National Engineers Week: How System Protection Engineering Manager Christopher Bolton and His Team Work to Change the Game on Grid Safety

National Engineers Week: How System Protection Engineering Manager Christopher Bolton and His Team Work to Change the Game on Grid Safety

This week is National Engineers Week, and we are celebrating at SDG&E by shining the spotlight on Christopher Bolton, system protection engineering manager, who leads the SDG&E’s System Protection and Control Engineering (SPACE) team.

A natural problem solver, innovator and collaborator, Christopher quickly became interested in employment at SDG&E after attending a campus information session while completing his degree in electrical and electronics engineering at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. He began working at SDG&E after graduating in 2011.

“I’ve had the privilege to enter this company right out of college and be trusted to engineer and manage my own projects from cradle to grave, which has allowed me to learn so much,” said Christopher.

In addition to the growth he was able to experience from getting to work with a level of independence, Christopher also believes firmly in the value of working as a team.

“I found out early in my career here that nobody gets a job done on their own -- no matter how small it is,” said Christopher. “It’s through this collaboration with others that we meet these opportunities head on, and it’s made for some of the most fulfilling experiences of my career to work with such great people.”

Christopher’s passion for teamwork has only increased working with the members of his SPACE team, who design protective relaying and control systems for the reliability and safety of our power grid.

“Our industry is facing some of the most radical changes and challenges ever experienced by an energy infrastructure company, and the best way to meet these opportunities is through creatively and collaboratively solving problems together,” he explained.

The SPACE team is currently focused on the Falling Conductor Protection (FCP) project, which will de-energize broken overhead power lines before they reach the ground, helping reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires that might be caused by falling live conductors (power lines).

This technology is a game changer for safety and wildfire prevention; the gravity of which is not lost on Christopher. When his team’s work on the FCP project is completed, it will protect the areas most at risk of wildfires within SDG&E’s service territory.

I see my team’s work as one of the most critical functions in order to help SDG&E advance its mission to build the safest and most reliable energy infrastructure company in America,” he said.

SDG&E continually works to be an industry leader in wildfire mitigation. To learn more about SDG&E’s wildfire mitigation efforts, view our 2020 Wildfire Mitigation Plan here.