Interim Student Chapter Chair IEEE PES
My name is Zana Begic and I was born in Sarajevo, the city that had street lighting before many European cities – London, Paris, Vienna etc. Sarajevo was also the first city in Europe and the second city in the world to have a full-time operational electric tram network running through the city, the first being San Francisco. You can say that electrical engineering runs in my family since my grandfather, father, uncle and many other close relatives are electrical engineers. So, starting from high school, and continuing through higher education at the Faculty of electrical engineering in Sarajevo, I have shown great affinity towards engineering, and electrical engineering in specific. I have to admit that not everyone believed that I am cut out for it. Some people were conservative, claiming that electrical engineering isn’t something that women were meant to do. But that kind of people just motivated me to work even harder and prove them wrong.
During my studies at the Department of Power Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Sarajevo, my attention was attracted to the areas of transmission, distribution (load flow, short circuits, transient stability) and electromagnetic transients in power system (switching and lightning overvoltages, protection against lightning overvoltage’s, temporary overvoltages and transient recovery voltages). I also possess great interest in area of distributed (embedded) generation, to be more specific in the integration of distributed generators.
For my Bachelor thesis, I have done a research called “Load flow analysis in the power system with integrated distributed generation”. On the 17th of May 2012, I presented my work with EMTP_RV (presentation titled “Electromagnetic transients simulations for the overhead line partially equipped with line surge arresters ”) at the prestigious EMTP-RV Academic Users Group Meeting, held in hotel “Europe” in Sarajevo. I was also the president of Electrical Engineering Students Organization STELEKS for two years in a row. Throughout engagement in projects of our organization, I’ve worked on improving personal competencies such as team management skills, communication, leadership and persuasion.
As my biggest professional achievement yet I consider the given opportunity of doing my Master thesis research in Siemens (Erlangen, Germany). But I would also like to point out my contribution to promoting and encouraging students to join the IEEE. Also, in year 2012, I was a member of the Organizing Board for forming the IEEE PES Student Branch at our faculty and I was nominated for the Student Chapter Chair IEEE PES.
To all of my young female colleagues or students that have interest in power engineering, I want to say there is no obstacle that you can’t overcome if you work hard enough. Hard work is necessary, but it doesn’t have to hold you back in terms of having a desired social life. It certainly didn’t hold me back since I’m in a very happy relationship and I always have spare time left to spend with people I love.
It is unnecessary to talk about the importance of power engineering in our society, just try to imagine a life without electricity. Pretty tough, don’t you think? Being an electrical engineer means being a part of a team that is making the world a better place for us to live in.