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Aurecon presenting on substation design trends at Cigre Colloquium

Hobson substation

2 September 2013 - Aurecon substation and asset management experts Joe Tusek, James Herbert and John Szmalko will be presenting at the Cigre Study Committee Colloquium in Brisbane on 9-10 September 2013.

Themed “managing substations in the power system of the future - trends in technology, design, materials and diagnostics”, the colloquium ties in with Cigre’s strategic focus.

Joe Tusek, Technical Director, Energy Services, Aurecon, Cigre’s colloquium organising committee, will be jointly presenting two papers.

‘Tomorrow's Substation - Realising the Substation for the Power System of the Future’ summarises recent developments and trends in substation design, materials and technology.

“The paper will outline how some asset owners and designers are changing the way they design and implement substations to help them better meet market and industry needs,” said Joe. 

“Integral to this will be new materials and technologies that will change the way we think about and manage HV plant.”

‘Basis Function Modelling of Transformer Frequency Response Analysis using PSO (Particle Swarm Optimisation)’ discusses how frequency localising basis functions can be used to represent a transfer function spanning from 20Hz to 10MHz that has over 100 resonances.

“Approaches like these are needed to change power transformer frequency response analysis (used to determine if transformer windings have become distorted which results in severely weakened insulation) from a subjective measurement to a well-defined and automatic classification scheme for transformer defects,” said Joe.

Aurecon’s James Herbert, Senior Electrical Engineer and John Szmalko, Technical Director, will be presenting a case study on Auckland’s Hobson Street Substation, a technically complex project which required significant innovations to overcome a range of project challenges including exceptionally tight spatial constraints, unstable historic retaining walls and design risks around explosion, fire and earthquakes. The project was undertaken to a very tight timeframe with a 17 stage consent process and the main structure was built in just over 21 months to enable plant installation and through-link cable connections to be made.

Basis Function Modelling of Transformer Frequency Response Analysis using PSO
Presented by Aurecon’s Joe Tusek with Newcastle University’s, Dr James Welsh and Samuel Wolinski
Tuesday 10 September 2013
Session time: 11:45 am

The Big Jigsaw - Hobson Street Substation
Presented by Aurecon's James Herbert and John Szmalko
Tuesday 10 September 2013
Session time: 16:40 pm

Tomorrow's Substation - Realising the Substation for the Power System of the Future
Presented by Aurecon’s Joe Tusek and Barry Finlay with SKM’s Terry Krieg
Tuesday 10 September 2013
Session time: 17:00 pm

Joe TusekAbout Joe
Joe Tusek is a Technical Director and manages the electrical group at Aurecon’s Newcastle office. He has over 30 years of experience in the power industry with extensive experience in high voltage plant asset management, engineering and scientific measurements, data analysis and modelling for generator and automatic excitation system compliance. He is a member of the Australian Cigre transformers panel, convenor of the Cigre materials and emerging test techniques panel and a member of Australia Standards committee on high voltage test techniques.

James HerbertAbout James
James Herbert is a Senior Electrical Engineer with extensive experience covering design, tendering, inspections, modelling, asset management and project management. This covers a diverse range of high voltage electrical engineering including substations, transformers, switchyards, grid connections and network planning.

John SzmalkoAbout John
John Szmalko is Aurecon’s Power Transmission and Distribution Leader and is also Technical Director. He is a multidisciplined technical generalist on many aspects of power transmission and distribution. John has many years of practical experience in design and project management for substations and lines projects. He has also spent considerable time developing asset management strategies and plans for the industry. John is a mender of B3, the Cigre substations committee.

For further information please contact Joe Tusek at, James Herbert at or John Szmalko at


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