Zeeshan Azmat is Project Lead, Electrical Engineering, for Pattern, and works at the downtown Houston offices. The scope of his responsibilities are wide ranging, and include procurement, design, upgrades, troubleshooting, and regulatory compliance for Pattern’s entire US and Canada fleet. His 17 years in electrical engineering have made him an expert in developing equipment and design specs, lightning protection, and AC/DC station service equipment, to name just a few. He’s heavily involved in design and production, and has years of experience with products from Siemens, GE, and Vestas. Zeeshan had worked at coal and gas plants, and was intrigued by the unique electrical engineering challenges posed by renewables, and wind specifically, namely real vs reactive power. His reputation preceded him, and Pattern reached out. “I thought, what do I have to lose?” Zeeshan said. “If anything, it’s another tool in my belt.” And he’s glad he made the switch. “I was interested in how to figure out these new challenges.” For example: along with reactive power comes significant waste, which also puts a burden on the systems. “The more reactive power on the line, the more waste,” he said. “You correct that by providing reactor support.” The functional lessons he’s gleaned have allowed him and his team to genuinely impact design standards.
The challenges Zeeshan has addressed during his time at Pattern have proven to him that moving into renewables was the right move, and he takes pride in the impact his work now has. “I don’t think anybody would be in renewables and not love the positive environmental aspect,” he said. “We’re creating clean power while helping support the environment.” He points to the cost effectiveness of renewables as well, especially when compared to coal or gas. “They simply can’t compete. We’re winning the cost war, and they’re going to become obsolete.” Zeeshan’s interest in the engineering side of renewables is infectious, and he recommends the industry to anyone with a similar love of all things technological. “We often deal with interconnected utilities that are much older technology. When we interact with them, we show them our signals and oscillography, and they’re amazed at how fast and precise our technology is.” Wind, he said, is the perfect industry for people who share his sense of wonder and curiosity.