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“Energy is essential for development, and sustainable energy is essential for sustainable development.” — Tim Wirth

Vaughan Thomas

API Bursary Recipient (Graduating 2023)

WHO ARE THEY: Throughout the past 14 years I have worked as a marine engineer onboard a variety of vessels. During this time, I developed a strong interest in the design and implementation of electrical systems, which motivated me to study an electrical and electronic engineering degree remotely through Deakin University. Despite now being in my final year, I consider myself a lifelong learner and am excited to continue growing and embracing new challenges for decades to come. I love contributing within a team environment and am motivated by the opportunity to be involved with creating a sustainable energy future.

Vaughan Thomas

KEY STRENGTHS: Ability to establish good relationships and work collaboratively as part of a team. Critical thinking and aptitude in solving difficult or ambiguous problems. Adaptability to a variety of tasks or roles with a strong desire to learn and contribute.


I enjoy trying to understand and design electrical systems, I love solving new and challenging problems, I am passionate about the environmental issues underpinning the energy transition, and I aspire to grow continually throughout my professional life. A career in the power industry seems like a perfect opportunity to pursue these interests and ambitions.
Construction plan

My Journey

Where it all started for me

Completed High School

What did I end up studying?

Bachelor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Honours) from Deakin University

Entering the industry

My previous work experience

My work placement experience

During my internship placement with SA Power Networks in 2023/23, I worked with the protection team on the detailed design of new relay panels in distribution substations. Towards the end of my placement, I was invited to attend the onsite commissioning of one of these panels. I had gained significant confidence in my understanding of power systems through my studies and work experience, and during the testing I was able to contribute to the resolution of an unexpected test result. This experience was a definite highlight, and the visit helped me to better comprehend the link between computer-based design and the real-world implementation of electrical systems, which is very important to me. However, my biggest highlight was the warm acceptance I felt from the team at the end of the placement.

What I'm doing now

Over the next few years, I hope to gain further technical skills in the detailed design of electrical systems and develop a fluent understanding of how these designs are practically implemented onsite. Eventually, I hope to use this capability within an innovative team environment to solve challenging technical problems in the transition to a reliable and sustainable energy future.

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

Vaughan Thomas

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Abby Biles

"As we confront Australia's national skills shortage and the pressure to achieve Net Zero, the inclusion of women in the power industry becomes even more crucial. By leveraging diverse talents and perspectives, we can address these challenges. There are so many incredible women out there who's skills are needed in this space they just need the industry to support them in return."

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Liana Lidden-Verney

"There is no gender monopoly on the skills needed in the industry. By having a workforce with diverse perspectives and experiences, we fuel innovation and innovation is exactly what this industry will be reliant on for generations to come."

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Katrina Thomlinson

"There is value in every industry from diversity of thought and one way to bring diversity is employ more women in the workforce. Women bring different values, perspectives and approaches to solve the problems of today and into the future."

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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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University Students

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