Intern Experience, Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: Michael Kirschenheiter

New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) intern program provides top college students with the opportunity to gain broad experience working for the nation’s largest public power organization.

Michael Kirschenheiter is a senior at SUNY Buffalo pursuing his degree in Mechanical Engineering. He works in the Mechanical Maintenance Engineering Department at the Niagara Power Project.

The focus of my work at NYPA is to support plant operation and maintenance. This includes designing, planning, setting up work orders, submitting purchase requisitions and working with various engineering or technician outfits to achieve a common goal.

I am currently working on many HVAC projects such as redesigning existing pipe supports and designing a pipe structure for an existing oil-water regulator so that it will adhere to OSHA’s changing safety regulations. These tasks are fitting because I have prior experience as a plumber and HVAC technician; I am now able to design systems that I once installed.

These current projects give me a new perspective on the project that I’ve worked on in the past, not only from a design standpoint but also from a logistical perspective: all the design, material, and labor has to come together at a single time from multiple sources to achieve a singular goal. It is a rewarding experience working with engineers, technicians, vendors, suppliers, and outside firms to see a project completed from start to finish. Having the logistical capability to gather all the required information before a project begins is often very difficult and is not something taught in class.

The Niagara Power Project is an expansive engineering marvel and there is still much for me to learn, as my internship has only just begun. I look forward to the remainder of the internship and the remaining guidance the fellow engineers and NYPA staff can give me.

Intern Experience, Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: James Oddy

New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) intern program provides top college students with the opportunity to gain broad experience working for the nation’s largest public power organization.

James Oddy is a senior at Rochester Institute of Technology pursuing his degree in Electrical Engineering, with a minor in Environmental Studies. He works in the Operations Technology department at the Niagara Power Project.

Prior to coming to NYPA, I had not been exposed to networking systems of the Niagara Power Project’s extent and saw an opportunity to learn more about Real-Time Systems. The past couple of weeks here have been a great experience, and I have seen a lot of the Niagara Power Project’s main facilities. I am still being introduced to many of the electrical structures within the plants and how these structures come together to drive the facilities’ networks and electrical systems.

I have been able to see many of the major components that make up Niagara’s facilities and inner workings. I have visited the Lewiston Pump Generation Plant, the Robert Moses Power Plant, the Switch Yard, the Warehouse, and the Power Vista. Within each plant, I was able to see much of the equipment in use, such as the turbine, the exciter, the stator, the wicket gates, and the Remote Terminal Unit, which controls the other units through SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition). I also had the privilege to visit the operator’s room to learn how the system I’ll be working on contributes to this work.

This summer, I will be working primarily inside the SCADA room and dealing with the VDS (Video Display System), DACS (Data and Acquisition Control System), and SCADA systems, each of which contributes considerably to the overall networking and controls of the plant’s operations. I have been provided with great mentors and have already learned a lot. I can tell that I will have a very valuable experience working here.

Outside of school and work, my main interests are outdoor activities. In the winter, I am an avid skier and snowboarder, while in the summer, I enjoy water skiing and wakeboarding. I am also a musician and play many sports, including golf, tennis, and baseball.

Women In Power

Women In Power: Teresa Martinez

Throughout the month of March, NYPA will be featuring online profiles of professional women working at different locations and in different capacities throughout the Authority in honor of Women’s History Month. We provided a series of questions on career development, and each profile features personal insights on how each of these professionals reached their goals, both long term and day to day.

Teresa works at NYPA’s Niagara Power Project Visitor Center. She is the Manager of Community Affairs.

When you mentor people, what do you try to accomplish? What is the most important part of being a mentor?

Gain a clear understanding of the individual’s goals and how you can help while relaying your own thoughts and expectations. Share schedules and be accessible, even when you are busy, which emphasizes the importance placed on the relationship.

Always communicate consistently – if not in person than using other means, and follow through on your commitments. Share the knowledge and successes you’ve gained through experience and include any ‘failures’ – as failures are the foundation of success. Always be ready to absorb knowledge from those in any position that you come into contact with. Understand that as the mentor, you will gain much from the experience too.

What advice do you have for maintaining a work/life balance?

Create a weekly priority list merging home and work schedules, planning ahead while simultaneously expecting the unexpected. Know what, if any, flexibility you can weave into your work schedule to meet any unanticipated personal responsibilities.

Attempt to create an outside support system to assist you with childcare, medical appointments, transportation issues, etc. Communicate with your superior(s) about what outside commitments you have coming up and offer assurances and plans on how you will fulfill your work responsibilities. Be creative and resourceful!

Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: Priyanka R. Kulkarni

2014-07-01 22.34.15The New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) intern program provides top college students with the opportunity to gain broad experience working for the nation’s largest public power organization.

Priyanka R. Kulkarni attends SUNY Buffalo, pursuing her Masters in Computer Science and Engineering, specializing in Computer Networking. She currently works in the IT department as an Application Design & Developmental Intern in the Niagara Office.

“It’s midway through the internship and I feel delighted and privileged to be working at NYPA. After I joined, I was told I would be working on the Windows platform, which I had never worked on before, and I had uncertainties on how I would perform.

Fortunately, my mentor guided me well in a step-by-step approach that helped me learn and adapt to these new areas without hurdles. I spent my initial time in research and training to equip myself with IT development procedures and techniques. I was later involved in the enhancement of features for Safety Incident Prevention and Notification Application.

Currently, I am working on improving the format of automated emails issued by the system. Moving forwards, I will be involved in developing an application supporting the Research and Development group with monitoring select transmission devices across the state.

I took a tour of the power project and was impressed with the structure of it. Every day is a new challenge and I look forward to the rest of the journey with the hope to make a difference at NYPA.”

Summer Intern Series

Summer Intern Series: Nathanael Kankiewicz

Kankiewicz237pxThe New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) intern program provides top college students with the opportunity to gain broad experience working for the nation’s largest public power organization. This summer, more than 30 undergraduate and graduate students are participating in the intern program. Throughout the summer, we will feature individual profiles of our summer interns and provide a detailed look at their personal internship experiences.

Nathanael Kankiewicz attends SUNY Buffalo State, working towards a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology with a focus on electronics and smart grid technology. He currently works in the Instrumentation & Controls unit within the Operations Group at the Niagara Power Project in Lewiston, NY.

Every day in the Instrumentation & Controls Department is different. There are a variety of devices we install and monitor, and I have had the opportunity to visit locations besides the Lewiston plant to inspect our instruments. I have also been offered a chance to learn how to react and assess the situations surrounding a fault. Under the guidance of Jim Rankin and Daniel Ver, I have taken every chance I can get to absorb the information this experience offers.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been updating our satellite clock distribution network for protective devices. The goal of this work is to set up the infrastructure for their synchronization. This will allow for greater accuracy in our data collection and evaluation of events, both in testing and in regular operation.

My most recent work involved researching component information, and contacting manufacturers about items that need to be ordered. This work will continue with the writing of purchasing requests for the system I am currently designing.