Chief, Electrical Branch @ US Army Corps of Engineers
Chief, Power Systems - Hydroelectric Design Center @ US Army Corps of Engineers
Electrical Engineer @ US Army Corps of Engineers
BSEE, Electrical Engineering @
Oregon State University
Chief, Electrical Branch @ As the Chief of the Electrical Branch, I am responsible for managing and overseeing the electrical engineering for both new equipment and rehabilitations of the 21,000 MW, 75 hydroelectric plant system that the US Army Corps of Engineers own and operate. The branch consists of 4 sections (Power Systems, Generation Equipment, Controls, and
Chief, Electrical Branch @ As the Chief of the Electrical Branch, I am responsible for managing and overseeing the electrical engineering for both new equipment and rehabilitations of the 21,000 MW, 75 hydroelectric plant system that the US Army Corps of Engineers own and operate. The branch consists of 4 sections (Power Systems, Generation Equipment, Controls, and Protection) and 51 people. Executes an annual engineering budget of $5.4 Million which translates to approximately $100 million in construction per year. In addition, manages and executes an annual overhead budget of $525,000.
Responsible for developing budgets, managing the funds using the Corps of Engineers Financial Management System (CEFMS), conducting management studies, developing plans and specifications by directing a diverse team of design engineers, managing Architect/Engineer Contracts, and serving as liaison with the various Corps District offices (internal customers) and other federal agencies (BPA, SWPA, SEPA, WPA, & USBR). Responsible for the planning, organizing, coordinating, and execution of the electrical technical requirements necessary to assure successful completion of all hydropower major rehabilitation reports within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Participated in design conferences dealing with the arrangement of machinery, equipment and systems in powerhouses or large pumping plants. Coordinated HDC's technical input into construction, installation, and testing activities. Represented the U.S. Army Corps at various national and international meetings. From July 2015 to Present (6 months) Portland, Oregon AreaChief, Power Systems - Hydroelectric Design Center @ • Led a team of 15 engineers throughout the planning, design, and construction support of primarily hydropower generation projects and pumping stations. Directed existing work, and monitor quality, schedules, and budgets in order to successfully accomplish 40 to 60 active projects in various stages of development, negotiating, and monitoring of planning, design ($50k to $3M each), and construction ($100k to $35M each).
The Hydroelectric Design Center provides nationwide engineering services for hydropower facilities and pumping stations. In this position, I served as a national agency expert providing technical assistance, review, mentoring, training, and authoritative consultation services covering electrical power systems for a wide range of hydropower and pumping station equipment to
include motors, generators, buswork, transformers, circuit breakers, switchyards, power distribution systems, stations service systems, and electrical system coordination. I was responsible for the efficient and effective coordination and accomplishment of the planning, organizing, developing, and execution of the design of the technical aspects of major hydroelectric projects, rehabilitation, and upgrading of hydropower facilities and the design of new powerplants and large pumping stations. I also was responsible for the development, negotiating, and monitoring of HDC's scope of work, budget, and schedule for the life of several projects. From October 2012 to July 2015 (2 years 10 months) Portland, Oregon AreaElectrical Engineer @ Directed and support various electrical efforts at hydropower facilities and pumping stations. Projects included generators, motors, switchgear, DC systems, cranes, transformers, switchyards, governors, relays, and control systems. Responsibilities often included design lead, design engineer, inspection engineer, commissioning engineer, and technical reviewer. From June 2012 to October 2012 (5 months) Portland, Oregon AreaElectrical Engineer @ Review design and construction submittals that are electrical in nature. Utilize the NEC and UFC criteria to ensure compliance. From February 2012 to June 2012 (5 months) Energy Program Manager, Infrastructure and Planning Branch @ • Utilized technical knowledge of electrical engineering and project pre-award processes concepts to develop scopes of work, MOA/MOUs, license for construction, project management plans, informal acquisition plans, budgets, schedules, and resourcing matters for 19 projects totaling $602M.
• Coordinated the administrative aspects and participated in the technical development of detailed electrical designs for in-house and reach-back efforts.
• Oversaw the inspection of multiple micro-hydro dams and engineering reviews of solar powered systems. Traveled to high-risk areas in very rural conditions throughout Afghanistan to observe the existing site conditions and made recommendations on the sizing and rehabilitation of the project site.
• Led negotiations of international agency agreements (including GIRoA ministries and government representatives) on the behalf of the Corps of Engineers to ensure the award of new work and successfulness of existing and future work.
• Organized periodic visits to the project sites to observe conditions, progress of work, safety conditions, and to monitor the effectiveness of the QA/QC.
• Designed the interior wiring of the Kabul University expansion, and develop a standardized training document to issue to Afghan contractors highlighting the basic electrical guidelines to follow during vertical construction projects.
• Assured early identification of problems and issued courses of action to facilitate the resolution of identified problems.
• Represented the Commander and served as the Government's primary point of contact for all civil works energy projects.
• Reported regularly to the Commander, senior management, and the customer to keep them informed of project progress, issues, and their resolution.
• Managed contingency funds to ensure efficient and effective utilization, and allocated project funds to the branches and districts involved. From November 2010 to February 2012 (1 year 4 months) Acting Deputy Chief, Infrastructure and Planning Branch @ • Coordinated all efforts of the Infrastructure and Planning Branch’s Energy Program for all stages of work (from planning to award and through construction completion).
• Supervised a staff of 47 professional, administrative, technician, and clerical personnel as I governed project management, design, and construction support of a $796M Civil Works program within the northern half of Afghanistan.
• Chaired organizational and strategic planning committees and translated these initiatives into branch actions in order to develop agreement between local officials, U.S. agencies, and multiple international agencies (Coalition Forces, IJC, ISAF, JPIO, USAID, PRTs, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and multiple Afghanistan ministries). Ensured proper coordination and the success of our execution goals.
1. The design and construction projects for the installation of 220 kV transmission lines and 220 kV / 20 kV substations throughout the northeastern and southeastern portion of Afghanistan.
2. The site inspection of Kajaki Powerhouse. In conjunction with another HDC member, I visited the site, observed the existing condition, and made recommendations on the scope, schedule, and budget as well as the technical requirements necessary to repair and upgrade the site (while keeping into consideration the operation and maintenance). Represented HDC by clearly identifying realistic expectations and presenting the level of involvement which was most appropriate for USACE.
3. Actively led the Qalaa Compound Firefighting Team as the Fire Chief, a volunteer organization consisting of 15 to 20 members. From July 2011 to December 2011 (6 months) Electrical Engineer @ Projects included generators, motors, switchgear, DC systems, cranes, transformers, switchyards, governors, relays, and control systems. Responsibilities often included design lead, design, inspection, commissioning, and technical reviewer. Scoped new work, performed equipment selection, prepares studies, developed specifications and plans, authored technical reports and feasibility analyses, reviewed submittals, completed factory acceptance tests, established commissioning procedures, oversaw all commissioning efforts, and performed quality assurance. Taught the following courses to USACE staff and OSU students: Introduction to Hydropower, Life as a Dam Engineer, Management of Hydropower O&M, and Generator/Motor Theory and Application.
Relay Replacement – Technical Lead for the replacement design, installation, procurement, and educational instruction of the on-site staff for the existing electromechanical relays to newer electronic relays for the operation of multiple 100+ MW generators for multiple facilities throughout the nation.
Arc Flash Hazard Analysis – Completed arc flash hazard analyses for multiple Corps facilities. These analyses include the collection of on-site electrical equipment data, performing a short-circuit study, arc flash hazard study scenarios, and load studies, developing boundaries distances and incident energies, and displaying the prudent details in equipment specific labels for every electrical component of the system.
MCC Switchgear and Lighting Panel Boards Replacement – Designed the replacement of existing and out-dated equipment for multiple facilities in order to account for the additional load demand. This work involved determining the existing loads, identifying the future load preferences, and developing appropriately sized switchgear and panel boards that are balanced, redundant, and safety implemented (i.e. critical source on separate loads, physically separated in case of failure, etc.). From June 2007 to November 2010 (3 years 6 months) Research/Teaching Assistant @ Focused on developing a novel direct-drive wave energy generator. The first year involved the research, design, modeling, simulation, construction, and testing of a magnetic linear generator as well as the research, design, modeling, and simulation of an equivalent magnetic linear generator with one thousand times greater output power. From September 2007 to June 2009 (1 year 10 months) Patent Engineer @ Principally focused in patent prosecution regarding electrical engineering, telecommunications, and computer-related technologies. The internship included the drafting office actions; amending patent applications (primarily claims) as well as response letters to the EPO and client for concurrent applications. Additionally, there were weekly European Qualifying Exam training, attendance to a German Federal Patent Court Nullity Hearing, and multiple conferences regarding IP Law including a presentation by a representative of Foley and Lardner LLP. The following contains a list of the publication numbers of some patent applications I was assigned to; EP1746748, EP1848183, EP1865495, EP1457927, and EP1871076. From July 2008 to September 2008 (3 months) Design Engineer @ Design Engineer DE responsible for the design and validation of new and current platform Voltage Regulators on mobile motherboards, ownership of the mobile platform VR design and validation, ownership of a low-cost desktop board design and validation, and design involvement in the platform VR design and validation of the high performance series and executive series desktop board.
These tasks included developing the VR architectures, power maps, component selection and placement, PCB layout guidance, creating performance validation guide, supervising engineers and technicians through validation procedures and methods, as well as self-performing validation. From June 2006 to June 2007 (1 year 1 month) Student Test Engineer @ Performed hardware and firmware tests on various beta-networking platforms (HP, Agilent, Foundry, Cisco, etcetera). Documented bug reports and write/proof-read various testing methodologies. From 2005 to 2007 (2 years) Facilities Engineer @ The following is an overview of the major projects I completed while working in the Facilities Engineering Department:
Energy Savings Analysis
Developed an energy savings analysis to consider implementing adjustable speed drives to an existing system. This project involved obtaining the current as well as future cost of operation for an existing system, and determining the effectiveness of implementing the drives.
Arc Flash Hazard Analysis
Performed an extensive Arc Flash Hazard Analysis on electrical equipment throughout the facility. This analysis provides such information as the boundary distance, incident energy, personal protection level and appropriate boundary distances for each device using IEEE and NFPA standards.
Clean Solution Tank Steam Control System
Developed and implemented a Steam Control System. The project included selecting the appropriate controller for the system (GE Fanuc) and programming in ladder logic to control the flow of steam into a cleaning solution tank.
HMI User Interface Modification
Developed and updated the user interface for multiple GE Proficy Human Machine Interfaces (HMI). From March 2005 to September 2005 (7 months)
MSECE, Electrical and Computer Engineering @ Oregon State University From 2007 to 2009 BSEE, Electrical Engineering @ Oregon State University From 2002 to 2007 Steven Ernst, MSEE, PE is skilled in: Pspice, Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Matlab, Program Management, Engineering Management, SKM PowerTools, Solidworks, Power Distribution, Electric Power, Simulations, Testing, Electronics, Control Systems Design, PCB design, Power Generation, Electricians
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