Meet Brandon and Mary!

It’s Thursday of National Engineers week, and we’ve got two more great engineers for you to meet!

Brandon Neddo

Brandon Neddo

Meet Brandon Neddo!

What’s your title at National Grid and what do you do?
I’m an Associate Engineer in Gas Project Engineering & Design. I am responsible helping maintain and expand our gas infrastructure in Upstate NY.

Where are you from?
I am originally from Queensbury, New York which is roughly an hour North of Albany.

Which project do you feel the most proud working on here at National Grid?
The reinforcement project in the Syracuse region. The original scope was projected to be very costly, but through collaboration with other teams we came up with an alternative, more cost effective solution.

Who or what was your biggest influence to become an engineer?
I always had an idea that I would like to become an engineer, but in high school I was able to participate in a New Visions Engineering Program where we frequently visited various engineering companies in the Albany region. This served to further peak my interest in the field.

If you could write a book about an engineering topic – what would it be about?
I really enjoy learning about fluid dynamics, compressible flow, and aerodynamics so it would likely encompass those topics.

If engineers were a type of animal – what type of animal would they be and why?
I believe we would be owls. Owls are characterized as methodical and wise creatures, which correlates well to typical engineering personalities.

If someone gave you a deserted island – what’s the first thing you would build on it?
The first thing I would build on a deserted island would be a filtration system for water or a means to collect it if there is fresh water. Water is bar none the most critical element to survival.

What is something you think will become obsolete in 10 years as a result of engineering advances?
I think the existence of buttons may be obsolete. The emergence of touch-screen technology is making headway and becoming an everyday norm in the technologies we utilize around us.

Describe a word beginning with the first letter of your name that sums you up?
Balanced. A first-rate engineer needs a good balance of conceptual thinking, and real world applicability to be effective at their job.

What’s the best thing about being an engineer at National Grid?
As an engineer at National Grid, we have the opportunity to be more than just engineers. We are able to work on projects from their inception and have the ability to see the results of our effort in the field. That aspect allows us to work alongside several groups within the company and gain an understanding of the business as a whole.

Mary Foster

Mary Foster

Meet Mary Foster!

What’s your title at National Grid and what do you do?
Lead Substation Engineer in Network Strategies. I manage various engineering and design firms and provide technical support to the Construction, Project Management and Project Sponsorship teams to ensure the successful completion of substation projects throughout their life cycle

Where are you from?
I was born in a small town, Auburn which is a city located at the north end of Owasco Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, in Central NY.

Which project do you feel the most proud working on here at National Grid?
The EMS Expansion/RTU Installation Program that accounts for 22 substations in New England. There are many facets to this work that make the projects both interesting and challenging, but of utmost importance is their purpose, which is to provide remote status, control and monitoring of all protective and switching devices at the station. This program will provide benefits in incident response and recovery, reliability, and improvements in intelligence of operational data, asset management and strategic management.

Who or what was your biggest influence to become an engineer?
My Dad. He worked at NYSEG utilities an electrical field planner. I always admired his talent to solve problems.  I was fortunate to meet engineers in his company and discuss the various roles of an engineer in a utility, so at a young age I acquired clarity for the career path I would pursue.

If you could write a book about an engineering topic – what would it be about?
A Guide to Testing High Voltage Bushings, which would include troubleshooting procedures, data analysis, and case studies based on my years of field experience.

If engineers were a type of animal – what type of animal would they be and why?
Beavers, as they are known for reengineering their environmental surroundings. The dams they build create wetlands that take up flood lands, preventing flash floods.  The homes they build are well constructed and very efficient.  The inside of their home is about 2 feet high, and very domelike. The beavers incorporate a “skylight” hole at the top of the dome to let in fresh air, and light. Their front door is a hole below the water level, while the inside of their home is above water and dry.

If someone gave you a deserted island – what’s the first thing you would build on it?
A solar water still, to ensure I had fresh water available on the island.

What is something you think will become obsolete in 10 years as a result of engineering advances?
Passwords, face/eye recognition software will replace the need to remember your password when you log into your PC, bank account, etc. I am looking forward to the day, when I do not spend 5 minutes trying to recollect my password, when logging onto a site.

Describe a word beginning with the first letter of your name that sums you up?
Mindful

What’s the best thing about being an engineer at National Grid?
One of the best things about being an Engineer at National Grid is the culture that exists in the organization.  I enjoy working with both my coworkers and management as there is open communication, teamwork, along with opportunity for professional growth within the company.

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