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interview
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The most valuable skill I obtained from the programme is the innovation mindset!

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Maria Carnal, Engineering Project Manager, Gas Natural Fenosa, Master's in Energy for Smart Cities

Maria Carnal, Engineering Project Manager, Gas Natural Fenosa

Spanish

Master's in Energy for Smart Cities

UPC: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya ·Barcelona Tech

About

Master’s School graduate Maria Carnal feels very motivated and fortunate to have the opportunity to work within the sustainable energy sector at this exciting point in time. She is eager to keep learning in order to develop personally and professionally – with the selfless goal to improve everyone’s life.

Interview

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:
Gas Natural Fenosa is a multinational energy company operating in over 30 countries. I work in the Innovation department, which is divided into two lines of action. The first focuses on Smart homes and appliances – while the second, my area, is about distributed generation and self-consumption. We offer our clients (end-customers from the residential, industry or tertiary sector) new services by integrating energy efficiency and developing equipment to optimise their energy consumption.

The most valuable skill I obtained from the programme is the innovation mind-set, particularly from the Innovation Journey. It is something I have never experienced before and has been crucial to help me detect new challenges and to not be scared to test new ideas. Today, I am motivated and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work within this sector at this particular time – and to develop myself personally and professionally.

Throughout my studies I developed a problem-solving mind-set, and acquired innovation techniques that allow me think out of the box and create fresh ideas which can be the beginning of new projects! I had many valuable experiences but the project-based course on Energy Management stands out. We choose a small city and with a limited budget adopted measures to create a zero-emissions city. The challenge was to think of new ideas which we could implement and figure out how to subsidise them. It was a great way to link a university course with the real world!
What will be your role in solving the energy challenges of the future?
The key to the energy system transformation is innovation. We must reinvent ourselves and adapt to the new challenges by being innovative. With our strengths and a collaborative environment, we will be able to evolve successfully. In this spirit, our department finds new business models and services for our clients which bring added value. My role is to develop new projects, test new technologies and validate new models which will satisfy the needs of the new era. Tomorrow, I will be eager to keep learning in order to understand a complex world that will demand quicker solutions.
What do you want to achieve?
It is important to change our habits and start consuming in a different way. The most important thing to achieve, and probably the most difficult, is awareness. Everyone knows about global warming and its consequences – but awareness goes far beyond that. It means action, changing habits, transforming processes and a different management. Since lots of processes are already changing, why not introduce sustainability?

It’s a fascinating time to be in the energy field. Every day brings new challenges and working to solve them is exhilarating! My purpose is to keep acquiring expertise to provide our clients with new services in order to improve everyone’s life.