A polyglot engineer eager for change

17.10.2019

“IT infrastructure is the beating heart of the organisation,” says Michael Klazema, an American expert on digital consulting and technological innovation. So, the fact that our IT Infrastructure Services division has picked up speed over the past few weeks is fitting. With the newly hired Jeffrey Morales, there is now also an IT Service Manager at TSCNET Services. The 33-year-old comes originally from Manila, capital of the Philippines, which has also been called “The Pearl of the Orient Sea” since the middle of the 18th century.

In Manila, Jeffrey completed a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. After nine years, he began his Master of Science studies in Management at the Technical University of Munich (TUM, Technical University Munich), which he almost completed in the meantime – mostly alongside his full-time job. Jeffrey has 12 years of professional experience, that involves moving across the world from Manila to Singapore to New York to Frankfurt and now to Munich. He started his career in Manila right after university. After three years at HP & SunPower Philippines, the Swiss bank UBS hired him as an expat and brought him to Singapore. Later he joined Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) and spent considerable amount of time in New York for business development projects with lots of flights between the American East Coast and the coast of Malaysia.

“Challenging the status quo” finally led our new co-worker to Germany. Here he worked for the Bavarian government and learnt German in a hurry – from the problem that hardly any of his fellow workers spoke English well enough, he made an advantage. “Learning the local language is a sign of respect,” says Jeffrey. And it greatly facilitates integration in the new home country. Now the fervent blogger studied and speaks five other languages in addition to German and Filipino as his mother tongue: English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and a little French. No wonder good friends call him a “polyglot engineer”.

Helpful around the globe
The travel enthusiast has already visited 45 countries – in just nine years. In 2015, he completely circumnavigated the world – from the Maldives via Singapore and the Philippines to China, then via Alaska and through the USA via Great Britain and continental Europe to Georgia and finally via South Korea back to the Philippines. Travelling educates and helps to reflect. “The more I see different people from different walks of life of different cultures, the more I see myself as just a speck of life, it humbles you,” Jeffrey describes it. “And the less importance you give to troubles and stress.”

As IT Service Manager at TSCNET, Jeffrey wants to help the company exploit its potential, especially for its customers. He wants to create changes: With a personal touch, he wants to get involved and help make the processes more efficient – he never wants to be the “loudest voice in the room”, but always “one of the most effective”.

Jeffrey also wants to change things for the better outside of his work – which is why he has often volunteered for organisations that are committed to improving the lives of people in need. “We only have one life to live, so it’s better to use it wisely,” he says. “Filipinos are known for their helpfulness and for caring for their fellow human beings,” writes the magazine “Inquirer” – our new arrival seems to be a prime example of this.

33-year-old Jeffrey Morales joined TSCNET Services as IT Service Manager

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New hire: Fledgling artist bridging the gap

06.08.2019

“He is always pleasure working with and he has shown tremendous responsibility and sense of delivery with a strong technical strength,” writes one of his former superiors on a well-known international professional platform. We at TSCNET also believe in his qualities and are pleased to introduce him as the new Solution Architect in the Business Unit Service Development: Krishnakumar Srinikethan Gaddam, Krishna for short.

Born in India, he completed his Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science in 2006 and most recently worked for various companies in Germany and Belgium as a Technical Architect and as a Business Analyst respectively SOA Solution Architect. In our team, he wants to act as a bridge between business with TSOs, other RSCs, and ENTSO-E on the one hand, and IT on the other. He sees an important focus of his work in streamlining and governing IT provision using architectural principles.

Krishna chose our company not only because he is interested in the field of energy. He is convinced that the IT evolution is still in its fledgling stages compared to other industries, “so I have the opportunity to explore, learn, develop and articulate the best of the IT practices,” he says. That is something his new co-workers certainly can endorse!

TSCNET has welcomed Krishna Gaddam as the new Solution Architect in the Business Unit Service Development (picture: TSCNET Services)

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Welcome, Miloš! “This time next year…”

09.08.2018

It is a pleasure to adorn oneself with the light figures of an entire guild. In our case there is one at the very top: the inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, according to “Encyclopedia Britannica” one of the ten most fascinating personalities in human history and for many “The Genius Who Lit the World”, as a documentary film about him was called. With Miloš Stojković, the new Senior IT Application Manager in our IT Services team, comes another pinch of Tesla to TSCNET Services. Miloš finished the Electrotechnical High School “Nikola Tesla” in Belgrade, Serbia, before completing his studies at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering / Power Systems at the university there.

He also shares something else with the legendary electricity pioneer: Miloš got around a lot in his profession – since the end of his studies in 2004 he has worked in a total of 15 different countries on almost 60 projects ranging from the “Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey Power Bridge Project” via “System Analyses for Connection Study of a Thermal Power Plant” through to the “Study of Technical Solution for the Connection of a Wind Farm”. The past seven and a half years he worked with the Electricity Coordinating Center in Belgrade. IT and software usually played a central role. He should therefore have all the necessary prerequisites for his new role in our company as one of the product owners for the new system tools development. And he has ambitious goals: Miloš chose TSCNET because “here I can put most of my expertise into the balance to bring about a real improvement in an eclectic way”.

This leads us straight to Miloš’ favourite TV series: “Only Fools and Horses”. The sitcom is considered the most popular British series of all time. It is about two brothers and their grandfather and their not that successful attempts to earn as much money as possible with dubious businesses in the shortest possible time. A standard phrase of Derek „Del Boy“ Trotter, one of the three shady-looking characters, is one of our new co-worker’s favourite quotes: “This time next year…” We look forward to seeing what Miloš and his colleagues can achieve in the next 12 months in terms of tangible improvements for TSCNET customers and the European power transmission grid. “Only Fools and Horses” again comes with a suitable quote that became commonly used: “He who dares, wins!” – for this maxim also applies to completely serious and righteous undertakings.

TSCNET Services has welcomed Miloš Stojković as the new Senior IT Application Manager in the IT Services team

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Welcome, Stoyan! Experienced enthusiast for data

25.06.2018

At TSCNET Services, we are proud of our international team of people who have come ‒ in most cases most literally ‒ a long way to bring their skills to the service of our customers. Such as Stoyan Velev, whom we welcomed in May as the new Business Intelligence & Data Scientist in our Service Operations team. Originating from the southwest of Bulgaria, Stoyan moved as far as to the Baltic coast in the northeast of Germany, where he received his master’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Applied Sciences, Technology, Business and Design in Wismar. Later, his education was complemented by certification as a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) programmer and database developer.

What his work is about is not so easy to describe. A Bulgarian proverb sums it up quite well: “It is good to fish in streaming water.” The vast amount of data in our company can almost be understood as wildly thundering waters. This makes it even more important to filter out the relevant data and process them optimally. Next to the maintenance and advancement of TSCNET’s central database, Stoyan’s core tasks include data visualisation and the creation of reports.

Stoyan enriches our team with a load of practical experience in the field of data analysis and as designer of analytic and reporting systems as well as complex calculation models. As a European regional security coordinator (RSC) serving transmission system operators (TSOs), it is particularly valuable for TSCNET Services that Stoyan brings relevant expertise from the electricity retail market, too. What stands out from Stoyan‘s experience is his enthusiasm for programming, data processing and reports. “This means truly professional and meaningful reports that accurately reflect the company’s as well as the customers’ activities and really support decision-making,” says Stoyan. With this personal verve, Stoyan is committed to providing real value to TSO customers. We are happy to report!

Stoyan Velev, employee of TSCNET Services since the beginning of May 2018

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Staff position: Back home to create the new

07.05.2018

Sometimes a fresh start can also be a comeback, and this is the case with Veronika Doppelhammer, the new Program Manager for Coordinated Security Analysis (CSA) Transformation at TSCNET Services. Some ten years ago, Veronika left the world of transmission system operators (TSOs) to further expand her professional experience. Now, she returns to the TSO business by taking on a task that is most challenging and truly in need of a responsible-minded expert. In her new role as CSA Transformation Manager, Veronika will lead the further functional and IT-related developments in one of the most important service areas. In this area, our company supports its customers in identifying and managing bottlenecks and risks in the European electricity grid. The CSA services will be further extended to allow better coordination and advice. “This most important and complex venture has to be run by an absolute professional,” says Maik Neubauer, one of our Managing Directors.

Veronika was born in Bavaria and received the degree of a Dipl.-Ing. Elektrotechnik at the University of Applied Sciences in the Lower Bavarian capital of Landshut. She completed her diploma thesis as working student at the hydropower division of the Bayernwerk AG. Veronika’s first TSO experience followed in a six-month project at Technikon Pretoria (now merged into the Tshwane University of Technology) in cooperation with the South African TSO Eskom. Subsequently, the electrical engineer fulfilled various positions and management roles in energy companies ‒ such as several divisions of E.ON Energie AG and the Swiss TSO Swissgrid – and gathered substantial experience in the fields of strategy and business development, regulatory and risk management. Especially at TSCNET shareholder Swissgrid, for which Veronika worked until 2007, former colleagues are looking forward to collaborate with Veronika again.

Veronika is excited to be challenged by the new project at TSCNET Services. She is eager to get new functionalities ready in time, but always with an open eye to regulatory requirements and customer satisfaction. “I have held various positions in many areas of the energy sector, not only electricity but also gas. I worked in small start-ups and large corporations always having in mind to improve interface management,” explains Veronika. With this experience and as a part of the TSCNET management, Veronika wants to enable the (young) team of TSCNET to fully use their potential.

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Alisa, Andres, and Prashik new in Service Operations

02.05.2018

Of the four teams at TSCNET Services, the Service Operations team is not only the largest, but also the one with the most colleagues coming directly from one of the transmission system operators (TSOs) that are also shareholders of the company. This leads to a great transfer of knowledge and exchange of experience, but also has a downside: Most of the time the TSO would like to have “their” employee back earlier or later, and we have to find replacements. This time we are pleased to welcome as many as three new employees: Alisa Mocanu and Prashik Mankar as additional Operations Managers and Andres Sanchez Garcia as new IT Operations Manager.

Operations Manager Alisa was born in the Republic of Moldova and went to Romania to study. There she completed her master’s at Faculty of Power Engineering at the Politehnica University of Bucharest. She has several years of experience in the development and commissioning of photovoltaic power plants (20MW) and in the field of grid software solutions. She chose TSCNET Services because she can here be part of a team that shapes the future of energy.

Alisa’s colleague Prashik Mankar comes from India and has a master’s in Electrical Power Engineering from the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, following his Bachelor in Electrical Engineering from Fr. C. Rodrigues Institute of Technology in Navi Mumbai, a satellite city to the metropolis of Mumbai in Maharashtra, India. Before joining us he worked for our client 50Hertz, mainly in the field of online simulations and forecasted grid models. Prior to that, he worked for GridLab GmbH with a focus on the implementation and operation of phase shifting transformer (PSTs) and detecting and eliminating looming bottlenecks in the power transmission grid.

Originally from Spain, IT Operations Manager Andres has more than ten years of experience in the IT business after graduating in Advanced Software Development in 2003 at the age of only 21. The family man has been living in Germany since 2009. Most recently he was Global IT Manager at Matica Technologies AG in Munich. He opted for TSCNET Services primarily because of the almost familiar open office concept and the excellent opportunities for personal development. “He works efficiently, is always helpful and thanks to his character, working with him makes everyone happy,” says one of his former colleagues appreciatively. The employees and customers of TSCNET would certainly not mind if one day they would also speak of our three newcomers in this way.

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Transnational transmission grid within sight

15.12.2016

When providing services to our customers, TSCNET strongly relies on the quality of the input data. The data comes from different providers, gets created by different tools, and contains vast quantities of information about the European electricity grid. Monitoring and understanding this data is a key to success. TSCNET finished off a project to process and visualise this set of data more effectively using OSIsoft’s PI System, an application software for real-time data management that is already used by several European transmission system operators (TSOs).

Together with OSIsoft engineers, we configured the system to process the input datasets of the security assessment service securely and store them in a well-structured database. Using the flexible web-based tool for visualisation and four large wall-mounted digital screens, we create a permanent dynamic dashboard for the TSC Operators, to always have a clear overview about the status of the input data, and to get an immediate notification if a predefined set of discrepancy in the data is observed.

The dashbord combines operational data with graphics and core information about grid parameters. For now, our tool comprises data about the status of the generation nodes, the transformers and the transmission lines, and the tap position of the phase-shifting transformer (PSTs). A next step is increasing the tool’s scope by additional services, such as capacity calculation, and including the security assessment results.
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TSCNET grid KPI dashboard

Pictures: Data Quality Manager Peter Ambrus explains data visualisation at TSCNET Service

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“People, passion, and progress”

11.10.2016

“If I could pencil the perfect workplace for me, TSCNET Services would be it,” says Diana Babiac who recently started as an IT Project Manager in our Team IT Services & Development. She knows whereof she speaks: More than one year ago during her Master’s studies, she had already worked for TSCNET as an IT Project Assistant. Now she returned, subsequent to getting a Master’s degree in Computer Science at the Technical University of Munich and being awarded an honours degree from the Center of Digital Technology & Management. Moreover, her transdisciplinary work experience already spans three continents and several industries.

Diana sees TSCNET as “a hidden gem in the big sea of companies” in Munich. “I have never worked in a firm more concerned with employee satisfaction and with such a strong commitment towards employees’ personal and professional growth,” she explains. “I became very attached to the corporate culture and started soon to feel very much like a part of a big family.”

Diana’s current role as one of the IT Team specialists could be described as a constant balancing act between creativity and structure, and between a start-up and a long-established company. “I very much enjoy the continuous learning aspect and the challenge of building bridges between IT, grid operations and business development,” she says. In addition, she also acts as the single point of contact for several ENTSO-E working groups. “I love the diversity – I am always excited when diving into new topics and taking over new tasks.” This much is certain: She will have ample opportunity.

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Seamless performance upgrade with “AMICA”

03.05.2016

The common tool for data exchange and security assessments (CTDS) is the key to effective day ahead, intraday, and real time grid security analyses for the customers of TSCNET. After more than two years of preparation, TSCNET’s IT Services & Development team now succeeded in deploying the youngest release.

The new version offers a performance upgrade for the business processes. Part of the existing software architecture and the hardware setup were redesigned. This upgrade significantly shortens computation time of contingency and load-flow analysis and increases overall performance of the solution considerably. This shortens the overall daily and intraday operation and supports faster recognition of security breaches allowing TSCNET operators to act accordingly and to coordinate the planning of remedial actions across Europe.

Speedy roll-out
Hand in hand with the vendor, Unicorn Systems, TSCNET managed all technical challenges and organised a seamless roll-out of the new version to its customers, the TSC member TSOs. The whole deployment process for all customers could be finished within a few days.

Following the redesign and major performance upgrade of the tool and the successful deployment, the management of TSCNET decided to use this event to re-brand the tool to “AMICA” (advanced multisite integral congestion assessment module). “Success depends upon previous preparation,” said Confucius. “AMICA” gives proof.

Faster and future-proof
Siem Bruijns, TSCNET’s Managing Director responsible for Operations and Development, commented: “This upgrade improves system performance and shortens computation time measurably. This allows operators to identify potential problems for a common grid operation soon enough to decide on remedial actions. All that helps us to fulfil our main goal: Secure electricity supply for more than 180 million European citizens.”

Alexander Wirth, Managing Director for Administration and Organisation and responsible for the IT development at TSCNET, stated: “The results of this major upgrade successfully demonstrate the effectiveness of our long-term IT strategy and the excellent cooperation with our IT vendor. In the last two years, we worked hard to jointly re-design the software architecture and the hardware setup. That’s why the management decided to re-brand the tool.”

Miroslav Hasek of Unicorn Systems added: “TSC is our long term customer and we are fully committed to deliver our services to support them in their primary goals. This release was a big step and we believe to deliver high quality services to TSC also in the future.”

Illustration using a picture by Jacey O Samsel (Creative Commons)
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TSCNET receives ISMS certification

29.03.2016

As our world is more and more digital, IT security has never been of more paramount importance than it is now. Against this backdrop, TSCNET Services decided to apply for an ISO/IEC 27001 certification and has now been certified by an accredited certification body, Certification & Information Security Services (CIS) from Vienna, Austria.

While the ISO 27000 family of standards helps companies manage the security of information assets in general, ISO/IEC 27001 is the best-known standard providing requirements for an information security management system (ISMS). It covers processes related to information technology, project management, operations, human resources, and administration. The certificate shows that TSCNET has information security risks under control.

Our company’s IT experts had spent more than five months preparing, with assistance from appointed consultants and supported by both the management and all the people at TSCNET. The certification following a rigorous audit proves that high quality solutions for our clients on the basis of secure cooperation are at the heart of what we do. Regular surveillance audits will be conducted to ensure that we continue to work to the required standard.

> See ISO ISO/IEC 27001 website (html)

 

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