Celebrating National Engineer's Week
It’s National Engineer's Week and at Jackson EMC, our engineers are at the center of everything we do. To celebrate this week, we reached out to a few of our engineers about what it takes to help Jackson EMC be innovative in our industry.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
- Lee Cox, Control Technician Supervisor: “The job of an engineer is both technically challenging and fulfilling by its connection to the process of improving society. Whether recognizing the need for transportation of goods over long distances resulting in the invention of the train or simply gaining efficiency in a process to help reduce resource requirements (money or time), engineers take the world of science and apply it to society’s difficulties to improve life. So it is challenging and rewarding.”
- Chris Smith, District Distribution Engineer: “My favorite thing about my job is that every day it’s something new that I must solve or do. ”
- Conner McCullough, Operations Engineer: “As an engineer in this field, you are often presented with challenges. What I enjoy about my job in this field is the process of gathering and analyzing data in order to come to a meaningful solution when presented a challenge or obstacle. It is very satisfying when a problem is solved or quality is preserved.”
- Tabitha Wascher, Advanced Metering Engineer: “My favorite part of my job is working with amazing people all over and connecting with other EMCs to develop solutions for current issues. ”
What advice do you have for someone pursuing a career as an engineer?
- Lee Cox: “My advice to someone interested in pursuing a career as an engineer is this: Learn from anyone and everyone. An engineering degree is not the key to all knowledge. Technicians have vast experiential knowledge that will benefit you greatly. Also, learn from the mistakes of others. All learning requires investment; that can be financial cost, physical pain, or time invested. If someone else has already paid that tuition through their mistake, you can learn and avoid paying that cost yourself."
- Chris Smith: “My advice would be to find what career path interest you the most while in school and try to obtain as much experience through internships or co-ops as possible. From what I have seen, experience is just as important as the degree.”
- Conner McCullough: “Always have an open mind. After you graduate college and land a full-time job there will always be opportunities to learn something new."
- Tabitha Wascher: “Engineers play a key roll in not just making things they do a little bit of everything, so make sure you take classes that push you a little like speech. Also, getting an internship is the best way to really experience the job. ”
Why is your job as a Jackson EMC engineer play an important role in providing reliable power to our members?
- Lee Cox: “In my role, I work with the grid automation system. This system, using devices in the field, determines the location of faults (downed power lines, tree and animal contacts, automobile accidents) and operates reclosers to safely isolate the fault and then restore power to un-faulted sections of line. This literally keeps the lights on for our members and has a great impact on the reliability that members experience with Jackson EMC. I also work with the devices that respond to faults so that the appropriate device operates to keep the number of members out of power, when something unfortunate does occur, to a minimum."
- Chris Smith: “I am responsible for helping design and maintain the cooperative's electric system. That, along with constantly assessing our power quality, is what allows me to play an important role in providing reliable power to our members.”
- Conner McCullough: “Jackson EMC is always tracking data, whether it is for the entire system or down to the nuts and bolts used for our units. One of my roles as an engineer is to analyze specific data to ensure overall quality is withheld throughout our distribution system. Maintaining this data annually is one way Jackson EMC constantly delivers reliable power to our members year after year.”
- Tabitha Wascher: “I mainly work on the meters and have worked on fusing in the past. Making sure our members have meters that are always accurate is important. For example, meters can help members identify when equipment, like an air conditioner, is operating constantly and may be malfunctioning. Also, the fusing study I did helped reduce power outage time for our members when faults hit our lines.