Get to Know: Terry Cole, P&C Engineer

April 18th, 2023
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Terry Cole, a Protection and Control Engineer at Soldiers Pond, supports our communities in his job and in his charitable work.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m originally from Northern Bay, but moved to St. John’s after I graduated from Memorial University. I started with Hydro back in 2012 as an embedded contractor in the protection and control group, and joined as a full-time employee in 2017. As a Protection and Control Engineer I provide engineering operations support for the generation assets at Soldiers Pond, Muskrat Falls and Churchill Falls.

What does an average day at Hydro look like for you?
Being in an operations support role, days never look the same. I could be addressing safe work actions, completing work orders, or out in the field troubleshooting failed equipment with the maintenance team to get it returned to service as soon as possible. I’ve tried explaining exactly what I do to friends and have received some puzzled looks, so now I say that I work on a computer and help keep the lights on, and if the lights go out I help get them back on again!

What’s something about your job that people may not know?
It’s definitely not 9 to 5. Our team can get a support call at any time, it can be 3 a.m. or on a holiday weekend. Equipment issues still happen after regular working hours.

What role do you play in ensuring Hydro can provide safe, reliable power to our customers?
I’m a big believer that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and I am just one piece of a dedicated generation engineering team. The team is comprised of Protection & Control, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers who help support the operation of 11 units at the Churchill Falls plant, 4 units at the Muskrat Falls plant and 3 synchronous condensers at Soldiers Pond, along with all of the ”balance of plant” auxiliary equipment at each location. If there are issues, one or more of us will be involved in reviewing records and events related to equipment failures and power interruptions. Analyzing this information allows us to determine the root cause of a failure or outage and determine a path forward.

Your workplace does lots of fundraising for community causes; how are you involved and why is that important to you?
In 2019, I started a four-person team building committee at Soldiers Pond to fundraise and donate to different charities throughout the year. Our initial fundraising involved selling chocolate bars, chips, and candies from a basket in the lunchroom. But four years later, our fundraising initiatives have expanded to holiday hamper tickets, preparing and serving meals once a month at Soldiers Pond to raise money for charity, a vending machine full of snacks, and other activities. The commitment of our committee and the support of the entire team at Soldiers Pond has allowed us to donate nearly $20,000 so far to charities such as the Single Parent Association, Kids Eat Smart, Home Again Furniture Bank and many others.

This winter, I’ve expanded to form a fundraising team with the non-regulated engineering services group, to help organize some home-cooked meals and bake sale fundraisers.

Even though I take the lead on the fundraising initiatives, it couldn’t be done without the effort and support from the team members. There’s no “I” in team but there is an EMT! So anytime, you notice some type of fundraising and you are able to support, it is greatly appreciated. It’s so important that we give back to our communities.