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Seattle City (spot)Light: Dejene Mersha

In 2013, Dejene Mersha started at City Light as an intern in the Network Engineering group. Since then, he’s worked as an assistant electrical engineer with Network Engineering and Systems Planning team and is now part of the Generation Operations & Engineering division as an associate electrical engineer. “My internship was a really good experience,” Dejene said. “I’m glad that I continued to work here. The people here are rich in experience and, working with them, has showed me where to be and how to develop my skills.”

Dejene was born in Ethiopia. He moved to the United States in 2007 with one destination on his mind: Seattle. “I had family living in Tampa, Florida, but a friend suggested I study engineering at the University of Washington,” he shared. “So, I headed straight to Seattle, to join UW.” He graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from University of Washington and went on to receive his master’s degree in electrical power engineering from Washington State University. Dejene and his wife Hana live in Lake Stickney with their six-year-old son Yoseph.

In this week’s (spot)Light, Dejene talks about his work and shares a few of his favorite activities.

Dejene with his family

“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been interested in anything that was relevant to electricity. It’s always been my passion. I knew that I wanted to study electricity, specifically the electrical field. That’s why I came to the United States—to pursue a higher education. My background specializes in power engineering. With my experience, you want to work at a power company. Living in Seattle, it was clear that City Light is the ideal place for me.”

“It’s been great working with different groups at the utility. The work is interesting; always different. And I’ve learned a lot. When I was with Network Engineering, I analyzed energy loads. With System Planning, I studied the system and provided recommendations to our team. I’m fairly new to my current role, but I help prepare the engineering schematic and relevant drawings for major hydroelectric power generating units. I also help fulfill the standards and regulatory obligations assigned by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC).”

“When I’m not working, I like to spend time with my loved ones. There’s nothing better than that, right? That’s one of the reasons why I love where I live. We have a backyard for us to hang out and there is a little park by my house where I like to play with my son. I also like to play soccer and take my son swimming.”

“Weekends are always fun at my house because my wife loves to cook. And she is a great cook! She is always trying new foods, new recipes. That’s why I like it so much; nothing is similar or repetitive. She explores different culture’s food and will cook anything and everything! Recently she made Pasta Al Forno. She deviated from the traditional recipe and adding her own touch by using different sauces. It was amazing!”