Engineer development program

We’re dedicated to training and developing our new engineers to become an integral part of the electric and distribution operations of our business.

Overview

One of the goals of the New Engineer Development Program is to provide new college graduate engineers a broad view of the business of the company.  This is accomplished through a development and rotational assignment training program consisting of six-month rotational orientation assignments in four of the following six areas: Area Field Engineering, Substation Engineering, Materials and Applications Support, Distribution Automation, Electric System Metering and Distribution Dispatch.  As part of this program, the new engineer is assigned a sponsor.

More about the Engineer Development Program:

Sponsors & Supervisors

Engineering Skills Development

Engineering Jobs

Promotional Opportunities

Continuing Education

Professional Engineer Registration

Professional Organization Memberships

Sponsors & Supervisors

The sponsor is an engineering manager who is responsible for ensuring that the new engineer has every opportunity to fully develop as a contributing professional. The sponsor will review the new engineer's assignments and performance plans to ensure that they are meaningful and productive, and will provide input to performance reviews to provide consistency and ensure that the new engineer is making sufficient progress. However, the sponsor does not replace line management in the areas of promotion, performance evaluation, salary administration, etc.  The sponsor will be assigned to the new engineer during the first work assignment.

The supervisor plays an important role in the development of the engineer. While the New Engineer Development Program provides a structure for a broader perspective of the company, it continues to be the supervisor's responsibility to impart the technical skills and work ethic the employee will need to be successful. Rotational assignments within the Program are intended to represent productive work to benefit the company. The challenge to the supervisor is to formulate projects in this light and set milestones for the growth of the new engineer.

The sponsor's role is to complement the work of the supervisor and provide a corporate perspective to the new engineer. The supervisor should expect communication with the sponsor, particularly prior to meetings of the sponsor and the new engineer. The sponsor, together with the supervisor, will provide input to other groups of the business unit regarding the suitability of the engineer when rotational assignments are made. The sponsor will not make promotional or disciplinary decisions regarding the engineer. These decisions are the responsibility of the supervisor and the business unit. Top of Page

Engineering Skills Development

The following information outlines the technical development for engineers in Distribution Systems Engineering. In addition to the technical development, it is understood that employees will need to meet expectations for performance competencies and work experience as well as develop client management and consulting abilities in order to be considered for promotional opportunities.

A series of four (4), six-month rotational orientation assignments selected from the following six (6) areas. (Assignments will be available for students in the Engineering Co-op Program as well as newly graduated engineers.).

Assignments will be in the following areas:

Area Field Engineering Team assignment, providing exposure to:

  • Distribution line design/construction order generation
  • Area planning (including exposure to Planning Support) Distribution protection issues (including exposure to central Protection Support)
  • Field application issues
  • Field construction
  • Area business operations

Substation Engineering group assignment, providing exposure to:

  • Substation engineering
  • Project licensing
  • Project management processes and tools

Materials and Applications Support assignment, providing exposure to:

  • Materials and equipment standards
  • Voltage regulation issues
  • Power quality issues
  • Stray voltage/EMF issues

Distribution Automation group assignment, providing exposure to:

  • Distribution management systems
  • Energy management systems/SCADA
  • Demand side management systems
  • Substation automation/Integrated distribution automation

Electric System Metering group assignment, providing exposure to:

  • Electromechanical and solid state measurement methods
  • Application of new metering devices
  • Meter programming and diagnostic software
  • Remote and automatic meter reading systems
  • Substation and inter-tie metering issues

Distribution Dispatch

  • Electric distribution operating equipment and procedures
  • Field switching practices
  • Distribution information and control systems
  • Outage management process

Two sequential assignments each of approximately two to three years duration in any of the following eight specialty areas.

    • Area Planning
    • Planning Development
    • Distribution Protection
    • Substation Engineering
    • Materials & Equipment Evaluation/Specifications
    • Field Applications
    • Distribution Automation
    • Electric System Metering

The Experienced Engineer Career Development Program is a customized program based on individual backgrounds, interests, etc., for engineers with seven or more years of engineering work experience.  Potential developmental assignments (would not require formal management announcement process) in any of the eight areas under Item B plus:

  • Startup Engineering
  • Substation Automation
  • Distribution Dispatch

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Engineering Job Categories

The following describes engineering positions at the fully qualified level. It is expected that employees with varying levels of technical expertise and experience may fill the following positions. In addition to the technical development, employees will need to meet expectations for performance competencies and work experience as well as develop client management and consulting abilities in order to be considered for promotional opportunities.

ASSOCIATE ENGINEER Supervisor screens assignments for unusual or difficult problems and selects techniques and procedures to be applied on non-routine work; receives close supervision on new aspects of assignments. Uses prescribed methods, performs specific and limited portions of a broader assignment of an experienced engineer; performs routine engineering work requiring application of standard techniques, procedures and criteria in carrying out a sequence of related engineering tasks.  Minimum Requirement: B.S. in engineering required.

ENGINEER

Receives technical guidance on unusual or complex problems and supervisory approval on proposed plans for projects; independently performs most assignments with instructions as to the general results expected. Plans and conducts work requiring judgment in the independent evaluation, selection and substantial adaptation and modification of standard techniques, procedures and criteria; devises new approaches to problems encountered. Provides work direction to a few engineers or other staff on assigned work. Minimum Requirement: 2-7 years engineering experience.

SENIOR ENGINEER

Supervision and guidance relate largely to overall objectives, critical issues, new concepts and policy matters; consults with supervisor concerning unusual problems and developments. Applies sound and diversified knowledge of engineering principles and practices in broad areas of assignments and related fields; makes decisions independently on engineering. problems and methods; requires the use of advanced techniques and modification and extension of theories, precepts and practices of his/her field. Typical duties and responsibilities include one or more of the following:  (1) provides work direction, coordinates and reviews the work of engineers or other staff; (2) as individual researcher or staff specialist, carries out complex or novel assignments requiring the development of new or improved techniques and procedures. Minimum Requirement: 7-10 years engineering experience

PRINCIPAL ENGINEER

Supervision received is essentially administrative, with assignments given in broad general objectives and limits. Responsibility for interpreting, organizing, executing and coordinating assignments; plans and develops engineering projects concerned with unique or controversial problems which have an important effect on major company programs; involves exploration of subject area, definition of scope and selection of problems for investigation and development of novel concepts and approaches. As individual researcher, consultant or staff specialist conceives plans and conducts research in problem areas of considerable scope and complexity.  May additionally plan, organize and/or supervise the work of a small group of engineers and/or other staff including performance management planning. Maintains liaison with individuals and units within or outside his/her organization with responsibility for acting independently on technical matters pertaining to is/her field. Minimum Requirement: 10-15 years experience required, P.E. registration. Licensed Professional Engineer may be a requirement for certain positions/disciplines, i.e., Wisconsin Administrative Code requirement, provide “expert” testimony at Public Service Commission hearings, etc.

Additional career opportunities, listed below, will require formal management announcement of a job opening and the subsequent selection and placement of the successful candidate into one of the following jobs:

MAJOR PROJECT MANAGER

The primary responsibility of the Project Manager is to manage substation capital improvement projects via: scoping, estimating engineering, design, support of construction management and job close-out; providing feedback on budget and other performance goals; ensuring on-time and on-budget improvement and expansion projects; hiring, monitoring and consistently evaluating in-house construction or external construction workforces. Additionally, the Project Manager coordinates outage planning with system operations; ensures successful start-up and commissioning of projects; provides recordkeeping and ongoing system monitoring in support of operations, maintenance and future planning; provides benchmarking information on engineering and construction services. Minimum Requirement: 7-10 years experience in a leadership role in engineering or construction required; engineering degree, P.E. registration.

SUPERVISING ENGINEER

Supervision received is essentially administrative, with assignments given in broad general objectives and limits. Responsibility for interpreting, organizing, executing and coordinating assignments; plans and develops engineering projects concerned with unique or controversial problems which have an important effect on major company programs; involves exploration of subject area, definition of scope and selection of problems for investigation and development of novel concepts and approaches. Plans, organizes and supervises the work of a staff of engineers and/or other staff.  Responsible for performance management planning. Maintains liaison with individuals and units within or outside his/her organization with responsibility for acting independently on technical matters pertaining to his/her field. Minimum Requirement: 10-15 years experience required, P.E. registration.
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Promotional Opportunities

The Engineering Job Family is defined as Associate Engineer, Engineer and Senior Engineer.

ASSOCIATE ENGINEER to ENGINEER

  • Associate Engineers’ performance reviewed every 6 months
  • Promotion to Engineer when employee:
  • Completes 2 years as an Associate Engineer
  • Demonstrates the skills of a fully qualified Associate Engineer
  • Recommended for promotion by supervision

ENGINEER to SENIOR ENGINEER

  • Engineers’ performance reviewed annually
  • Promotion to Senior Engineer when employee:
  • Completes 7-10 years of engineering experience
  • Demonstrates the skills of a fully qualified Engineer
  • Recommended for promotion by supervision

Promotions Outside Engineering Job Family

Potential promotional opportunities require formal management announcement process, e.g. application, testing, interviewing. The candidate must possess a Bachelor’s Degree in engineering or other technical degree or related experience and registration as a P.E. plus the indicated minimum number of years of experience and additional requirements as indicated.

Major Project  Manager  (minimum of 7-10 years experience in a leadership role in engineering or construction required)

Supervising Engineer (minimum of 10-15 years experience required)

Principal Engineer (minimum of 10-15 years experience required)
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Continuing Education

Continuing education for engineering professionals is importance due to the rapid rate of technology change occurring in the utility industry. Work related training is encouraged for engineering personnel.

Associate Engineers Seminars are held periodically to discuss technical topics of concern to Associate Engineers. The purpose of these meetings is to increase the Associate Engineer’s basic knowledge and understanding of power systems.

Presentations are conducted on a regular basis for all Distribution engineers.  These seminars are developed and presented by in-house engineering personnel.  A sample of seminar topics includes:

  • Electric Metering Technology
  • Distribution Systems Automation
  • Power Quality
  • Distribution System Reliability
  • Substation Design
  • Communications Technology for Distribution Systems
  • Distribution System Planning
  • Distribution System Protection
  • Insulation Coordination for Power Systems

Opportunities exist to participate in external seminars or conferences that address industry topics and issues such as:

  • Technical training from equipment manufacturers
  • Technical training for advanced engineering concepts
  • Project Management
  • Performance competencies (communications, teamwork, etc.)

The company’s Tuition Reimbursement Program enables engineering personnel to continue their education at accredited colleges.
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Professional Engineer Registration

Engineers are encouraged to seek professional engineer registration under the following terms and conditions:

  • Reasonable absences of employees from basic scheduled work for the purpose of obtaining the Professional Engineer registration is to be permitted without deductions from wages.
  • Employees are to be reimbursed for the fee associated with obtaining either the Fundamentals of Engineering or Professional Engineer registration, including “repeats” if the exam is not passed the first time.  The cost of registration renewal is the obligation of the employee.
  • Necessary mileage/travel expense related to obtaining registration is to be reimbursed in the normal manner.
  • Reasonable lodging expense is to be reimbursed in situations where it is found necessary to travel a long distance to take the exam.  Reasonable meal expense associated with such lodging expense is also to be reimbursed.
  • Costs related to “refresher courses” preparatory to taking the registration exam are not covered under the above.  (The cost of the “refresher course” itself, however, is covered under the Company’s Tuition Refund Program).
  • All costs associated with registration and license renewal in additional states, if required by the company will be reimbursed.
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Professional Organization Memberships

  • All costs associated with membership in professional organizations (IEEE, IAEI, IES, etc.) are the responsibility of the employee unless membership is required by the company.
  • Mileage and reasonable meal expenses related to attending periodic local meetings for professional organizations of which an employee is a member will be reimbursed in the normal manner.
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