Log in

APPA-CL-AULDP Course: Best Practices in Overhead Distribution Line Design

  • Tue, February 15, 2022
  • 12:00 PM (EST)
  • Wed, February 23, 2022
  • 4:00 PM (EST)
  • Online, you will receive an email link upon paid registration.


  • Click the Register Now link. You must either log in with APPA or create a contact account in order to receive the 50% discounted price.

Virtual Training
Best Practices in Overhead Distribution Line Design

Join us as we hold this popular course as a series of five interactive virtual 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 14 PDH credits. This course is applications-oriented, including online lecture, interaction, and learning by doing. 

Learning Environment

All sessions incorporate real-time presentations, small group breakout sessions, in-class examples and software demos, quizzes, live polling, practical application exercises, Q&A sessions, and group discussions. Participants will have the opportunity to perform more than 25 line design problems using engineering software (that is provided as a learning tool).  


Participate in a 45-minute orientation session on February 14, followed by followed by five, real-time sessions from Noon – 4 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 15, 16, 17, 22, and 23. There will be two, 15-minute breaks incorporated into each session. 

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. Overhead line design is an engineering discipline that requires the consistent and proper application of engineering principles and ethics to prepare quality designs and reduce liability exposure. 

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. Review industry best practices, engage with your peers, and complete over twenty-five (25) practical hands-on design exercises using line design software. 

Attendees will return to their work better prepared to help their organizations adopt design practices that comply with applicable professional engineering laws and regulations.  

Note: Some of the exercises will require the use of line design software, which you’ll receive complimentary access to for a period of thirty (30) days from the start of the course. For reference, the software is available for purchase with prices starting at $250 for a single-seat license for “Basic” website applications.

Recommended for

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

  • Engineering managers
  • Design engineers 
  • Design/staking supervisors and technicians
  • Consulting engineers
  • Crew supervisors and senior lineworkers 

It is highly recommended that you attend this course in conjunction with the Overhead Distribution System Principles and Applications online course (Jan. 18-26). 

Course Schedule and Topics

Orientation Session: February 14 (1-1:45 p.m. Eastern)
We request that all participants attend this session, though a recording will also be made available. The session will cover:

Instructor and participant introductions 

Course overview, materials, and expectations

Technology and logistics (the APPA document portal and homework/exercises)

Zoom functionality (breakout rooms, webcams/audio, best practices, etc.)

Completion requirements for continuing education credits

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

Session 1: Overhead Line Design Accountabilities and ProcessFebruary 15

  • Overhead line design protocols
  • The overhead line design process
  • NESC general requirements for overhead lines
  • Joint use and other considerations in overhead line design 

Session 2: Conductor/Cable Sag, Tension, and Clearance February 16

  • 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 
  • Conductor/cable application examples and assigned exercises

Session 3: NESC Clearance Requirements February 17

  • Clearances to ground and water surfaces
  • Clearances to buildings and other structures
  • Clearances between conductors, cables and equipment
  • Selected special clearance conditions
  • Clearance application examples and assigned exercises

Session 4: Overhead Line Structure Loading and Strength (Part 1)  February 22

  • NESC requirements for supporting structure design (loading conditions and strength requirements)
  • Determination of mechanical forces on supporting structures 
  • Overhead line guying and anchoring design considerations
  • Supporting structure loading application examples and assigned exercises

Session 5: Overhead Line Structure Loading and Strength (Part 2)  February 23

  • 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

Course Level

Intermediate/Advanced: No prerequisites; however, completion of the Overhead Distribution Principles & Applications (Jan. 18-26) is highly recommended. Some advance preparation is requested, including attending an orientation session on Feb. 14 (1-1:45 p.m. Eastern – this will be recorded), completing a brief pre-course survey, and logging into the line design software platform.   

Technology Requirements

  • Zoom Meeting Application: Attendees are required to have strong Internet access, in order to run the Zoom meeting platform. Click here to learn more about downloading the Zoom Web Client.
  • Audio/Webcam: You will need to enable computer audio to listen and speak (alternatively a call-in number will be provided) and you will also need a webcam, so you can fully engage in the small group breakout session and group discussions.

Additional Requirements

  • 2017 NESC: 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).

Course Access and Materials

  • Zoom Links: Zoom log in credentials will be sent out 24 hours before the start of Session 1.
  • Course materials: Attendees will receive access to APPA’s secure online document portal a week before the course, where the eManuals and other course materials will be made available, allowing you to work with them before, during and after the online sessions. 
  • Line Design Software: You will receive a separate email from Ted Dimberio (instructor and software co-developer) a week in advance of the class with directions on how to access the Utility Line Design Client program, which you’ll use to perform some basic line design calculations. 
  • Recordings: The sessions will be recorded and can also be accessed through APPA’s document portal (within a week of the last class in the program), in case you can’t attend the live versions. Recordings will be accessible for 90 days after the last course session. Note: Continuing education credits can only be issued for attending live sessions.

Application Exercises/Homework

  • Following each live session, participants are expected to work independently on online line design application exercises (some exercises will be conducted during the live sessions). Further instructions on accessing the line design software and completing the exercises will be provided at the beginning of Session One. 
  • There will also be self-grading online quizzes to complete outside of class, to test your knowledge on key concepts.
  • Total estimated time for completing these items is 1-2 hours per class day.


The following continuing education credits will be provided, after successfully completing 90% of all five live sessions. Certificates will be available by March 9. These sessions will be recorded, though certificates can only be awarded to those who participate in the live events (click here to review requirements).
Recommended CEUs 1.4/PDHs 14/CPEs 16.8 

Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge


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.

tedTed 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.

ericErich 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.


Email:; Phone: 202-467-2978

Email:; Phone: 512-284-3688

Registration Fee

  • $1,195 for APPA members
  • $1,195 for AULDP and Collaborative Learning contacts 
  • $2,390 for nonmembers

Group Discounts: Save $50 per registrant with a group of 5-9, $100 per person for 10-14, $150 per person for 15 or more. The more in your group, the greater the discount!

Registration for this course is through APPA.
To receive the 50% Discount, 
contact APPA directly by email or by phone.

Email:; Phone: 202-467-2978

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software