Explore the people, events and new innovations making news at the Prairie State Energy Campus.

August 10, 2017

Intern check-in: Kathryn Torre

Electrical engineering intern, Kathryn Torre, likened her time at the Prairie State Generating Company to drinking from a fire hose. A lot of information can come at interns very quickly, but she adapted and learned a lot this summer.

“I loved it here. I thought it was really interesting,” Torre said. “I think I’ve learned 10 billion things and I think there are still 85 billion things to learn. There was always a ton of information coming at me, but everyone is so helpful and willing to tell you what they know so that you’re better prepared.”

Torre familiarized herself with the plant’s electrical systems and helped to make them safer for Prairie State’s employees. One such project she worked on was adding labels to breaker boxes around the plant. These labels can warn employees about potential arc flashes. To do this she worked with a program called ETAP which simulates an electrical system and finds potential hot spots that could cause an arc flash. In this program, she was able to test the PSGC electrical system in a controlled way by running simulations with open and closed circuits to check for faults. Her work will help make working with electricity at Prairie State safer.

She also worked on compiling vendor drawings of all of the electrical instruments at Prairie State. This project puts all of this information into one place that will help speed up future projects for Prairie State’s electrical engineers.

Torre has one final semester left at the University of West Florida. She will return there after her internship is over to finish her education and work with the West Florida volleyball team as a volunteer coach. After graduation she will take the future engineers exam and work towards taking the professional engineers exam a few years later. She said she will apply to work in power plants all over, and that Prairie State will definitely be one of them.

“I am sad to leave here,” Torre said. “I really like the working environment and the people that are here. I think it’s just an awesome culture to be a part of. I am excited to go back to Florida though and take the next step in my career.”


August 10, 2017

Intern Check-in: Andrew Williams

IT Intern Andrew Williams was a late addition to the Prairie State team, he started just over a month and a half ago. Despite that, Williams has made up for missed time by being a productive member of the IT team.

“Working with IT and the help desk has given me an opportunity to work with a lot of different things,” Williams said. “Sometimes I have to work with infrastructure. Sometimes I work with applications. Our project manager gets involved in issues as well. It’s really a team effort.”

Williams said one of his goals for his internship was to gain a deeper understanding of a multitude of aspects of IT systems. His time working on PSGC’s helpdesk gave him that opportunity. He’s gained familiarity in many of PSGC’s technical systems.

One of his favorite assignments was working with the infrastructure that PSGC’s wireless internet is made up of. He helped expand the reach of PSGC’s wireless internet to the mine warehouse, a place that previously did not have it. To do so, he helped install access points and switches to help make PSGC a fully wireless campus. It’s been tasks like this that have been Williams’ favorite because working with infrastructure has been a whole new experience for him. He’s hoping to see the project finished before his internship ends.

Some of his favorite experiences at Prairie State have been working on the stack at the plant on its telecommunications system and touring Prairie State’s underground coal mine. He’s also enjoyed meeting people from all over campus through his time working on the help-desk.

Williams’ internship at Prairie State will end in just a few weeks. He will stay one week longer than the rest of the interns to break down all of the workstations that they will leave behind. Williams will return to Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville for one final year before he graduates in May.