Updating Results

Western Power

4.0
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Jeffery Vuong

The best thing about being a graduate at Western Power is that you are training and learning.

What’s your job about?

Western Power is a state government owned corporation that operates the transmission and distribution network in Western Australia. As part of the Graduate Program, my roles change every 6 months.

Previously I was in Distribution Asset Performance where my main responsibility was to be custodian of in-service assets such as transformers and cables in the network. This involves providing technical support and answering queries related to the in-service assets.  Part of the job involves understanding the causes of failure for in-service assets by performing root cause analysis then collaborating with other parts of the business such as design teams and asset strategy to make decisions on what can be done to reduce the likelihood of failure. A typical day would involve a few meetings related to technical support and every fortnight or so there would be asset failure investigations.

I’m currently working in Substation Design. My responsibilities are to provide technical design advice and sometimes in-house designs for brownfield and greenfield substations. It’s quite a technical role, most of my day is taken up by looking at engineering drawings figuring out how they all work together, providing solutions to other areas of the business and liaising with project managers and design managers when doing a job. This is a role that requires a decent amount of technical theory.

What is your background?

I grew up in Western Australia. During my primary and high school, I always enjoyed maths, but it was not until high school I started to gain more of an appreciation for physics - especially in the area of electromagnetism. That was when I decided I would do Electrical Engineering in University.

After four years of engineering at UWA, I worked at Water Corporation, onsite doing operational engineering work mostly on control systems and a little bit of electrical power. I enjoyed that but wanted to have more skills and have more exposure to other areas of electrical engineering before I decided what specialist field I could see myself in.

That is when I found myself interested in the Western Power Graduate Program, because you get six rotations in six different areas of electrical engineering. You get a taste of what you like, and at the same time gain more knowledge and experience. I applied for it, I got the role and I’ve been here since February 2019.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

I think for some rotations, yes, like in asset performance and project management. As those areas don’t really require you to understand electrical engineering concepts and theory. But for areas like protection design or network planning, those definitely require you to have a decent understanding of power system analysis and general electrical engineering theory as a core.

What is the coolest thing about your job?

The best thing about being a graduate at Western Power is that you are training and learning many new things that weren’t taught in university or things specific to different roles; and at the same time people give you a decent amount of responsibility which is good exposure.

Most team leaders try to give you as much chance as possible to try out everything each area has to offer.

What are the limitations of your job?

The limitations are that the rotations can be short. For more technically involved rotations, six months may not be enough. This is because it could take up to 3-4 months just to be competent enough to work on interesting projects.

Some projects you work on take a while and having only 2-3 months would not be enough time to get into the best parts of the rotation. But at least your technical ability may be much better than it was before you started the rotation.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student…

  1. Try to get more industry experience (more vacation work). Paid or unpaid, anything counts.
  2. Go to more networking events to meet new people and ask about their roles and responsibilities. It gives you an idea of where you would like to end up one day.
  3. Perhaps go on exchange to learn from a different university to grab different perspective.

What’s your job about?

Western Power is a state government owned corporation that operates the transmission and distribution network in Western Australia. As part of the Graduate Program, my roles change every 6 months.

Previously I was in Distribution Asset Performance where my main responsibility was to be custodian of in-service assets such as transformers and cables in the network. This involves providing technical support and answering queries related to the in-service assets.  Part of the job involves understanding the causes of failure for in-service assets by performing root cause analysis then collaborating with other parts of the business such as design teams and asset strategy to make decisions on what can be done to reduce the likelihood of failure. A typical day would involve a few meetings related to technical support and every fortnight or so there would be asset failure investigations.

I’m currently working in Substation Design. My responsibilities are to provide technical design advice and sometimes in-house designs for brownfield and greenfield substations. It’s quite a technical role, most of my day is taken up by looking at engineering drawings figuring out how they all work together, providing solutions to other areas of the business and liaising with project managers and design managers when doing a job. This is a role that requires a decent amount of technical theory.

What is your background?

I grew up in Western Australia. During my primary and high school, I always enjoyed maths, but it was not until high school I started to gain more of an appreciation for physics - especially in the area of electromagnetism. That was when I decided I would do Electrical Engineering in University.

After four years of engineering at UWA, I worked at Water Corporation, onsite doing operational engineering work mostly on control systems and a little bit of electrical power. I enjoyed that but wanted to have more skills and have more exposure to other areas of electrical engineering before I decided what specialist field I could see myself in.

That is when I found myself interested in the Western Power Graduate Program, because you get six rotations in six different areas of electrical engineering. You get a taste of what you like, and at the same time gain more knowledge and experience. I applied for it, I got the role and I’ve been here since February 2019.

Could someone with a different background do your job? 

I think for some rotations, yes, like in asset performance and project management. As those areas don’t really require you to understand electrical engineering concepts and theory. But for areas like protection design or network planning, those definitely require you to have a decent understanding of power system analysis and general electrical engineering theory as a core.

What is the coolest thing about your job?

The best thing about being a graduate at Wester Power is that you are training and learning many new things that weren’t taught in university or things specific to different roles; and at the same time people give you a decent amount of responsibility which is good exposure.

Most team leaders try to give you as much chance as possible to try out everything each area has to offer.

What are the limitations of your job?

The limitations are that the rotations can be short. For more technically involved rotations, six months may not be enough. This is because it could take up to 3-4 months just to be competent enough to work on interesting projects.

Some projects you work on take a while and having only 2-3 months would not be enough time to get into the best parts of the rotation. But at least your technical ability may be much better than it was before you started the rotation.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student…

  1. Try to get more industry experience (more vacation work). Paid or unpaid, anything counts.
  2. Go to more networking events to meet new people and ask about their roles and responsibilities. It gives you an idea of where you would like to end up one day.
  3. Perhaps go on exchange to learn from a different university to grab different perspective.