Rodger Griffiths

Rodger is General Manager – Assets and Engineering Services at Westpower and is an Executive Director on the Board of power systems consultancy – Mitton Electronet. He is also a Chartered Professional Engineer and Graduate of Deakin University’s Technology Management programme.

He gained his B.E from Auckland University in 1982 and began work as an Assistant Engineer with Westpower the same year. He clearly liked the West Coast and they him because 34 years later he is still there. 

Rodger is a very modest person. His CV says …throughout his career, Rodger has been involved with many aspects of power system design and construction in the generation, transmission and distribution sectors of the NZ industry. He continues to have an active role in promoting innovative engineering solutions… For those of you who have had the pleasure of seeking Rodger’s counsel on any power industry matter know that is a masterful understatement.

In his CV mentions ‘a special interest in hydro generation … the 7 MW Amethyst Hydro Electric Scheme in 2013’ which won the 2014 EEA Engineering Excellence Award was his baby. This small run of the river community owned hydro station incorporated a number of innovative designs including a locally designed 6 jet Pelton turbine with enhanced deflector governing capability that provides improved frequency regulation; a removable powerhouse roof that avoided the need for a larger powerhouse; and automatic sluicing of the settling basin which reduces ongoing maintenance. Particular attention was paid to life cycle management costs and engineering design to minimize ongoing operation and maintenance costs. It was built in difficult terrain – 500 metres from the main alpine fault and in a Conservation area. 

He joined the EEA in 1984 and over the last few weeks I have trawled EEA files and reports to discover just what a significant role Rodger has played in the work of the EEA and industry power engineering.

Rodgers name comes up in in a whole raft of projects, publications and working groups including to asset management, asset health indicator, manual and auto reclose guides, HV SWER lines, metering, power quality, HV risk based earthing, options for TT earthing, earthing of cow sheds, security of supply, protection systems , SCADA and safety …to name but a few! 

He is a prodigious writer and sharer of information - he won his first EEA Conference Best Paper Award in 1997 (on metering), his next in 2012 (on generation). In 2007 and 2009 he won the IET Best Paper Presentation at the EEA Conference, for papers on power system earthing and asset works management (using GIS). He was a founding member of our Asset Management Group.

Rodger is also a key member of the Westpower/ Electronet team and is held in the very highest regard by all of the people he works with and his local community. 

He displays the key attributes of a great leaders – modesty, knowledge, pragmatism and a passion for what he does. 

His willingness to share his broad technical knowledge is legendary…he always makes himself available, his thinking is sound & well considered and he is a very patient man. 

For young engineers wanting to learn put Rodger on your list of ‘go to people’ – he has so much to share.

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