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Western Power

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Jessica Kitchen

6.30 AM

First alarm. Get up, get ready for work and head to the bus stop.

7.30 AM

Arrive at work – the time I arrive is flexible depending on how many times I hit snooze. Generally, I prefer to arrive earlier so I can leave earlier.

Walking up the stairs

First things first, grab myself a cup of tea, check my emails and start my work for the day.

The team I am in at the moment is part of operational asset management which means I get a good mix of both office and field work.

This morning my job is to write up an unplanned asset replacement memo for some battery units that have failed recently. The memo is to justify the need for replacement and request funds.

9.00 AM

Team meeting time. Most of my meetings these days are online with working from home arrangements still in place in our office.

As the work we do here is quite reactive, most of the team meeting is spent discussing how we are keeping up with queries from the field and discussing if anything urgent has come in.

I’ll spend an hour or two most days going through queries, prioritising and ensuring they are recorded correctly for reporting purposes. Queries can range from a light inside a substation building not working to primary plant failure.


Site inspections! The team I’m in is also responsible for checking newly installed plant prior to energisation. We check for any obvious defects like dents/scratches/cracks etc that may significantly reduce the longevity of the asset (and that may be able to be fixed under warranty) and for less obvious defects such as any early signs of corrosion or unsealed joints where corrosion is likely etc.

In the photo below the whole team came out to cross-train other team members on the inspection of circuit breakers and reactors.

on site

Another site visit involved inspecting transformers. A recent failure had triggered us to go inspect other sites with similar plant installed to determine if there was a risk of the same failure happening elsewhere. On our travels I was able to snap a pic with one of our biggest units on the network.

Testing lab

On another day we headed out to the high voltage testing lab at one of our depots to check spare stock for a replacement coming up. Today we were looking at our spare Current Transformers (CT’s) waiting to be tested. 

Testing lab

Site visits can sometimes be all day or if it’s a quick inspection, only take a couple hours.

12.00 PM

Working in the city is great for lunch options. I try to always go for a walk, run any errands I need to do, grab some lunch and eat at my desk when I get back. It’s a nice break from sitting at your desk for so long if you haven’t been out on site that day.

1.00 PM

As a team we are in the process of finalising the maintenance for next financial year. I have been allocated auxiliary systems and so will spend the afternoon (and probably a few days) reviewing the assets currently in the plan and making any changes if required.

2.00 PM

Occasionally on behalf of Western Power I have the opportunity to share my experiences as a graduate and to encourage people to seek a career with Western Power or in engineering more broadly.

Today I gave a presentation to some high school science extension kids to assist them with their SciTech energy program.


4.00 PM / 4.30 PM

Finish work for the day and head home. I’m usually home around 5pm and depending on my motivation levels I’ll try and fit in a run or quick cycle before dinner.