Insights > Automating the Grid – National Careers in Energy Week
Automating the Grid – National Careers in Energy Week
As solutions manager for demand response and home automation, Dean Chuang is making sense of an increasingly connected world where there is a rapidly developing “internet of things” that consume or control significant amounts of energy. Learn how Dean’s career in energy has led him to a path of figuring out how to manage these “things” for customer benefit in a cost-effective manner.
What made you decide to work in the energy field?
It sounds weird, but energy is my passion. I approach energy from sustainability and sustainability from economics. It’s an odd juxtaposition to hear 20/30-somethings speak about leaving a legacy, but my generation strives to make a difference. I believe that the current evolution within the energy industry is one of the greatest challenges facing society today. And I’d like to believe that I can make a difference.
Why are energy jobs so important?
Energy drives modern society and, as a utility, we keep the lights on. Looking forward, however, ours is an industry in transition – the grid is increasingly distributed and customer oriented. Change happens slowly in this sector, but our generation has a unique opportunity to seize the moment and build a foundation for the future.
What do you love most about what you do?
What I enjoy the most is the intellectual challenge. Working in product development, you learn something new every day. Not only is the industry changing, but there is always something more to learn about regulation, new technology, customers, engineering, analytics, etc. Every day is different.
What excites you most about the future of the industry?
As noted above, the generally slow-moving utility sector is currently undergoing a rare period of generational change. Everything is changing right now, and the rapid evolution in technology is altering the fundamental relationship between customers and the utility.
What advice would you give to a student who wants to work in the energy field?
Be patient and be flexible. Everything is changing, but it takes time to steer the ship. Given the rapid change, very little about the future has been determined, so be prepared to constantly revise and revisit expectations.
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