Welcome to Season 5 Episode 10
Electric Shock with Peter Stepien
Electricity in mines is a very concerning hazard. And while there have not been any fatalities in Australian mines due to electrocution in well over 30 years, this does not mean engineers are not working on it.
Peter Stepien spoke to Mel & Dom about his concern that engineers must stay vigilant with evolving technology, specifically currently with variable speed drives in mines.
Variable speed drives add an extra level of complexity to the protection scheme
Peter’s father was a carpenter. He used to help his dad design and make things. He saw his dad build furniture and even houses. And one day his dad was building the a house that he was going to grow up in and an electrician came to wire up the house. Peter found himself intrigued by the wiring which lead to electronics and then computers.
Whilst we tend to focus on one discipline while we’re studying and training as an engineer, during our career we actually cover a lot of different types of disciplines.
Extra discussions during the episode
Future: Engineers are a necessary part of society
I don’t see any sort of point in time when engineers won’t be required
Advice: engineering is a rewarding career that is evolving very quickly
I see engineering as being an applied science where you can take the knowledge of how things actually work and put them together to something that actually does work.
It’s a safety critical system as well. These machines have to fly reliably and if they do fail, they have to fail safely.
Profession Graham Goodwin & Peter Cockbain
There are two engineers that probably influenced my life.
These two engineers are leaders in their field.
About Dr Peter Stepien
Peter Stepien received a B.E. degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Newcastle and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Sydney and is registered as a CPEng. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and Senior Member of the IEEE.
His current position is Principal Engineer at ResTech, taking a leadership role in providing consultancy services to industry and designing electronic equipment. He has carried out numerous investigations into earth fault limited power systems, including electric shock incidences and the use of VSDs, covering the effect of circulating currents, touch potential and the impact on protection devices. His work at ResTech resulted in a patent for detection of leakage or fault currents from equipment in an electrical power system and associated products.
Dr Stepien also holds the position of Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle. He is the immediate past Chair of the Engineers Australia Electrical and ITEE Colleges Branch, Newcastle Division (2017-2019).
Dominic De Gioia is the Director of a multi-discipline engineering firm, EWFW Consulting. He is a mechanical engineer with specialist experience in hydraulic engineering.
Melanie De Gioia is the Podcast Producer for Engineers Australia and the Director of Ramaley Media.
Together, Mel & Dom launched Engineering Heroes in 2018
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About Engineering Heroes
We interview engineers as they discuss their life and the issues they are dealing with.