My path at HELB is tailored just for me

Kristina Mileta came to HELB two and a half years ago, as a young and promising development engineer, directly from FER. During that short period of time, she has behind her a very successful project that she believes will contribute to the future of energy and smart grids in Croatia, and enable the reduction of huge losses in low-voltage networks. Colleagues have only words of praise for her. They say she is a lover of technology, that she is extremely engaged and responsible, and that she quickly exceeded everything that was expected of her. Here’s what this young engineer says about the R&D department, an average day at HELB, and all its pros and cons.

What does the R&D department at HELB do, what is your role and what does your average day look like?

The R&D department predominantly deals with technologically advanced development projects, the “loudest” of them is probably DINGO, which I lead and where I am a development engineer. The idea for the project came four years ago, received EU funding, and is currently in its final phase. With partners HEP ODS, Sedam IT, and FER, we are developing a software platform based on hardware that we developed independently, the goal of which is to detect and manage losses in the low-voltage network. I personally think that it is a promising project with very good results and a bright future. It is a smart product that uses energy and software and is also a very meaningful product for the future of smart grids. In addition to the DINGO, there is also the EnMS project with goal to monitor energy in a larger industry in order to reduce consumption. We also support the project of Operator of closed distribution systems and the new EU project Commercialization of innovations.

I mainly deal with the DINGO project, from data analysis to development of ideas for solutions, for both hardware and software. I also do translation services between IT and FER😊, task organization, time frames, and planning, administration related to the project, financial reports, reports to HAMAG and the state. There is also the preparation of presentations, discussions with other partners on the project, etc. In the second year, there was also a bit of fieldwork, because we were installing equipment at the stations to test our cabinets.

My average working day starts with answering emails, then coffee 😊. Approximately one to two meetings per day, which are mostly either status meetings, where we present what has been done in the last week or brainstorming meetings, where we solve some technical problems encountered on the project. Usually, after that is lunch, and in the afternoon I focus on data analysis. That’s my favourite part. When it’s the ZNS submission period, I focus on that.

How long have you been at HELB and did you work in the R&D department right away?

I have been at HELB for two and a half years and I haven’t officially been part of any other department, but there isn’t a department I haven’t worked with. DINGO is such a project that requires cooperation, so I worked with sales, procurement, finance, marketing, project management, etc. As the project is in a high stage of completion, most of the work is now in the development department.

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

That’s a generic answer now, but it’s definitely the people, as well as the type of work I do here. Why HELB?! From my perspective, being a development engineer at HELB is the best thing you can do as a power engineer from FER. It is currently the most interesting job on the market. We are doing something new, cooperating with a large spectrum of people, inside and outside of the company. We are exposed to various tasks and challenges, continuously learning, and we also do things that are not always strongly related to our profession. My path at HELB was literally tailored for me. I showed more interest in managing projects and over time I took over that job on the DINGO project. While colleagues, who are more interested in technical training, develop in that direction. Individuals are listened to and personalized career paths are created.

I certainly think that HELB should continue to raise its standard and competitiveness. Sometimes I have the feeling that we are too flexible towards those outside the company, and maybe we should shift that focus to our people. I hope DINGO will contribute to that. This project can become a good model that will later spread to the rest of the company.

What do you do in your free time?

I dance salsa and use every free moment I have to travel. Ten days ago I was in Vienna at the George Ezra concert and visited the Harry Potter exhibition, it was great.

March 21, 2023

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