Chris Wembridge

Chris Wembridge

Deakin University
Graduate Electrical Engineer
Chris studied Bachelor of Electrical/Electronics Engineering (Honours) at Deakin University

What's your job about?

We provide transmission, distribution and telecommunication services for the state of Tasmania, from generators to customers.

Currently I am in Network Operations- Outage Assessment. Every single day there are outages happening throughout the network, these could be for scheduled maintenance or upgrades. With such a complex system come significant challenges to supply electricity safely, with minimal impact to customers. My responsibility is to assess the network arrangement changes to determine if the system is still secure and safe to operate before these works can take place.

Using models of the network I simulate the changes that will occur on the live system to see how it will operate. Stress the network too hard and you might overload a conductor (or worse), not supply enough power and the system might collapse. The job is never boring because there are so many things that could happen over such a geographically diverse network.

What's your background?

I was originally from Victoria, in a small town called Lara. This was a great place to grow up with easy access to Melbourne and the beautiful beaches along the Great Ocean Road.

I first thought of being an engineer when I was discussing being an electrician with my dad and brother, they were so supportive and said that I should push to be an electrical engineer due to my love of mathematics and problem solving.

Throughout high school I kept this passion alive, even though I had to complete distance education to study maths and science classes because of the low class numbers.

I finally reached university and was fortunate enough to surround myself with great friends and mentors who shared my love for engineering. My first job was at CSIRO, I delved into electrical and control systems in an industrial facility. This lead to a job offer at the consultancy GHD were I completed major projects in the field of power engineering. Finally, I took the challenge and moved to Tasmania for a job offer at TasNetworks. The mentors I have surrounded myself are consistently supportive and passionate. I see myself only further developing with this great support network.

I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and move interstate. TasNetworks offered me a graduate position and I have now been here for a year and I think I have made one of the best decisions for my career.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, passion is everything. If you love the work you do there is no stopping what you can achieve.

Skills one should have :

  • Collaborative-Sharing and contributing to discussions
  • Teamwork – Not a single job I have ever done has only involved me
  • Research orientated – Always look for new things to learn and what is the future of the industry
  • Perseverance – Problems are problems for a reason, so work at them and don’t give up

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The “lightbulb” moment when you are working on a difficult project and you get the answer that solves the problem. I have really gotten into programming since university and being able to develop new procedures for tasks in a faster and more efficient way is keeping me really interested in my workplace at the moment.

What are the limitations of your job?

The rotations try to be centered around your interests, however, depending on business need you may rotate into an area for six months that isn’t directly related to the career path you want.

There are also times you may really enjoy a rotation but will be rotated to allow you to see more parts of the business.

Other side of this is you might rotate into somewhere you really enjoy and it might open a new career path for you.

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

  • Focus more on the practical application of the things you are trying to learn.
  • Never say no to an opportunity, someone is asking you because they know it will help your career.
  • Create a log of all the interesting opportunities you are given and how you grew from those experiences.