Spotlight on Khalid: Devoted to improvement
Spotlight on Khalid: Devoted to improvement
How much impact can you really make in your first few months of a job? Well, say hi to Khalid. When he started at BayWa r.e. as senior power systems engineer, he already made a difference after a few months.
Originally from India, he’s now based in Australia alongside our grid team in Melbourne. Supported by his colleagues, he’s quickly getting to grips with the unique local challenges and opportunities. Khalid already had a solid track record in renewables when he joined us, but his constant thirst to know more made him the perfect fit for our culture.
Khalid never stops learning
As soon as he’d successfully completed his degree in electrical engineering, Khalid dived straight into the world of renewable energy. Even his internships involved getting to grips with turbine technology, so he was more than well-equipped for his first position as a control systems engineer.
When he came on board with us, we knew we were getting a truly talented engineering mind. However, we didn’t bank on Khalid’s natural curiosity in other areas. He has to know the differences between projects in Victoria and New South Wales and beyond. These tiny legislative and policy nuances go way further than what you’d typically expect from an engineer.
“That’s what’s interesting about BayWa r.e., the mindset is different. It’s a development mindset. It’s more towards navigating the challenges from each aspect of a project.
This may include liaising with government officials, discussing path forwards with authorities, giving direction to contractors and consultants, considering the community and land holders, and a whole heap of other challenges that come our way. This also means we have to stay up to date with the policies and rules, not just within Australia, but globally.”
His day-to-day work is typically split between projects in development and those currently under construction. It’s challenging to hop from one project to another, bearing in mind the aspirations and unique elements of each. But Khalid clearly loves a challenge, and he’s quick to engage with stakeholders to understand their vision for an ideal outcome.
I think a lot of it comes down to collaboration and cooperation. As a global company, we obviously have that resource available. I can be talking to a colleague from Thailand, for example, and get some insight into a job here in Australia by absorbing their viewpoints, their backgrounds. Even complex problems become easier to balance when you’ve got access to that international community of great minds moving towards the same goal to tackle climate change.
Grid Connections Manager, Australia
Khalid is defending our planet
Taking that vision and applying the engineering know-how to make it a reality is the cornerstone of what we do. For Khalid, this comes naturally because he shares the vision too. As you might expect from someone who’s devoted so much of their academic and professional careers to renewables, it’s a cause that’s very close to his heart.
Working in a country like Australia presents a distinctive set of hurdles to overcome. Its stark contrast between urban and rural areas, along with the massive areas of sparsely populated terrain to cover, make it a unique workplace. The country’s transmission network is therefore more longitudinal than meshed, which is what you may find in other parts of the world. These facts present challenges for engineers like Khalid to overcome if they want to speed up the country’s transition to renewables.
His favorite project so far, a solar farm in Queensland, near Townsville, showed him the full complexity of dealing with all those stakeholders and technical realities.
A man of many talents, Khalid even got into creating art and poetry over lockdown, there’s a special someone he credits with the inspiration to spend his days making a positive difference. The empathy and sincerity of his father, who also works in energy back home in India, made an early impression. That kind of motivation produces exceptional people: those with one eye firmly on a better tomorrow.
Since October, Khalid has taken on a new challenge and is now acting as our Grid Connections Manager in Australia.
“The new role as Grid Connections Manager is a very challenging and an exciting one. There are a lot of issues we are facing all around the world and in Australia. We are retiring coal and gas powered plants much earlier than planned. Therefore, we need to get GWs of renewable projects connected on to the electricity grid now! We can then provide clean and reliable energy to our customers. I am lucky enough to be in a position where I can steer a lot of the discussions and negotiations with the authorities to fast track that process as much as possible.”