IEEE PES Young Professionals is an international community of enthusiastic, dynamic, and innovative members and volunteers. A spotlight on selected PES YP members is provided here to provide insight into this great community. These members provide unique insight into their education, career goals and progression, and personal lives.
Tell us about yourself Rafael
My name is Rafael Segundo, I am a 31 years old average guy born and raised proudly in Mexico. I have been recently hired as Senior Researcher at Zurich University of Applied Science (ZHAW) in Winterthur, Switzerland after spending a wonderful one and a half year working as a postdoctoral researcher in the power system department of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. I have been part of the IEEE community since 2008 first as student and now as graduated member. In 2013 I obtained my PhD from Imperial College London in UK in a project funded by ABB. I have wide experience working with power system dynamics and control and my favorite field of study is small signal stability. Although I am not an expert in software and programming, I love to develop functions in Matlab that suit my needs. I am married with a beautiful Mexican lady who supports my career and encourage me to reach my goals. I love food and I will go crazy if I can experience new dishes and flavors. I love swimming and I like to collect flags from countries that I have visited. I hate hypocrisy and people untrustworthy.
ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences is where Rafael currently works
What professional achievements are you most proud of?
Graduating from PhD has been the professional achievement that I am most proud of. Considering my social-economical background and language limitations at the beginning of my studies, I managed to overcome barriers that now make me feel proud. For my PhD I designed fault tolerant structures using wide area signals to damp inter area oscillations in power systems. The overall project objective was to design a control structure to facilitate deployment of wide area control.
What were your early career goals (first 10 years in industry)? Which have you accomplished? How did you plan/execute these goals?
Some of my career goals included: to be an engineer, to have a master and PhD degree, to work for a company doing research, to get an academic position in an international university, to present my work in conferences around the world, to be known in the scientific community and to help other young an enthusiastic individuals to accomplish their dreams. I have accomplished several goals but not all of them and my plan is to continuing working so my research can be used as reference by others and use my talent and networking as platform to scale up in my job.
What are you career goals moving forward?
Moving forward, my career goals are to cover more areas of research in power systems and to lead PhDs and Master’s thesis.
How are you involved in PES?
I have presented my work in the IEEE PES GM since 2009 in Minneapolis. It is a compromise for me to attend each year so I can be active and interact with the talents that are always present. Also, I am an active member in the local IEEE PES group and IEEE chapters, mostly attending events organized by them.
Do you have any advice for Young Professionals getting involved in PES?
The biggest benefit is the satisfaction to belong to the largest community of power system engineers around the world. International networking and confidence to present you work in international platforms are also clear examples of how you can exploit your participation into the PES community. My advice is to find your local chapter and start getting involved.
In your experiences, how important has/is continuing education to career advancement and personal development?
In my experience it has been the main key to open borders around the world. Having higher education degree is like having a special passport who is valid to enter and work anywhere in the world regardless your nationality, mother language and culture. Continuing education not only enriches your scientific knowledge but provide you living experiences that will impact in a positive way your personal life
What advice do you have for newly graduated power engineers?
To keep dreaming ambitious things, to continuing preparing yourself and to give your best every day.
Profile was provided by the Young Professionals of Power & Energy Society (PES)