Mike Southwood, BSc, P.Eng.
Chief Electrical Engineer, Eastern Power Ltd.
Over the course of his 58-year engineering career in the electrical power sector, Mike Southwood has helped expand Ontario’s electrical grid by more than 300 per cent.
In the late 60s, most generation was water or thermal; now the grid is primarily nuclear, with a significant component of renewable energy as well as gas fired generation. Southwood was directly involved in over 8000 MW of capacity being connected to the grid with appropriate protection, control, metering and commissioning. Much of this responsibility was at a senior level, as chief electrical engineer, or as senior protection and control engineer. Notable projects include the Darlington and Pickering nuclear stations, as well as the Cherrywood Transformer Station. Each of these stations are some of the largest of their kind worldwide.
Southwood brought his electrical expertise to all types of power generation: nuclear and thermal projects, as well as renewables including wind, hydro electric, biogas, and research and development projects. In many of these projects, standards for protections and control had to be advanced and modified to suit the ongoing advancement in technology. He helped develop protective relays, new control technologies and communication techniques, including computerization and digitization of protection and control systems and protocols.