Glen Weibelzahl is our Mapping Analyst at Battle River Power Coop (BRPC). This year, Glen is celebrating 21 years with us. He has shared with us his experience of being a 45-year veteran in the utility field:
How have your roles with BRPC changed since you joined? I started as a Powerline Technician/Foreman, moved to Construction Supervisor, then a System/Planning Manager while doing part-time work for the Office of the Information Commissioner. Now I am the Mapping Analyst for BRPC. Other duties I have held have been Inventory Management and Procurement and Fleet Management and Replacement. I have also held the title of Chairman of the Alberta Electrical Utility Safety Association for 12 years and have been a member for 17 years. I have also aided in the development of Construction Standards for Rural Electrification Association usage province-wide and helped with the development and maintenance of safety procedures for Core.
As a Mapping Analyst, what are your responsibilities? To maintain and update the current and future mapping system to resemble a quality true-to-field representation of the overall electrical system. I also maintain and update the Alberta One-Call database for buried cooperative facilities.
Is the role primarily office or field-based? I need to be available for both office and fieldwork. The office work is mostly computer and paperwork, while in the field I need to make sure the maps and information I receive match up with one another.
What would a typical day look like? Data entry, redrawing current system to true field views, verifying correct alignment and data, entering new services, removing salvages, and rerouting of system projects and voltage conversions.
Biggest challenges (then and now) facing a Mapping Analyst? Converting the AUTOCAD system to a new GIS system, ensuring correct data insertion and information received.
What would make the job of a Mapping Analyst easier? Ensuring that data being received is accurate. More people for the data entry and maintenance of the existing mapping system would also benefit the accuracy of mapping.
What changes have you seen in the utility industry over the past 20 years?
The Electrical Utility industry has undergone a vast number of changes including operational standards, design standards, safety standards, and procedures. The design and integration of various tools and equipment used in the utility field have greatly improved over the last 40 years.