Grad stories Pratiksha Chuttar
Graduate Program

Graduate stories: Pratiksha Chuttar

21 September 2023

Pratiksha started out as a Electrical Engineer Graduate and transitioned to become a Design Engineer after her rotation. Read on to find out more about her experience as a graduate and how she made the transition!

What were you exactly doing as a graduate and when did you finish your rotation?

As a graduate in the Secondary Design team, I spent most of my time assisting senior engineers with creating and updating technical documents such as Relay Notification Forms (RNFs), Relay Test Instructions (RTIs), panel drawings and schematics. These documents were usually created for secondary system replacement projects and new customer connections. I also helped investigate irregularities in the network caused by relay logic, and supported the teams in fault finding. There were so many opportunities to learn throughout the rotation, and I often found myself referring back to notes I’d made at university. I finished my rotation in August 2022 and was able to start a full-time role within Protection and Metering Design at the end of 2022.

What were your areas of responsibility?

With the pool of knowledge being so large in secondary design, my responsibilities mainly covered the initial stages of technical scoping. I helped with estimating design hours for new projects, particularly for new solar and wind farm connections, and I created preliminary reports such as design advices and instrumentation reports. I also had the chance to deliver the full secondary detailed design package for a small project at Beryl substation. This was comprised of writing RNFs and RTIs, and modifying schematics, panel layouts and cable schedules.

Over the course of my rotation, I also was responsible for the testing of Transgrid’s fault recording system called Tarigma. With newer relays models being added to the network, it was my responsibility to test the communication of these relays with the Tarigma server. I spent quite some time in the Haymarket lab and it was a great opportunity to gain some hands-on experience with testing.

Where did you grow up? How did you get to your current job position and for how long have you been doing it already?

I was born and raised in south-west Sydney and studied electrical engineering and innovation at the University of Technology Sydney. My degree allowed me to travel to Nepal, India and Fiji, helping me gain experience in humanitarian engineering. These experiences were invaluable and deepened my appreciation for the importance of electricity, as well as its impact on one’s quality of life.

My career at Transgrid started right after university, when I joined the Graduate Program in early 2021. After doing rotations in Network Operations, Construction and Secondary Design, I interviewed for a full-time position with the Protection and Metering Design team. A few months into my last rotation in Non-Prescribed Project Development, I received the final offer and was able to join back with the Secondary team. It’s almost been a year since I’ve joined this team full-time and have been learning non-stop.

What's the coolest thing about your job or what do you like the most about your job?

The coolest thing about my job is its direct impact on the safety of our community, as well as the secure and reliable operation of the Transgrid network. The transmission grid relies on protection devices (relays) to ensure electricity is flowing safely, securely and reliably to households across NSW. I get the cool task of configuring, and sometimes testing these devices to ensure we’ve calculated the correct settings for safe operation. The configuration of relays also requires a good understanding of electrical principals which is why learning is a huge part of my job and is what I love most. I’m learning every day from a team that is incredibly knowledgeable, and with technology and the grid itself changing so rapidly, there’s always something new to learn.  

What are the limitations of your job?

Design work is very detail orientated so we mainly focus on project specific tasks. High-level requirements are provided to us from the Planning and Projects teams, and we determine how these requirements can be implemented with current technologies in the business. Once we’ve created the design packages, the construction teams execute these designs on site. Our role is predominantly office based, but since we work closely with the technicians on site, we get to visit these sites a few times a year.

How was the transition from the Graduate Program to your current position?

The transition from the Graduate Program to my current position was incredibly smooth, as the work in my current role builds off on what I’d learnt during the program. Having spent a full 6-month rotation in Secondary Design, I was exposed to the fundamentals of design and its processes, as well as the team itself. I built a good foundation and high-level understanding of the work, so when it came time to transition into my full-time role, I was able to pick up from where I left off. While my responsibilities have increased since the graduate program, I’m still encouraged to learn and ask questions, and am not expected to know it all.

The three other rotations within my Graduate Program also helped me transition into my role. Throughout the program, I gained first-hand experience on how certain parts of the business work together and the inputs they need from each other. This meant that when I started full-time work, I had an understanding of the way other teams are affected by the decisions made in Secondary design, and how these can be effectively communicated.

Do you have any advice for the new recruits and people that are considering joining our Grad Program?

Transgrid's Graduate Program is an incredible program that allows you to rotate and learn from multiple teams in the business. There are so many business units within Transgrid, and understanding each teams’ role in building and maintaining the transmission network can be slightly difficult. This is why having the opportunity to immerse yourself in various teams and the work they do is so valuable.

For new recruits, my advice world be to try and get a broad range of experience across the business, including site experience. Always stay open to learning as mentors and colleagues are happy to teach and share knowledge. You’ll continue to draw on the connections and experiences you make during the Graduate Program throughout your career, so try to stay open and have fun!


To learn more about Pratiksha's story, here's a bonus clip from The Australian Power Institute where she shares her experiences and advice for those interested in pursuing a career in a versatile sector that provides opportunities to learn new things every day.