Marshall Clark

Finalist
2016
Principal Engineer – Strategy, Transpower

Marshall Clark

Marshall Clark’s career at Transpower spans more than 20 years in a diverse range of asset performance, management and strategy roles.

A key leader within Transpower, his current role as the Principal Engineer - Strategy sees him playing a significant role in determining the future of grid strategy. Along with this, Clark has led seven major incident investigations over the past three years, as well as designing and heading Transpower’s training and development programme for graduate engineers.

In 2014 a fire resulting from a failed Vector cable joint at Transpower’s Penrose substation meant over 75,000 Vector customers were affected over three days.

Clark led Transpower’s review of the cause, extent and impact of the outage and subsequently ran a joint investigation with Vector in a complex environment involving leadership, personnel and assets from the two different organisations. This took more than 12 months.

As part of this, he co-wrote Transpower and Vector’s Joint Investigation Report, published in 2015, which identified the cause of the Penrose outage, lessons learned, risk mitigation strategies and recommendations for the wider industry.

Clark presented this report at a discussion forum in April 2016 attended by around 90 industry leaders.

Projects

Another task that Clark played a key role in was leading preparation of Transpower’s first submission to the Commerce Commission for regulatory review of multi-year capital and operating expenditure allowances - known as RCP1.

He also provided advice and leadership on Transpower’s asset management programme that resulted in the organisation in 2014 becoming the first and only company in New Zealand to be accredited to PAS 55, an international certification recognised worldwide for good practice asset management.

Transpower’s graduate training and development programme, which Clark launched in 2001, puts participants through a series of six-, eight- or 10-month placements in the firm’s operating divisions. It has so far developed more than 100 graduates into qualified, experienced and sought after engineers.

Clark was made a fellow of IPENZ in recognition of his commitment to engineering education. His other achievements outside Transpower include a long and active involvement with IPENZ and the Electricity Engineers’ Association. He is a member of the EEA’s Asset Management Group, is vice chair of the Wellington branch of IPENZ, and has contributed to the biannual International Transmissions Operations and Maintenance Study.

Workmates and peers describe Clark as “pragmatic, versatile and articulate”, and enthusiastic and active in all projects he has been part of. He seeks quality, long-standing relationships, and as a leader is committed to investing the time to get the best out of the people he works with.

Transpower says Clark has an extraordinarily broad and deep knowledge of the group’s assets, management strategies and practices, and is widely recognised as a ‘go to’ person within the organisation.

The Energy Engineer of the Year award category is sponsored by IPENZ