May 2, 2019

10 Questions for Matthias Pairits


Welcome dear friends of protection and control engineering! The networking of our readers, ie the networking of developers, engineers, suppliers, operators, vendors, programmers, students and young and old is the most important thing, a strong network is the basis of mutual success. That's why we have launched our series "10 Questions for: ...". As always, we present a driving actor in the protection and control technology world. In our new contribution of our highly interesting series we introduce Mr. Matthias Pairits.

Matthias Pairitz
Matthias Pairits

After studying electrical engineering at the Vienna University of Technology, he joined ELIN Energieversorgung GmbH (predecessor company of ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH) in the protection department in 1998 and was project manager and commissioning engineer for protection systems for power plants and substations in projects on various continents. He was also deep involved in the development of decentralized digital busbar protection. Since 2011, he has headed the Protection Technology department of ANDRITZ HYDRO, which is also the center of competence for the Group's protection technology (CoC) worldwide.

Let's start with 10 questions for: Matthias Pairits

1. When and where were you born?

1970 in Eisenstadt, Burgenland, Austria.

2. Why did you become an engineer?

My father was employed at BEWAG (Burgenland Electricity Company - today Energieburgenland). In addition to electrical engineering, he was also in other areas a 'self-made' man who liked to make all sorts of things himself and repaired and has also set up a respectable private garage with many machines. There I spent some time in my youth, which has aroused my interest in the technology and showed my talent for it. The visit of the Higher Technical Institute for Electrical Engineering in Wr. Neustadt was the next logical step.

3. Which university did you go to?

Vienna University of Technology, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, field of study "Industrial Electronics and Control Engineering", subject exchange in the second study degree on "Business Administration" at Vienna University of Technology and Vienna University of Economics and Business.

4. How did you come to protection and control engineering?

The former company ELIN Traktion had a cooperation with the Institute of Control Engineering of the Vienna University of Technology and I was contacted after graduation, if I wanted to start with the company ELIN traction. The offered work did not seem to interest me, but the personnel office of the company ELIN informed me that in the department of protection and excitation a job was available. The various tasks (the department was responsible from the beginning of the project to the final documentation), but above all the possibility to travel to other countries were ultimately the decisive criteria for my commitment.

5. What was your biggest personal success at work?

The opportunity to do interesting things that have personally advanced me and also brought the company an economic success.

6. In retrospect, would you do things differently?

No, actually not.

7. Where do you see the protection and control technology in 2029?

In the switchgear, I see the protection based on IEC61850 (with or without sampled values is the question - the non-conventional converters are still sluggish on the market). In the power plant area, there are customers who are well-versed in communication (such as IEC60870-5-103), so they do not have to deal with cybersecurity issues; other customers rely on IEC61850. This dichotomy will probably still exist in 2029, if the manufacturers offer this possibility. The engineers concerned with protection are moving towards generalists; the knowledge of the basics of protection decreases.

8. What is your life motto?

You are largely responsible for your life - make something out of it. And the bottle is always half full - see the good stuff and stay optimistic.

9. What can you give or advise to other engineers?

Learn the basics - they are not in vain. Broad knowledge encourages creativity and the courage to break new ground.

10. Have we forgotten an important question that we should have asked you?


Many thanks to Matthias Pairits