If You Don’t Have Problems You Don’t Need Engineers

Posted to Esri in the Digital Utility Group
image credit: Photo 179239031 © Kampan Butshi |
Pat  Hohl's picture
Director - Electric Industry Solutions Esri

Pat Hohl, PE, is Esri's director of electric industry solutions. He was a pioneer in the use of GIS for electric utilities. He has over 35 years of experience in utility engineering, technology...

  • Member since 2018
  • 136 items added with 192,962 views
  • Sep 24, 2020

The problems in engineering school are never ending – math, physics, chemistry, and circuits. Working at a utility is not much different.

As a distribution engineer, my boss encouraged me to look at the bright side. He quipped, “If you don’t have problems, you don’t need engineers!” You see, problems make engineers valuable.

Grid modernization objectives like greater resiliency and renewables integration make problem solving even more important. Fortunately, engineers solve problems. Don’t shy away. Provide the best tools and let the engineers dig in.

To produce efficient work products, design teams require diverse data, ranging from network configurations to environmental impacts. However, this data often rests in silos producing cumbersome design and construction workflows. Fragmented processes are prone to mistakes and costly rework.

Additionally, modern networks are very complex. Reliable engineering builds on detailed network models that reflect the real world. Likewise, it relies on state-of-the-art visualization and analytics.

Reliable information sharpens all phases of every project. A foundation of flawed data creates risks that affect safety, schedule, and cost. A single source of true design information comes from a modern geographic information system (GIS). (example in Minnesota)

Designing utility infrastructure is by nature a location-centric pursuit. Utility engineers must understand all the factors impacting their work at a location. Using a modern GIS, they discover how these considerations connect with one another. As a result, engineers and designers boost their work products.

Using location technology, utilities unlock new sources of value in the project life cycle. Consequently, they advance design and construction workflows. With location as the centerpiece, a complete design picture improves key performance indicators and business results.

ArcGIS location technology advances engineering work with real-world modeling, rich analytics, and visual communication. To learn how ArcGIS helps utility designers and engineers solve real problems download our latest e-book.

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Pat  Hohl's picture
Thank Pat for the Post!
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