Department collaborates with industry to implement power engineering specialization
November 13, 2018
Ludovit Hintos, BS Electrical and Computer Engineering ’08, started his career at Dominion Energy right after graduating from Mason.
In the last 10 years, he has completed his master’s degree in electrical engineering, earned his professional engineer (PE) license, and been promoted from entry-level engineer to manager of electric distribution design and project management.
Hintos is now helping the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in developing the power engineering specialization for the electrical engineering program. He has also helped facilitate student field visits to Dominion’s facilities and has advised students on class projects for electric power systems courses.
Hintos shares from his experiences at Mason and provides valuable advice for the department and prospective ECE students.
Can you tell us what it is like to be an alumnus who has progressed in his career from an engineer to a manager and has become a PE?
I began my career in the electric distribution design department at Dominion Energy. I was responsible for designs of new distribution lines and improvement of existing lines in Northern Virginia.
After one year, I was promoted and transferred to the electric distribution reliability department, where my main responsibility was developing methods to improve electric reliability of the existing power distribution infrastructure under various capital budgets. The work involved research, fieldwork, and project management. During this time, I also got the opportunity to learn the operation of electric distribution grid and substations.
From November 2012 to May 2014, I was back in the electric distribution design department as a supervisor, and my job profile shifted to management. In February 2017, I was promoted to manager of electric distribution design and project management, leading a team of 123 employees, including eight supervisors and five project managers.
I am passionate about learning and always put 120 percent effort toward my job. While working full time at Dominion Energy, I completed my master’s degree at Mason and also earned my PE license. I believe that receiving the MS degree and PE license was beneficial for my career, and it earned me a new level of respect among my fellow engineers.
What motivated you to help the ECE Department establish a specialization in power engineering?
There are no schools in the immediate area offering accredited power engineering programs. The power industry is in a state of change, and there is a huge need for power engineers to (not only) support the grid but also to support the growth of data centers and other technologically advanced companies located in our area. Northern Virginia has become a center for innovation and technology, and that’s why I think we could benefit from this program.
What particular topics should the new program include to prepare power engineers for the future?
The power grid is the largest infrastructure in the nation. I recommend covering the important topics of planning and reliability, power quality, fault analysis, power system protection, load flow analysis, rotating machines, GIS systems, and renewable energy. Which course or sequence of courses did you find most useful in preparing you for your current work? The circuit analysis courses, robotics class, and various labs were all beneficial for my current work. However, every course I took had either (a) direct or indirect positive impact on my career. Overall, the engineering program changed the way I solve problems. It was a very rewarding experience that paved the way for a successful career.
This story appeared in the fall issue of the ECE News, the newsletter of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.