Executive Insight, Smart Grid

How did you get your Start in the Grid: Rami Morsi of PW Power Systems

Our latest edition of “How did you get your start in the grid” features Rami Morsi, project manager for PW Power Systems. Morsi, who has been with PW since 2011, previously worked for Alstom and EDF Egypt. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Alexandria University in Egypt.

1.       How did you get started in the grid?

“I was recruited out of the engineering school by EDF Egypt back in 2002. EDF won two BOOT (Build Own Operate and Transfer) 342 MW natural gas-fired power plants. EDF was looking for a couple of fresh graduates who spoke French fluently to join their team. I was hired in the East Port-Said Power plant as an Operation Support Engineer. I was very lucky to start working during the early stages of construction to witness most of the construction and commissioning of this huge plant. I was fascinated by the amount of engineering, although my job focused on the operation and the PPA between EDF and the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC).”

2.       What influenced you as a younger person to work in electricity? Was it a class or experience?

“It was the experience I had with EDF that influenced me to continue my career in the power and electricity field. Although the operation and maintenance field was very interesting to me, I felt that the engineering and project management part would be even more challenging. I always had this dream of running a project, being responsible for it from early stages to completion.”

3.       Did you have a mentor in your life who really helped guide your career choice? Tell us a little about him or her.

“My mentor was my first supervisor at EDF Egypt, Ahmed Al-Araby. As a recent graduate in the middle of hundreds of engineers and technicians who had tons of experience, I felt very challenged and I had my doubts. Am I ever going to reach that level of knowledge? Ahmed helped me go through that phase, he trusted my abilities, and gave me the confidence needed. He was a true leader, and he will remain my greatest mentor.”

4.       You were involved with restoring power to the Algerian city of M’Sila only two weeks before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. That must have been a daunting challenge. What was the biggest thing you learned on the job from that experience?

“Yes, it was very challenging. I learned that flexibility and a fast response to dynamic customer needs are the main keys for success in the power industry. PWPS’ work has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands in the city of M’Sila. We allowed them to break their fast comfortably with their families and friends, and it was definitely appreciated by our customer.”

5.       Is there a type of project that you prefer over others?

“I prefer the more complex and difficult projects. I find these projects to challenge my abilities where I need to find solutions and work-arounds. I have executed simple equipment-only projects and complex EPC projects. While I am proud of all the projects I have executed, I would prefer the latter.”

6.       What do you see as the biggest challenge to the future of the grid, both in the U.S. and globally?

“I think the biggest challenge in the future of the grid would be replacing the aging fleet of equipment while keeping the emissions at a minimum and balancing the renewables with fossil power. While renewables may seem to be a great solution, they cannot be used alone and need to be balanced with fossil power generation.”

7.       What does Rami Morsi do for fun?

“I lived a big part of my life in Alexandria, Egypt, my hometown, so I love the beach. I love to spend time with my wife and son, travel, and play cards with friends.”

Editor’s Note: Contact Senior Editor Rod Walton at [email protected] if you know of a good candidate for the Start in the Grid series. Below are the other features from past months:

 

Dwayne Apple of AEP-PSO

Johannes Reinscke of Fluence 

Kate Cummings of G&W Electric 

Matt Kennedy of Doble Engineering.

Jennifer Didlo of AES Southland    

Ben Fowke of Excel Energy

Fidel Marquez of ComEd  

Kelly Speakes-Backman of Energy Storage Association  

Russ Vanos of Itron   

Brian Slocum of ITC   

Rick Riley of Entergy Arkansas   

Greg Ferree of Southern California Edison