21. July 2014

Career Spotlight: DI Ivan Milovanovic, MSc

Today in conversation with DI Ivan Milovanovic, MSc (OMV AG) - MSc Renewable Energy in Central & Eastern Europe, Class 2010-2012

Why did you choose the Master Program at the Vienna University of Technology?

At the time when I decided to enroll in this Master program, most of the renewable energy technologies had already passed the research and development phase and become largely commercialized – making it more useful to me in terms of broadening my project management knowledge and skills. Additionally, the chance to study at a prestigious university in one of the most beautiful cities in the world was also a driver in my decision to opt for TU Wien.

In what ways has the REN Master Program proven crucial to your professional development?

A solar thermal and several energy efficiency projects were some of the projects I undertook in my capacity as a project manager at OMV before these studies. Upon completion of the Master program, I haven’t been in a situation to deal with renewable projects, mainly because such projects are currently not a focus in the OMV department to which I’m assigned. Nevertheless, the Master program broadened my overall understanding of renewables as well as my project management knowledge in several aspects regarding technology, economics, the environment, as well as legal and management issues, which can be applied not only in renewable but also in other types of investment projects.

What advice might you wish to give to new prospective students for the Master Program - what should they know?

I strongly believe that renewable energy share will prevail in the future energy final consumption at least as far as most of the European countries are concerned. Renewable energy will also be one of the major drivers of the global economy. Therefore gaining knowledge in this field and obtaining an internationally recognized degree is an ideal step towards securing a job in the future.
It may sound like a commercial, but if students are truly interested in achieving knowledge about renewable energy at an academic level which is very well combined with a healthy amount of fun, plentiful excursions, visits to renewable plants, at the same time obtaining valuable experience in the application of renewable energy in other CEE countries (e.g. my generation had country modules in Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic) – then they should enroll this course of studies.
A real lure towards dealing with these technologies is that they are a substantial source of options for those who like to develop different strategies during the project set-up phase in order to enable plenty of flexible solutions in later project phases as well as in the operation of the renewable plants. In that regard, one need look no further than at bio-refinery concept which, as an input, have a variety of renewable feedstock and, as an output, a whole spectrum of different products, or at power to gas concepts by using excess wind and solar power for hydrogen production and further methanation as an option. Furthermore, coupling renewable and fossil fuel plants into one system is also one such example – e.g. combined cycle gas fired power plant coupled with wind farm and/or with concentrated solar power plant.
Additionally, I find this Master Program tailor-made for enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, at the same time serving as a solid basis for developing your own business. If all these things sound interesting and inspiring, then go for it.

In 10 years I will be….?

More experienced ;) and hopefully have plenty of renewable projects developed and in operation in my professional record.

What book are you currently reading?

Two of them simultaneously and both are partly dealing with renewables in a visionary way - Powering the future by R.B. Laughlin and 2052: A global forecast for the next forty years by J. Randers. I would like to recommend these books to the renewable energy fans.

You studied civil engineering and obtained Dipl.Ing (Master) degree. What prompted you to complete a second degree?

As I completed my civil engineering studies more than a decade ago, I found this course to be an excellent opportunity to refresh my existing knowledge at an academic level, as well as to gain additional knowledge about trends and new technologies which have recently been developed and/or technologies whose development is still in progress.

Renewable Energy is a vital issue nowadays. How do you practice environmental protection at home?

The importance of environmental protection is one of the aspects of modern life where parents can learn from their children. I was pleasantly surprised a couple of years ago when my daughter, who was in the 2nd grade at that time, came back from school where they had a lecture on recycling, and started to argue with me when I accidentally threw some consumed batteries into a regular waste bin. She asked me to separate them and to deliver them to the certain collection points in the city – immediately! When I explained to her that if I did that for every single consumed battery, I would increase my carbon footprint because I would be going to the collection point by car powered by fossil fuel – she replied that either I should go by public transport or by bicycle instead or, if I insist on going there by car, to keep collecting consumed batteries in a special box and deliver them periodically. So, somehow we came to a consensus 

Date of interview: 30.06.2014

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