certificates will be emailed by October 6.

Recommended CEUs 1.6/PDHs 14/CPEs 16.8 
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

Register Now

Registration fees:

  • $995 for members
  • $1,990 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.

It is highly recommended that attendees also participate in the Best Practices in Overhead Distribution Line Design online course (October 6-15).


Registrants who cancel in writing on or before September 15, 2020, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after September 15 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 15 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 1.6/PDHs 14/CPEs 16.8 
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge


  • Attendees are required to attend and participate in all four 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 6
  • 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 four, 4-hour sessions, this engaging and practical online workshop features real-time presentations, Q&A, online polling, group discussions, and practical application.

You’ll receive a logistics email one week in advance of the first session.

You will receive your Zoom access link the morning of each session 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 four 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].