Great run instead of beer fest fun

19.10.2020

The almost worldwide Corona pandemic has brought great turmoil to all our lives. Even those who were spared from infection or even Covid-19 disease experienced a number of restrictions. But besides home schooling and home office, there were also some positive aspects. For example, many people discovered jogging for themselves – to keep fit and as a balance to computer work. We at TSCNET are happy to support this! As a little replacement for the world-famous Oktoberfest – the world’ s largest festival had to be cancelled this year for the first time since the end of World War II – we invited people to participate in the “Oktoberfest Run” with “VirtualRunners” at the beginning of October.

Our employees could choose to run a 5 or 10 km long course, from any location they wanted. Everyone ran for himself – in true “social distancing” – but in a real competition. The runs were documented together with the time – and a lot came together: Besides runs along the Isar or through the huge English Garden in the city centre, others chose the Olympic Park or the Nymphenburg Palace Park. All in all no real substitute for the “Wiesn”, but either way a good idea. In the next few days, all participants will receive their medal – perhaps this will spur them on for the next run. Good luck, good legs!

Many employees of TSCNET Services took part in a special “Oktoberfest Run 2020”

Linkup
> See Oktoberfest at Wikipedia (html)

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A man on a mission – welcome, Chidera!

30.09.2020

“Where there is data smoke, there is also a business fire,” noted Thomas Redman, internationally renowned as the “Data Doc”. We at TSCNET take his words to heart and strive to provide secure data of excellent quality to ensure that our business processes run smoothly and there is no smoke. To achieve this, we rely on a team of knowledgeable and well-trained experts. Now we have been able to expand this team a little: We are pleased to welcome Chidera Abonyi as a new Data Quality working student in the Service Operations business unit. He shares our understanding of the immense importance of high-quality data and adds a new chapter to his inspiring journey through the world of data and energy.

Chidera already holds a M.Sc. in Energy Engineering from the Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Science (PAUWES) at the University of Tlemcen in Algeria and is currently completing his second postgraduate course in Power Engineering at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). In addition to his academic knowledge of energy-related topics, the 28-year-old Nigerian has already gained valuable practical experience across the globe.

Chidera worked with the Photovoltaic Research Laboratory (PVRL) at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte on solar cell design, completed a research internship at the TUM on short-term electricity forecasting and also supported the German Agency for International Cooperation in the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP). In addition, Chidera, whose main motivation in the energy world stems from his vision of a sustainable future, also has extensive experience in volunteer work throughout Africa.

The joy of supporting others
Most recently, Chidera worked with the Tanzania Development Trust, where he worked with volunteers in the East African country to create better maps for the country’s citizens. Since July 2018, he has also been volunteering for the Switch Energy Alliance (SEA) as an assistant to the African Outreach Campaign. Prior to that, he worked as a research assistant for Power for All in his home country Nigeria, where he collected and analysed data, focusing on Nigeria’s renewable energy sector. “Working as a volunteer gives me the opportunity to connect with various communities and to turn my passions into real and immediate positive impact at grassroots level,” he explains.

At TSCNET, Chidera’s work focuses on one platform project in the field of visualisation and another on the optimisation of grid data and its analysis. In his spare time, he enjoys going on long-distance runs in nature, listening to great music and exploring the world. Munich offers great opportunities in this respect. We are delighted to have a knowledgeable and committed young colleague with a great deal of heart, and we look forward to having him at our side in our work for a more sustainable future.

TSCNET Services welcomes Chidera Abonyi, the new working student in our BU Service Operations 

Linkup
> Open Chidera’s LinkedIn profile (html)

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Corona made us wait so long – welcome, Abel!

13.08.2020

The coronavirus has led to severe disruptions worldwide. Fortunately, our team and our work have only been indirectly affected until now, but even this can be quite serious in individual cases. This also applies to our latest hire: Abel Belliard Soto, the new Information Security Analyst in the IT Infrastructure Services team in our Corporate Services unit. Instead of leaving his home country at the end of February as planned due to the pandemic, the 27-year-old from the Dominican Republic was only now able to start his new position at TSCNET Services after a delay of more than five months. And this in a particularly sensitive area of work: In the energy sector, it is no wonder that effective and reliable protection of information is regarded as the backbone of good risk management and the basis for a secure supply. But finally, the wait is over – for Abel, and for us!

Last year, Abel earned a master’s degree in information security at the Royal Holloway University of London, one of the few fully-certified MSc courses by the Government Communication Headquarters of the U.K. In addition to his academic education, Abel has gained important practical knowledge in a wide range of companies of all sizes, working in a variety of industries from security systems to finance to telecommunications. In recent years he has worked as an IT and electronic security systems analyst, support engineer and most recently as an information security analyst. In his previous positions, his responsibilities focused on infrastructure security, vulnerability and security management, and database security. “Thanks to these experiences, information security has proven to be my true passion,” says Abel.

Accuracy and a big pinch of adventurousness
In his new role, Abel will apply his academic and practical knowledge to ensure that information is processed efficiently and, most importantly, is always well secured. “He will mainly take care of all security aspects of our IT activities,” said Mark Beregi, Lead IT Infrastructure Services. “But he will also be involved in security operations in support of ISO activities.” As Abel puts it, he is keen to start exciting projects in the new working environment. “I know from experience that a medium-sized, diverse company with an open culture where everyone can contribute their ideas for the benefit of the company is a great place to work,” he says. Aside from work, Abel is excited to be in the heart of Europe and close to the Alps, as it allows him to explore the continent better and try new things, such as skiing – preferably with his new colleagues.

In Abel’s home country there is a saying “Al que a buen árbol se arrima, buena sombra lo cobija”. This could be translated as “The one who leans on a good tree will get the good shade”. We have made inquiries, and the saying can evidently be applied to good friends as well as good work. Therefore, this is the right expression for us to thank him once again for his great patience and to wish him all the more a great start with us!

Abel Belliard Soto has joined TSCNET Services as Information Security Analyst in the Corporate Services business unit

Linkup
> See Abel Belliard LinkedIn page (html)

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Swapping numbers for people – the story of Mihály Kapás

09.07.2020

At the turn of the millennium Phil Collins sang his famous song “Son of Man” for Disney’s animated film “Tarzan”. There is a much-quoted verse in it: “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn. You’ll find your place beside the ones you love.” Although the world has changed considerably since this text was written, its message seems timeless: teaching and learning not only brings people together and promotes team spirit, but also creates an environment in which great ideas can be born and flourish. For Mihály Kapás, the new Senior Training & Licensing Manager in our Service Operations business unit, these lines are a constant inspiration and a kind of motto for his career.

The 37-year-old comes from Hungary, where he earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. After graduating, Mihály joined the Hungarian power transmission system operator (TSO) MAVIR and became a specialist in planning network operations. He stayed with the company for 14 years and gained important insights into the different departments and tasks of a TSO. Over time, Mihály realized that his true vocation in the energy world is not in numbers, but in working more closely with the people who form the backbone of the security of the European power grid. He decided to follow his passion and opened the door to the world of training, mentoring and coaching by completing an internationally recognized coaching programme and taking responsibility for internal training. Through his work he made contact with many colleagues from the energy world, including employees of TSCNET Services. Mihály states that this experience gave him the inspiration to move to our company from Budapest to Munich, as he felt that TSCNET and its employees were very much in line with his vision.

In his new role, Mihály will use the knowledge he has acquired over the years to support the different business units through customized training. “For me, TSCNET is a hub of people, ideas, and information,” states our most recent newcomer. “Whatever happens here, might have an effect on the whole system.” As someone who grew up in a multicultural family and already speaks English, Spanish and Russian apart from Hungarian, he is also looking forward to learning German in addition to his daily work tasks and to applying his diverse experience to his work with us. Since Mihály, like many of his new colleagues, loves motorcycling and likes to be in nature, this should be an exciting mixture. There are two popular quotes from Phil Collins that come to mind: “Deep inside us we’re not that different at all”, or, also from the “Tarzan” soundtrack, “Put your faith in what you most believe in”. Either way: Welcome to the team!

Mihály Kapás is the new Senior Training & Licensing Manager in our Service Operations business unit

Linkup
> See Mihály’s LinkedIn profile (html)

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Difficult to procure – welcome, Marcela!

02.07.2020

“Procurement is not only about negotiating prices – it is about creating long-term partnerships beneficial for all involved parties,” says Marcela Ostafie, the new Procurement and Contract Manager in the Portfolio Management unit at TSCNET Services. Marcela, who chose the company because of its “fresh, international, young environment”, is looking forward to supporting all needs relating to all major purchasing processes and contractual arrangements and ensuring that business partnerships continue to flourish.

The 46-year old Romanian holds a diploma in business administration from the Munich University of Applied Sciences and has gained professional experience in a variety of areas during tenures with companies such as Airbus Group, Huawei Technologies and the Deutsche Bahn AG. In her functions as Category Manager and Strategic Buyer, Marcela contributed and expanded her knowledge on supply chains, project management as well as successful procurement. Thanks to her detailed insights into these important business operations, she comes to TSCNET equipped with great ideas and driven to make a lasting positive impact.

In her new position, Marcela will focus on implementing robust procurement processes and improving them together with her co-workers from Portfolio Management. Apart from her work responsibilities, Marcela is also taking care of her two lovely cats Luna and Lucky, who have been with her for three years. “Find out what your business partner loves and put your claws into it”, says the advice of financial market expert Clem Chambers in his article “Five Things Businesses Can Learn From Cats” in “Forbes”. We’re pretty sure that Marcela has some negotiating skills, but you don’t have to take this claw thing too literally. “Meow!”

Marcela Ostafie has joined TSCNET Services as the new Procurement and Contract Manager in the Portfolio Management unit

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A journey through the energy world – welcome, Abror!

01.07.2020

Maintaining the operational security of the European electricity system requires the highest level of expertise, ability to make the right decisions in stressful situations, and dedication – especially in our Service Operations business unit. Abror Shamsiev, our new Junior Operations Manager, should be well qualified for this and has already gained experience in ensuring that electricity processes run smoothly and efficiently.

The 29-year-old Abror comes from Uzbekistan, where he completed his basic studies in Electrical Engineering at the Tashkent State Technical University and also started his professional career. His journey in the energy sector began in 2010, the last year of his undergraduate studies, when Abror joined the Coordinating Dispatch Centre “Energy” in Tashkent, which acts as Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) similar to TSCNET in Central Asia. He worked there for a total of five years. During this time, he was also involved in a fellowship programme in Brussels at the Energy Charter Secretariat, which focused on electricity transit pricing in transition countries. Inspired by his time in Brussels, he decided to pursue a European graduate education and in March 2019 obtained a Master’s degree from the Technical University of Kaiserslautern in Rhineland-Palatinate in western Germany. Thanks to his experience both in Central Asia and in the EU, Abror has gained valuable insights into the field of energy security and has been able to build up an impressive range of skills.

Abror will now use his rich experience and qualifications to help further improve our services to our customers. He is particularly excited about the opportunity to focus more on energy security issues in Europe at the highest level. Doing this with equally ambitious colleagues “is the cherry on top”, says Abror. The team spirit at TSCNET embodies a working culture that can be described very well with an Uzbek proverb: One head is good, two are better. Fortunately, with Abror we have gained what appears to be a rather clever additional head.

TSCNET welcomes Abror Shamsiev, new Junior Operations Manager in the Service Operations unit

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Chilean with electrifying mission – welcome, Claudio!

30.06.2020

The European power transmission grid supplies an entire continent with energy and ensures that its citizens have constant access to energy. As it is the largest synchronous network in the world, it is of the utmost importance to correctly simulate electricity movements so that secure transmission can be guaranteed now and in the future. It is this fascinating task that Claudio López, the newest member of our Service Development Unit, has brought to us. Claudio has recently joined TSCNET Services as a Business Analyst and wants to contribute all the knowledge the 35-year-old Chilean has already acquired in his career.

Claudio holds an M.Sc. degree in Energy Technology from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Southwest Germany and the Uppsala University in Sweden. Before joining TSCNET, Claudio worked as Research Assistant in the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology (Fraunhofer IEE) in Kassel and did research as part of his PhD program at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. There he was part of the Intelligent Electrical Power Grids group for four years. He was dedicated to the search for a method to accelerate the communication between geographically distributed dynamic energy system simulators. The basic idea of this project was to integrate models from different places without exchanging them. At each new location, Claudio was able to gain detailed insights into the continent’s complex power system and understand its many facets. A Chilean proverb fits this perfectly: “The dog that doesn’t walk doesn’t find a bone.”

At TSCNET, Claudio’s focus will be assisting the Service Development team in their work on the Common Grid Model Specification Standard. We are sure that the sometimes bumpy road ahead will be no barrier for Claudio, who has been a mountain biker since his youth and knows exactly how to overcome obstacles to reach his goal successfully. And if the challenges in his job are not big enough for him, 53 mountain peaks of more than 2000 metres height are waiting for him and his bike in the administrative district of Upper Bavaria in the south of Munich alone, and that’s only where the Alps begin …

Claudio López has joined TSCNET Services as the new Business Analyst in the Service Development Unit 

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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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Skills with a good dose of laugh

07.04.2020

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” is a well-known proverb from Pakistan. That should not be a problem for Adam Ali, the new Junior Project Management Officer, who has joined the Business Unit Portfolio Management at TSCNET Services.

Adam is originally from Pakistan and is excited about the amazing challenges in the energy industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the Lahore University of Management Sciences in the second largest city in Pakistan, and subsequently completed an MBA degree in International Management in Pforzheim, in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. He has more than three years of experience in project management and has a strong affinity for IT systems and software. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he worked in Lahore University of Management Sciences as part of the programme management team, taking care of finances, project coordination and process alignment.

Quite a lot of practice already
His experience also extends to the corporate world: Adam not only interned in project management at Allianz Technology SE, but also wrote his MBA thesis on agile and hybrid methodologies in cooperation with the company. In addition, he joined the NBHX Trim Group as a working student in the programme management department and helped to digitise cross-departmental communication strategies to optimise internal information exchange.

At TSCNET Services, Adam will use his skills to help the multinational team ensure smooth operations. His enthusiasm for the energy industry will help to achieve this. With his knowledge of project management in agile and international environments, he will support the new colleagues primarily in process optimisation and standardisation.

Apart from the business side of things, Adam is an avid traveller and hiker who loves to entertain people with his sense of humour. Again, there is a saying in Pakistan that suits this: “Do good and throw it in the river.” With Adam, it’s quite possible that the Bavarian Isar River feels almost like the legendary Indus, thanks to a smile amongst coworkers.

Adam Ali has been hired as Junior Project Management Officer

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Supporting secure power supply despite corona crisis

20.03.2020

For weeks, the world has been watching with great concern the news about the novel coronavirus and the disease COVID-19. Together with the electricity transmission system operators (TSOs) we are ensuring the secure operation of the electricity transmission infrastructure in Europe and are taking the situation with great seriousness. Therefore, we have taken a number of preventive measures to protect employees and visitors from infection with the virus, while at the same time ensuring that all key areas of our business and system operations remain fully operational.

These precautionary measures are reassessed daily and, if necessary, expanded and supplemented. In addition to measures to protect health, these include precautions that severely restrict contact between employees and with other groups of people, as well as additional measures that restrict access to our offices in Munich. Special precautions apply to employees in particularly sensitive areas such as our Regional Coordination Room.

As with any infectious disease, everyone benefits if individuals take precautions. We therefore appeal to all employees and partners to protect themselves and others. If you have any questions or need help, please do not hesitate to contact us.

In operation around the clock! In view of the situation with the novel coronavirus, the management of TSCNET Services has decided to take a number of precautions.

Linkup
> Visit WHO coronavirus pages (html)
> Visit European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control pages (html)
> Visit Robert Koch Institute on situation in Germany, in German (html)

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