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Aug 7, 2013 | Atlanta, GA
Name: Leslie R. Sibert
GT Degree(s): Bachelor of Electrical Engineering
Year Degree Awarded: 1985
Current Title/Position: Distribution Vice President
Current Company/Organization: Georgia Power Company
Describe your average workday.
As leader for Georgia Power’s Distribution organization, I set the strategy on how we grow and evolve the business to meet our customers’ needs and expectations. On a daily basis, that may include setting goals, establishing metrics, looking for industry trends that could impact our business model, and keeping abreast of legislative and regulatory developments. It is important to stay engaged in what is going on industry-wide with academia, peers, regulators, and legislators. Building relationships helps us stay current, solve problems, and be prepared for changes before they arrive.
How did ECE prepare you for your current role?
ECE provided me the foundation for learning the electric utility business. As a co-op student, I was able to tie my learning at Georgia Tech to the work I was doing at Georgia Power. It gave me a significant edge early in my career.
What advice would you give current ECE students?
My advice is three-fold and has helped me in my career development:
- Learn to take calculated risks. Seek those challenging work assignments that will raise you to a higher level of performance, confidence, and understanding.
- Gain broad experience. Learning many areas of a company helps to view the business more strategically, influencing decision making and ability to lead.
- Build relationships. Developing relationships inside and out of a company or industry opens the possibility for partnerships and collaboration yielding improved performance and innovation.
Who was your favorite ECE professor?
Dr. John Uyemura was my favorite teacher. He genuinely wanted you to learn and could present complex material in a manner you could understand it.
What was your favorite ECE class?
I would have to say Digital Signal Processing (DSP). For some reason it just fascinated me. DSP is at the very core of today’s information technology.
What do you think is the most important technological breakthrough of the past 20 years?
The evolution of digital technology has had the greatest impact on the electric utility business. Digital technology has changed the way we equip, plan, and operate the electrical system. The grid has changed over the last 20 years from an electro-mechanical system to one that is smart, automated, and communicates. With a significant amount of computerized equipment deployed on the system, the system is more reliable and efficient, enabling us to be more responsive to customer expectations.
When you aren’t being an electrical engineer, what do you like to do?
I have a husband, Ken, and two children, Jessica, 17 years old, and Chandler, 12 years old, who I enjoy spending time with. We like to travel as a family and also enjoy attending movies, plays, concerts, and sporting events. I am a PADI certified diver.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I love staying connected to Georgia Tech. Being able to engage on advisory boards and with students at events on campus is a highlight for me.