David Le, EIT, Power System Analyst

David Le first gained exposure to the inner workings of the province’s power system in 2017, when he completed a co-op term as part his bachelor of applied science in electrical engineering at Queen’s University.

While David went on to put his skills to use in helping develop optimal power flow tools with his father – also an engineer and an alum of the former Ontario Hydro – he returned to his former team at the IESO in April 2021.

“For me, there are really two factors that make the IESO a great place to build a career: the work and the people,” says David, who last year added a certificate in transmission design, operations and planning to his credentials. “I wanted to gain more hands-on experience in the industry and I think one of the best places for power system engineers is at the IESO, where you have exposure to how the energy market, generation and transmission are all connected in operating the grid.”

David explains that the opportunity to put his grounding in power system theory into practice in the real world was a primary motivator for returning to the IESO. 

“When you’re learning in an academic setting, it’s mainly theory,” says David, who is part of a team that assesses between 1,400 and 1,700 planned generator and transmission outages every month. “In looking at outages in the region spanning the GTA to Ottawa, I get to see all elements of the system, and the various technical challenges in different parts of the province. And because the IESO is operating Ontario’s power system, every time I go to work I know that what we do is helping ensure we can continue to keep the lights on.”

As someone who is endlessly curious and interested in the intersection between the various teams at the IESO and in how they work together to support the IESO’s reliability and affordability mandate, David also appreciates the culture of knowledge sharing. 

“I knew I’d be returning to a place where I’d learned a lot, and where there would always be someone who was ready to answer my questions, both within my team and beyond. My goal now is not only to continue learning, but to pay it forward, to give back and share what I’ve learned, so that we can continue to offer new graduates a great culture and a great experience.”