Seattle City (spot)Light: Armand Shahbazian

Armand Shahbazian joined Seattle City Light in 2015 as an intern in Network Services Engineering. He continued his work in Street Light Engineering and was later hired on the Distribution Services Engineering team. He recently accepted a new position back in Streetlight Engineering! “I’ll be working on new capital improvement projects throughout the city,” Armand explained. “Installing new street lighting on the waterfront and re-doing some of the lighting on 23rd Avenue in South Seattle. One of our group’s larger projects is the installation of 5G antennas on streetlight poles. I’m going to be super busy!”

Growing up in Bellevue, Armand moved a short distance to attend college at Seattle University where he studied electrical engineering. “I just finished my first quarter back at Seattle U where I’m pursuing my master’s degree in public administration!”

In this week’s (spot)Light, Armand shares how he found City Light, his role at the utility, and range of exciting hobbies.

Armand enjoying one of his favorite activities!

“When I was in undergrad, I applied to a scholarship through the American Public Power Association. I was selected and part of the requirement was to meet with a sponsoring utility that happened to be City Light. I met the director of Energy Delivering Engineering which is pretty much the team that I work with now! I shadowed the director for a little bit and it really piqued my interest in the utility.”

“Thankfully all of my positions have meshed together in a way. I interned with Network Service Engineering which covers all of downtown Seattle’s services. One of my biggest projects was working on the machines that freeze the soil for the seawall construction. It was so cool seeing the impact of my work! Street Light engineering covers City Light’s entire service territory so having the network experience was very helpful because we had to use similar resources. It was super nice to have that background. In distribution, I connect people to our grid but in a different system.”

“I’m super pumped for my new position! It’s a lot of plan reviewing. When there are large capital projects, businesses have to apply for a permit from SDOT and City Light reviews the plans. We make sure that they’re going to build something to our standards and regulations.”

I really love to ride motorcycles! I do that whenever the weather is nice, so in the Northwest, that’s basically spring and summer. I also enjoy going camping and backpacking. I try to take six camping trips per year along with one to two backpacking excursions. I’ve traveled to Canada a lot this year and have really enjoyed exploring the area. I still need to visit Banff National Park. That’s on the bucket list for sure! Surprisingly, I haven’t done much in Washington yet. I’ve done more international traveling up to this point, but I definitely need to see more of the United States. Last year I took a trip to Boston and rented a car to just drive around and state hop along the coast (Maine, New Hampshire, etc.). It was so beautiful!”