Luke Reisima

  • Luke Reisima

Electrical Engineer at Meridian Energy

I always liked the boundless potential that comes with engineering, but Electrical specifically was not where I thought I’d end up. Entering university, I was fairly set on Civil Engineering. The Civil papers were interesting, but I was quickly drawn in by the power of electricity. This posed a tough choice. As engineers, even a simple choice seems to be the hardest thing to do. There’s always something else to consider, some caveat to your reasoning. So, to a coin toss I went: heads, Civil; tails, Electrical.

Frustratingly though, I needed to make another decision two years later: do I head down the Power or Electronics route? As a kid, I was drawn to the rapidly expanding world of consumer electronics, so to convince myself that “this power stuff is all just boring hunks of copper and iron”, I decided to join the EPECentre’s South Island Power Systems Field Trip. Electronics will always be a passion and Nano had been one of my favourite papers at UC, but since that field trip I’ve been enamoured by the huge scale of power assets. Take for example the massive thyristors hanging from the roof of the HVDC building; the sheer size of the machine hall underground at Manapouri; or the rectiformers at Tiwai. I couldn’t resist being a power engineer—who could?!

Another whole series of fortunate events then lead to being selected as an intern with Meridian for the 2016/17 summer, where I then returned as a Graduate Engineer in 2018 after completing my degree. Two years later I was taken on full time in the Twizel engineering team as a Project-Maintenance Engineer. This job entails completing a lot of small projects across the year while supporting site teams in the day to day running of the hydro stations.

One of the best parts of working in Twizel over the last few years is the variety of projects which have spanned the spectrum of the electrical industry. The work has ranged from being technical lead on 33kV cable replacements and the Pukaki spillway refurbishment to being the test manager for black starting Aviemore. To top it all off, I am currently in a team working as a technical engineer for how Meridian can change the way it operates hydro machines to support the target of a 100% renewable New Zealand grid.

Published May 2022

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