Meet the Power System Design Team

by Hannah van Rooyen

We recently welcomed four new faces – and an additional 90 years of combined industry experience – to our Sheffield office. Possessing a wealth of expertise, our new recruits will be responsible for overseeing the Smith Brothers’ Power System Design provision.

Now they have all settled in, we thought we would find out a little more about our specialist design team…


Richard Furniss, Senior Design Manager and Principal Electrical Engineer

A member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Richard joins us with 31 years’ experience under his belt. He is well-versed in DNO, ICP, IDNO grid and primary substation estimating, tendering and design as well as renewable connections, including 11kV, 33kV and 132kV systems.

His engineering career started as a cable jointer at the Yorkshire Electricity Board in 1986. Later working as a design engineer on major projects, he was involved in network modelling, project scoping, assessment of harmonic and dirty load for new connections projects, as well as developing asset replacement proposals.

Since then, he’s undertaken contract work for Alfred McAlpine, Carillion, Laing O’Rourke and Morrison Utility Services, and in doing so, built a solid background in the design and construction of power systems up to 132kV.

Richard’s knowledge of electrical layout design, earthing and power cable systems, and on-site construction – combined with his interest in renewable energy systems – make him a valuable addition to the team.

Steve Sadler, Civil Design Manager

Steve has over 30 years of experience within the electricity distribution industry and, like Richard, began his career at the Yorkshire Electricity Board. Upon completion of a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Building Studies, Steve moved to Yorkshire Electricity Civil Projects – later, Freedom Professional Services Ltd – where he worked on numerous civil substation projects.

During his 15-year tenure under the Freedom Professional Services Ltd banner – which saw him promoted to Design Team Manager in 2005 – Steve was involved in a multitude of projects across Yorkshire and the Midlands, with Central Networks and Siemens to name but a few renowned firms.

He moved to Morrison Utility Services in 2011 and quickly progressed to the role of design manager. While there, he oversaw the protection and control, primary plant layout and earthing design engineers.

Lee Newheiser, Primary Electrical Design Engineer

With a background in graphic design, Lee is an experienced primary electrical design engineer who has previously created detailed drawings for a multitude of substation construction works.

As part of his new role, he’ll be involved in all aspects of project design – from 11kV switch rooms to 132kV compound layouts. Lee will interpret functional specifications and technical documents before turning them into detailed autoCAD drawings.

He will contribute to design-related risk assessments, feasibility studies, CDM and support structure drawings as well as site plans, transformer enclosures, noise vibration harmonic clearances and oil bund capacity calculations. He will also take responsibility for substation, switch room, earthing, cabling, and heating and lighting layouts.

Cat Lucas, Protection and Control Design Engineer

Another member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Cat is working towards Chartered Engineer status as part of her new role.

Cat’s already impressive portfolio includes project work for Western Power Distribution, Northern Powergrid, Scottish Power, UK Power Networks and Morrison Utility Connections.

As a result, her experience covers a wide range of areas, including upgrading protection in existing control relay panels, producing new protection and panels, creating multicore cable and SCADA schedules, installing and specifying new switchgear, reviewing manufacturer drawings, interfacing new and existing equipment, and working on new substation construction.

The new recruits are operating from our dedicated premises at Parkway Avenue in Sheffield, which has further space to accommodate four additional engineers. Recruitment to support our growing design capability is therefore set to continue in the coming months, so watch this space!

Meet the Power System Design Team
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