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SGS People: Spotlight on Laura Kane

Laura Kane is a Chartered Engineer, with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Strathclyde. Laura joined the Consultancy team at Smarter Grid Solutions in 2014 working with UK and NA utility customers to deliver some of the first innovation projects in the ANM and DERMS space. Laura has over a decade of experience in delivering innovation and business as usual projects for utilities, public sector organizations, research institutions and private sector in the UK and in North America. Since 2021, Laura has played a significant role in establishing and growing the Product Management team at SGS first as a Senior Product owner, and more recently as Chief Product Officer, expanding into new product verticals and building the strategy and roadmaps for SGS' suite of DERMS products. She joined the Executive Team at Smarter Grid Solutions in 2024.   


Tell us a little about your background? 

 I studied Building Design Engineering at the University of Strathclyde and specialized in Structural Engineering. I loved the multi-disciplinary approach of the course, and I was sure I’d graduate from there and go on to work with a big consultancy as a structural engineer, helping to build amazing skyscrapers.  

Unfortunately, there was a recession when I was graduating and graduate positions for Buildings were few and far between. I took a gamble and applied to the Wind Energy Center for Doctoral Training at Strathclyde. After one year of study in all aspects of wind energy, fast forward to 2014 and I left Strathclyde with a PhD in Electrical Engineering looking at Access Arrangements for Wind Generation connected to ANM Schemes in the UK.   

 What motivates you about your work with SGS? 

 I love working in an industry that’s still evolving. ANM, and subsequently DERMS is still relatively new, and I love being able to help our customers solve the challenges that they have in finding a path forward in a drive for net-zero.  

I’ve been with SGS since 2014 and in that time, I’ve watched SGS grow and change, but the work I’ve been involved in has always had innovation at the core. 

 I’ve had so many opportunities to share new and fresh ideas with individuals – whether that’s as part of delivering a project, writing blogs, holding workshops or speaking at conferences. 

What do you like best about working at SGS? 

 The people. The best thing about SGS is the individuals who work here. It’s a pleasure to work with likeminded individuals, all willing SGS to succeed and who love solving problems – whether that’s an internal challenge around how we build something in our products, or working with our customers to help deliver a solution that works for them.  

What has been your biggest achievement so far at SGS? 

I’m not sure I can single out one thing. I’ve had lots of opportunities while here at SGS to be involved in new and exciting innovation, and I’ve made the most of those opportunities. Maybe then, my biggest achievement has been my progression to become a member of the Exec Team at SGS. I’m very aware that women are underrepresented in more senior roles across STEM sectors, I’m proud how hard I've worked to get here, and I hope that it’s an example to other women that you can enjoy what you do, work hard and make an impact at an exec level where we need lots of different types of backgrounds and voices.  

What are your hopes for the clean energy sector in the coming months and years? 

I think our customers are all striving to think of ways that can help more renewables connect to their networks and utilize all the assets they have available to them. To do this, they need to change the systems they use to monitor and control their networks.  My hope is that our customers become more forward thinking in their approach to building out these new systems and embrace new technologies that are available to them such as embracing the flexibility and functionality available via cloud infrastructure providers, and software as a service offering for utilities and DER management.  

 Looking forward, what impact are you hoping SGS will have? 

SGS is a leading voice in the DERMS market. There are big competitors in this space, but we've got 15 years of experience deploying DERMS solutions for customers that we want to share.  

For our products, I’m excited to see how we can continue to add on new modules and functionality that meets with industry and customer expectations of what a world leading DERMS platform should do.