Senja Levio is a Senior Industry Expert at Vaisala and based out of Finland. She holds a Masters’ in Material Science and Technology from Tampere University. Her contributions in developing capacitive probes for humidity measurements in transformers has been pivotal and hugely successful across various industries. She is an expert on online moisture measurements and dissolved gas analysis (DGA) in transformers. She plays an instrumental role in CIGRE working group D1 which aims at materials and emerging technologies. She has previously worked in CIGRE working group (WG) D1.52 and D1/A2.47 and currently working in D1/A2.77 which focuses on liquid tests for electrical equipment in order to pave a path for future towards better testing and data interpretation.
Let’s start the interview!
Q. Tell us about yourself
Senja: I’m a senior Industry Expert at Vaisala in Finland. My focus area is online monitoring of DGA and moisture in transformers and I’m very much involved in sensor technology (in these areas) as well. I’m working globally meeting customers and supporting our sales, but also “acting a customer voice in our R&D”. I’m also actively contributing member in CIGRE working groups and Finninsh member in CIGRE SC D1.
Q. What inspired you to join this sector?
Senja: I’m pretty curious person and I want to understand the phenomena behind different challenges like moisture movements in transformers. Its very exciting in a way to understand “why the moisture behaves the way it does and combining our technology in there. So […] the combination of deep understanding on the application itself and the sensors [..] also it’s international work, combining my educational background in chemistry and physics. The industry members and more experienced people are willing to share information and work together through CIGRE and IEEE, and the various companies and people that may be competitors to each other and yet we are all working together for the common cause. This is what inspires me.
Q. What trends do you think will rule in the next 5 years in this sector?
Senja: Digitalization, automated condition assessment, sustainability and transformation from centralized power generation to distributed. I think one of the mega trends is sustainability, green energy, distributed power generation etc. These are new demands and new challenges for the whole industry. At the same time ageing assets is the reason why digitalization and automation of, for example, condition assessment what is coming from artificial intelligence etc are also going to be a mega trends in future.
Q. Can you elaborate why?
Senja: Due to digitalization and increased trend to automated transformer condition assessment more real-time monitoring is needed. If we want to , say preserve knowledge on condition assessment in the era of digital trends then the real challenge is how we transfer the knowledge of the most experienced people who are about to retire because there is a lot of salient knowledge that in inside their heads and their principles. Now, we have to transfer that knowledge to the next generation of people who are then able to put that knowledge in to a form that can be used in automated condition assessment.
Q. Most of the people think maintenance and reliability are the same thing. What are your thoughts about it?
Senja: I think reliability, system or component, is outcome of proper maintenance policy and its executions.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you would give to a junior professional to succeed in your sector?
Senja: Collaborate and contribute to international working groups and committees. This is to best way to get to know experienced people and learn from them and also get to know what topics are currently most actual. The basics of electricity generation and transmission/distribution are the same everywhere, then climate and regional differences brings flavor on top.
Q. Can you recommend any books or media?
Senja: Not really anything specific, but I always encourage to read: books, publications, news, articles and social media discussions, not just your own professional area, but pretty much everything. It’s a way to learn languages, cultures, different technological revolutions and widen your perspective on everything.