BS Electrical Engineering, 1981
Ken Capp’s career with Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) began in 1981. At that time, getting power in your home in Southern Maryland was not taken for granted as it is today.
Through these years, Ken worked to support many different facets of the electric distribution system including commercial service design and residential subdivision design. He quickly moved into computer based electric system modeling and power line carrier communications for load management. Ken advanced into management of work in distribution, transmission, substation and solar systems. He also was responsible for the construction and operations of various communications systems including SCADA, fiber and microwave communication networks, and most recently the full deployment of the two-way automated metering infrastructure (AMI). Ken has been managing the Engineering & Operations Department since 2003.
Ken’s career at SMECO culminated in his serving now as the Sr. Vice President – Engineering & Operations, and Chief Operating Officer. In this role, he is responsible for the engineering, operations, construction, and maintenance of SMECO’s transmission and distribution plant. He is also a key member of the team which manages SMECO’s wholesale power portfolio. Ken is a past member of the ReliabilityFirst Board of Directors and past chairman. His tenure with ReliabilityFirst began in December of 2005 and ended in November of 2019. Ken also served on the Board of the St. Mary’s Nursing and Rehabilitation center from 2006 through 2016. He currently serves as co-Chair of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Technical Advisory Committee to the Power Plant Research Program.
How did Florida Tech help prepare you for your career?
“Florida Tech delivered to me an abundant understanding of complex math, physics and economics that enabled my development in the electric power industry.”
What advice or words of wisdom do you have for students and recent graduates?
“Never be deterred by those things that are not understood at the first glance. Ask yourself questions and find answers or apply potential solutions until issues are resolved. And never forecast failure. Instead take actions to mitigate the risks that are identified in pursuit of success!”
What was your most memorable experience at Florida Tech?
“Viewing the cobalt source in the underwater storage facility next to the engineering building.”
What was the most difficult challenge or failure that you had to overcome in your career?
“I needed to overcome self-righteous indignation in order to successfully lead others in our evolving business.”
If you were contacted by a student or recent graduate—what could you offer them?
Confidence. Everyone should have the understanding that as long as you are willing to take the time to explore those things that are not understood at first, and seek solutions to each question of the unknown, and understanding will develop with time and effort. Otherwise known as work.