As an innovative and fun company, we take pride in our team and so this is the first blog of a Meet the Team series. We want you to get to know the dedicated group of people that are working on the technical, marketing and business development aspects for our EU Horizon 2020 project.

In June this year, we welcomed student, Aleksander (Alex) Chojnacki to do an internship as an Assistant Design Technician. Alex is currently studying Sustainable Energy Engineering at Cork’s Institute of Technology. The Renewable Energy industry is growing and Alex knew that this course would present job opportunities in the design, manufacture and servicing of energy systems.To find out more about how Alex got to where he is today on his career path, we sat down and asked him a few questions:

What made you study Sustainable Energy Engineering?

I always had a keen interest in learning how things work. I decided very early on that I wanted to study engineering. It’s only a matter of time before fossil fuels run out and as global energy demand is rising, we must transition to renewable energy as quickly as possible to avoid doing even more damage to our planet and atmosphere. Everyone wants to live in a clean and pollution free environment and I wanted to contribute to this rapidly growing sector.

Following industry updates, particularly from Irish companies, DesignPro stood out to him from reading about all the positive progress being made with our project plans to develop 25kW and 60kW river and estuary turbines in our facility in Limerick and then deploy them for extensive testing. This presented a unique opportunity to get hands on experience at the start of the development of these niche hydrokinetic devices.

Why did DesignPro Renewables stand out and what drew you to the open internship position?

I read about DesignPro Renewables in the newspaper and I immediately knew it was the perfect place for me to work in. I think that the Assistant Design Technician position is ideal for students who are just starting their careers. The design stage is one of the most important stages of any product and a lot of team work and creativity is required. Designers must find simple and cost-effective solutions to challenging issues. I love designing as I can apply theory learned in college to try and solve real world problems. My ideas can have an impact on how the product looks and functions in the end. Renewable energy has a huge potential in Ireland as we have favourable conditions for wind and hydro development. I believe that I will gain lots of valuable experience from participating in this project.

Alex is currently working on the larger 60kW turbine which will be deployed in 2019 by assisting our mechanical, electrical and design engineers on the design of significant components for the machine.

Can you give a fun fact about yourself?

I do my best to be sustainable by reducing energy usage and being eco-friendly throughout my day. I save water, recycle and use solar panels to heat water. I also drive an electric car, which is a lot of fun, but I enjoy walking wherever I can too. A lot of people today purchase too many goods which requires a lot of energy to produce. I try to limit my waste and carbon footprint by reducing my consumption of unnecessary goods. I am also very interested in the aerospace and aviation sectors and I enjoy learning how spacecraft and planes are made and how they operate. By learning about these sectors, I have gained a much better understanding of engineering in general which has helped me in college as well as in my everyday life.

It is great having Alex on the DesignPro Renewables team and we are delighted to give him the opportunity to develop his career further working on such an exciting EU project. We hope to continue to work with students like Alex in the future and contribute to the future employees of the renewable energy industry.