This is part of a series of profiles of staff members who contribute to successful operations of CAP.
In a nutshell, what do you do for CAP?
I am a Sr. Communications Engineer responsible for integrating and maintaining CAP’s communication and security systems. Our group works with many different electronic technologies such as fiber optics, microwave radio, telco, alarm monitoring systems, network devices, severs, video surveillance, access control systems and two-way radio systems.
How did you get into this line of work?
In 1988, I started a career in the industrial cleaning business (sand and water blasting) working in various power plants, water treatment facilities, and copper mines. After a scaffolding accident in 1992, I obtained an associate’s degree in electronics, starting technician work 1994. I spent my next 16+ year career in Aerospace industry. I worked as a technician, test engineer, supervisor, and eventually moved into management. In 2011, I began looking for a new career in a less volatile profession and joined CAP early in 2012 as a communications engineer.
How does the work you do on a daily basis affect our water supply?
CAP’s entire water delivery system is remotely monitored and controlled by Water Operations. Our team provides a reliable communications backbone through redundant sources to support centralized control of CAP’s water delivery systems. Also, securing our assets is a top priority since CAP is such a vital water source for Arizona. Our team helps protect CAP’s assets by installing and maintaining security systems.
What are some of the technical advances that allow you to do your job more effectively and efficiently?
We recently integrated an improved alarm monitoring system that tracks the performance of our communication devices and notifies us of system events. The system also provides real-time data that helps trigger maintenance support prior to a system failure. Additionally, we recently started integrating Ethernet converter devices that provide redundant communications over aggregate T1’s or single T3 circuits utilizing unused microwave capacity. This maximizes bandwidth for the redundant communication circuits while providing a seamless Ethernet connection for IT.
What's the most challenging part of your work?
Staying up-to-date with all of the technologies we support and the required certifications is challenging. We are responsible for provisioning and maintaining all communication and security system components including servers, controllers, switches, routers, radios, repeaters, access controllers, burglary panels, cameras, and video management systems. So we are constantly developing a diverse set of competencies necessary to support the various types of hardware and software utilized in our trade.
What's the most gratifying part of your job?
I feel most satisfied when I have successfully integrated a new technology that I have not previously encountered, helping provide a reliable water source for the state.