Working with IEC International Standards for Smart Grid
However it was when she joined General Electric Energy three years ago as a Senior Systems Engineer working on Smart Grid solutions that she started to directly work with International Standards. As the system engineer responsible for new product solutions, she developed interoperable solutions which required a knowledge of international software standards such as IEC 61968 CIM (Common Information Model) / Distribution Management.
Her current role with her company is to develop and analyze technical requirements for Smart Grid software as a service for customers, and to architect solutions based on technical requirements and stakeholder needs.
“Our primary standard for building integrated solutions is IEC 61968 CIM so we need to make sure we comply with this. It's also important that our third party system vendors comply with the CIM standard,” Souvannarath said.
Collaborative project for best practice
Over the past two years Souvannarath has been working directly with the IEC SG (Strategic Group) 3 on Smart Grid, designing and developing a Smart Grid interactive mapping tool. (This tool is currently in development and not available yet for general use). When launched, it will allow users in different roles working on various Smart Grid projects to easily and efficiently search for standards that are applicable to their needs. The concept and methodology allow for mapping of standards at various levels – from high-level Smart Grid objectives to use cases, down to system components and actors.
“The beauty of the project and tool is that it continues to improve with the inputs of various stakeholders both at the IEC level and people from different organizations and backgrounds,” she added.
Getting ahead with the IEC Young Professionals Programme
It was Ken Caird, a member of the IEC Smart Grid Strategic Group, who first introduced Souvannarath to the IEC Young Professionals Programme and recommended for her to apply. Her involvement with the IEC Smart Grid Strategic Group had also sparked Souvannarath’s interest to learn more and become further involved in the IEC.
“In my current role as a Senior System Analyst for the Smart Grid software as a service solution, I continue to work on building Smart Grid software solutions that are integrated with multiple systems. Such interoperability relies on standards and their compliance by everyone. Therefore, my involvement with the IEC as a recipient and active participant becomes valuable to both GE and my own personal career growth,” said Souvannarath.
Expand horizons through IEC involvement
When asked if she has some advice for future participants of the IEC Young Professionals Programme, Souvannarath had this to say, “To those Young Professionals who are, at any level, IEC standard stakeholders, I strongly urge you to expand your mind and learn about IEC and how you can contribute. There are so many different benefits to contributing to the IEC both at a personal career and an industry level.”
“From a personal career perspective you are increasing your proficiency and knowledge base around IEC International Standards within the area of your industry interest. You expand your network with other members outside of your organization. This allows you to share best practices, general knowledge, and career opportunities both at a local and global level.”
“From an industry perspective, you are influencing the direction, development and acceptance of standards and technology,” she said.