The City of New Bern, a public power community in North Carolina, made a new hire to their engineering team this month -- but even as a new employee fresh from graduate school, Amitosh “Tosh” Banerjee does not need an office tour, and already knows his colleagues.
Banerjee began work with the City of New Bern as an electrical engineering intern in May 2021, with internship funding that was awarded through the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments (DEED) program.
Banerjee was initially scheduled to work from May to August 2021. Then, his internship was extended till mid-December. This month, Banerjee was happy to accept an offer to work fulltime as a staff engineer for the city.
Banerjee, an international student from India, earned his Master of Science in electrical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2021. During his master’s program, Banerjee sought field experience during the summer. The City of New Bern helped Banerjee find his opportunity with the help of internship funding from APPA’s DEED Program.
As an intern at the City of New Bern, Banerjee had many responsibilities. In addition to auditing and updating records for the city’s street lighting systems, Banerjee had opportunities to analyze and summarize proposals for the utility’s battery energy storage system project. He also examined and assessed the utility system’s existing electrical circuit, and assisted the staff engineer with ongoing projects. He was also exposed to metering, billing, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system software. (DEED members can learn more about the outcomes of Banerjee’s internship in the DEED Project Library.)
“The most enjoyable thing in my internship would be my projects,” Banerjee said. “I have worked on installing meters parallel to ElectriCities meter to calculate billing determinant ourselves. This project had me actively use my engineering skills to explore options on how I can do the work.”
Banerjee also had a chance to work closely with his new team and earn their trust.
“On many occasions, I was tested by many of my colleagues with sudden engineering analysis and calculations and I could apply my knowledge to figure out the problem,” Banerjee said.
During his internship, Banerjee began searching for a fulltime engineering role that would kick-start his career post-graduation. While discussing his future plans with his supervisor, Joshua Poston, Banerjee discovered that a staff engineer position at the utility would soon open for applications.
Banerjee examined the requirements and expectations of the role and realized that it would be a good fit for him to grow as an engineer.
After applying, participating in interviews, and receiving an offer for the position, Banerjee was eager to accept and take on new opportunities with the City of New Bern.
“It gives me opportunities to get involved in all of the technology part of our utility and learn them practically,” Banerjee said. “It was an easy transition as interning here for seven months familiarized me with how the utility works.”
Now, as a fulltime engineer, Banerjee’s duties include taking ownership of the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system to keep it functioning, and troubleshooting, as needed. He is also responsible for working on the e-Reliability report for the City of New Bern.
He said, “Right now, my major goals are to expertise myself in every software and technology concerning with the utility and assisting any personnel in the utility with engineering analysis and work.”
The City of New Bern Department of Public Utilities is community-owned and works together as a partner with its community to deliver electric, water, and sewer service to over 25,000 customers located in New Bern and its surrounding areas in North Carolina.
Additional information about DEED funding opportunities is available here.