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Member profile: Piotr Konopka AMEI

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When did you first become interested in energy?  
From a very young age, I remember always being fascinated by cars – I loved driving in them, watching them, reading about them… Therefore, I did not hesitate to pursue a Master’s in Automotive Engineering straight after graduating from high school. At University I quickly became interested in electric vehicles and renewable energy sources. 

Tell us a little about your current job  
I am currently managing global energy & decarbonisation programmes at DP World. DP World is a global logistics company operating over 60 ports, multiple logistics routes and hubs, and marine transport. This makes my job quite varied, as each of these divisions presents its own decarbonisation challenges. On the port side, we need to electrify all main pieces of equipment a find renewable sources of energy – which can be done in a relatively short term.    

For logistics and marine services decarbonisation is a much more medium- to long-term play and we need to stay on top of solutions that are likely to solve the pieces of the puzzle, such as marine replacement fleets, hydrogen, biofuels, green corridors, infrastructure etc. However, I feel a significant part of my job is being a teacher. My team is working on educating everyone from operational teams to C-Suite on what climate science is, why decarbonisation is the challenge of the 21st century, what the solutions are and what it will take to fully decarbonise our operations.    
What I find the most enjoyable is staying on top of the latest developments in the decarbonisation space, in order to be able to truly call my team a centre of excellence at DP World.

What inspired you to pursue this career, and what path did you take to get there?  
Following my passion for the automotive industry, I spent my 3rd year of University working for Toyota Motorsport, designing an active ride-height system for a the LeMans class race vehicle. This was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life – at the age of 21 being able to create a piece of equipment that was put on a high-performance race car. My time at Toyota Motorsport made me think a lot about the direction of the industry. The high-tech technology park I was working at was used by the home of the Toyota Formula 1 team – which was converted to a facility producing a car for the World Endurance Championship. The reason was that post introducing Toyota Prius to the market, it was decided to enter a championship series where hybrid technology can be showcased.

That pushed me to pursue my graduate degree in Sustainable Energy Futures at Imperial College London.   Following my graduation, I worked in management consulting for over 5 years. It was very rewarding to work with clients across Europe, Middle East and US helping solve their crucial energy transition questions.  

There have been plenty of rewarding moments in my current role, but overall I particularly enjoy being able to contribute to shaping the decarbonisation agenda of an influential, international organisation.

How has being an Associate Member (AMEI) of the Energy Institute benefitted you in your career?
The biggest reasons for joining the EI for me were the professional recognition and networking opportunitites. I believe that the AMEI (and hopefully MEI in a near future) title is an industrial recognition of skills and experience for professionals in the energy industry. Since 2015 I have been a part of the Young Professionals Network, chairing the London Branch for 2 years and currently sitting on the Board of the EI Middle East. Organising over 20 high-profile industry events with a committee of fantastic young members of the EI was an amazing life experience which I will cherish, but also provided me with some very useful contacts. Being a member of the EI also made it easier for me to move my life from London to Dubai, as I quickly build some relationships with the local EI network.

Away from work, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Day to day I am a climate nerd and read a lot about decarbonisation technologies. I am currently enrolled in a Doctorate of Business Administration programme at the Edinburgh Business School, where I am researching corporate ESG governance models.    

I enjoy exploring different new places and cuisine with my wife and friends. I am also an avid squash player, currently ranked in top 50 of the Dubai League. I also enjoy a round of golf on weekends and yacht holidays in the summer.

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