Ergon Energy engineer selected for Paris power symposium

An Ergon Energy engineer based in Maryborough, Queensland, has been given the chance to attend one of the electricity industry’s biggest conventions – the Cigre symposium in Paris.

Matt Ridgley, who lives in Hervey Bay, was one of two young Australian engineers awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious event held in the French capital every second year.

Matt will be among more than 3500 professionals from utilities, manufacturers, regulators and academia to showcase and discuss global work and investigations.

“It’s an absolute honour. It’s such an amazing event covering everything from generation, to transmission, to distribution, to markets and regulation,” Matt said.

“The event will also focus on the big challenges the energy sector will face over the next few years, so it will be very interesting. Certainly, the growth in renewable energy generation and the impact on distribution will be a hot topic.

“I am more involved in commissioning substations and, from that perspective, one of the big issues we face is how we can reduce costs and still maintain high standards of safety and reliability – that is the big challenge.”

Matt, 31, was born and raised in Hervey Bay before studying electrical engineering at university in Brisbane, during which he was awarded a scholarship by Ergon Energy.

He was subsequently employed by Ergon as a graduate engineer, starting in Toowoomba before moving to Townsville and then coming home to the Fraser Coast about five years ago.

In his role as a commissioning and maintenance engineer, Matt provides technical support for the construction and testing of new and upgraded substations, as well as the maintenance of existing substations.

In recent years, he has spent a considerable part of his time in Toowoomba and Warwick contributing to the process of energising and bringing new substations into service.

This will be Matt’s first trip to Paris, but he will have only three free days to explore the sights of the city between his commitments at the symposium, including participating in a workshop on the weekend before the conference starts.

Fortunately for Matt, even though Cigre was founded in France and the biennial symposium is always held in Paris, all of the proceedings are conducted in English.

Matt is a member of Cigre Australia’s Next Generation for Networks group and was awarded the parent body’s scholarship after a highly competitive application and selection process.

The Conseil International des Grands Réseaux Électriques (International Council for Large Electric Systems) is an international non-profit association that promotes collaboration among experts from all around the world by sharing knowledge and joining forces to improve the electric power systems of today and tomorrow.