T&D World Magazine

Octavio J. Gutierrez: Adding Wonder to Power

Octavio Gutierrez believes that it is important to add a sense of wonder and excitement to instruction, and he is doing that with power systems courses at Siemens Power Technologies International.

“Wonder and excitement should come from learning new things. Not only that, but teaching is a two-way street,” Gutierrez said. “In order to ensure that one is conveying the material effectively, one must obtain feedback from students.”

Gutierrez, consultant at Siemens PTI, encourages class participation because he said it not only engages the student, but also provides the teacher with evidence on what information is being retained and which areas require additional clarification. Since joining Siemens PTI in 2001, Gutierrez has been a project manager and/or technical contributor on a variety of analytical consulting projects in the United States.

Engineers can take advantage of Gutierrez’s teaching methods at Siemens Power Academy where he will be teaching Introduction to Distribution Systems and Power Circuit Analysis and Understanding System Losses (both for NERC certification). In Introduction to Distribution Systems and Power Circuit Analysis, students learn about different power distribution systems, components and functions, techniques to maintain distribution voltages within criteria, and minimization of distribution losses. The course presents circuit analysis techniques and concepts that are fundamental to the solution, understanding and operation of power systems.

The Understanding System Losses course raises awareness of the importance of electric losses associated with the transportation of electric energy from sources to consumers. It addresses practical ways to perform the loss calculations on every subsystem, considering the sheer number of elements involved and the challenges related to scarcity of data.

“Knowing what the losses are and where most of them are located is the first step toward finding ways to reduce them,” Gutierrez said. “Living in challenging times is forcing us to be more and more efficient.”

Gutierrez has presented topics on electric machines, short circuit calculations, transformers, power system stability, distribution systems, circuit analysis, operation and scheduling of power systems. His many years of teaching help him to know what works and what doesn’t, in the field and in the classroom. He has 30 years of experience in transmission planning, steady-state analysis, and transient stability studies of power system projects. He has also worked as an independent electrical engineering consultant in the Miami, Florida area. Gutierrez was training director and school director at four technical schools of the Miami System for Education organization, in Miami.

“My consulting position at Siemens PTI provides me with the opportunity to work alongside power industry engineers and to remain exposed to current and rapidly evolving needs in the power system field,” he said. “My experience helps me tailor the course material toward practical and efficient solutions for real-world challenges.”

Gutierrez enjoys his job, particularly “the unique opportunity to provide high-quality services and products in the areas of power system education and consulting, which gives me a great sense of accomplishment. It is both challenging and rewarding to complete work under stringent time and budget constraints.”

He knew he would thrive in the power industry when he developed an early fascination with the sciences and overall curiosity for how things work. “This gave me the edge to take on the challenge of ultimately becoming an engineer,” he said.

Gutierrez’s older brother, who is also an engineer, influenced his decision to pursue electrical engineering studies, and his power system analysis teacher motivated him to enter the power system field.

Through his interests and experience, he has learned that the best solution or explanation is usually a simple one and he communicates that to students. “Richard Feynman’s explanation of the Challenger accident is a good example,” Gutierrez said. “The corollary is that if the solution is too complicated, it’s because the problem is not understood well enough or it is not being addressed correctly.”

Gutierrez’s other interests are time with family, reading and classical music. He is drawn to books on science, music, history and biographies.

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