New hires: Heroic rendezvous in Service Operations

10.05.2019

It sounds like a brilliant mastermind with exceptional electromagnetic abilities in a superhero movie, but with a little goodwill you could say that he now works for TSCNET Services: Dr. Power (he usually prefers not to use any titles at all – also because they tend to be longer than his name, as he admits with a twinkle in his eye). We are talking about Martin Zak from Czechia, who hired as Junior Operations Manager in the Business Unit Service Operations. The 27-year-old has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and emergency medicine (and yes, he knows how strange this combination is). He comes from the other side of the desk and has worked as a control centre operator for our customer and shareholder ČEPS in Prague. So the die-hard board game fan has already known many of his new colleagues, and he is also very familiar with the topics of network security and operating principles.

Another new member of the Service Operations team is Jorge Alves. The 33-year-old Portuguese with a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering with a major in Power Systems from the University of Porto previously worked as a High Voltage Network Operator at EDP Distribuição. His wife went to Germany for her doctorate as a biologist. When their son was born, Jorge followed his wife to the north and applied as Operations Manager to TSCNET. His greatest hobby is surfing, and even though the waves there are considerably smaller than on Portugal’s Atlantic coast, he is already eager for the famous river surfing on Munich’s Eisbach. On the one hand, this certainly helps as balance to office work, but on the other it seems to awaken the fighting spirit – Jorge’s superhero counterpart, the famous Silver Surfer, was known for that: “Others may battle with victory in sight – but the Surfer still strives when all hope is gone!”

The third newcomer in the group is Jonas Häusler, a 25-year-old Franconian from Erlangen near Nuremberg with a master’s degree in mathematics and power grid optimisation as his thesis topic. He starts as Junior Operations Manager and wants to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible and complement the team in the further “evolution of the European power system” with his special perspective of a strictly abstract and analytically thinking mathematician. But he has even more knowledge and experience to offer, and that falls under a term that best suits the world of superheroes: Jonas is a true Master of Disaster! As part of his many years of voluntary work for a German aid organisation, he has also worked as an instructor for disaster control units. Although TSCNET and our customers want to avoid catastrophes by all means his expertise is also extremely valuable – professionals agree that there is hardly anything as helpful in avoiding crises as the experience from crises that have already been mastered.

We wish all three new members of the team such a good start in our company, that all possible superhero forces can be fully channelled into the European power grid!

Fresh engagements for Service Operations (from the left): Martin Zak, Jorge Alves, and Jonas Häusler (picture: TSCNET Services)

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New hire: Oscar-worthy move to Service Operations

14.03.2019

When the Academy Awards were ceremoniously given in Hollywood at the end of February, we at TSCNET Services had a relaxed time leaning back: We already had our Oscar. And as the “Roma” director Alfonso Cuarón, probably the most undisputed winner of this year, reminded of his home country Mexico, we were also on the bright side: Mexico indeed is also the birthplace of Oscar F. Muñoz, the new Senior Service Analytics & Quality Manager in our Service Operations unit.

Oscar was born 43 years ago in Mexico City, with officially just under nine million inhabitants one of the world’s largest cities. The connection to electric power was already there: His father was an electrical technician, and at the age of twelve Oscar chose electricity as a school subject. After graduating from the Instituto Politécnico Nacional with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and energy systems, he went to the USA to earn his Master of Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After about two and a half years as an electrical design engineer and then as a bids & proposals engineer for medium and low voltage equipment, Oscar worked for 16 years in the development of software for use in the analysis, simulation and visualisation of electrical networks, first in the USA, then in Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg.

At the end of 2018, Oscar signed up for TSCNET Services. “I was interested in a career transition from conceiving and implementing software tools for power systems to the utilisation of such software in direct applications within the environment of transmission system operators,” he explains. In Munich, his ambitious goal is to combine his education, his skills, and his many years of experience to contribute to the improvement and development of processes and tools for the analysis and visualisation of complex large-scale power systems. Hollywood, please make a note of this – it sounds like some award-winning deeds again.

Oscar F. Muñoz is the new Senior Service Analytics & Quality Manager in the Service Operations unit

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A new way of learning: TSCNET Academy!

03.10.2017

Sharing knowledge and experience with our customers is an essential objective of TSCNET Services and might easily be considered as one of the cornerstones of TSCNET’s mission. Our customers have diverging individual interests and aspirations, and a corresponding educational technology has to comply with these client requirements. A fitting tool had to be created and this is how our e-learning project was born!

Anywhere, anytime learning
At TSCNET we have decided to develop an e-learning programme providing individualised professional training and expert support. While e-learning can essentially be understood as network-enabled transfer of knowledge and skills, a specified e-learning solution corresponding with the high demands of TSCNET has to guarantee appealing training possibilities available to everyone, independent of time and place. Thus, the educational technology of TSCNET utilises multiple strategies for imparting knowledge in an individual manner to varied interested parties.

We started working on the e-learning project in early 2017. Initially, the focus lies on providing interactive training courses by means of a time and location-independent platform that is available for a large audience. In doing so, we follow the principles of blended learning and have created an education programme combining online digital media with traditional teaching methods. Learning has never been easier.

Take a look around TSCNET Academy!
Our e-learning solution has been designed for 300 TSC users from our member TSOs and for TSCNET employees. The project’s main component is a versatile Learning Management System. The first e-learning course with which the system is equipped deals with the MRA procedure. This 60-minute course familiarises our users with the complete MRA procedure by allowing them to carry out simulations and do-it-yourself exercises. And what is the most important –  everyone can learn at his own pace! The second e-learning course on GSK functionality is already in development. It is foreseen to be launched in early December of 2017.

Apart from being a training tool for our customers, the e-learning platform is destined to sustain TSCNET’s organisation, by supporting internal trainings for our employees, e.g. exercises on office safety and ISMS procedures. Feel free to visit and experience our TSCNET Academy!

> Visit TSCNET Academy e-learning platform (html)

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Effectiveness in project management

15.06.2017

Strengthening the individual performance to contribute to an organisation’s common goals – with this idea in mind, five employees of TSCNET Services recently have taken part in a two-day PRINCE2 Foundation course. PRINCE2, an acronym for PRojects IN Controlled Environments, is the name of a widely used de facto process-based method for effective project management, emphasising the power of clear and efficient communication. It applies to all types of projects. The course with a very international atmosphere was designed to get a firm understanding of how to successfully manage projects and control change on them. It took place in the heart of Munich, Germany, and was followed by the certificate exam for all five delegates.

To fully meet the requirements as a European Regional Security Coordinator (RSC), TSCNET Services usually runs several projects in parallel on a continuous basis. Many of them are highly complex and technically very challenging. They all must be managed in time, within budget, and at the required high level of quality within the TSCNET project management framework. As Denis Waitley, the American motivational speaker, writer and consultant, said: “Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.”

Martin Mach, Data Quality Manager at TSCNET, has participated in the course and passed the exam. “Getting a detailed overview of all the PRINCE2 principles, processes and themes helps us to organise resources, manage costs and quality, and cope with project risks,” he says. With him and his four co-workers being in the vanguard, project management best practices will redound to the benefit of the whole company. A PRINCE ennobles all the clan …

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Up to speed with project management

08.04.2016

Today, nearly all types of businesses require employees with excellent project management skills to keep various projects on track and to meet time, budget, and quality requirements. Focusing on operational excellence in 2016, TSCNET Services sets great store by the employees’ knowledge in project management, and engaged an external consultancy for a two-day training for current and future project managers to learn and train modern project management approaches and methodologies.

“At TSCNET, the high complexity of projects with various needs from different shareholders and the degree of cultural diversity within them, necessitate extra accurate and comprehensive planning, structuring and steering of projects,” says Emanuel Kofler, Project Management Officer at our company. Predrag Vujovic, Capacity Calculation Operations Manager at TSCNET, emphasises another aspect: “The training helped us to establish standards for project management activities and practices.” All participants affirmed that the two days flagged up the biggest challenges and showed how to address them.

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