“To expand or upgrade our high-voltage grid, you need to know exactly what you're going to build and what it will look like. That's my main role.”

Elia keeps the lights on right across Belgium.

Elia operates the Belgian high-voltage grid, which transmits power from power generators to distributors. Our personnel include Stephan, a designer, and Bart, an engineer – two key roles in the design phase of low-voltage and security installations.

Bart, Engineering Secondary Systems Manager: “These are systems that protect, automate and control our high-voltage substations. But here, designing is not the same as drawing. Our designers mainly map out what we need and where.”

Strict plans

Stephan, Designer: “Suppose we need to build a new high-voltage substation. As designers, we translate the project leader's high-level plan into concrete technical plans. And when they have technical questions, we work with them to make decisions.”

“Our diagrams form the basis for the work that will actually be carried out. But every diagram must also be tested against reality. You have to make adjustments, especially when it comes to upgrades and innovations. Although we're big fans of standardisation, we secretly like innovations. It makes the job extra challenging.”

Team job

Stephan: “You can never know everything. Every designer, engineer and project leader has their own expertise. In other words, we complement each other, which makes what we do a real team job. Consultation is very important for ensuring we can make adjustments, eliminate errors and learn continuously.”

Bart: “Stephan also fields questions from suppliers who build our installations. And when it a facility enters service, our technicians have to be informed so they know how it works. This is very instructive because it keeps you in touch with what's happening in the field.”

Learning, learning, learning

Bart: “Today's world is not the same as yesterday's or tomorrow's world. No two projects are the same and you always have to deal with new things, which means in this job you're constantly evolving, learning and growing.”

Stephan: “The good thing is that Elia is very open to lifelong learning and taking on new challenges. This starts with your job, where you can build something up from scratch. Where you can change and improve things. Based on information that you collect yourself. But where you can always rely on your co-workers.”

Unique environment

Stephan: “Before I started here, I had no idea what it was all about. It was a leap into the unknown. There is only one high-voltage grid system operator in Belgium, but you soon learn that you're contributing something to society. You're well aware of the impact of your role within Elia and on society.”

Bart: “Everything is in constant motion here. The energy market, technology, your job... Everything is constantly getting bigger and more complex. You have to always keep your head in the game, think logically and at the same time expand your knowledge. And that makes it even more exciting for us. ”

Would you like to help build our high-voltage grid? Browse our Designer vacancies now on our job site!