Preeti Ravindran

Preeti Ravindran

University of Tasmania
Graduate Electrical Engineer
Preeti studied Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at University of Tasmania

What’s your job about?

I am employed as a Graduate Electrical Engineer at TasNetworks, a Tasmanian state-owned corporation. TasNetworks has responsibility for delivering reliable, high quality and cost-effective electricity to residential, commercial and major industrial customers.

As part of TasNetworks 3 year graduate program, I have been rotating to different teams every six months.

Teams I have worked in:

  • Asset Strategy (sets direction for type and use of assets);
  • Asset Performance (review effectiveness of assets and used to confirm strategies are effective);
  • Network Innovation (identify applications for new technologies and monitor “what’s happening” in the bigger picture);
  • Network Planning (investigate load growth areas and ensure system is developed to suit); and
  • Network Performance (ensure power system continues to run in a secure and satisfactory state).

As a graduate, I have been given exposure to and have some level of input/development/ review with different engineering activities each team were responsible for, such as:

  • Business cases;
  • Technical Standards;
  • Strategy papers;
  • Asset Management Plans;
  • Investment Evaluation Summaries;
  • Risk Evaluation;
  • Project Management;
  • System reliability analysis;
  • Exploring new technologies;
  • Network Planning;
  • Motor start/Solar PV assessments;
  • Load flow/dynamic simulations; and
  • Connection study.

All these projects were new, different and challenging. It provided me with lots of opportunities to learn and develop my skills. It has given me the important skills to do my job more effectively.

What’s your background?

I’m originally from India. Born in TamilNadu, lived in Goa till the age of 9 and then moved to Bangalore and lived there until the age of 13, completing my studies from grade-4 to grade-8.

In 2006, stepped into my new and exciting adventure. Along with my parents came to Australia. We lived in Perth for 5 months and then moved to Hobart, it’s now almost 11 years, from High School to College to University and now job.

I say to myself - What a journey I’ve had…

Time has passed by so quickly. However, looking back the best thing about my journey is that I’ve had the opportunity to live in different places. This opened me a lot of new doors.
All these places gave me valuable experiences, pathways to learn new languages, cultures and most importantly to gain lots of friends.

While studying at UTAS, I received a Transend Networks scholarship (now TasNetworks) which also included a 12 week placement. Vacation work placement with Transend gave me the opportunity to gain a better understanding and insight into the Power industry. It also gave me the opportunity of working closely with professional engineers which helped me to understand and learn more about the Power system.

After graduating from UTAS, I was offered a graduate position with the same company. A benefit of this graduate program is that it gives me great experience of working in the Power industry, providing me with a better understanding of what is needed and how I can contribute.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes. ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’.

It can be a bit difficult to the person with no engineering background to do my job compared to the person with engineering background. However, it also depends in which team you’re working for and the projects undertaken. As some teams are more technical than others.

On the other hand if he/she is interested and has the passion to learn. Spending some extra time on understanding the concepts, technical terms, going on site visits, trainings, should allow them to pick it up quickly.

Important skills that can be handy for new starters:

  • Willing to learn and to accept new opportunities;
  • Be confident in what you do;
  • Ask questions (others are always willing to help and provide guidance);
  • Share/discuss ideas; and
  • Seek feedback.

What’s the coolest thing about your job?

Coolest thing about my job is definitely the people I work with. They are amazing, fun, innovative and supportive. They are an inspiration and this motivates me to do more. I also have amazing mentors who consistently support and guide me.

Sometimes there are times when things don’t work out in the first place or the way you would like it to go, e.g. for a task or a project. But not to forget, the best part is when you get to see your project proceed to the next stage of implementation and their outcomes. As a graduate, it’s a great feeling. It shows that all the efforts that were put in were all worth it. It's been nearly 3 years now and the exciting thing is that there is still lot more to learn.

What are the limitations of your job?

During initial learning stages where you haven’t got enough experience. You might be spending extra time to learn what’s there out in the field, reading new topics and understanding them, learning new softwares, asking people for more information, etc. This can slow down the process of completing a task or a project. Once you understand the whole process, it’s easier as you know where to find all information from. Learning, seeking help, multitasking and managing time effectively all helps to overcome these limitations.

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

Advice that I always gave myself-

  • Work hard;
  • Keep learning; and
  • Don’t restrict yourself, try things that are out of your comfort zone.