The company

Elia is the operator of the Belgian high-voltage transmission grid (380 kV to 30 kV) and is responsible for developing and maintaining the grid, providing users with access to it and controlling energy flows. The Elia group is a team of 2,000 professionals who have the task of ensuring the continuity of electricity supplies in Belgium.

As owner and operator of electricity transmission networks in Belgium and Germany Elia has an important role and mission in supporting and implementing Europe's energy and climate policy.

Digital Substations Expert

Expertise:  Engineers
Reference ID:  6852



The Virtual Substations team is a small team that has the task to prepare the implementation of state of the art digital technology in the Elia substations, in order to protect and control the grid in an optimal and efficient way. In this long term project (> 5 years), the team is responsible for analyzing the different variants from technological point of view, but also all related (engineering) processes and tools. Afterwards all selected solutions will be developed and implemented.

During this exercise, the team works together with internal stakeholders and external contacts from the industry (suppliers, other utilities) to make the best possible decisions. The IEC61850 standard, which is designed specifically for this exercise, plays an important role during the project.


This function comprises the following tasks:


  • Develop functional specification on Digital Substation based on the needs expressed by other internal stakeholders (asset management, grid development etc) 
  • Drafting technology notes around Digital Substation to support conceptual decision and challenge the manufacturers regarding the technical choices proposed
  • Actively follow the Digital Substations developments by using and extending your network with suppliers, universities and other stakeholders
  • Actively contribute and exchange information through expert groups and initiatives regarding Digital Substations (inter TSO, working groups, …)
  • Contribute to Elia’s Digital Substation pilot projects and proof of concepts through all phases (e.g. design, construction, testing, commissioning, etc.) in close collaboration with the concerned departments of Elia and with the manufacturers to validate the solution
  • Challenge the tools, engineering process that will be used in Digital Substation implementation
  • Seek out design opportunities to bring additional benefits by increasing efficiency, decrease cost, exploring new commercial options or other benefits (Value Engineering)

Your Profile


  • You have a Bachelor or Master level in Electrical Engineering
  • You are fluent in English and in one of the Belgian national languages (French or Flemish)
  • You have a good knowledge of the IEC61850 basic elements (data model, communication principles). Additional experience with process bus application, SAMUs, LPITs, Telecommunication (e.g. TCP/IP), Time Synchronization is a strong asset
  • Demonstrated experience with the engineering of protection and control applications of a high voltage substation is a strong asset 
  • You have strong communication skills: you are able to write clear and well-structured reports, and you are able to adapt your message to any kind of attendee. You are able to explain complex technical concepts to non-specialists
  • You are pragmatic and results-driven, but you are also able develop more conceptual ideas and long-term visions. 
  • You have strong analytical competences and able to take initiatives
  • You are autonomous, but you can also collaborate with other colleagues
  • Knowledge / experience with other technical lines (substation primary equipment, linear assets) is an asset



Quai Léon Monnoyer 3, 1000 Brussels

What's in it for you?

More than offering you a mere job, we give you an exciting, ultra-professional environment, unique training and every opportunity to develop your career potential to the full, plus an attractive salary and fringe benefits. So choosing Elia means opting for a future full of promise!