Alyssa Himle

Bismarck State College

System Controller, Powder River Energy Corporation

Alyssa Himle is a shining example of how pursuing education results in career advancement.  She began her career in energy with Basin Electric Power Cooperative in 2006 in Bismarck, ND as a Dispatcher.  “I knew nothing about the industry when I started working there,” she said, adding, “and the more I learned, the more interested I became.”  She moved to Powder River Energy Corporation in Gillette, WY in 2008 and worked as a Lead Dispatcher and Energy Services Coordinator. 


“Once I began working at Powder River Energy I was working much more closely with the Operations and Engineering groups; that’s when I knew that I wanted to earn some kind of degree in the electrical field,” she said.  Powder River Energy’s adoption of a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system fueled that need.  Alyssa noted, “Because I didn’t have any type of electrical certification or degree, the company was hesitant to allow me to operate anything through SCADA.”


Bismarck State College’s online Electric Power Technology program was the perfect solution for Alyssa for several reasons – she was working full time, raising a family, and didn’t have the ability to attend classes on-campus living in Gillette, WY.  Alyssa was aware of Bismarck State College from previously living in Bismarck, and was thrilled to discover an industry-specific program was available online.  In fact, she credits earning her Associate’s degree as the reason she could advance her career: “The degree program aligned perfectly with my career ambitions because it allowed me to take the step forward from Dispatcher to System Controller.”  Alyssa became a System Controller in May 2016.


The knowledge gained from the program has been extremely beneficial.  “I am able to apply the knowledge I gained on a daily basis,” she said.  As she looks towards the future, Alyssa is excited about her career potential at Powder River Energy, noting, “In the future, I see myself managing the dispatch group at Powder River Energy.”