Imagination may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think about engineers. But maybe it should be.
“Some people find this surprising, but you have to tap into your creative side as an engineer,” says Carlos Munoz, an engineer at Luminant’s Oak Grove power plant. “My typical day involves problem solving. You just never know if they’re going to be small or big problems. These requests can vary from installing isolation valves to major structural updates. I never know what’s coming my way; that’s what makes my job fun. Every day is a good day to learn something new.”
Munoz is one of hundreds of engineers whose innovative, resourceful approach is critical to our companies’ job of safely and reliably powering Texas homes and businesses. They have backgrounds in a wide range of engineering disciplines, including civil, electrical, environmental, geology, geosciences, mechanical, mining, nuclear, process, production, quality and safety.
Hank Stafford said he sees his engineering experience and education at work in his role as a senior manager for revenue operations at TXU Energy.
“As an engineer, you have to think about impacts to a system from multiple perspectives – how it may be affected by vibration, temperature, moisture, etc.,” says Stafford, who earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. “In my current role, I have to think about policies and processes and consider how they affect the business and customers and others.”
Stafford adds that his engineering focus on such things as root cause analysis, reducing variability and determining the edge of capacity for structures and systems help him to contribute to the company’s focus on delivering consistent and high quality customer experiences.
John Geary, president of 4Change Energy, earned a bachelor of science in engineering from the University of Michigan in 1989 with an emphasis in industrial and operations engineering. He calls his engineering education invaluable.
“I learned to be comfortable working with large amounts of data, finding patterns and outliers and identifying cause-and-effect relationships in data,” Geary says. “It taught me how to think through processes and interconnections, such as, ‘If A happens that will cause B to occur, which results in C and D.’ I use these skills in my job all the time.”
Companies across the country are seeing a growing need for engineers: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts Texas alone will need to fill more than 750,000 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs by 2018. In support of future engineers and the diverse range of skills they’ll bring to our companies, EFH CEO John Young, himself an engineer, has long encouraged students to continue taking challenging math and science classes. Educational outreach also is an essential part of Luminant’s community involvement, including participating in school science fairs to encourage creativity and critical thinking, awarding meaningful internships to engineering students, inviting students to conduct real-world research alongside our professionals, and sending enthusiastic engineers to career days to get kids excited about science.
So just how do engineers help provide safe, reliable power to generate electricity? Take a look…
Mine Planning Engineer
Plant Operations Shift Supervisor
Nuclear Motor Component Specialist
Nuclear Unit Supervisor