Interview with Gabriel Maciel
1 - What reasons led you to make a thesis on renewable energy?
When I joined the master's degree in mechanical engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), I had the idea of being able to specialize on projects and dimensioning of mechanical structures. In fact, IST makes it possible to choose between three areas of expertise: Production, Energy and Systems. I opted for the first one. However, I have always been interested in renewable energies and. In a conversation with Professor Luís Reis and Engineer Mário Vieira (both from IST), I learned that there was the possibility of developing and mechanically designing an innovative foundation for an offshore wind turbine. In fact, I did not hesitate and I agreed with both of them to make a thesis on this subject.
2 - What are your professional ambitions?
My dissertation on wind energy led me to work in this industry. At the moment I am working as a "Load Engineer" at Vestas Wind Systems A / S, the world leader in the wind sector, in the center of engineering development and innovation that has been in Porto since 2017. I am therefore part of the multicultural Vestas team that in Portugal is developing the wind turbines of the future. I see myself working in the wind industry for a few more years as growth prospects are quite promising.
3 - How did you know about the APREN Award?
One of my thesis advisers, the engineer Mário Vieira, informed me of the existence of the APREN Award. Given that my dissertation was quite innovative in the area of renewable energy, I was informed that there was potential to be well ranked.
4 - What made you compete?
I realized that my dissertation fit well enough into the requirements for the application. I also knew that my work would be displayed on the venue of the APREN Conference 2018, which would make it possible to publicize the foundation I developed. In addition, being present for the first time at a very important conference in the Portuguese energy sector seemed to me a remarkable milestone.
5 - What message would you like to leave to those who are considering to participate in the 2019 edition?
With my participation in the APREN Award I was able to meet new people, make a good network of professional contacts and learn about future trends in the renewable energy market. The fact that I was the winner of the APREN Award gave me the opportunity to speak for an audience of hundreds of people. I can guarantee it was a unique and unforgettable experience. I'll take the twenty minutes spent on the conference stage for the rest of my life. It was therefore an enriching experience at all levels. I would like to recommend to all university students who have made their thesis on electricity of renewable origin to compete.