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Electricity Industry recognises safety and engineering excellence and a future leader

The Electricity Engineers' Association – EEA2018 Conference Auckland – 20 June 2018

National awards for workplace safety, engineering excellence and young engineer of the year were presented today at the Electricity Engineers' Association Conference in Auckland.

“The EEA awards celebrate best practice, recognise achievements and allow the electricity supply industry to share experience and knowledge,” said Peter Berry, executive director of the Electricity Engineers' Association (EEA).

Winners of the Workplace Safety Award are Mitton ElectroNet for their ‘Virtual Reality for Site Induction Training project.

Virtual Reality for Site Induction Training, uses new technology as an innovative and modern learning tool applicable to training for high hazard areas such as switchyards.

“They have created an approach with their training programme which reinvents 'normal’,” said Peter Berry. “ThePeter Armstrong of Mitton ElectroNet innovation significantly increases engagement and understanding, when it comes to learning about substation hazards. The tool is likely to have significant future use within our industry, and in many others.”

Peter Armstrong, General Manager of Mitton ElectroNet, said in accepting the award; “It’s more than VR. It’s about our core values of safety, innovation and having fun. Credit to the team involved, in interpreting the vision and delivering a great programme. It’s changing our business and our customers’ business as well.”

The EEA Engineering Excellence Award was presented to AECOM for their entry ‘Wilton Substation – 110kV Bus Rationalisation’.

AECOM delivered a challenging engineering project; a major rebuild of the substation that feeds Wellington’s electricity supply, with no disruption as the work took place while the equipment was operating.

“The project succinctly addressed the aspects around collaboration, managed substation works that were complexBob Taylor, President of the EEA, with Jabez Smith of AECOM due to access and terrain, and also development of methodologies that can be used again in the future,” said Peter Berry.

AECOM also applied innovations that led to time and cost efficiencies and improvements that would drive down the cost of ownership and maintainability of the substation.

Jabez Smith of AECOM said; “This was one of the most challenging projects I have worked on. I would like to pay tribute to Transpower.” He commented on the design and safety achievements and zero disruption of working on a live system and said one of the best results was; “No-one noticed it was going on.”

The winner of the 2018 EEA Young Engineer of the Year Award is Rebecca Marx of Mitton ElectroNet.

Rebecca Marx graduated from the University of Canterbury in 2009 and has been with Mitton ElectroNet since 2014 when she joined as an Engineer. Her career has followed an impressive trajectory where she has rapidly and increasingly taken on more responsibility and has delivered impressive results. “She has received significant praise from inside and outside her company for technical skills, quick and clear communications and an unflappable calm even on major projects,” said Peter Berry.

She has been involved in a number of significant South Island projects, been chair of the New Zealand branch of global technical standards body CIGRE and been nominated for an award by them.

Rebecca was also a founding partner of an internal initiative called ‘Innovationeers’ which has played a part in making innovation a key part the businesses culture. She has recently been promoted to a senior leadership role in the company.

As part of her Award, Rebecca will be representing New Zealand at the 2018 International Electrotechnical Commission’s IEC Young Professionals Workshop, which is being held in October in Busan, Republic of Korea. The EEA, Standards New Zealand and the IEC will be supporting her attendance.

In receiving her well deserved award, Rebecca Marx commented on the perseverance and determination which leadRebecca Marx with Bob Taylor President of The EEA her to pursue a career in power engineering, the importance of mentoring, and of positive feedback for young engineers when things go right.

“We are fortunate enough to be involved in an incredible industry, we have the power to make a change in this world,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to dream big.”

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