The idea of playing a part in developing climate solutions through renewable energies is the inspiration for Diviya Chhagan’s career in electrical engineering, and a summer internship with the EEA has convinced her that she’s on the right track.
Diviya is in the fourth and final year of her electrical engineering degree at Auckland University. She took engineering because she knew it led to good employment outcomes but it wasn’t until she was studying that she developed a passion for the power grid and the role it can have in lowering emissions.
“The grid is such a remarkable piece of infrastructure, it performs complex tasks but the way in which it functions is just incredible in its simplicity,” says Diviya.
“After my first year of university it was a simple decision to specialise in electrical as the industry has such a fascinating future.”
She sees renewable energy as an important tool in the fight against climate change, and aims to work on further integrating renewable energies in the future.
She explored this concept further and took her first steps into the industry through a summer internship at the EEA.
“The internship was advertised at uni and specified report writing and renewable energy as major focuses of the job - both were things I wanted to learn more about so I was thrilled to have my application accepted.
“I learnt something new every day, and got to see how the entire industry operates and all the different little roles that I hadn’t learnt about. It has made me even more certain I’m in the right career.”
One of Diviya’s main projects was working with an industry project group to update the EEA Guide on the process and technical requirements to connect generation plants to the network. This required a deep dive into the rules in the EEA Participation Code 2010 to update the common connection guidance.
“It was great to have Diviya join the EEA team,” says Peter Berry, Chief Executive of the EEA. “She is enthusiastic about the industry and has an inquisitive and analytical mind.”
“The industry has a bright future with young engineers like her getting involved.”
Diviya’s focus has now shifted back to the final year of her degree, which she thinks she is better prepared for, following her practical work experience over summer.
“It took a bit to get my head around all of the complex information and formal documents in the electricity industry, but now I can read them and digest them easily, which will help me greatly with university,” explains Diviya.
The EEA’s vast network provided Diviya with lots of contacts throughout the industry, giving her a better insight into what roles may be available when finding employment after graduation. For now, if there ever is an opportunity with the EEA again, she would love to return for more work experience in the industry she loves.