Role diversity sparks Mark Lewis’s passion for the electricity supply industry

“There is huge variety in my job. I get to jump from maintaining Transpower’s single line diagrams to managing projects for Powerco” explains Mark Lewis, an electrical engineer based in Tauranga. The diversity of Mark’s work and client relationships are what he loves about his job. “Most people in the industry get really specialised, but I’ve been fortunate to work across generation, transmission and distribution. I can be working in each of these areas at any one time, and not many people get to do that.”

Mark’s career at Edison started in 1999. That makes him one of the longest serving members of the team, with the diversity in his role ensuring there is never a dull moment. Starting out in electrical engineering draughting, Mark has developed an encyclopaedic knowledge of Transpower’s substations. “As part of my role I lead the maintenance of all the single line and relay instrument diagrams for Transpower. This knowledge really comes in handy when a tricky job comes up. When Hawke’s Bay was impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, I could quickly get in and create the high-level drawings for the re-configured grid. It felt great to support the team on site because they had a phenomenal amount of work to do.”

Mark’s diverse experience and depth of knowledge made him an ideal person for project management roles. During his tenure, Edison has supported his continuing development - Mark achieved the National Diploma in Project Management Level 5 in 2012. “I’m now working on the biggest project of my career, as Project Manager for Powerco on the Waka Kotahi Takitimu North Link roading project.” Working on Powerco’s behalf, Mark is the key liaison point with the roading team joint venture (engaged by Waka Kotahi) and Powerco for all aspects related to the electrical works. This ranges from enabling works, to temporary supplies, asset relocations and ultimately the final installation, planned for completion 2026.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with a pretty diverse bunch of stakeholders who I haven’t worked with before, and I’ve gained a lot of new knowledge about civil works.

There is a big troubleshooting element to the role, as changes in one aspect of the project can have a knock-on effect to Powerco’s deliverables. Adverse weather, and the site being across challenging terrain adds additional complexity to the works. The project is like a big jigsaw puzzle where all the pieces must fit together in order to get the job done.”

Mark thrives on the problem-solving aspect of project management and shared his insights as to the skills required to succeed in this type of role. “Having some design experience and being able to work with a wide range of people from different specialisms who have their own objectives and perspectives is important. You’ve got to love solving problems and just getting on, and getting the job done despite the challenges that get thrown at you.”