The Technical Team
Your independent specialist partner for transformers.
Ian B B Hunter
Ian has 30 years’ experience in the electricity supply industry. He spent 21 years with Scottish Power where he gained extensive experience in both transmission and distribution engineering. He spent the first ten years working in distribution, up to 33kV, in the fields of construction, system design, field operations – where he was a SAP and the power quality group. The latter eleven years as a transformer specialist and senior transmission design engineer, being responsible for the company’s transformer assets, up to 400kV and taking the technical lead in transformer related R&D, condition assessments, faults and defect investigations. He has been Technical Director of Polaris Diagnostics & Engineering Ltd since 2011.
He has client specific authorisations up to 400kV including SPEN (WI-1, EN1, SR2 & SB1) & SSE authorisations pending. He is trained in first aid at work, IPAF Category 3b, CSCS Safety Passport, Manual handling, Working at Height, Working at Height Equipment Inspector.
Ian specialises in all aspects of transformer life cycle and fleet management and has represented various clients as an expert witness in transformer related disputes. He has 19 publications which have been presented to national and international conferences and technical journals. He is a UK representative on CIGRE WG A2.58 “Installation & Pre Commissioning of Transformers & Reactors”.
Ian holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering and a master’s degree in electrical power engineering, both from the University of Strathclyde and is currently carrying out research into transformer bushings which will lead to a PhD. He is a chartered engineer (CEng), a fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (FIET), a senior member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (SMIEEE), an associate member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (AIFireE) and an affiliate of the Chartered Society of Forensic Science
Phillip has over 40 years of experience mainly related to electrical transmission apparatus, particularly in the field of power transformers. He spent 25 years with Hawker Siddeley Power Transformers, in London, mainly involved with inspection and testing, where he became Assistant Chief of Test. He spent 8 years as Test Manager with Alstom (Areva) in Stafford, before moving to Parsons Brinckerhoff / WSP where he spent 8 years as a quality surveillance engineer, working globally. Phil joined Polaris Diagnostics in 2019.
His knowledge and experience of inspection and testing comprises all sizes of power transformers, including HVDC, GSU, phase shifters, traction, rectifier distribution and ERT transformers up to 765kV AC and 800kV DC and 2750MVA. He also has experience with package substations, earthing transformers, all sizes of shunt and current limiting reactors. He has worked with AC and DC bushings, switchgear including SF6, auto reclosers, arc suppression coils, neutral earthing reactors and resistors. In addition he has tested and inspected Rotating Plant (Salient Pole Generators, Rotors, Stators & Exciters), power cables including sub-sea HV and fibre optic.
Phillip specialises in the quality auditing of HV apparatus manufacturing facilities, compliance auditing of HV apparatus during manufacture, including pre tanking inspections, witnessing of Factory Acceptance Testing (FATs) and failure & specification non-compliance investigations.Phillip is a member of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (MIET).
Stephen has over 40 years’ experience in the electricity supply industry. He spent 39 years with SSEB then Scottish Power where he gained extensive experience in generation, transmission and distribution engineering. He spent the first 3 years working in generation followed by 10 years in distribution, up to 33kV, in the fields of construction, system design and field operations where he was a SAP. The latter 26 years were served in transmission operations where he was both a SAP and team leader with a 5 year placement in transmission design. Stephen joined Polaris Diagnostics in 2018.
He has client specific authorisations up to 400kV including SPEN (WI-1, EN1, SR2 & SB1) & SSE authorisations pending.
He is trained in first aid at work, IPAF Category 3b, CSCS Safety Passport, Manual Handling & Working at Height.
Stephen has extensive operational experience in overhead lines, cables, switchgear, transformers and reactors. As an operational team leader he was responsible for the mentoring and training of transmission SAPs, and had responsibility for taking the lead in fault investigations and all associated contingency, outage planning and auditing of operational safety.
Stephen specialises in all aspects of high voltage power system design and operation. He was the lead technical engineer on several flagship projects including the replacement of Dewar Place 275kV substation which is fully furnished with SF6 apparatus including all transformer, reactor and switchgear assets. He was responsible for the electrical design, writing of technical specifications, procurement support, evaluation of tender returns, technical support during construction and all outage planning and commissioning. Stephen spent 4 years based at Hunterston to oversee the commissioning of the network reinforcement to facilitate the connection of the subsea connection to Kintyre. He was commissioning manager on the Western HVDC link where he was also responsible for the development of new safety rules and management safety rules for 600kV DC system, work on harmonic filters, thyristor valves and static VAR compensators.
Al has worked for over 40 years’ in power engineering including steel industry as a Project Engineer and as Senior Engineer in a large District General Hospital. Most recently, he has over 30 years’ experience in power transmission and distribution with SSEB & Scottish Power.
He has undertaken a number of engineering team management and supervisory roles involving specifications and standards, procurement assessment, technical risk management and asset management. This included the large HVDC projects and a number of other high value programmes associated with regulatory investment plans. Al also has extensive experience in defect investigation and resolution including several issues affecting the national industry.
He has been a member of several national and international working groups and has contributed to CIGRE and CIRED papers and presentations. Before joining Polaris Diagnostics & Engineering in 2020, he was Substations Manager in SP Energy Networks. Al holds a master’s degree in power engineering from the University of Strathclyde. He is a chartered engineer (CEng), a member of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (MIET).
Ken has over 50 years’ experience as an electrical engineer and has a diverse portofolio of technical expertise including 11 years as an electrical & instrumentation engineer with the British Steel Corporation and AMEC. He was an authorised person for various private HV networks, working for E.J.Stiell before being promoted to HV business manager with Alfred McAlpine and authorizing engineer with Carillion. Ken has extensive experience of the design, installation, testing, operations and maintenance of distribution apparatus and in addition tendering and commercial operations.
He served for 9 years as HV Networks Operations Manager for Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) and was responsible for the day to day running of Scottish Power’s windfarm electrical assets, including directing the strategy of all Operation and Maintenance (O&M). Ken was the “Electrical Authorising Engineer” responsible for authorizing all operatives, both internal and external, involved in HV network operations activities across the SPR portfolio, including asset management, defect and failure investigation and managing operational budgets. He was directly accountable for managing the ongoing development of SPR HV and LV operating procedures, codes of practice, management instructions and safety rules.
Ken joined Polaris Diagnostics in 2019.
Bill has 37 years’ in power engineering mainly with SSEB and Scottish Power, and has extensive experience in all aspects of managing electrical construction, commissioning and maintenance, and specialising in the application of electrical safety and competence across a variety of businesses in the electrical sector. He has held a variety of senior roles related to the development of safety rules, HV training, authorization compliance, technical training and health & safety management.
Bill is experienced in auditing and advising companies in the UK and abroad on electrical safety and management systems. He is active in the electrical supply industry in the IET and ENA making technical and managerial contributions.
Bill holds a bachelor’s degree from the Open University. He is a chartered engineer (CEng), a member of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (MIET).
Bill joined Polaris Diagnostics in 2020.
Aasim has over 25 years’ experience in the transformer design and manufacturing, acquired whilst working for Peebles Transformers, VA Tech and Siemens, all based in Edinburgh. He has produced detailed electrical designs of multi-million-pound high voltage power transformers for a worldwide market up to 2000MVA, 765kV. Aasim joined Polaris Diagnostics in 2020.
He was an engineering team line manager whilst working for Siemens and was responsible for feasibility studies, transformer changeover, site and factory failure investigations, up-rating and overload studies, factory and on-site repairs, condition monitoring, R&D, training, software benchmarking and design reviews. His career highlights include re-designing winding assemblies of Peebles HVDC converter transformers in the UK; development and testing of a new type of winding to control the lightning impulse voltage distribution in 132kV transformers; providing key Engineering support to Siemens Transformers Austria which resulted in a first major contract award for 400kV series reactors for a client in the middle east and site failure investigation of 275kV single phase Peebles GSU transformer at a UK power station.
Aasim specializes in the design of transformers, reactors and phase shifters, technical evaluation of tenders, including pre tanking inspections, witnessing of Factory Acceptance Testing (FATs) and failure & specification non-compliance investigations.
Aasim holds a bachelor’s degree in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Edinburgh and a master’s degree in electrical power engineering, from Herriot Watt University. He is a chartered engineer (CEng), a Member of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (MIET).
Senior Technical Analyst
Mike joined Polaris Diagnostics & Engineering Ltd in January 2014 as a graduate trainee and has developed extensive skills in oil sampling & analysis, transformer end of life forensic investigations, transformer condition assessment, commissioning testing, diagnostic testing, defect and abnormality investigations on transformers and other electrical apparatus up to 400kV.
He has client specific authorisations up to 400kV including SPEN (WI-1, EN1, SR3 & SB1) & SSE authorisations pending.
He is trained in first aid at work, IPAF Category 1b, 3a & 3b, CSCS Safety Passport, Manual handling, Working at Height, Working at Height equipment inspector.
Mike is responsible for the operation and management of the Polaris Diagnostics Laboratory which specialises in the Degree of Polymerisation (DP) Analysis of high voltage paper insulation. He was invited to participate in a CIGRÉ Task Force group D1.01 to provide DP analysis consultancy and is a UK representative on CIGRÉ Task Force “Insulation Condition at End-of-Life” and a CIGRÉ Working Group A2.64 on “Condition of cellulose insulation in oil immersed transformers after factory acceptance test”.
Mike is the company SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environmental & Quality) Co-ordinator in relation to the Polaris Diagnostics ISO Accredited Integrated Management System (IMS), covering Quality, Environmental, and Health & Safety. He is a trained internal auditor responsible for maintaining and updating the IMS and ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & ISO 45001 accreditations.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in forensic investigation from the Glasgow Caledonian University. He is a member of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (MIET), a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC) and an associate member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (ACSFS).
Michael joined Polaris Diagnostics & Engineering Ltd in June 2018 as a graduate trainee and has developed skills in oil sampling & analysis, transformer end of life forensic investigations, transformer condition assessment, commissioning testing, diagnostic testing, defect and abnormality investigations on transformers and other electrical apparatus up to 400kV.
He has client specific authorisations up to 400kV including SPEN (WI-1) & SSE authorisations pending. He is trained in first aid at work, IPAF Category 1b, 3a &3b, CSCS Safety Passport, Manual Handling, PASMA & Working at Height.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in commercial music from the University of the West of Scotland and a Bachelor of Engineering degree in electrical & power engineering (1st Class) from the Glasgow Caledonian University. He is a member of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (MIET).