Grant PUD’s Patrick Oldham Receives Esteemed Milton Hunt McGuire Award

Grant PUD’s Patrick Oldham Receives Esteemed Milton Hunt McGuire Award

(L-R) Patrick Oldham receives the Milton Hunt McGuire Award from 2023 First Vice Chair Rob Fererra of SMUD.

(April 7) Yesterday, Grant County PUD’s Patrick Oldham received Northwest Public Power Association’s 2023 Award for Excellence in Engineering or Operations, also known as the Milton Hunt McGuire Award, at the association’s 2023 Engineering & Operations Conference in Reno, Nevada.

Oldham has supported Grant PUD and its hydro generation division for 32 years as a mechanical engineer. For the past 20 years he has been Grant PUD’s turbine and generator installation expert, leading the design and installation of turbines and generators at both Wanapum Dam and Priest Rapids Dam.

As a technical leader, Pat has mentored every single operations, maintenance, and engineering staff member at some point in his career,” said Dale Campbell, Grant PUD’s senior manager of power production engineering. “But Pat’s impact and knowledge has not been limited to Grant County PUD. His experience and knowledge include assisting numerous contracted fabricators, consultants, and equipment manufacturers, too.”

Oldham’s list of successful hydro projects runs long. Some highlights include troubleshooting and modification of original manufacture thrust bearing assembly; new turbine rotation device without staff being required to stand underneath a suspended load; Go Pros and iPads for bridge crane alignment tools which allowed for precise alignment without craft standing underneath a suspended load; intricate scaffold design that wraps around the scroll case; new unit oil head vibration troubleshooting; and new unit wicket gate vibration troubleshooting.

The Excellence in Engineering or Operations Award is given to an engineer and/or operations person who has made contributions to the utility industry in the engineering or operations area. It was first presented in 1947 and is considered NWPPA’s most prestigious award for a utility employee working in the areas of engineering or operations. Because of the high caliber of requirements, it is not presented every year. Recent award winners for Excellence in Engineering or Operations include Kevin Marshall of Grant County PUD (2021), Dave Peterson of Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative (2017), and John Martinsen of Snohomish County PUD (2014).

About NWPPA: NWPPA is an international association representing and serving more than 150 customer-owned, locally controlled utilities in the Western U.S. and Canada. The association also serves over 300 associate members across the U.S. and Canada who are allied with the electric utility industry. For more information, visit or follow @NWPPAssoc on our social channels.

Contact: Brenda Dunn at or (360) 816-1453


Download a pdf of the release here