”HELB is at the very top in Croatian energy”

The head of the Technical Office, Dejan Grdenić, is a big fan of power engineering and project design. Five years ago, he joined HELB, where he started testing the protection relays, configuring relays, preparation of various studies in power engineering, and a bit of project designing. His cheerful spirit, positivity, and sense of humor brighten up every conversation, his knowledge and expertise help with every problem. Despite his busy schedule, he is always ready to help his colleagues and join them in a relaxed conversation over a cup of coffee.

What does your job at HELB include and what does your average day look like?

As the head of the Technical Office, my job is primarily the responsibility of running the department and managing people. Work organization, communication with colleagues in the office and other departments, support, education, meetings. But at the end of the day, if time allows, I do, more or less, everything that the rest of the technical office does. I really like what I do, I look forward to making new projects, especially detailed design. Work in the technical office is divided into preparation of production, which includes factory and workshop documentation, and to making projects, the conceptual, main, detailed design, and As-built projects. Sometimes we do the protection setting studies, and we provide support to colleagues in the Sales department if something needs to be technically developed when making the offers. We invest a lot of time in reviewing external detail design and preparing all the documentation needed to produce an electrical cabinet in our workshop. We check that everything is in order, correct mistakes in the projects, we make more detailed drawings and schemes, markings, and nameplates, all to speed up and facilitate production. When designing, we have different types of projects, from the conceptual ones where a short description of the project is done and gives a conceptual technical solution with a rough estimate of costs, important for the investor, the main project which includes a detailed technical description, electrical calculations, and detailed cost estimate. The detailed design must contain all the details necessary to construct something and put it into operation, such as detailed circuit diagrams, device tag lists, layout drawings, connection plans, etc. As-built projects come at the end after construction and all testing is finished. It should contain all possible changes in relation to the detailed design, which occurred in the construction and testing phase. As for the average day, I first deal with the current things according to the day plan as well as the urgency and time of receipt. And after that, I work on my projects. We have a sector meeting once a week, and a departmental meeting twice a month. I organize work so that everything is done on time, communicate plans and ideas with my colleagues, and most of my time is spent on supporting new colleagues and activities around current projects. Communication, education, and support of my colleagues are my primary job, as well as solving current problems in production.

How long have you been at HELB and did you work in design right away?

I have been here for five years, since 2016. I first worked in the research and design department, which included design, relay protection testing, automation, and research. I mostly did studies, protection relay configuration, and testing, and a little less designing. During 2017 and 2018, I was an associate to my colleagues on two major projects in England, on the functional testing of two substations 400/220 kV, for the two largest offshore wind farms in the world. Later, that department split into R&D, Technical office, and some colleagues went to the Testing department.

What are your favorite things about HELB and where do you see room for improvement?

I primarily like working in power engineering, especially making of detailed design. There are a lot of positive things, we are working on a lot of good projects. In my opinion, HELB is at the very top in the Croatian power engineering field. Projects we do, we do in detail and we approach each of them with special attention. HELB has the knowledge to make most of the projects on a ”turn-key” basis, which is a closed cycle, from sales, technical office, production, project management, testing, and commissioning. In general, I like the atmosphere, interpersonal relationships, nice working conditions, tidy workspaces, the team is sociable and willing to cooperate.

Of course, communication and organization can always be improved and there is always space for improvement in every aspect, and with each new project, new knowledge and experience are gained. We should further accelerate the flow of information between departments, to get timely information so that we can all be faster, more successful, and more satisfied in our work.

And free time?

I do not have a lot of it right now, but I am trying to change that. My hobby is photography and I also like to play football, spend time with family and friends, watch a good movie, and when I have time, play online games with my cousins. Some weekends I go home to Nova Gradiška, to get some rest and visit relatives and friends. I like to organize big gatherings, but now we must wait for better times to do that.

February 25, 2021

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