Bob Simpson

Bob is a professional electrical engineer (ME, FIPENZ, CPEng, FIET, and CEng) with over 40 years of electricity industry experience. 

He has extensive governance experience at Transpower, as Director for Orion in Christchurch, Electricity Engineers Association board member and president, NZ Board of Engineering Diplomas board member and trustee of University of Canterbury engineering trusts.

From 1989 Bob has held a number of positions with Transpower.  He was Transition Manager, directing and monitoring the transition process for the establishment of Transpower as a separate entity, including business valuation, technical due diligence, asset integration and liaising with the Transpower Establishment Board.  He then took on the role of Quality Manager, providing independent advice on technical issues, liaising with line management on problem identification and resolution and reviewing technical policy. 

He developed and produced Transpower’s Asset Management Plan, carried out performance monitoring, developed Board reporting framework, investigated probabilistic network analysis and was extensively involved in the production of a book on generation, delivery and customer aspects of electricity reliability of supply as part of a Canterbury University Centre for Advanced Engineering project.

In a subsequent Transpower role as Performance Improvement Manager, he sponsored the implementation of a major maintenance management system.  In this role he also carried out continuous improvement projects along with benchmarking Transpower’s performance with international transmission companies, technical reviews, emergency management planning, budget co-ordination and management reporting.  He also continued with developing Transpower’s Asset Management Plans.

From 1998 to 2004, Bob provided technical and managerial consulting services to the electricity industry with a main focus on investigating transmission and distribution company expenditure, Distribution Company due diligence, asset management plan preparation, examining performance and operational targets, reviewing outsourcing arrangements, incidents investigations and business process and system reviews. 

In 2004 Bob rejoined Transpower as Grid Asset Manager.  The role was to ensure Transpower’s assets were properly maintained, ensure Grid Owner compliance meets Electricity Goverance Rules and manage the implementation of project work to time, budget, and quality and customer satisfaction.  The role also managed outage planning, contractor maintenance and project auditing, training and regional operating centres.  In this role Bob was also responsible for Electricity Governance interconnection and Benchmark Agreement rule development and implementation and actively involved in Commerce Commission OPEX and CAPEX reviews.

He subsequently acted as General Manager, National Grid and then General Manager Grid Performance.

In 2008 Bob became Chief Engineer of Transpower reporting to CEO and responsible for ensuring engineering quality, strategy and effectiveness.  He also provided technical challenge, leadership and support to Transpower Executive team, managers and staff and manages Transpower Board Network Risk Committee.  He retired from Transpower in July 2014.  He completed an investigation into a major loss of power to Auckland at Penrose substation in 2014.

Bob has been President and Board member of Electricity Engineers Association, He is a board member of Orion (Christchurch Electricity Distribution Network) and NZ Engineering Diplomas.  He has been a member of Electricity Commission Transmission Advisory Group Trustee of University of Canterbury Power Engineering Excellence Trust (PEET) and Trustee of the Electric Power Engineering Centre (EPECentre) and a business mentor for Wellington business.

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