Case Study – Sergio Roldán

What is your nationality?Sergio
Born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico.

What/when did you study at Durham?
I did an MSc in New and Renewable Energy from September 2012 to September 2013.

What are you doing now?
Though right now I am transitioning into a new role, I previously worked for DNV GL (formerly GL Garrad Hassan) as an Energy and Development Engineer.

What does your job involve?
Being a technical consulting firm, I performed the design of wind farms in Mexico and Central America, as well as produced energy production estimates at the pre-construction stage and design measurement campaign designs for wind farm development.

How did your time at Durham help you to succeed?
On the academic aspect, it gave me more than just technical information – there was often an emphasis on investment and money matters at the different development stages of the projects, which is essential in a professional environment. On the social side, it provided me with the ability to collaborate with many different people, and on a wide range of social circumstances – from talks to colleagues, to dinners with clients, and working with technicians.

What advice would you give to current students?
When you feel there is something wrong – say it! If there is, you will be noticed. If there isn’t, you come across as confident. Win-win!


Md. Adil – Commonwealth Scholar

Name: Md. Adil Chawdhury                                

Degree: MSc in New and Renewable Energy

Graduated: 2009

Home country: Bangladesh

Employer: Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Ltd. (PGCB), Dhaka, Bangladesh

After the successful completion of my BSc in Mechanical Engineering at BUET, Dhaka I started my career as an Assistant Manager (Technical) in the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Ltd. (PGCB), which is an enterprise of Bangladesh Power Development Board. After being made permanent in PGCB, I applied for the Commonwealth Scholarship. I was successful, and taking study leave from my company, went to Durham University for the MSc in New & Renewable Energy. During the course I became familiar with the different advanced technologies & policies of the renewable energy sector. This is very important in Bangladesh which has suffered the negative consequences of climate change.

In the group design project, I worked with four others from different countries and we exchanged our knowledge and ideas. It was a great experience to work as a team and this still helps me a lot in my professional life. The Energy Delivery & Network Integration course gave me a clearer idea about the advanced power system network with embedded generation. During my study I became familiar with different software including SolidWorks, IPSA and Matlab which was used for design work. This helped me to understand different professional SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) &EMS (Energy Management System) software applications such as e-terra habitat, DTS, e-terra archive and crystal report to analyze the different events, faults and situations of the national power system in current job.

The most exiting part of my MSc course was the R&D project where I was involved in designing, developing and the successful testing of a small downdraft biomass gasifier (6-7 kW). It is the first gasifier built in Durham University & was tested for wood chips and pellets. This project gave me huge confidence in design, installation, experiment & analysis work. I wrote a couple of journal papers, several articles on gasification, renewable energy technologies & policies in a leading daily newspaper of Bangladesh. After successful completion of my MSc course with distinction I returned back to PGCB, Bangladesh and engaged in one of the biggest projects in our power sector, the National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC) project. Here I worked with the turn-key contractor Consortium of Areva T&D from France, Furakawa Electric Co Ltd from Japan and consultant M/s Maunsell Ltd. of New Zealand. My MSc group project and R&D project provided excellent experience and gave me the confidence to work with foreign expertise. This project introduced a modern EMS & SCADA system to control and manage the electrical power network, power stations and associated sub-stations. After successful completion of the project, I was promoted to Deputy Manager in May 2010, continuing my job in the Information Management Division (IMD) of NLDC, PGCB.

Finally, I can say I have spent my best time at Durham University and my course gave me a lot of knowledge, experiences & confidence for professional life. Thanks to my supervisor, all teachers, staff & friends of the School of Engineering and Computer Sciences of Durham University and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.

Quinn’s a winner!

Name: Quinn Ho

Qualification: MSc New &

Renewable Energy Engineering

Graduated: 2009

Nationality: New Zealand

Employer: Senergy (Aberdeen, UK)

I completed my undergraduate engineering degree in New Zealand and after working for the national power company there for 2 years I decided to study overseas. I applied successfully for the MSc New and Renewable Energy Engineering course here at Durham. This course combined my concern for the environment and the future of our planet with my professional interest in engineering. While studying I started researching career opportunities with the help of the academic staff and the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre. The Careers Information Room has many useful resources and CV advice provided by Careers Advisers was excellent.

I was offered employment within the renewable energy group of Senergy called Senergy Econnect, an international engineering consultancy. Since I joined Senergy, I have been involved in projects with the European Union, government regulatory bodies and wind/photovoltaic developers and manufacturers. Due to my work as a consultant engineer, I have attended many meetings, renewable energy conferences and given presentations all over the UK. In addition, I have been on secondment to Senergy’s Melbourne, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand offices. I have also worked with new clients in Guangdong and Beijing in China.

I am fluent in Mandarin, Taiwanese and English and use these languages on projects around the world. Learning and development doesn’t stop when you leave university. I  am currently studying Spanish part-time and working towards becoming a chartered engineer through my membership of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). In my spare time, I am involved with volunteering work with organisations such as Crisis Skylight, SCAN Society and INTO Befriend Project.

I advise other international students to network, get involved with different university activities and be persistent when applying for jobs.