Olympia crop.JPG

Olympia Siolou - Don’t be afraid to speak up

Today we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day by meeting some of the ESO’s female engineers who are keeping the lights on.

Olympia Siolou works at National Control as a Power System Engineer.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I moved from Greece to Scotland for my MSc and after I finishing my studies I joined the National Grid Graduate Scheme in 2016. After this I got my first permanent role in Electricity Operations in a team called Control Issues. Here I supported the Electricity National Control Centre (ENCC) acting as liaison between Network Operations and Asset Management.

In December 2010, I joined the Strategy department of the ENCC as Energy Scheduling Engineer and Control Technical Assistant and since then I have also attained Transmission Analysis Engineer (TAE) and an Energy Optimisation Engineer (EOE) authorisation, which means I can support the running of the grid in lots of ways.

I always wanted to work in the Control Centre ever since I started the Graduate Scheme and first set foot in Wokingham. I found the skill of the Control Engineers inspiring and I was immediately gripped by the importance and impact of their work.

What does your role entail and how does it support the ESO in creating a system which can operate at zero carbon by 2025?

As a Transmission Analysis Engineer, I study what-if scenarios, to ensure the Scottish Electricity Transmission System can stay secure in the event off any unexpected issues.

In my other role as Energy Optimisation Engineer, I look 4-8 hours ahead of real time and ensure there is enough electricity to meet demand at any given time in the day.

In my everyday role as Power System Engineer I also ensure that our electricity transmission system is ready for the changes to come as we move towards net zero.

I ensure that our electricity transmission system is ready for the changes to come as we move towards net zero.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

The most exciting part of my job is finding a solution to a new or complex problem, especially when I get to work closely with my colleagues. I work with an excellent team and the sense of camaraderie is one of the best parts of working in the ENCC.

Do you have any advice for women who are considering entering the engineering field?

I have a 2 school-age daughters and it is very important to me that they grow up knowing they can be whatever they set their minds to. So I try my best to be a suitable role model for them as a working mother.

Don’t let anyone define you by your gender. Don’t be afraid to speak up, to stand up for yourself and to challenge when it is needed. Listen and be prepared to learn but don’t be intimidated. You’ve got this!

Olympia Siolou