Knowledge passion – welcome, Adrian!

28.10.2020

The European power grid is the largest synchronous electricity network in the world and ensuring its smooth operation is no easy task. It requires dedication, expertise and of course teamwork. Our latest addition shares this understanding and is highly motivated to contribute his knowledge to TSCNET Services: On October 1, Adrian Mihai Constantin joined the Service Operations Business Unit as Operations Manager. His main objective in his new position is to contribute to the development of the company’s tools and services and to participate in the activities related to the Clean Energy for All Europeans package (CEP), which will have a significant impact on the EU energy sector and thus on our tasks and responsibilities. This makes Adrian the ideal complement, whose passion is as great as his experience in this field, as his academic and professional background shows.

The 30-year-old Romanian graduated from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest with a Master’s degree in Energy Engineering. After graduation, he started his professional career at the Romanian transmission system operator (TSO) Transelectrica, one of our 14 shareholders, where he worked for six years in total. Adrian started his tenure as Power System Engineer in the Operational Planning Department and remained in this position for almost one and a half years. Eager to broaden his knowledge and skills, he then moved to Transelectrica’s National Dispatching Centre, where he spent four and a half years as a dispatcher. During his time there, he had the opportunity to control the installations in real time and to gain a thorough understanding of what it means to be part of “the largest and most complex man-made machine in the world”, the European interconnected network. He now wants to use his skills to take up a new challenge at TSCNET.

When asked about the reasons for his decision to join our company, Adrian replies: “I chose TSCNET because its values and multicultural environment resonate greatly with me, just like the fast-growing service offering and the ambitions of the company. Here I can develop in my area of expertise and learn many new things. It also makes me proud to be able to contribute to what will be ‘the biggest change in the energy sector’ – the CEP implementation.” In Romania there is a strong saying when you courageously enter into a venture: “To take your heart in your teeth”. Usually you don’t have to be so biting in our work, but given the challenges on our way to becoming a Regional Coordination Centre (RCC) according to CEP, it could still be very helpful.

Adrian Mihai Constantin joined TSCNET as Operations Manager

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Habib Shafik: “Speaking up for a project”

08.06.2020

Project management is above all the art of making things happen and finding ways that reliably lead to the goal. This requires an understanding of the respective environment, being a good team player as well as smart and visionary, and having the courage to take responsibility in difficult situations. This is also the claim of Habib Shafik, who has now committed himself even more firmly to TSCNET Services: At the beginning of 2019, Habib joined us for 18 months as a seconded employee of our shareholder TenneT Germany, and now he has joined TSCNET Services directly as Senior Project Manager in the Portfolio Management Business Unit. For us, this is a welcome opportunity for an in-depth talk.

How did you first hear about TSCNET when you were still at TenneT?

In different ways. On the one hand, through discussions with colleagues, on the other hand, in the company’s internal communication. At a meeting with my former manager, I had discussed the future role of the European Regional Security Coordinators. For him, the influence of the RSC was supposed to increase over time and at some point TSOs would even completely hand over system operation to one coordinated service provider. I took this fascinating vision with me from the conversation. At that time, I already knew that if you work for a transmission system operator like TenneT, you can go to TSCNET for a year and a half. However, as it seemed to focus on technicians and grid specialists, I at first did not really think about a secondment at all. My decision came much later when it became clear that TSCNET was also hiring project managers.

When you started at TSCNET in 2019: Which expectation turned out to be true and which not?

The vision of the immense importance of an RSC has already been fulfilled. And our work is steadily growing in importance, as recent political developments regarding future mandatory RSC services show. Fortunately, my original vision of this company as a place specifically designed for engineers has not proved true. In reality, the employees bring with them vastly different backgrounds and also various personalities, and everyone contributes to doing great work in a variety of areas.

When you look back on your time at TSCNET so far, which project are you particularly proud of?

To answer this question, let me first define successful project management. In my opinion, success does not mean that every originally planned milestone must be reached, nor that the intended schedule must always be meticulously adhered to. Ultimately, a successful project is defined by the satisfaction – first and foremost of the customer and the stakeholder, but also of the project management team. If the result is satisfactory and proves itself in practice, the project has been successful. In this sense, if I may say so, I am particularly proud of a project that was not completed. This probably sounds a bit weird, so let me explain it briefly. The development of the project was accompanied by a number of unforeseen, external factors, which led to high monthly project costs without satisfactory results. To prevent further damage to all parties involved, a courageous step was taken, and it was decided by mutual agreement to terminate the project. Today it is clear that this decision saved us all a lot of time and money and was more beneficial to the company and our customers than to complete the project by hook or by crook. This would not have been possible without a great team and a management that takes transparency and integrity seriously.

What do you think about TSO employees working at TSCNET today?

It is a great idea as it will allow each programme participant to broaden their skills, horizons and understanding of energy infrastructure in Europe. However, I believe that this exchange needs to be promoted and facilitated much more. As a TSO staff member, you have to be very proactive to get information about it. This is not only about potential vacancies, but also about the various administrative steps involved in the process of filling a vacancy, such as travel costs or bureaucratic issues. It would be nice if this knowledge were more widely available and promoted in a transparent way, so that standardised processes make it easier for all parties involved in the posting and everyone knows what they are getting into.

What does it take to work at TSCNET Services?

In my opinion these three factors are the most important: Intercultural competence, initiative, and motivation. This also fits in with the question about my motives for signing directly with TSCNET now that the 18 months are over. The more personal environment here allows a much greater commitment than a large organization. Here you can really help shape and make a difference. This freedom also means more responsibility for each of us. I personally enjoy this very much, especially the fact that colleagues back each other up to realize new ideas together. I also want to emphasize the corporate culture. Colleagues are very supportive, cooperative, and motivated to create opportunities where others might see a dead end. In addition, the enormous diversity and internationality are a great source of inspiration and enrich everyday work enormously.

What are your plans here?

In my view, the advantages of good project management are still far too little known. As a result, many resources are not used effectively. I see our business unit in the responsibility to change this. The success and efficiency of every project undertaken at TSCNET is the foundation for successful service provision. We want to create understanding for our work and make it clear where we can provide effective support. We have launched a small internal information campaign in 2019 for that purpose. In addition, we introduced the bimonthly “Meet the Business Unit Portfolio Management” offer at the beginning of this year. Our co-workers can ask us anything they want to know and get concrete help from us.

And when it comes to actual project management: what is the biggest challenge?

As someone who is not from the field of electrical engineering, I would say understanding technical terms and their implications. It is also important to keep abreast of the latest regulatory developments so that you can plan projects accordingly. In short, I work proactively to stay up to date and understand all changes in my field.

Our last question relates to what is happening around the world right now, Habib: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your work?

To ensure that we can also do our work well from home, we have further standardized our communication processes. This has worked extremely well so far. Although I am pleased that everything went great despite the difficult circumstances, I am very much looking forward to seeing my colleagues again in the office and to working with them again personally soon.

Habib Shafik, Senior Project Manager in the Portfolio Management Business Unit

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Honourable move to the Swiss customer

25.11.2019

While around 150,000 people with Portuguese citizenship live in Germany, almost twice as many live in the much smaller country of Switzerland. Usually we do not have the slightest problem with this at TSCNET Services in Munich, but now another Portuguese is moving to Switzerland, whom we will miss very much here as a first-class employee and great co-worker: Mário Martins, Senior Business Analyst in our Service Development Business Unit. He will join our client and shareholder Swissgrid and work in Aarau 38 km west of Zurich as a specialist for Capacity & Congestion Management. Chances are good that he will be collaborating with his former colleagues from TSCNET there, so “it’s not a goodbye, but a see you later,” Mário assures with a smile.

“I thank TSCNET and its employees for almost 5 wonderful years in this company,” Mário continues. “It is a great organisation to work in, and I am sure it will remain on its growth path and will become increasingly important as a pillar of European power transmission. And I personally feel nothing but honoured to have made a small contribution to this.”

He goes with a lot of good memories in his luggage. “I particularly liked the international, young, lively atmosphere in the company. The fact that most employees come from abroad and are far away from their families and friends also brings the team together outside office hours and leads to close friendships.”

He also appreciated management’s commitment to employee well-being and opportunities for personal development. He always felt that his voice was heard and respected and that his work was valued. Comradeship has always been a top priority and colleagues have always supported him when necessary. “I want to tell them that it was a great pleasure to work with them,” he says. He should know by now at the latest: The people here feel the same way. Despite all the melancholy about Mário’s departure, everyone wishes him all the best and much success with Swissgrid. It is good for everyone that Zurich is only 3 hours away from Munich.

TSCNET Services is saying goodbye to Mário Martins, who joins the Swissgrid

Linkup
> Visit Swissgrid webpage (html)

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Power supply for Team Operations – welcome, Ana!

19.12.2017

Apart from being the biggest team at TSCNET Services, Team Operations is also the fastest growing one. Living up to its dynamic reputation, the team has welcomed a new member: Ana Veselinović. Ana started her carrier at the Serbian transmission system operator (TSO), Elektromreza Srbije, right after she had finished her bachelor studies at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Belgrade, the capital and largest city of Serbia. During her first year of working in the market division as an administrator of electricity market, she also continued and finished her master studies.

After two and a half years Ana decided to focus her carrier on grid operation and system analysis, so she changed into the Department for system dynamics and studies at the TSO’s System Operation Division. There she was also charged with doing N-1 steady state analysis. “Throughout my career, starting from my studies till this day, I was focused on the transmission system, especially on security and reliability,” says Ana. “Nowadays, with the increasing renewable sources of energy, the security of the grid is one of the biggest challenges – and a great opportunity for people working in the power grid sector.”

Ana is profoundly convinced that TSCNET Services is the best place to attain more knowledge and to work on the pulse of system security and reliability. “I am happy that I’m in a team of experts to learn from and to improve my skills”, says Ana. “This job with its many aspects and new experiences is really a complex one – but it’s no problem if you love it, if you are ready to learn, and if you’re a part of a strong team.” Seeing Ana’s enthusiasm and team spirit, we are sure that we have just welcomed another powerful addition to our staff!

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Old environment with new horizons – change of job within TSCNET

02.03.2017

No matter how interesting and exciting a job is, sooner or later every employee may feel the lure of a change in profession or may just fancy a new challenge. That may mean leaving the old workplace behind in search of a new, professional “promised land”, while also learning new skills along the way. It’s an opportunity for a qualified and experienced employee – but a great loss to the company. On this view, TSCNET Services offers and promotes a different solution: Change your job without changing your employer.

This is what Tin Bobetko did: In 2015, he had started as an Operator within TSCNET’s Operations team, coming from TSC member HOPS, the Croatian transmission system operator (TSO). As of now, he works as Business Implementation Manager in the Business Development team. With his eight years experience in Power System Engineering, he is responsible for the development and implementation of new tools, processes, products, and technologies to boost the services TSCNET provides to its customers. “Throughout my working career, I’ve always been enthusiastic about projects that required a lot of teamwork and offered the possibility to acquire new competencies and to evolve in various areas,” Tin says. This attitude is highly valued by the head of his new team, Mario Princip: “Tin joins us at an enthralling and challenging time, and both his vast experience and his urge for knowledge will help get a strong tailwind in our sails.” For a ship on its course to new destinations, that sounds like a most promising start.

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