Summer 2018

Under the surface with: Ryan Murphy

We meet Ryan Murphy, asset manager with EDS High Voltage Engineering which recently joined the James Fisher group.

Tell us a bit about yourself

As a child I was always at my happiest tearing things apart and engineering them back together. This is a trait that stayed with me as I grew and I went on to study the master’s pathway in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast. 

In 2009 I secured the Institute of Engineering and Technology’s Power Academy Scholarship with Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) which not only helped fund my studies, but also gave me valuable work experience throughout my university years and afterwards with a major utility company. 

For many years I was a volunteer member of the emergency response team helping out with search and rescue on the River Foyle in Derry/Londonderry - one of the most dangerous rivers in Europe. I was part of a team on call 24/7, however work commitments mean I’ve had to step down from that responsibility for now, but I’m very keen to return when I can.

How did you join EDS?

During my various work placements at NIE, I worked closely with Ryan Henderson, who had a big interest in the renewables industry and who later went on to set-up EDS HV Management. In my final year at university he encouraged me to work on a software prototype which supports adherence to high voltage safety procedures. I took up a graduate place at NIE but when Ryan invited me to join his team, three years ago, it was an opportunity I simply could not refuse and my software has formed the basis of a high voltage safety system called ControlPoint which now underpins everything we do at EDS.

What is your current role?

A big part of my job is managing high voltage infrastructure on behalf of our clients, who I work with closely on a daily basis to ensure their networks are properly managed, and contract deliverables are achieved. Like me, most of the team at EDS have a utilities background: we bring that specialist electricity industry knowledge, and, with ControlPoint, highest level safety assurances to the renewables sector. ControlPoint is a very important part of our offering. It is unique to EDS and gives asset owners complete peace of mind that everything is being managed in the best possible way with minimal risk.

What projects are you working on?

I’m currently working on a range of new O&M opportunities in the UK and Ireland, pitching for new business, as well as acting as key liaison for long-term clients, working closely as part of their team on crucial O&M matters. Additionally I am helping to develop an exciting new software package which will enable offshore wind farms to spread the cost of long-term maintenance. It will be a renewables-specific evolution of a software package called ‘InsightPro’ which I helped develop during my year at NIE. InsightPro pumps information about the health of any high voltage transformer into a series of smart algorithms to work out a percentage chance of failure in order to guide and inform maintenance decisions. It is widely used for high voltage networks and we have been working hard to adapt it to be specifically relevant for wind turbines. There is nothing like this on the market right
now, but when complete later this year, the software platform will offer our clients the best possible solution to managing risk and reducing O&M costs.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love the flexibility in my role which allows me to work from home, but to travel extensively for meetings, and operational work on various client sites. I’m also lucky that I have the autonomy to make decisions but with the knowledge that I have some of the most brilliant minds in the industry beside me. Most importantly, I feel like I am having a direct impact on the growth of an exciting and dynamic company.

What does the future hold?

Joining the James Fisher group last year (2017) was a major turning point for EDS HV Group. It is tremendously exciting and paves the way for EDS and other James Fisher companies to jointly seek opportunities in the offshore renewables sector as one entity, providing wholly ‘wrapped’ services.

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