The Manapōuri Transformer Replacement Project was recognised with an EEA Engineering Excellence Award at the EEA's recent conference. In addition, project manager Brett Horwell won Best Presentation for his conference presentation of the same project.
Meridian are also pleased to congratulate engineer Rowan Sinton, who was named EEA Young Engineer of the Year, reflecting professional and academic achievements.
Rowan Sinton with his award (photograph Jeff McEwan)
EEA Engineering Excellence Award
The Electricity Engineers' Association (EEA) have recognised the hard work, ingenuity and resulting success of the Manapōuri Transformer Replacement Project.
Three transformers weighing more than 100 tonnes each were replaced within an incredibly short time frame, and without environmental incident, in a World Heritage area at one of the busiest times of the tourist season. Furthermore, the project was not planned; it arose from the discovery of contamination in the three transformers, necessitating rapid development of a schedule and budget for everything from transformer design and manufacture to ensuring the team had a Christmas break.
Strategic Asset Manager Richard Griffiths comments, "The successful delivery of this project was enabled by the high level of collaboration between Meridian and all of the contractors and stakeholders involved."
Young Engineer of the Year Award
Engineer Rowan Sinton won the EEA’s Young Engineer of the Year Award 2016, reflecting professional and academic achievements.
Rowan has worked across Meridian's hydro schemes on a number of projects, and was particularly commended for his mentoring of graduate engineers and support of colleagues. In answer to how he felt about winning, he said it was the vote of confidence and appreciation from his peers around the company that really made the award mean something special.
Rowan's PhD involved investigating high voltage plasma and he has since been part of the concept, design, construction and use of a rural high voltage laboratory. The research lab is operated remotely from a smart phone, ensuring the people involved are far removed from the hazards. Safety is always top of mind.
A photo of Rowan's research once made it onto Reddit, following publication in the Journal of Applied Physics. The photo shows a 60m arc of high voltage plasma, much like a lightning bolt, created using an exploding wire: