Dr.-Ing.Ali Al-Abadi is a Mechanical Engineer with degrees from prestigious institutes such as University of Baghdad, Iraq, and Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen, Germany. As a student he transition from the Turbomachinery to renewable energy (mainly focus on wind energy) for his specialization, particularly during his Post-Doc experience in South Korea. He has previously worked as a research associate at Friedrich-Alexander-University and Team Leader of the group R&D Projects in SGB-SMIT Transformers. In 2022, he switched to Hitachi Energy located in Brilon, Germany as a Senior Expert. He is a domain expert in sound and vibrations, thermal modelling, losses, and magnetic-field calculations of transformers and shunt reactors. He is an active member of IEEE, CIGRE, DAGA and ASME, and a participant member in the CIGRE working group WG-A2.54. He has authored and reviewed many scientific and technical papers in the international conferences and peer-reviewed journals. He is an active contributor in power transformers and wind energy industries.

Let’s start the interview!

Q. Tell us about yourself

Q. What inspired you to join this sector?

Q. Can you elaborate why?

Ali: Transformer is a vital component within the power grid system (generation, transmission and distribution) and it is not a stand-alone devise, and hence it is mutually influencing other system components. The integration of the transformer within the power system, therefore, is a must. This requires a compatible design to align with the trend towards sustainable power system. Transformers are installed in main- and sub-stations which may be close to residential area and hence it become a target for criticizing and therefore, need for concrete legislations. Minimum heat dissipation, sound emission, environmentally friendly design is required. Therefore, maintenance and reliability are not the same; however, they are fully correlated. The reliable design is robust, efficient, sufficient cooled, long lifetime, low sound emission and therefore, requires minimum maintenance cost.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you would give to a junior professional to succeed in your sector?

Q. What is something nobody tells you, but you wish you knew earlier?

Ali: That real engineering is not at university, but the journey starts at the industry. Nevertheless, all basic sciences I had learned at university are important as a start-up for the technology. Academic research alone cannot solve industrial problems, overlapping among different objectives leads optimization is challenging; for instance, optimum sound design is not an optimum design. The sound works normally against thermal, for minimum sound emission we normally reduce surfaces (cooling ducts) which leads to increase of loss density and overheating problems.

Q. Can you recommend any books or media?

Ali: Textbooks for right learning (basic), Papers for fast learning (new topics). In general, keep an eye on the new trending in energy business by following specialist magazines/websites, built network with standardization bodies and other relevant business.

Start where others end, and then find your own way.

Ali Al-Abadi

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