Name: Max Morse, federal employee
Title: Electrical Engineer
Location: Lakewood, Colorado
When did you start working with WAPA? I started working with WAPA on Oct. 1, 1977 after working with the Bureau of Reclamation for eight years in Huron, South Dakota, and at the federal center in Lakewood, Colorado. I was part of the "mass transfer" to the new Department of Energy in 1977. WAPA's organization was approved on March 23, 1978. I was assigned to WAPA's first Headquarters office on July 30, 1978.
What is the most interesting thing you have worked on at WAPA? It's tough picking out just one from the past 40 years. Perhaps the past nine years of leading and doing the Government Furnished Equipment high-voltage power circuit breakers program, which involves technical specifications, working with our outstanding procurement folks to get numerous breaker contracts awarded, tracking all of WAPA's breaker needs and schedules, processing the technical portion of each breaker deliver order, and coordinating the after-award drawings submittals. In recent years, WAPA has ordered about $7 million of breakers per year.
What was it like standing up WAPA in 1977? Speaking mostly about the Headquarters office, we started out with a skeleton crew of engineers, drafting and support folks that come from Reclamation. We were the "firsts," doing a lot of new things. We moved around a lot to different temporary office locations. Most procurement and construction project management was done in HQ.
How has WAPA evolved in the past 40 years? It has matured. WAPA scaled up in the 1980s, then settled back down to its current level.
What do you wish people understood about your job and the work you do? The Government Furnished Equipment programs are key parts of WAPA's maintenance and construction project. I am the "lead" engineer – the oldest for the longest – for developing and furnishing technical specifications for the regional offices and HQ purchasing of high-voltage and extra-high-voltage power circuit breakers, disconnect switches, 215-volt station batteries and 125-volt battery chargers. These are all crucial components of a substation. They have a service life of about 30 years.
Tell us something about yourself we wouldn't find on your resume. I've been the lead sound system engineer at our church for about 30 years, and have used that experience here for Western Employee Association picnic programs. Our family is also very active in the support and promotion of the Scottish Maxwell Clan Society in Colorado.
What are some of your career highlights over the past 40 years? Some of my career highlights over the past 40 years are revising and updating the analog fault recorders for the new digital fault recorders specifications, revising and updating the solid state protective relays specs and ordering for the WAPA HQ relay warehouse, the control switchboard specs and subsequent ordering via procurement. Also, revising the power circuit breakers specs and ordering. I received the Exceptional Service Award in 1994.
How is what you do tied to WAPA's mission? The process of Government Furnished Equipment purchases of long lead time high-voltage equipment, such as power circuit breakers, shortens project schedules by having known equipment available concurrently or before construction projects and enables designers to do final designs before the breakers are delivered. The breaker contracts are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity type which provide bulk quantity pricing and flexible purchasing.