A day in the life of a power engineer
Power transmission and distribution engineer Hayden D’Addona shares what a day in the life of an Aurecon emerging professional looks like.
Hayden graduated with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Honours) from the University of Queensland. He joined us in 2020 to help clients reach their renewable energy targets through innovative engineering designs. Outside of work, Hayden is passionate about sports and enjoys catching up with friends and family over a glass of wine.
From developing designs and engineering studies for high voltage substations in the day to playing cricket at night, Hayden’s day is jampacked with all sorts of exciting activities.
|Power Transmission & Distribution, Energy
Meet Hayden D’Addona
Good morning! I am up bright and early to get to my 6am Fitstop class. This is my typical morning routine two to three times per week, and it helps to clear my head and get ready for a day’s work.
Back from the gym, dressed and refuelled, I jump on the train to head into the Brisbane Aurecon office. I usually use my 30-minute commute to listen to some music (typically mix it up between Luke Coombs and The 1975) and get up to date on the latest sports news.
After a short walk from the train station, I arrive at Aurecon’s Brisbane office on 25 King St. Something you might not know about this office is that it is entirely made from timber, with 25 King St being the tallest engineered-timber building in Australia. The engineered timber has a lower carbon footprint than traditional building materials and is sourced from certified sustainably managed forests.
I make my way up to the Energy team home zone and find my desk for the day – Aurecon has a hot-desking arrangement, so you can choose where you sit each day. If I’m not in the office, I like to make the most out of Aurecon’s flexible working policy and work from home whenever I need.
I start each day by checking in on our Microsoft Teams Energy page, letting the team know if I am working from home or the office – an action that our team completes to align with our Energy team charter. I follow this up by checking my emails, reviewing my calendar (to check if I have any meetings) and writing down a list of to-dos for the day ahead.
This time of the morning is typically coffee o’clock in my team and for those in the office, we like to venture out to our local coffee shop called Nikau on King St.
My main objective today is to begin modelling an earth grid for a high voltage substation. I had been briefed by a senior engineer the day earlier and made notes on what I was required to do; so today I am ready to jump straight into building the model in a software called CDEGS.
Once I have completed my modelling and the design complies with the applicable standards, I will create a PDF sketch of the design and pass it onto our electrical designers who will produce a drawing in AutoCAD, which includes specific details such as material type and quantities. While the designers are producing the detailed drawing, I will begin compiling a report explaining how I achieved a compliant earth grid design.
It is now time to join my first meeting for the day. I dial into a Microsoft Teams call with one of our senior engineers to discuss detailed circuitry design drawings for a high voltage switchboard that are due to be sent to our client as Issue for Construction. I had prepared a list of notes prior to this catch-up to be as productive and efficient during our meeting. Our meeting involves reviewing mark-ups I had completed on existing schematic drawings and cross checking my design to site photos to ensure the changes suggested would be physically constructable on site.
Having worked on this project for close to a year, I have seen the project develop from the initial kick off meeting with the client through to the issue of the construction drawings. I have developed both my technical and communication skills, asking senior engineers technical questions to get a greater understanding of how a design on a drawing will look and work in the field. In the coming weeks, I will have the opportunity of going on site and seeing my design being constructed and commissioned! Personally, I feel a great sense of accomplishment to be able to see my design come to life and satisfy our client’s needs.
It’s midday, which means only one thing… lunch time! Aurecon’s flexible working policy means you can take lunch whenever you like. I head to the lunch area where I join emerging professionals (EPs) from my team and others who I have met through Aurecon’s Limelight committee. Occasionally my team likes to head out for a team lunch, allowing us to step away from the desk and catch up in a more informal setting.
We have our one-hour technical session, an extracurricular activity my team’s Technical Director organises for EPs. During these sessions, we typically gather in one of Aurecon’s meeting rooms or dial in through Microsoft Teams. Using the whiteboard and other online resources, our Technical Director works through technical examples on different areas in power engineering that are relevant to past or present projects. These sessions allow me to upskill in areas which I do not usually work in and is a great avenue for knowledge sharing.
Today, I had planned the monthly QLD Limelight committee meeting, a committee I am Chair of for the financial year of 2022/23. Limelight is Aurecon’s emerging professional network, where the aim is to support EPs by shaping opportunities for career development, client engagement and connection with our wider Aurecon community. An emerging professional within Aurecon is typically classed as an individual with 0 to 5 years of experience. Limelight is a fantastic avenue for emerging professionals to network with employees across the entire business and gain a deeper understanding of the work we do.
In the meeting, the committee and I look at different initiatives and events to support our emerging professionals’ career development and overall experience while starting their careers at Aurecon. Events include lunch-and-learn discussions, mentoring programmes, board games (Pictionary, Scrabble, Bananagrams and more) and BBQ nights where EPs can network with senior Aurecon staff. Being a part of Limelight provides Aurecon’s emerging professionals the opportunity to network with other professionals and gain exposure to broader areas of the business that I may not usually get in my day-to-day role as an engineer.
And just like that, the day is over! I like to review my to-do list before heading home and make notes for items I did not complete as a starting point for tomorrow.
However, my day is not quite over. I rush home to head out to cricket training, a sport I have played since I was eight years old. Cricket is my post work activity two nights a week from September to March.
Finally I am home – a little later than usual as it is cricket season. My partner and I prepare dinner together, and I begin to switch off from the day and relax with an episode of our current Netflix series, The Crown.
Hopefully you’ve gained valuable insight into a day in the life of an electrical engineer in the Energy team in Brisbane. Hope to see you around in Aurecon soon!