Eddie Hessell - Transmission System Planning and Investment Engineer - SSE

Issued: Mon, 09 Nov 2020 00:00:00 GMT

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I have lived in five countries (England, Scotland, USA, Vietnam and Singapore).

Tell us about your career journey so far

I graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2018 with a master’s degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering with International Study. I then joined a consultancy, WSP, as a graduate power system engineer situated in Glasgow. After 2 years there, I joined SSE as a transmission system planning and investment engineer where I currently work.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

Favourite school was hands down Physics. I absolutely adored the subject and everything from electricity, to motion and forces, to light was also really fascinating to me. On top of that, I found maths really enjoyable and luckily the two subjects worked hand in hand. I get to use a lot of physics and maths with my current job now which is great for me.

What subjects/qualifications are useful for your role?

The top subjects would be maths and physics. You are always going to be working with lots of numbers as an engineer and so I’d recommend as much maths experience as possible. Physics is also very important as it forms the basic scientific concepts you do as an engineer.

Subjects like English may not seem the most suitable, but they are very important in gaining good key skills like communication and presentation skills. With any engineering job, communication is vital and so it’s really good to have those kinds of skills as well.

What is a normal day in your role like?

My days usually consist of various team meetings and discussions as well running simulations and studies using power system computer software. I will then have to write some technical reports and work with my fellow team members to deliver our work on time. Sometimes I might spend time looking at how to fix a problem on the network or even think of innovation ideas. No day is ever the same.

What is your favourie thing about your job?

I get to make an active contribution to achieving our net zero targets for carbon emissions. My work is about trying to improve our electricity network so more renewables can be connected, and we can help deliver clean, and reliable energy to the country. It’s incredibly rewarding knowing that when we reach that target, I will have played a key part.

Can you suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work? 

A great activity (if it works) is making your own mini motor using some magnets, copper wire and a battery. There is a great example and tutorial of how to do this on the IET website (Link: https://education.theiet.org/secondary/motor-madness/). Motors are all over the country and are a key part of how our electricity network works.


Another activity, whilst not technically at home, would be to have a look at some maps of the electricity network we have in the UK. There are loads online, in varying details, but heres one I’ve found that looks quite good (Link: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Power_networks/Great_Britain). You could then find some that are near you and trace them back to see how far they reach on the map. Can you find where the substations are?

Obviously, don’t go any further than you need to and be safe! This is only for looking at and gives you an appreciation of the electricity network and how big and stretching it is.


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