3 Tips for aspiring Energy Engineers
It’s now six months since I last posted on this blog. It’s been a busy half year with lots of new development. One of the new developments has been formation of a new company called Pisu Energy Services Africa Ltd (PESA Ltd.) The company focuses on Energy Efficiency Projects, Energy Audits and Power Generation Projects. So far, we are moving on well. You can check out more about PESA Ltd at www.pesaltd.com
I have been getting new readers on the blog, most of them young graduates who want to take energy engineering as a career. Last week, I received the following question from one of my readers;
I am Steve and just completed my degree in Mechanical Engineering (Industrial Plant and Energy Engineering option) from the Technical University of Kenya with a passion in Energy could you please help me how i can go about to succeed in this field.
It feels good to see many young engineers wanting to venture into the energy world with a passion to succeed. I would advise Stephen to do the following as a start;
- Get your Certified Energy Manager (CEM) Certification – It’s great to have CEM certification if you are to make it in the energy world. I did mine about 3 years ago and the opportunities have been unlimited. This certification is offered with the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). You can visit their website to find out more information. In Kenya, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, KAM, do offer this certification in partnership with the AEE. This year, 2014, they will have a session in June and October. Contact Beatrice.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Connect with other Energy Engineers- We normally joke that “it’s not WHAT you know but WHO you know”. From my experience, it not only a joke but to some extend a reality. Nothing propels you forward more than having the right connections. You need to know and associate with colleagues in the energy sector. It’s good you made this initiative to connect with me and I think you can do more to connect with others. Use LinkedIn, energy forums, energy events to build your network. You can also attend webinars online, listen to podcasts and improve your digital presence to connect with the right people both locally and internationally.
- Build your practical skills- The energy world is very broad and diverse. You are just from university with a lot of theoretical knowledge. Try getting more practical experience by working with other energy engineers on projects. The best way to do this is to find mentors in the field you are interested in and ask them if you can lend some help while learning. I personally did my first 7 energy audits for free to just get some experience. It probably was the best thing I did back then and it has paid back a thousand fold. It won’t hurt if you help for free at your free time. If someone is willing to pay the better for you. Both ways you win.
Just remember that values like integrity, good work ethic, positive mental attitude and creativity still count on your path to success. I know there is a lot more one can do. If any of the readers has more suggestions, kindly add them at comment section for Stephen.