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'Growing up I always wanted to either be a doctor or an engineer. I never gave it much thought then as to why I wanted to be one but I suppose the engineers I knew looked like really smart people who fixed things and the doctors fixed people.'

Siphephile (Pep) Ngwenya

Engineering Team Leader

WHO IS SHE:

I am a Senior Design engineer for Western Power working in the customer solutions team. My day to day role involves providing distribution network design solutions to enable customer connections to the grid. My skillsets include distribution networks, overhead line design, earthing, substation design and interpretation of various standards to influence a design solution. I started my career as a Utility Electrician having completed an electrical power apprenticeship in a utility power company overseas.When I arrived in Australia, I worked in Transmission Substations as a maintenance technician. I later enrolled at uni and completed my BEng (hons) Electrical Power and Renewable energy whilst working full time and during that same period gave birth to my youngest son and also raised his older brother.  I am a STEM mentor volunteer for Western Power's STEM program for primary schools.

KEY STRENGTHS:

Technical: Distribution Design, Earthing, Interpretation of standards to provide a design solution, Overhead line design, Stakeholder engagement, Team collaboration, Results and Solution Oriented, Resilience, Good work ethic, Mentoring.

WHY CHOOSE THIS DEGREE?

Growing up I always wanted to either be a doctor or an engineer. I never gave it much thought then as to why I wanted to be one but I suppose the engineers I knew looked like really smart people who fixed things and the doctors fixed people. The economic situation in my birth country made it difficult to go to university so I settled for an Apprenticeship instead. After relocating to Australia as a technician the passion for being an engineer was re-ignited. Since I was already working in the power industry, choosing a degree in Electrical Power and Renewable energy was an easy choice
Construction plan

My Journey

Where it all started for me

The economic situation in my birth country made it difficult to go to university so I settled for an Apprenticeship instead.

What did I end up studying?

Studied at Murdoch University, completed a BEng (Hons) Electrical Power and Renewable Energy Engineering - After relocating to Australia as a technician the passion for being an engineer was re-ignited. Since I was already working in the power industry, choosing a degree in Electrical Power and Renewable energy was an easy choice.

Entering the industry

Currently a Senior Design engineer for Western Power working in the customer solutions team. My day to day role involves providing distribution network design solutions to enable customer connections to the grid.

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My previous work experience

When I arrived in Australia, I worked in Transmission Substations as a maintenance technician.

My work placement experience

Also undertook volunteer work as a STEM mentor for Western Power's STEM program for primary schools.

What I'm doing now

My advice for anyone looking to get into the industry?

Take advantage of as many work placements and industry speakers at API events as possible - so you can get a good understanding of the many areas you can specialise in.

How to connect with

Siphephile (Pep) Ngwenya

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Shefali Soin

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Rebecca Harvey

'I really enjoyed the STEM subjects at school, so engineering seemed like a natural fit for me.'

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What can I do next?

No matter if you're at high-school or at university, we have great programs and resources to get you started on your journey towards power engineering!

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