Polaris 2022 Technical Advisory Committee

Our Technical Advisory Committee has a vast wealth of industry knowledge and has worked hard to develop an exciting and innovative programme, which brings together a wide range of international industry experts and leading decision makers.

Ian Hunter

Polaris Diagnostics & Engineering Ltd

Ian has 30 years’ experience in the electricity industry. During his 21 years with Scottish Power he gained extensive experience in both transmission and distribution engineering. His focus during his first 10 years was on distribution, up to 33kV, in the fields of construction, system design and field operations – where he was a senior authorised person. He then went on to become a transformer specialist and senior transmission design engineer, responsible for the company’s transformer assets, up to 400kV. Ian also took the technical lead in transformer related R&D, condition assessments, faults and defect investigations.

Since founding Polaris Diagnostics & Engineering Ltd in 2011, Ian (as Technical Director) specialises in all aspects of transformer life cycle and fleet management and has represented various clients as an expert witness in transformer related disputes. He has 19 publications which have been presented to national and international conferences and technical journals. He is a UK representative on CIGRE WG A2.58 “Installation & Pre Commissioning of Transformers & Reactors”.

Ian holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering and a master’s degree in electrical power engineering, both from the University of Strathclyde. He is currently carrying out research into transformer bushings which will lead to a PhD. He is a chartered engineer (CEng), a fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (FIET), a senior member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (SMIEEE), an associate member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (AIFireE) and an affiliate of the Chartered Society of Forensic Science.

Ian Hunter

Tom Breckinridge


With over 40 years’ experience in power engineering, Tom is a Consultant operating through TB TCS Ltd.  He provides specialist technical support on a global basis in all areas of power transformer ownership and operation including specification, procurement support, design reviews, manufacturing inspections, witness testing, condition assessment and failure investigation.

Tom is active in the standards arena as a member of BSI PEL/14 committee for Power Transformers. He is a member of a number of IEC maintenance teams currently developing and updating international standards in the power transformer field.  Tom is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Cigre “Green Book” on transformer procurement.

Prior to founding TB TCS Ltd in 2006, Tom was the senior transformer specialist for SP Energy Networks covering all aspects of transformers within the business. His primary responsibility was for specification and technical approval of transformer contracts from 420kV down to 240 volts.

Tom has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Glasgow and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Strathclyde Graduate Business School.  He is a registered European Engineer, a Fellow of the IET and a Chartered Engineer.

Tom Breckenridge

Elaine McCulloch


Elaine is an Electrical Engineer with 32 years of experience working in the nuclear generation industry (Scottish Nuclear, British Energy, and EDF Energy UK).

Elaine works in the Electrical Systems Group within the Central Technical Office providing Electrical Engineering support to the UK’s existing fleet of 8 Nuclear Power stations.

Within EDF, she holds the role of Qualified Experienced Personnel (SQEP) in Transformers. The EDF fleet of transformers ranges from 415V to 400kV. (1MVA to 800MVA). Nuclear and Industrial safety is paramount in all EDF operations and in the event of a breakdown or failure, it is important that the root cause is established and mitigation measures put in place to prevent reoccurrence across the EDF Energy UK fleet. Elaine has been involved in many forensic examinations on transformers, main tanks, tap changers, and bushings.

Elaine is responsible for the extensive fleet of online monitoring systems on all key transformers within the EDF Energy UK fleet and assessing asset health and operational surveillance. Over the last 6 years, she has been involved in developing a new bespoke web-based Transformer predictive health program, which captures all transformers data from the laboratory (offline) and online analysers.


David Neilson

SP Energy Networks

David started in the electricity industry in 1983 as an apprentice electrical fitter and graduated through operational, engineering, and management roles within distribution and transmission. David is currently the Distribution Networks Manager for SP Energy Networks (SPEN) overseeing asset risk management and network design.

Experienced in electrical power systems, utility regulation, financial planning, environmental legislation, and asset risk management; David currently manages a team of professional engineers at the forefront of enabling the transition to a low carbon economy.

David represents SPEN and the Electrical Networks Association (ENA) on two committees; Liaison member with the ENA for the removal of environmental PCB pollutants in line with European law, and ENA UK DNO representative for the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) TC 123, aimed at introducing a global standard to manage electrical power assets. Furthermore, David is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Chair of the IET Scotland PTN.

Gordon Wilson

National Grid

Gordon Wilson is a senior innovation engineer at National Grid. He is responsible for managing NIA (Network Innovation Allowance) projects on transformers, switchgear and alternatives to SF6. As well as this, Gordon is aiso developing an HV test substation in North Wales as part of a NIC (Network Innovation Competition) project.

Gordon joined National Grid in 1999 after completing a National Grid-sponsored Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Surrey.  Over the last 20 years he has primarily worked on transformers and insulating materials. Throughout his career, Gordon has been involved in research and development and has sponsored several PhD students at Cranfield and Cardiff Universities, University of Manchester and University of Southampton, where he is a visiting fellow.

He is a member of BSi National Committee GEL/10 for electrotechnical fluids, CIGRE Advisory Group D1.01 for liquid and liquid impregnated insulation systems. He has also represented the UK in several IEC and CIGRE groups related to oil and transformer ratings.

Gordon Wilson

Martin Judd

High Frequency Diagnostics and Engineering

Dr Martin Judd is Technical Director of High Frequency Diagnostics and Engineering (HFDE), a Scottish company that specialises in condition monitoring and diagnostic techniques for high voltage (HV) electrical insulation systems. His role involves working on-site with electrical utility companies, applying advanced techniques for detecting, diagnosing and monitoring partial discharge (PD) activity in HV equipment such as power transformers, open terminal substations, switchgear and GIS.

Before founding HFDE in 2014, Martin was Professor of High Voltage Technologies at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, where he managed the HV Laboratory and pioneered many aspects of the ultra-high frequency (UHF) technique for PD detection.

He has authored more than 250 scientific papers on PD and related topics and was Chair of the UK Universities High Voltage Network Steering Committee from 2012 to 2015. Dr Judd is a member of the IEEE DEIS Diagnostics Technical Committee and is a UK member of two CIGRE working groups, “Improvement to PD measurements for factory and site acceptance tests of power transformers” (A2/D1.51) and “PD measurement on insulation systems stressed from HV power electronics” (D1.74).

Martin Judd