When a Red Flag Warning is declared due to extreme fire/weather conditions, Ashley Llacuna steps in to help monitor the electrical system in the field, in her role as an engineer and resource coordinator in SDG&E’s Electric Regional Operations.
She communicates with the field personnel who drive out to communities experiencing dangerous weather conditions to patrol areas of concern to determine if there is a need for a public safety power shutoff (PSPS) due to high winds or other factors. She regularly collaborates with our meteorology team, local fire agencies, and even SDG&E’s helicopter operators. Her team also determines when an area is safe enough to restore power.
Serving as a resource coordinator is among the more intense, fast-paced roles she has had. This new role was developed to help identify wildfire risks and take the necessary preventable actions.
“I love the teamwork and face-paced environment. It’s an exciting opportunity to work across multiple departments to provide a clear vision for our operational plan during Red Flag events.”
Ashley was recently honored at SDG&E’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards banquet for the role she plays in supporting our company’s mission to improve lives and communities by building the cleanest, safest and most reliable energy company. Whether it’s electric, gas or customer service field and maybe not SDG&E at all, Ashley goes above and beyond for our customers.
Inspired from the Beginning
Originally from the Bay Area, Ashley gravitated toward the electrical engineering field at a young age. After graduating from California State University Sacramento with an electrical engineering degree, Ashley began her career with SDG&E as an engineer and has been here for almost four years.
“I have always loved math but had no idea what an electrical engineer was,” Ashley said. “It wasn’t until college when I fell in love with electrical engineering. It was ‘math magic’ being able to calculate something that you can’t necessarily see with your eyes.”
Giving Back to the Community
Volunteering is one of her passions. She is actively involved in the Alzheimer’s Association here in San Diego. She organizes hiking events that help encourage brain health and raise awareness of the organization.
“My favorite part is supporting the research, I truly believe we can find a cure. Also, so many people are affected by Alzheimer's or other dementias. It’s great to share knowledge about resources available that support them.”
Engaging Students in STEM Fields
She is also a part of the Engineering Network and Resource Group at SDG&E where they connect with the community. The organization frequently visits high schools to get them involved in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives. They assist in career fairs, panels, and mentoring projects.
“Since I did not discover engineering until later in college, I am really passionate about providing youth with awareness, access and support for STEM,” she said.