Ee Hui Lim
Title: Solutions Executive at Powertechnic and Managing Director at Reelion Co.
Education: Ph.D. in Engineering
Organizational Affiliations: Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
IEEE Victorian Women In Engineering Affinity Group of the Year Award, 2016
IEEE Victorian Section Special Award for Outstanding Leadership, 2015
This special award was presented to Dr. Ee Hui Lim for her leadership of the Women in Engineering (WIE) Affinity Group. Due note has been taken of her ability to plan, organize, and implement a very broad and ambitious program of activities; her aptitude in team building and promotion of the WIE cause; her developing business acumen; and her willingness to liaise and collaborate with other groups in the section.
National Science Week Grant, Victorian Government, 2015
Awarded the Victorian Government National Science Week Grant to organize the first Wearable Technology Electronics Fashion Runway and Hands-On Laboratory – Energized Fashion during the National Science Week to encourage more females to enter the engineering field as one of the main goals. The event attracted about 300 attendees from the public
Finalist in the Innovation Award, Silcar, 2013 for Equipment Reliability Analysis application of mission critical assets
IEEE Intelec Best Paper Award, 2013
What made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in technology?
My parents were makers — they were not in the technology domain, but they showed me how, if we want to, we can make most of what we need in life — from what we wear and what we eat to what we use and live in. And if anything was broken, my father would learn how to fix it and even enhance the features. I was free to run my own little experiments. I remember once I learned from school about fertilizers and thought I should feed our plants some good minerals — I looked into the kitchen cabinet and decided to make my own salty mineral solutions. Fortunately, I didn’t kill any plants, and, when my mother found out, rather than telling me off, she explained the right way to make our own fertilizers. She continued to talk about the research and development that goes into analyzing the nutritional needs of different plants and the testing of the soil contents. Eventually, I was fascinated by how these are all technology driven and decided to pursue my studies in the engineering field.
What three adjectives would you use to describe your journey in the industry so far?
Educational, resilient, and empowering.
What is your personal mantra?
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Describe the highest point in your career so far and how you got there, including all the hurdles you had to jump (and the ones you tripped over and too).
A few years back, I decided to make one of the most important decisions in my career journey — to set up my own consultancy business. I was fortunate enough to gain a number of interesting work contracts through my network, including on asset strategy development for Yarra Trams and intelligent building modelling with iBuilding System. One of the most interesting projects was through Powertechnic; I had an opportunity to work with Amazon Web Services on reliability modelling using the single-line reliability diagram (SLRD). We also managed to run a few webinars on the novel reliability modelling approach of the electrical and mechanical network during the COVID lockdown period and received valuable feedback from the participants.
As a small business, I need to manage the financial risk of not having projects during some of the windows. I have always enjoyed teaching, and so I decided to take on sessional lecturing work with the universities. However, that also means that, at some points, I have both teaching commitments and project work to complete in a tight timeline. On top of that, during the COVID lockdown period, my son was unable to attend childcare and, as a result, there were many late nights. The deadline of some of the less prioritized work also had to be negotiated for a later delivery. There were many ups and downs, but it has been a very rewarding journey. I am grateful for the help, support, and understanding from my family, friends, and colleagues.
What is your most admirable quality?
I have asked my mother to help me with this question, and she said I am a very good eater. I decided to go to my mentor, Frank Bodi, and he said some very kind words: “You’ve been very good at engaging and humanizing technology across a wide audience — from seasoned professionals to young children. You do so by being comfortable with technologies you use and through a humble and inclusive approach that brings people with you.”
What aspect of the industry do you think has the most potential for growth, and, on the other hand, which aspect do you think needs the most improvement?
I believe the power monitoring of mission critical assets has significant potential for growth — with the new sensors, networks, and predictive algorithms, there are more smarts the systems can utilize to assist operators in making prompt, efficient, and effective decisions. The availability of data by itself is not enough, but growth will come in how to use that new information to provide real-time enhancement of reliability and reduced energy consumption.
Data center operators, particularly at the smaller end of the scale, are still struggling to understand the reliability gaps in their facilities. Potentially, more guidance and standardization on reliability configuration of electrical and mechanical networks would assist these operators in devising their reliability expectation. While a four-tier approach to power and cooling has created awareness of the main requirements, there are still many variants that might appear similar but with dramatically different performance.
When you imagine the future of the technology industry, what does it look like?
Reliability requirements of technology assets will be dynamic with computational algorithms to optimize operation. The new complexity of redundancy and complex asset arrangements will continue to fuel this development.
On the other hand, with the advancement of robotics, artificial intelligence, and surveillance networks, more technology facilities will be unmanned and can potentially be located in climate-optimal remote environments.
What is the most valuable life lesson you have learned so far, and how has it helped you in your career?
I can still remember the packed room — my then manager and mentor, Frank Bodi, and I had published a paper on the 380-VDC power system with some controversial findings. Frank had given me a valuable opportunity to present the paper at the conference, where I recognized a number of experts amongst the audience. Shortly after my introduction slide, the questions started flooding in. It was intense yet exhilarating to be able to engage in those dialogues. The conference organizers were kind enough to recognize our effort and presented us with the Best Paper Award. I learned the importance of questioning everything and that people will listen if I can show them what I have to say with data and research findings to back it up. I am grateful to have experienced this, which has helped me in making changes throughout my career journey.
What three adjectives come to mind when you think about your future path?
Evolving, stimulating, and imaginative.