Russell, who is Principal Engineer at Northpower, received the Lifetime Membership award in recognition of his significant contribution to the work of the EEA.
Russell joined Northpower (then the North Auckland Electricity Power Board), and the electrical power industry, in 1983 after completing a Master of Engineering degree at the University of Canterbury. Over the years Russell has held various engineering and engineering management roles at Northpower, covering all aspects of electrical distribution – including design, maintenance, and operations.
Today Russell is responsible for, and passionate about developing ways to facilitate the integration and uptake of newer and emerging technologies, including electric vehicles, solar and battery storage on the network. He also takes immense pride in developing and mentoring young and upcoming engineers.
“It’s all about the younger generation and giving them opportunities to make their mark. As engineers we are problem solvers, we like to see how things work and where we can make a difference.”
As an active member to the EEA, Russell has been significant contributor on the EEA Asset Management Group (AMG), responsible for delivering several initiatives including guidelines on Asset Management Maturity Assessment, a review of technician training and work on guidelines covering asset health indicators, auto reclosing of circuits and low voltage system management.
He has also represented the EEA on a couple of technical groups relating to EV (Electric Vehicle) charging guidelines and standards and NZ standards PAS 6010 & 6011 (Publicly Available Specification) for commercial & residential use.
Russell is also active in the community representing Northpower at the local STEM-related events including the Northland science fair and EPro8 school events and as part of the Northland Lifeline group and Northland CDEM (Civil Defence & Emergency Management).
When asked about his journey and the significant changes the industry has seen over his tenure, Russell commented:
It’s been fun, I’ve enjoyed it all and it’s gone too fast. I’m looking forward to the next challenge - bring it on!”