Are Power System Engineers Crazy?

Our industry is dying..

Author: Marco C. Janssen, UTInnovation, Netherlands

In the coming ten years a generation of engineers will retire and there will not be anyone to take our place! I am calling out for us to start a global campaign to market our profession...

 As we all should know the electric utility industry is the basis for the digital economy of today and it will be for every economy tomorrow.

Without electric power, economies would not be able to exist and our society as we know it would come to a complete stop. Then why do we put our own future and the future of our children at risk?

During my recent travels around the world I learned that our profession is dying!! Young people no longer want to study Power System Engineering or Electrical Engineering. But do you realize what that means?

In the coming ten years a generation of engineers will retire and there will be no one to take our place!

Why? Is our profession that boring? Is our industry that bad?
The answer is simple...

No it is not. The fact is that our profession is no longer perceived as "sexy". It is more interesting to be a lawyer, a doctor, a politician. But do these other professions provide the basis for development, for the future? It is the Electrical and Power System Engineer that does it! That is why action is needed!

As an industry we have to safeguard our future and the future of our children. An example is that if we believe that CO2 reduction is important, then the question is, without electric power who will develop the solution to the problem?

The answer is no one!!

Therefore we must provoke a change and my plea to you is to

  • be proud to be an engineer and let everybody know that you are, tell your friends, your neighbors about your important role in society
  • educate the children around you about the importance of electric power and make them consider to become an engineer. It is the generation of children from 7 to 15 that still have to make a choice what it is they want to do with their life and we can show them that there are more choices than the typical ones.

To the companies in this industry, vendors, consultants, utilities and educational institutes I say... Look at the budget you spend every year on research and development.

Why is it so hard to take 10% out of that budget to secure our and our children's future!! It is a small price to pay and a great investment in your own and our future.

I am calling out for us to start a global campaign to market our profession and educate the young generation, but we can only succeed if people contribute. Go to your local school, volunteer to speak at conferences, discuss how your company can contribute. It does not have to be big, every little bit helps.

Let's make a change and do something good for the future. Lets start an open discussion and send me your feedback, your ideas, your commitment and your comments and I promise we will do something good for this planet!

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