by Neville Dunne, Power Expert & Electrician
When and how did you decide to become a power expert?
When you talk to most students finishing their second or third level studies, most will tell you that they are either taking a year off to travel the world or go on a long holiday.
These options weren’t on my radar some years back when finishing at school, as I had applied for an apprentice programme and was successful. From a pretty young age, I had an interest in becoming an electrician. I had considered studying Construction or Engineering in third level. But when I figured out how to put a solar panel on the roof of an electric golf vehicle, I was hooked on electrical engineering.
If I hadn’t become an electrician, I think I would have trained to become a teacher, as its always inspired me to see young apprentices develop a set of skills that you have imparted upon them to allow them to become a success in their workplace.
During my time in this profession, I have trained 20 or so apprentices through the years. Lesson number 1 is to show them how to map out and plan their schedule in detail every day. Electricians are exposed to somewhat hazardous conditions in the form of live electrical networks, therefore planning and safety work hand in hand on that front.
How did your career develop?
My first electrical role was with one of the country’s leading electrical and telecoms contractors. They worked across Ireland, the UK and Europe which afforded me great opportunities at the time. From there I progressed from being an apprentice to a more senior role in the company, which brought more me responsibility and from where I gained invaluable knowledge around things like project management, scheduling and material and labour estimation. Equally, in terms of accreditations and industry upskilling I’ve always had a desire for learning and general personal development and have studied engineering technology and the use of UPS power within industry to further that knowledge base.
What do you like about working for 4site?
4site is a fantastic company to work with and they have developed a respect-based culture which in turn attracts a lot of incredible talent from around the globe. The great thing about working here is that I have seen a lot and learned a lot since I joined the company. The phrase “Every day is a school day” most rings true when working for such a diverse and innovative business and given as we supply services into both the wireless and fibre telecoms sectors. I’m primarily working on bringing power to these operator sites, to enable their networks to function adequately.
What Industry Developments interest you?
In my view, renewables have been the biggest development with electric vehicles being front and centre within that conversation. The current big push on green energy and grants put in place by the government for people to buy electric vehicles will certainly stimulate the market to push buyers more towards a more environmentally sustainable car. Even if some questions remain around the source from which the grid is powered enable these vehicles to be charged.
I’ve also have done a little bit of work on wind turbines, but the issue here is the aesthetics element for most people. In the end, I think most operators will have to develop a renewable story to power their networks, with some already well advanced on that front. Whether that’s solar or wind remains to be seen, but their energy long term will have to be seen as ‘clean’ regardless of what option they chose.
What advice would you give someone wanting to work as an electrician?
Take the rough with the smooth and that goes for every job and every day regardless of being an electrician or not. Be a self-starter, driven and show initiative to your team. That’s my approach and I learn more every day and really enjoy figuring out how things work in this fantastic world of energy, electricity and renewables.