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Women in Engineering – Mazana Armstrong

General Chair 2013 IEEE PES GM

wiefebaMy name is Mazana Armstrong and I am an electrical engineer in the area of Electric Power Systems, working for British Columbia’s power utility BC Hydro. I am a team lead with BC Hydro Transmission Engineering, focusing on electrical aspects of overhead transmission lines.

I received my degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, in 1996. In 1999 I moved to Canada to pursue my M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of British Columbia. I studied under the supervision of Prof. José R. Martí of UBC, and Dr. Prabha Kundur, then with Powertech Labs.

My prior work experience includes working for the Croatian electric power utility in electric power distribution network planning, and for Croatian research institute “HrvojePozar” in long-term planning of Croatian electric power generation facilities. Later on after completing my graduate degrees in Canada, I was involved with research projects related to power system stability at Powertech Labs in Surrey, British Columbia.

My areas of expertise include modelling of power system networks for electromagnetic and transient stability simulations, as well as different aspects of electric power transmission. I work on development and revision of BC Hydro and Canadian electrical standards. Some of my work responsibilities include analysis of electric and magnetic fields and related induction, biological, and environmental effects, induction in distribution and communication circuits, voltage withstand requirements, live line work safety, and many other aspects of transmission line design, operation and maintenance.

Mazana at work

Mazana at work

I have been an IEEE and PES member for many years. Early on, while I was still a graduate student, I decided to become an active IEEE volunteer. I have been volunteering with IEEE Vancouver Section for about ten years, first in the role of a chapter chair, then Section Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-Chair. In 2011 I became the Chair of IEEE Vancouver Section and had an amazing opportunity to lead the efforts to celebrate the Vancouver Section Centennial.wiefebc

Our team of over forty volunteers put in an outstanding effort in searching and compiling 100 years of history records and publishing of the Vancouver Section Centennial Booklet (available online). We recognized our most distinguished members with centennial awards for significant contributions to profession and IEEE volunteering. Since 2011we have been working on the design and creation of an IEEE monument (to be revealed in 2013). During the centennial year we organized centennial student project, poster and paper competitions at the local universities, the Centennial AGM and Gala at the Vancouver Convention Centre with a record historic attendance, as well as a 100th anniversary celebration event and a technical symposium. In October 2011 the City of Vancouver officially proclaimed “Electrical and Electronics Awareness Week” to acknowledge contributions of electrical engineers to the City and the Province of British Columbia. We received an exceptional support from the local industry, academia, IEEE History Centre and IEEE Canadian Foundation, which helped us complete these projects.

In addition to volunteering with the local section, I have been involved with PES in the position of an Electronic Communications Chair for PES Chapters for the past four years, and in 2012 I started in the role of Region 7 chapter representative.

Prof. Hermann Dommel receiving a Vancouver Section Centennial Award

Prof. Hermann Dommel receiving a Vancouver Section Centennial Award.

I have the pleasure to serve as the General Chair for the 2013 PES General Meeting to be held in Vancouver. Our Local Organizing Committee is comprised of many experienced volunteers and world leading experts, but I am especially proud of so many young engineers (our GOLD and WIE members) on our committee.

100th Birthday Cake

100th Birthday Cake

A message I would give to a young female engineer or a female student interested in power engineering is to be passionate, persistent, and not pass on opportunities. A career in power and energy is extremely rewarding, you learn something new every day. The power and energy sector has an enormous impact on our society, and being a part of it is absolutely amazing. As a female engineer you can have it all, a successful career and a loving family. My life is very busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have been happily married for ten years and I have two wonderful sons.

IEEE Members gathered to celebrate 100th birthday of IEEE Vancouver Section

IEEE Members gathered to celebrate 100th birthday of IEEE Vancouver Section

Mazana, Miroslav Begovic and Meliha Selak at the 2011 PES Vancouver Chapter Banquet

Mazana, Miroslav Begovic and Meliha Selak at the 2011 PES Vancouver Chapter Banquet

2013 IEEE PES General Meeting Local Organizing Committee women leaders (left to right): Jennifer Coote, Companion Activities Chair; Nina Selak, Fundraising Chair; Mazana Armstrong, General Meeting Chair; JinJing Guo, Companion Activities; Meliha Selak, Conference Advisory

2013 IEEE PES General Meeting Local Organizing Committee women leaders (left to right): Jennifer Coote, Companion Activities Chair; Nina Selak, Fundraising Chair; Mazana Armstrong, General Meeting Chair; JinJing Guo, Companion Activities; Meliha Selak, Conference Advisory

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Family fun in California 2012

Family fun in California 2012