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UK Power Networks honours veteran electrical engineers

UK Power Networks has celebrated a cohort of electricity workers, who between them have a combined 1,480 years of service, and now join the firm’s exclusive 40+ Club. 

Two seasoned engineers, Tony Cohen and Steve White, have been specifically acknowledged for their remarkable half-century of service in maintaining London’s electrical infrastructure. Alongside them, 37 other employees from UK Power Networks were honoured for their long-standing contributions during a formal dinner hosted by the company’s top executives, including CEO Basil Scarsella.

Tony Cohen and Steve White both began their careers on the same day in September 1974 as apprentice engineers at the London Electricity Board. Between them, they have now amassed a combined total of 100 years of service. Cohen, currently the Head of Network Operations in London, plays a pivotal role in ensuring the city’s lights stay on. White oversees Network Operations and Control, managing the Control Centre and Operational Telecoms across the company’s regions, impacting power delivery to 19 million people.

Reflecting on a long career

Tony Cohen’s career trajectory has been both diverse and progressive. Starting as an Apprentice Engineer in Camden, he later acquired a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and ascended through various roles within the company. 

Notable achievements include leading significant projects such as the construction of the electrical network for the 2012 Olympic Games. Cohen credits his long standing career to his colleagues’ dedication to service excellence and customer satisfaction. 

Reflecting on his career, Cohen stated, “I’ve loved every minute of it, the most important thing is the people, the camaraderie, and the intense wish to be good people working for what is an essential service.”

Steve White’s journey in electrical engineering commenced when he joined the London Electricity Board at 16. His career has encompassed roles from Field Engineer to Head of Network Operations and Control. 

According to UK Power Networks, White’s efforts have significantly reduced power outages and the duration of customer power losses by 45% and 64%, respectively. He attributes his career longevity to the company’s commitment to investing in its people. 

White commented, “It doesn’t seem like 50 years, but when I think about it there have been massive changes during that time in network reliability, safety, customer service, technology, network design, and organisationally. That’s a big part of why the company has always been a good employer.”

A legacy of service

The event also celebrated the broader group of 342 members of the company’s 40+ Club, who have each served between 40 to 61 years. 

CEO Basil Scarsella praised the loyal workforce, noting, “As an organisation that strives to be an employer of choice, we are delighted that many of our employees stay with us for their whole career. More than 300 employees have completed 40 or more years of continuous service, and it is a pleasure to annually recognise their contribution to the electricity industry.”

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