Jin Sim hikes the Appalachian Trail mostly as a complete escape from work, but he says that hiking the Trail alone also allows him time to think about his company’s strategy to grow profitably and ways to better position it to serve the industry needs.
Sim, vice president and chief technology officer for Waukesha Electric Systems, teaches many seminars on all aspects of transformer engineering, manufacturing, testing, condition assessments, monitoring and applications. Since he spends some time on the Appalachian Trail thinking and formulating strategy, it is fitting that the most important thing he wants to communicate to students is to “think logically and do what makes sense.”
Sim directs Waukesha’s Transformer Concepts and Application Seminars, and he will be presenting the “Economics of Transformer Design” section at Waukesha’s three-day seminar Sept. 17-19, 2008, in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Within the next 12 months, he will also be presenting at T&D World University, Doble and Weidmann Diagnostics Solutions.
“Our industry, particularly the end-user utility, is adding a large number of new technical people, mostly to make up for the past 20 or so years of reduction and to replace retiring experts,” Sim said. “These people need to develop skills and knowledge in a hurry while performing their daily duties. My courses are typically less than three days long and include subjects the students need to learn the most to perform their jobs.”
Waukesha Electric offers these advanced training seminars focusing on the design and application of electric power transformers for engineers and operators of utility and industrial power systems. The company is the largest U.S. manufacturer of medium-power transformers and a supplier of large-power transformers, transformer services, reverse-engineered components, training and replacement parts. Waukesha holds six to10 regional technical seminars a year for the industry. Each of these regional seminars is specially designed by attendees by submitting their desired topics when they register.
Sim said that he has full access to the technical experts at the company, which benefits his teaching. “They have a great depth of knowledge that I can utilize in teaching any subjects related to transformers,” he said.
His own professional experience comes through in the classroom as well. “As a former design engineer, development engineer, and manager of various organizations, I have a very good understanding of how the industry works. I have presented to well over 6000 technical people in this industry during the past three decades and learned a great deal of what the attendees need to hear.”
Sim has a BSEE from Dankook University in Korea. He attended two graduate schools for engineering and one graduate school for business administration. He decided in 1976 to go into the transformer industry. “I needed a job then, and the transformer industry was one of the top choices for electrical engineers with a power systems major.”
Sim has been active in the electric power industry as a past chair of several Working Groups and Subcommittees. Recently, he was the chairman of the IEEE/PES Transformers Committee for 2002-2003. He is a member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group for IEC Technical Committee 14, Power Transformers and an individual member of the CIGRE. He was a part of the NEMA and IEEE delegation to the ASC C57 Committee before it was discontinued.
He enjoys being active in the power industry, and he said that representing his company to the industry (customers, suppliers, universities, and competitors) provides him with great exposure to all levels of individuals and organizations. “This is an experience not too many engineers gain throughout their career.”
In fact, his personal philosophy is to enjoy what he does. “If I don’t enjoy what I have to do, it’s time to retire or find something else that I will enjoy,” Sim said.
As for the Appalachian Trail, he has hiked many sections of it in many states. His lifetime goal is to hike the entire 2200 miles. He also plays soccer in a league with “other older people” on weekends and fishes on the Atlantic Ocean or on Lake Michigan.