T&D World Magazine
Ramsis Girgis: ‘Understand the Physics of a Phenomenon’

Ramsis Girgis: ‘Understand the Physics of a Phenomenon’

Dr. Ramsis Girgis teaches three important lessons when he presents courses and sessions: 1) Make sure you take the time to understand the physics of a phenomenon; 2) Learn as much as you can from those who you work with; and 3) Work hard and always do the best you can, and it will come to you.

Understanding the physics of a phenomenon helps Girgis in preparation for one of the courses he will present at ABB’s Automation and Power World 2013 in Orlando, Florida, from March 25-28: Effect of Geomagnetically Induced Currents on Power Transformers and Power Systems. This session discusses the true effect of GIC on power transformers and power systems. It reveals the results of case studies performed by ABB to evaluate the GIC capability of power transformers upon customer requests.

“The subject of the effect of solar storms is very critical as it helps in avoiding transformer failures and the power grid collapse during a strong solar storm,” Girgis said. “2013 is supposed to be a year of a peak in the solar activities.”

Girgis, research and development manager at the Power Transformer Division of ABB located in St. Louis, Missouri, is “a long-time researcher, engineer and scientist who is well-loved by all of his customers, colleagues and peers, and a veteran presenter over the years,” according to Bill Rose, manager of Media Relations at ABB. “He has created several major technology breakthroughs related to transformers, including one I was privileged to work with him on a couple of years ago on his creation of ‘Ultra Silent Transformers,’ which he and his team designed for ConEd and NYC's stringent noise requirements.”

Girgis will bring this experience with transformer technology to another session at Automation and Power World as well: Low and Ultra Low Noise Power Transformers. This session describes a major effort by ABB to develop technology for quieter transformers, an alternative to using high-noise transformers with sound enclosures or providing sound walls around the transformer. The most appropriate applications for the technology are described.

“The subject of developing ultra low noise transformers is critical to environmental factors, especially in large metropolitan areas,” Girgis said.

Being involved with R&D for more than 45 years has made Girgis continuously aware of the latest advances in his areas of expertise. This has provided him with a strong background of knowledge that he shares with his students or attendees and gives him an advantage in answering questions.

Girgis received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, in electrical engineering in 1978, after he realized he was not good with mechanics and could not produce clean engineering drawings using a pencil. “I did not have the patience to take 30 seconds to draw a straight line between two points, so electrical engineering was what suited my abilities. Also, I could not do the same thing over and over. Developing new things has been my passion,” Girgis said.

Now that is what he enjoys best about his job: dealing with new technologies all of the time. He enjoys solving problems, developing new tools and providing needed technical support to ABB’s design and test engineers worldwide.

He has presented many courses at many levels and in a number of areas, such as development of the technology for designing and building power transformers filled with vegetable oils and the effect of sudden energization of transformers. In designing presentations, he always makes sure that he knows who the audience is and what their level of knowledge and interest is. “To me, designing a presentations or even writing a technical reports is like producing a painting.”

In his spare time, Girgis likes to watch sports; especially baseball, the Olympics and the soccer world cup matches; exercise; go to the theater to watch true story, history, and good musical films; play with the grandkids; and travel the world.

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