Life of the association

CIGRE NGN: Discussion with Anamaria Iamandi

CIGRE would like to introduce a new section in Life of the Association: Interviews from Women in Engineering and Next Generation Network. A lot of focus is given to senior CIGRE members and these interviews will present younger members and let them explain what CIGRE means to them. These Q&A interviews are short but allow us to have a new, younger perspective on CIGRE membership; they tell us what interests them in their work, as well as what their projects and goals are. These are the voices of our industry’s future. Please share with young people on your teams and encourage their membership in CIGRE!

PhD Engineering, Sept 2023, 7 years in industry

Current position:

  • Senior Protection, Control & Automation engineer at the National Dispatching Center, Romanian Power Grid Company, CNTEE Transelectrica SA.;
  • Associate professor at the National University of Science and Technology “Politehnica” of Bucharest;
  • Secretary General of CIGRE NGN Romania

CIGRE WG: B5/C4.79 “Protection roadmap for low inertia and low fault current”

What lead you to your present career or job?

Anamaria: During my high school classes, I was passionate about math and physics, and I knew that I wanted to fructify them in my professional activity. Later, I was involved in a project whose purpose was to raise awareness about the importance of our actions regarding environmental sustainability. That project helped me to understand what are the key factors which could influence climate change, with power and energy being at the top of the list. Therefore, after graduation, I had no doubts that I wanted to study power systems engineering.

What are you working on now that would interest ELECTRA readers?

A.: My field of expertise and interest focuses on protection, control, and automation equipment, synchrophasor measurement systems, and digital substations.

As a protection engineer, I am dealing with protection and control equipment, protection, control, and automation parameter calculations, and establishing the protection philosophies for high voltage power plants and substations. In addition, I am involved in ENTSO-E activities, representing the Romanian TSO in the “Protection Equipment” working group.

What has been the biggest challenge with your work?

A.: The biggest challenge of my work is also the beauty of my work: to ensure both a secure and reliable operation of the power system in accordance with our TSO’s performance indicators while facing the current emerging challenges resulting from power system evolution: consumption evolution, the emergence of new generating units, demand changes for cross-border transmission lines, decommissioning of conventional generation units, etc.

What has been your biggest challenge balancing work and personal life?

A.: Last year was challenging for me as I was in the last year of my PhD study. I had to finish my PhD thesis while maintaining the same level of productivity and involvement in my work activity as I didn’t want it to affect my job or career.

I was lucky enough to have the support of my family, friends, and colleagues, who constantly encouraged me, giving me all the support needed to perform, to stay focused, and to have confidence in my work.  

How did you get involved in CIGRE?

A.: I got involved in CIGRE thanks to my former director, who was also my mentor. He is not only a valuable specialist in the power system field but also a great lecturer, paying attention to the importance of constant learning, encouraging young engineers to get involved in scientific activities like conferences, research projects, study committees, etc.

In my first year of work, he invited me to participate at a CIGRE conference organized by CIGRE’s Romanian National Committee – “International Regional South-East European Conference,” a biennial event meant to promote young engineers.

There I learned about the CIGRE structure and the membership facilities and since then I have participated at all CIGRE events organized by the CIGRE Romania NC. I have also participated at the CIGRE Paris Sessions and Southeast European Regional Council Conference and currently I am involved in CIGRE WG B5/C4.79 “Protection roadmap for low inertia and low fault current.”

What do you feel is CIGRE’s ‘added value’?

A.: The entire CIGRE concept is ‘added value’ as by its structure and organized events, it creates the communication facilities needed to gather specialists at the same table from different power system areas: universities, utilities, producers, and services suppliers whose major goal is the same – to ensure the needs of the power system.

Why would you recommend CIGRE membership to others?

A.: As I stated before, CIGRE is a good communication binder between different entities, offering the opportunity to interact with valuable specialists from all power systems fields and to share knowledge based on real world experiences.

Also, CIGRE provides the resources and opportunities to have knowledge about both the global and local challenges facing power systems.

Where do you see yourself in 15 years?

A.: I definitely see myself still working in the energy field. I consider myself lucky to work in the field I am passionate about, as we are currently living in a very dynamic world.

I am committed to staying updated with the industry trends and to be open to new challenges and responsibilities. I plan to continue developing my skills to be able to share my experience and to mentor the next generation of engineers.

Do you have one major goal or do you have a bucket list? Are you willing to share this information?

A.: My major goal is to constantly develop my knowledge and skills in order to be a valuable specialist in the power system field.

What would you like to see change in our industry in the future?

A.: I strongly believe that communication and sharing knowledge between different parties is the key factor to success regardless of the activity field or one’s years in industry. I would like to see that our industry is willing to gather at the same table power system professionals from different fields and different levels of experience, giving them the same level of confidence. The CIGRE community is a good ambassador, which embodies the essence of sharing information.

If you are a WiE or NGN member and wish to be featured in an upcoming ELECTRA edition, please contact ELECTRA Editorial Team. If you are reading these and wish to join CIGRE, please visit this page

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