David Koehler credits his success to his many mentors, excellent managers and colleagues in the industry, and one very important lesson: “Always conduct yourself in a professional and ethical manner,” he says.
While that may be important, it’s just one small part of the reason Koehler was presented with this year’s Alliance Recognition Award, which was a complete surprise. “I was pulled into a Zoom meeting with Missy Richard and Jim Cialdea and was shocked when I realized they were presenting the award to me. I am honored and humbled by the award, and so appreciative of the NETA organization and the Board of Directors for selecting me.”
“David’s professionalism and combination of technical knowledge and business acumen make him a key resource in the success of the Doble Engineering Company,” says Robert Brusetti, Vice President of Professional Services at Doble.
Brusetti says Koehler maintains a position at the forefront of the industry through his involvement with various technical organizations, participating in technical seminars, and being involved in both sales-related and technical projects within the organization.
“While he possesses many positive traits, I feel his strongest are integrity and professionalism,” Brusetti says. “Over the years, David has had many responsibilities at Doble, from managing a laboratory and conducting technical seminars to business development, and all duties are often simultaneously executed with the highest degree of professionalism.”
NETA members who don’t know him personally are likely to recognize him from training sessions and seminars. By sharing his insight and experience, Koehler has become something of a staple on the annual PowerTest Conference schedule.
“I have supported PowerTest for more than 15 years, and now I present all day Friday at the Doble Lab Seminar,” Koehler says. “I learned of NETA early on in my career — around 1998 — and NETA has played a big role in increasing my knowledge of the service industry. NETA continues to have a strategic role in the industry through its involvement in standard creation, the accreditation programs for technicians and companies, and the development of the handbook series. They provide stability for both the industry at large and for member companies.” He notes he has the utmost respect for the NETA organization and the staff. “I am honored to receive this award and look forward to much more involvement with NETA in the years to come.”
It’s not unusual for Koehler to be sought out to speak on various topics or be brought in to talk a customer through an issue. Jerry Olechiw, Vice President Global Sales and Marketing at Doble Engineering Company, says Koehler exudes professionalism in everything he does and is very thoughtful about his communications and training sessions. “Because of David’s outstanding interpersonal skills, listeners can be secure in knowing that he is transferring important knowledge. His ability to reference specific technical cases applicable to the subject at hand allows him to stand out among his peers.”
“David is an excellent trainer and educator. He is an integral part of Doble’s training curriculum,” Olechiw says. “His experience in oil laboratory analysis, business development, and asset management make him well rounded. His experience and knowledge are being shared throughout the industry, and we are very proud of his proactive engagement with NETA and other industry organizations.”
Paul Griffin, retired Vice President of Consulting and Testing Services at Doble, worked with Koehler for about 15 years, starting the day he hired Koehler as a laboratory manager in Indianapolis. Having a strong technical background such as Koehler has keeps laboratories running well with high-quality data and on-time performance, Griffin says. “It is helpful to know which tests are most appropriate to solve certain types of problems, and this is where David has always been supportive, working with our customers to help define the best program to meet their needs.”
Koehler remembers his first lab job as challenging. “For my first job out of school, I applied as a professional chemist at a lab within the electrical industry. Two months later, the lab manager quit and the position was offered to me — even though I had no experience. I felt like I was thrown to the wolves, and it was a steep learning curve with many lessons learned — especially the importance of testing, generating accurate results, understanding what the results mean, explaining the result implications to customers, and managing a staff.”
“Having easy access to review data against historic trends or against other data is critical today, and David’s strong background in diagnostics for condition assessment of electric apparatus serves the industry well,” Griffin says. “He is a great resource to help determine a program for reliability of electric apparatus or conduct troubleshooting when problems arise.”
While he is touted as an excellent resource and educator, Koehler says he lives by the advice he gives other electrical testing professionals. “It is so important to learn something new every day,” he says. “It doesn’t have to be big, but it keeps your mind sharp. That’s important in my job because most of my discussions are technical in nature, and the caller is usually looking for the solution to a problem. I also think it’s critical to put forth a solid effort every day.”
“A key issue in our industry is the knowledge gap that is being created by industry veterans retiring. The PowerTest conference is excellent because it allows new people to learn the latest trends at every level and also network with their peers,” Koehler adds. “NETA will continue to be important for future generations because its resources are beneficial to member companies — so much so that job boards often specify that a NETA Level 2 Certified Technician is required.” He encourages young technicians just entering the field to identify a mentor they can reach out to when questions arise.
“The focus of our industry is to provide safe and reliable power,” he notes. “As a young technician starting in this field, you have to learn various aspects of the power delivery system whether performing work for a utility or industrial customers. There is a difference between classroom and hands-on learning in the field, so network with others in the industry and attend as many webinars and seminars as possible to increase your knowledge level and learn the latest industry trends.”
“David’s professionalism and combination of technical knowledge and business acumen make him a key resource in the success of the Doble Engineering Company.” –Robert Brusetti, Vice President of Professional Services, Doble Engineering
MEET DAVID KOEHLER
Koehler is the Business Development Manager, Professional Services for Doble Engineering Company. He has 23 years of experience in the testing of insulating liquids and management of analytical laboratories.
He has provided numerous technical presentations and published technical articles within the power industry and is an active contributor at NETA’s PowerTest Conference. Koehler is Vice President-elect for IEEE Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) and a member of IEEE’s Honor Society, HKN. Koehler served on the IEEE Board of Directors from 2019–2020 and will serve on the IEEE Board of Directors again in 2022. Koehler is a member of the ASTM D-27 Technical Committee on Electrical Insulating Liquids and Gases. He also serves as an Advisory Board Member for Engineering and Technology at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Worldwide Campus. Koehler is a past Executive Committee Member of the Indiana American Chemical Society.
Dave received a BS in chemistry from Indiana University and obtained his MBA.