Design of Transmission Lines, Structures, and Foundations

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Course Overview

This in-depth course provides you with the latest criteria and practical techniques used in the design of transmission lines, structures, and foundations. You will learn transmission design concepts that use traditional methods and modern software, and participate in class design exercises.

Course topics include:

  • Single and multiple pole wood and steel structures
  • Latticed steel towers
  • Conductor design and behavior
  • Line assessment and upgrading concepts
  • Strength analysis for joint use
  • Foundation design

This up-to-date course applies to the design of new transmission lines and the upgrade of existing ones.

Who Should Attend?

  • Transmission line design engineers
  • Structural engineers
  • Consulting engineers
  • Design and drafting technicians
  • CAD technicians
  • Surveyors

Experienced individuals and those recently assigned to transmission line projects will benefit from this course.

Additional Information

Note: This course does not include training on the PLS-CADD computer program.

Important: We recommend you bring your own laptop which must comply with the course laptop requirements. Computer rental is available for a $300 weekly fee. If you prefer to rent a computer, please indicate that choice when enrolling in the course.

Course Outline

Design Criteria and Loads

  • Design philosophies 
  • Codes and standards 
  • Wind and ice loads
  • Longitudinal loads 
  • Concepts of wind and weight spans

Behavior of Suspended Cables

  • Basic sag and slack equations
  • Ruling span concept
  • Offset clipping
  • Interaction between structures and cables

Loading Tree

Conductor Design and Behavior

  • Conductor types
  • Creep and permanent elongation
  • Sag-tension calculations
  • High-temperature effects
  • Current vs. temperature relationships 
  • Vibration and galloping

Basic Structure Spotting

  • Strength considerations 
  • Clearance requirements

Computer Analysis and Design Tools

  • 3-dimensional line modeling 
  • Examples

Design of Wood Poles

  • Unguyed and guyed

Design of Tubular Steel Poles

Design of Concrete Poles

Design of Wood H-Frames

Line Assessment and Upgrading Concepts

  • Assessing existing capability
  • Elevated temperature operation
  • Re-tensioning/re-sagging
  • Pole joint use issues
  • Structural analysis for upgrading/reconductoring

Case Studies

Design of Steel Latticed Towers

  • Tower configurations
  • Modeling for analysis
  • Detailed design criteria 
  • Examples


  • How to specify, analyze, and use soil investigations 
  • Types of foundations

Foundations for Single Poles

  • Analysis and design methods 
  • Examples

Foundations for Frames and Towers

  • Factors influencing type of foundations 
  • Analysis and design methods
  • Examples

Guy Anchors


Otto J. Lynch

Otto J. Lynch, PE, President & CEO, Power Line Systems, Madison, Wisconsin is an internationally known expert in transmission line design and the PLS-CADD computer program, and he has conducted numerous seminars and training sessions in its use and applications. Prior to joining Power Line Systems in 2000, Mr. Lynch was with Black & Veatch for over 12 years doing civil/structural design for substations and transmission lines. He has designed several families of lattice steel transmission towers and has worked on transmission projects ranging from 69kV to 500kV utilizing wood, tapered tubular steel, lattice steel, concrete, and laminated wood structures throughout the world. Mr. Lynch is a pioneer in integrating LiDAR (Light Distance and Ranging) aerial survey data into the PLS-CADD program for transmission line rerating and reconductoring projects. Mr. Lynch is an expert in all the computer programs that will be used throughout the course.

Vicki Schneider

Vicki Schneider, PE, Lead Engineer, Mortenson Engineering Services, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota has over 20 years of structural/foundation engineering experience in projects for electric utilities, fabricators and EPC (engineer-procure-construct) projects. Over the years, she has also worked as a design team member on hospitals, banks, hotels and event centers for above grade and foundation designs. Ms. Schneider leads the structural design team and has significant experience as the Engineer of Record on substation and transmission line projects. Her substation structural design and transmission line experience ranges from 34.5kV to 500kV for all aspects of design including, but not limited to, shallow foundations, spread footings, direct embedded poles and drilled piers.

Upcoming dates (1)

Nov. 1-5, 2021

Madison, WI
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Program Director

John Raksany

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