Alabama NewsCenter: What is your job title and work location?
Katrina Haynes: Senior Substation engineer, Southeast TMC (Transmission Maintenance Center) in Eufaula.
ANC: How long have you worked for the company?
Haynes: 12 years — 3½ years at Farley Nuclear Plant; 3½ years in Transmission Lines; and the past 5 years in Substations, both in Southeast TMC.
ANC: Where did you go to school?
ANC: What made you want to pursue a career in engineering?
Haynes: In fourth grade, our class took a field trip to tour Farley Nuclear Plant near Columbia. I was fascinated by the plant systems and the way everything worked together to produce energy. Later, I wrote a speech for a classroom 4-H competition about what I wanted to be when I grew up – an electrical engineer! In high school, I had a strong interest in math and science and knew that there were many career opportunities using those skills. So, with the encouragement of my parents, I stuck with the career choice I’d made as an 11-year-old and pursued engineering.
ANC: Can you provide a brief description of your work?
Haynes: In my current role, my primary tasks as a substation engineer involve planning and scheduling the daily substation maintenance work as well as major equipment replacements, such as breakers, regulators, switches and transformers. This involves coordinating with many different workgroups to accomplish these tasks, such as ACC and DCC, Transmission Lines, Distribution, Design, P&C, Warehouse and Hauling, to name a few.
ANC: What do you find most rewarding about your career?
Haynes: Even though some of my daily tasks may seem routine at times, I believe that I am truly working to improve the quality of life for those in the communities where we live and work by doing my part in maintaining the electrical facilities on which we all depend. I really enjoy getting to be a project manager and seeing a project from inception all the way through to completion and feel the sense of accomplishment that accompanies it.
ANC: What makes you most optimistic or excited about the role engineers are playing in the innovation economy?
Haynes: Our world is constantly changing and, as engineers, we are trained to always question how something can be improved or done better and to seek solutions to those questions. I am very excited that Alabama Power recognizes the need to be leaders in innovation and encourages employees to take part in the process.
ANC: What do most non-engineers not understand about engineering and/or engineers?
Haynes: We all think we’re the smartest one in the room. Also, we’re not nearly as flexible as we’d like others to think. Our thought process takes a lot of time to calculate and plan things; all angles have been evaluated. When conditions change, it secretly turns our world upside down for about five minutes.
ANC: How many pocket protectors do you own?
Haynes: That’s so cliché. But one. In my computer bag. #nerdlife