Stefano Talassi holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Politecnico of Milan and an executive MBA from Bocconi University, Italy. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of design, project management, testing, commissioning and after sales service in the transformer industry.
He is the technical director of an industrial transformer company in the North of Italy.
Let’s start the interview!
Q. Tell us about yourself
Stefano: First of all, thank you for this opportunity. I’m an electrical engineer in the field of business of transformers for around 20 years as a designer and consultant in the second part of my business life. I personally design furnace and power transformers. I take the responsibility to commission and test the machinery, designing the unit from 10 MVA to 200-250 MVA, high voltage up to 400 kV. Now I’m a technical advisor located in Italy.
Q. What inspired you to join this sector?
Stefano: Good question! The inspiration is for the design in the electric sector, because I see a lot of power and electricity. It is something you cannot taste. It is something that you can feel and you have to measure the power of electricity with a transformer that designed from scratch for every instance. In my opinion, like transformer do not exist. Everyone is unique. It’s a tailor-made design and this makes me comfortable with the business. Because, I love to start from the scratch every time we are designing.
Q. What trends do you think will rule in the next 5 years in this sector?
Stefano: My guess is one of the trends is big data. To analyse and manage big data everywhere including our business life. Considering the electrical business sector, and also transformers, we receive a lot of data from the machine and environment where this machine is installed and we need to manage that for a lot of reasons including maintenance, for life improvement etc. This is the first big challenge in my opinion in the next five years. How should we measure and manage this big data?
Q. Can you elaborate why?
Stefano: Regarding the renewable energies and this type of environment, talking about transformer is a big challenge. Because we take in to account different load and from the design point of view this is a challenge. Also, the load managing and environment of the transformer for the life of machine. In terms of environment how the unit would be installed, say in a solar farm where there are multiple challenges regarding the external lay-out of the farm which impacts the design of transformer in general.
Q. Most of the people think maintenance and reliability are the same thing. What are your thoughts about it?
Stefano: In my opinion, they are not the same thing. Reliability is an intrinsic part of design of the unit. Maintenance is something different. Say, you need to design a reliable unit from the start, but maintenance of low reliability assets can make a huge difference in terms of alarms and asset management. For the final client with not enough information about the reliability of his unit, maintenance can make a huge difference. Maintenance is an external action that can be put into operation when you are the owner of the machine. It makes a lot of difference in evaluating the potential failure of machine.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you would give to a junior professional to succeed in your sector?
Stefano: Always ask questions. This will let you learn every day by asking what and why are you doing a task, even if your boss told you to do so.
Q. What is something nobody tells you, but you wish you knew earlier?
Stefano: Learning is a day-by-day process. At the beginning of my business life, I wanted to know everything particularly about design. Then I learned that you can not know everything at the beginning. When you are a junior, you want more experience. But when you become a senior, you realize the very definition of experience is that it is the sum of your mistakes. When you are a junior, you want to avoid mistakes, but the best way to learn is by making mistakes and get more experience.
Q. Can you recommend any books or media?
Stefano: Steve Jobs, The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.Steve Jobs