Seattle City (spot)Light: Shayan Arya

Network Electrical Engineer Shayan Arya has been at City Light since 1999. “I’m part of the services group within Energy Delivery Engineering,” Shayan explained. “Customers come to us with new plans for a new building, for instance a high-rise. They give us their requirements and, based on that, we design their vaults. We also install their transformers and give them power.”

Originally from Iran, Shayan has lived in Seattle since 1984, but did move to California for eight years before returning to the Pacific Northwest. He attended the University of Washington and transferred to Washington State University where he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. He lives in Sammamish with his wife of nearly 30 years, Elizabeth. Together, they have one son Shahdaad.

In this week’s (spot)Light, Shayan talks about his interest in engineering and his hobbies.

Electrical Engineer Shayan Arya

“Since we first moved to Northwest, we’ve always had lots of friends and family in the area. My wife’s family is nearby which is nice. We also travel a lot. We usually go to Europe or the Caribbean. We’ve been to St. Croix, St. Thomas and the Cancun area. I’m also heavily concentrated on politics. It’s a very important to me. I write articles, I go to Washington to lobby, I’ve testified in front of Congress—I do all kinds of things on the side.”

“I was always good at math. Electrical engineering was interesting to me and I liked power, so I pursued that route. What I like about the job itself is that every project is different, which keeps things interesting. In this role, I get to work with each customer, different crews, many architects; we all work to come up with a solution that works for the building and that works for us. The relationships we have with our crews, with our customers and the customer representatives is very good. Network engineering is a well-oiled machine.”

“I worked for consulting firms in Southern California before coming back to Seattle. I wanted to work at City Light because I knew it was a good company. I had never worked for a utility, so I wanted to have that experience. I like working in the network. All the network jobs are interesting: the big jobs, small ones and midsize ones are all interesting in their own ways. Right now, my work includes a variety of projects, including Amazon buildings, all of South Lake Union and the future Denny Network area along with the Washington Convention Center.”