Since many places in the world will still utilise coal and other fossil fuels in the next decades, it’s important to continue research in this area. I think InnoEnergy’s programme is the great answer for that.
Maciej Zyrkowski, Master's in Energy Transition
Name of Programme:
Master's in Energy Transition
AGH: University of Science and Technology
Master’s School graduate Maciej Zyrkowski works in the R&D department for several power production plants. His goal of a more efficient & eco-friendly power production process is driven by a passion to contribute to more energy security for his country & better air quality for the city he lives in.
Tell us a little about what you are doing now, and how the skills and knowledge gained at InnoEnergy Master’s School prepared you for this work:
Today, I am working in an R&D department of several power production plants – focused mainly on combustion problems. Our customers are large power plants that use mostly coal, but also biomass and natural gas. We develop and implement innovative ideas for them, as well as deliver energy services.
My programme complemented my power production process knowledge with invaluable technical skills. On top of that I received a solid education about the business creation process and entrepreneurship, which has opened my mind in many ways. And I really value the international experience, learning to work with people from different countries and cultures.
I received great support from both universities – AGH in Poland and IST in Lisbon – with my dissertation, which was published in a highly renowned magazine. Overall, I am grateful for having had this experience. Energy production in large power plants is a very complex process. My education allows me to look at problems from different perspectives, which I believe is my competitive advantage.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your company, and what will be your future role in helping to solve it?
Tomorrow, I will contribute to a more efficient and environmentally friendly power production process. People rarely do great inventions on their own, but a motivated team can make a significant change. I am a part of such a team already and can see how we can contribute to making a better world!
Fossil fuel plants need to reduce emissions – however they also need to keep energy prices low. I live in an immensely polluted city, where many households still use fossil fuels for heating. These small furnaces cannot get rid of dust or sulphur emissions and therefore pollute the air. The best solution is to encourage those households to connect to the municipal heating network, which is powered with hot water produced by our power plants. So the challenge is to meet strict emissions limits, but also maintain low energy prices for our customers.
Where does your passion for sustainable energy come from?
My purpose is to contribute to more energy security for my country, as well as better air quality for the city I live in. I think Krakow is a truly lovely city and it really pains me to see it suffocating during wintertime.
In many places in the world coal and other fossil fuels will still be utilised in the next decades as we develop alternate choices, and that’s why we should not give up on research in this area. I think InnoEnergy’s programme Clean Fossil and Alternative Fuels is the great answer for that!