From Intern to Diagnostic Analysis Research Manager: A Q&A With Ronald Hernandez, Ph.D.
Ronald Hernandez has over a decade of experience in research and development of power systems apparatus diagnostics, engineering, leadership, testing, modeling and problem solving. He has both a master’s and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Power Systems from Northeastern University, and holds a global MBA degree from IE Business School. He currently is a Diagnostic Analysis Research Manager at Doble – where his career began 13 years ago.
Ron started out at Doble as an intern and worked his way up the ranks. Since his career began, Ron has become one of Doble’s most successful and respected engineers, specializing in performing and managing research projects to create state-of-the-art products and applications that target solutions to emerging industry needs.
We recently sat down with Ron to learn more about his background, his experience working at Doble throughout the years and his advice for the next generation of engineers.
Q: What initially attracted you to the electrical engineering and power space?
A: I always really enjoyed math, physics and technology, so in college I decided to focus on something that combined all those things – engineering. Then one day I had the chance to tour some power plants and that really piqued my interest. There also seemed to be more exciting job opportunities in the power systems engineering space compared to other areas such as communications or electronics.
Q: What drew you into Doble and made you pursue a long-term career with the company after your internship?
A: Doble is a well-recognized organization with a great reputation in the industry world-wide. Doble is unique in that we specialize in power systems and serving the utilities industry. I could have worked for a utilities company, but that’s not where I wanted to be. I want to serve the utilities industry and that’s just what Doble does. Also, there was the location factor. I was studying at Northeastern and Doble is conveniently located right outside of Boston in Marlborough, Mass.
Q: What skills are the most crucial for young professionals beginning their engineering careers?
A: There are many, but some of the most crucial skills for engineers to master are analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. At the same time, communication is also hugely important. You may have great ideas, but if you’re not able to communicate those ideas, management won’t buy in. Teamwork and emotional intelligence are also key skills for young professionals to possess – particularly at Doble where we are so focused on collaboration. On the technical side of things, having some knowledge of programming is growing in importance.
Q: What advice do you have for folks who want to get into this field?
A: Never stop learning. Continuous improvement is key to success. If you want to be competitive in this field, you need to take courses, attend seminars and conferences, and seek out special training that will expand your ideas. I feel lucky to work for a company that helps support its employees’ professional development endeavors and enables us to advance our skillsets.
Q: What can young professionals gain out of a career at Doble that they can’t get anywhere else?
A: Collaboration is in the DNA of Doble. In fact, it’s included in our core values – passion for service, integrity, collaboration, innovation and quality – which isn’t just a motto, we really practice what we preach. We are constantly working with and learning from other Doble employees and we get to collaborate with all of Doble’s subsidiaries in other parts of the world. The people at Doble all are experts in their specialties. They have advanced knowledge and they don’t hesitate to share that expertise with others, both internally and with our customers.
Q: What do you find most exciting about the power systems engineering industry?
A: This is a really exciting time for the industry. We’re on the edge of a lot of changes for a traditionally old-school space. Green energy options like wind farms, solar power and electric vehicles are growing in popularity, which puts new strains on the existing power grid. Artificial intelligence (AI) applications are also increasing, with the potential to completely transform the electric engineering and power systems industry. There’s also a lot of opportunity when it comes to data management. At Doble, we manage a lot of data. We’ve been collecting this data since day one at Doble over 100 years ago and that testing data can tell us a lot about trends over the years, including what might happen in the future. On top of the technological advances ahead, we’re helping provide a critical service of ensuring safe and reliable power for all – and that feels pretty special.
Interested in starting your career at Doble? Whether you’re looking to kick-off a career in engineering, operations, production, service, sales and more, Doble is the place to start. Take a look at our open career opportunities!