For this edition of ‘A Day in the Life’, we spoke with Vlora Dzeladini of SA Power Networks to find out what a typical day in her life as an Electrical Engineer looks like.
If I get out of bed early I can make it to the coffee shop with time to spare… the thought goes around in my head as I eventually roll out of bed. It’s way too cold out – when’s summer coming back!
I head to the coffee shop and make a new friend along the way, today is going to be a great day.
Coffee and breakfast down, and I’ve made it to work just in time. First things first- I log on to the computer to see how many unread emails I’ve already accumulated. It seems our vendor overseas has responded to a few queries while I was sleeping. Time to get to work writing up responses and testing some new information- now we’ve got a few more things to ponder.
Next is meetings- what’s on the agenda for today!
It’s time for my first meeting of the day, where we’ll discuss the acceptance criteria for one of our major projects with a lead stakeholder. This usually involves presenting our business case to stakeholders, followed by a brainstorming session looking into key performance indicators to best track the success of the project. These meetings are a good way to start the day, a nice dose of hearty discussion and usually tend to require more than one session (not to mention seem to go overtime often…engineers really are passionate about their work).
The meeting is over, and I feel like we’ve made some considerable progress! I’m now back at my desk and I’ve barely had time to unlock my computer when a member from one of our operational teams has come to me with a situation. Our distribution management system is used by the wider business for core operational tasks and It seems they’ve found a new scenario using our system that we hadn’t come across. Time to put on my thinking cap- I love this sort of work, I could spend hours problem solving but unfortunately don’t have the luxury of time (and it’s almost lunch!).
It’s lunch time, and luckily today is team lunch day. An amazing member of our team has cooked us up a feast, some delicious curry. I’m predicting a food-coma is coming up.
Now that I’m fed and watered I finally get a moment to start on the good stuff- system testing. To maintain an up to date system, our vendor has provided a few software updates that can’t be commissioned on the live production system until thorough testing has been completed. These tests involve simulating real-life operations in a test environment. Our team is responsible for testing the main power applications used in the distribution management system (eg. load flow analysis), and there are over 600 scenarios to simulate. So far so good, but we still have another 200 tests to go…this may take a while…
There are two certainties in Engineering- meetings and Excel.
Can’t survive without a snack.
Time to break-up the testing with a bit of project management. How’s our project tracking? I try to write a quick excel macro to collate our data but it’s not compiling, I bet I’ve missed a bracket somewhere. Back to testing.
Time to log off and say goodbye for the day, but now I’ve got another dilemma- basketball or food? I decide I should probably do some exercise after all the food and coffee had during the day, and I do enjoy socialising.
I’m back home and winding down with the usual- TV, social media, and catching up on the day’s news. I do a quick check of my work calendar and email (is there anything critical needed for tomorrow?!)
It’s time to get ready for bed; I’ve got to start the day off nice and early again tomorrow.