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Seattle City (spot)Light: Seema Ghosh

Power Systems Engineer Seema Ghosh shares what sparked her engineering career and the drive behind her work.

Seema Ghosh first came to City Light as an intern when she was studying electrical engineering at the University of Washington. After college, she remained in the utility’s generation group for another two years, but left for graduate school at Georgia Tech and later pursued a career in renewable energy. After nine years at a consulting firm, Seema returned to the utility as a Power Systems Engineer, a position she’s held the past nine months.

“My home is in Customer Energy Solutions (CES). I’m in our technology services group there,” Seema explained. “In that role, I look at new and emerging technologies and figure out how we can support the customer with things like connecting a battery or figuring out different ways to conserve energy. Just staying on top of the market.”

Born in Wisconsin, Seema’s family moved to Silverdale, Washington when she was ten. She now lives in Columbia City with her husband Kris, 15-month old daughter Ruby and a pitbull mix named Betsy. In this week’s (spot)Light, Seema shares what sparked her engineering career and the drive behind her work.

“My parents always encouraged me to become an engineer. At first I wasn’t sure; all I knew was that I wanted to do something meaningful–something that would make an impact on my community, as well as the world. I ended up liking math and science and decided to give engineering a try. In my classes, we studied renewable energy sources and that’s when I realized that my engineering work could make a positive impact.”

“I interned at City Light because I wanted to be in power and energy. Being in the generation group was awesome. We visited dams and got to see firsthand how energy is created. I left to do consulting work in renewables, but eventually came back. I connected with folks in our conservation group and when I learned about what they were working on, I knew I wanted to be part of it. The same with our technology unit, they are working on grid modernization and other interesting, forward-thinking initiatives. As a consult, I read and had discussion with clients about what’s happening in the industry but here I get to be part of the team that’s actually implementing new solutions and technologies.”

“Currently, I’m working on the public electrical vehicle (EV) charging program. That’s been taking up most of my time and I’ve enjoyed it. The majority of my background and experience consists of technical analysis and engineering, not program implementation. Supporting the EV project is exhilarating because, I’m actually building something. That means talking to different groups like construction, rates and transportation. The whole process has been interesting, especially figuring out who I need to talk to and why. It’s a big picture problem that requires a lot of out-of-the-box thinking. On top of that, everyone I’ve spoken to has been super helpful and excited about the project.”

“Through the EV pilot, it’s been amazing to see how a utility runs. I mean, we do everything. Transmission, generation, distribution, billing… the whole gamut. It’s cool to work at a place where the projects that you’re working on have a local impact.”