Employee Profiles

Samer El Itani

Title: Project Support North America – Grid Integration and Electric Modeling
Years with Senvion: 3 years
Residence: Montreal, QC

How did you come to work for Senvion?
I graduated with a Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a specialization in Wind Farm Control and Design from McGill University in Montreal. My master’s research involved developing advanced electric functionalities to make wind power plants grid-friendlier and better adhere to Hydro Quebec’s needs. After graduation, I started working for Senvion straight away. I saw in Senvion the perfect opportunity to apply my specialized knowledge and grow in a global company with a niche in offshore wind technology.  I was the 17th employee and 3rd engineer to join the team since Senvion had established operations in Canada. 

What do you do at Senvion?
In my role, I have three main functions: I act as project support, I am a grid expert, and I am the interface liaison for grid operators, technical working groups and committees. In my project support tasks, I support all the North American wind farms throughout their entire life-cycle, ensuring that our clients’ needs are met as far as grid integration is concerned. This includes revision of grid interconnection studies, substation designs, root cause analysis, and preparation of customized solutions. For clients who have an Integrated Service Package (ISP) with us, we ensure that our turbines’ electrical behaviour remains optimal throughout the service term.

As a grid expert for North America, I act as an extended arm of the Senvion Research and Development team, surveying product needs and technical requirements. This includes preparing development specifications for future wind turbine models and, new techniques for analysis and control of wind power plants. In my function as an interface liaison, I represent Senvion and the OEM community in general,  in an effort to develop new standards and norms in the wind industry using state-of-the-art technology. I cooperate with regulatory bodies and working groups such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE).

What do you like most about working at Senvion?
What I like best about working here are my colleagues. I am part of a highly motivated and energetic team that is dedicated to achieving a common goal: client satisfaction. Right now, it’s particularly exciting to be part of Senvion because we currently have projects at all phases of development; those fully operational, others that are still in construction and some just beginning the development phase. I enjoy having the opportunity to work on all sides of a project so there is never a dull moment! As Senvion continues to grow and fulfill its mandate in the clean energy sector, I do as well. Our successes here in Canada and the continued support and confidence of our clients promises a very bright future.

Editor’s note: As of the beginning January 2015, Samer was accepted to the Senvion JUMP program, a prestigious 14 month training program offered to only 17 employees across the globe. His contribution to Senvion is noticed and appreciated across subsidiaries. We wish him the best of luck!

Julie Alain

Title: Service Technician Lac Alfred
Years with Senvion: 3 years
Residence: Lac Alfred, QC

How did you come to work for Senvion?
I started working with Senvion three years ago in 2011. Senvion was just beginning its operations in Quebec and had only one installation in Gaspé, Rivière-au-Renard. Personally, I knew that I wanted to work in this industry so I moved to Gaspé to complete my training to become a wind farm service technician. Nine months after my training, I was in contact with the Senvion Regional Service Director at the time and the rest is history. I was hired in anticipation of the demand Senvion would have for service technicians in the region.  At that time I was traveling between sites, learning procedures and training for the role I have now at Lac Alfred. I have benefited a great deal from the training and extensive field experience that I had gained from those early days with Senvion.

What do you do at Senvion?
A typical day in my life as a service technician begins with a lot of preparation. Routine is a big part of my job and what makes a day safe and successful. I am onsite every day; most days I am working in the nacelle of the turbine, therefore physical fitness is an important part of working in this environment. When I arrive on site in the morning, my objective for that day is already laid out for me and I am either in charge of trouble shooting or turbine maintenance.

Maintenance refers to all lubrication processes, testing security components, cleaning soiled areas, torqueing small and big components and ensuring health and safety conditions. Troubleshooting refers to making sure that technical systems, damage preventing systems, and health and safety measures are functioning properly within the turbine. It is very rare that there are incidents and we like to think that our solid track record in this regard has a lot to do with our commitment to following these routine procedures every day. We are always onsite—we know everything about our turbines at all times. 

What are some of the challenges that you in encounter in your daily work?
Most of the challenges you face as a technician have to do with weather conditions and physical exertion. Keeping warm while 80-100 meters up on a turbine on a windy day is sometimes challenging! For me personally—as I am the only female technician Senvion has on any of its sites—my limitation lies in strength. However, being the only woman here is by no means negative. The men I work with are great and I am given a lot of respect for the role I play in the field. I have really become a central part of the team. Moreover, one of the reasons I chose to get into this industry was primarily because I wanted to work outdoors where I wouldn’t be stuck in an office;  my job is really awesome! In addition, Senvion is a great company to work for. There is a lot of growth potential, interesting experiences, international travel and a lot of added benefits that come with the job. In the years to come, I know I’ll be sticking with Senvion. 

Employee Profiles (JPG)

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