Engineers need to create opportunities for themselves

Engineers need to create opportunities for themselves

One on one with Engr. M. Saeed Shamsi, Chairman Potential Group

In the world of Power generation one of the most challenging task is the transmission of generated electricity to the end user with marginal line loss. The transmission lines and substations demand to be installed through the most difficult terrains in far flung areas of the country. That’s where the phenomenal man Engr. M. Saeed Shamsi comes to the rescue. With more than 44 years of experience under his belt, leading one of the best engineering companies in Pakistan Engr. M. Saeed Shamsi Chief Executive and Chairman of the Potential Engineers takes charge of the uphill task of ensuring that transmission of generated electricity from the source to the end user is made possible.

Potential Engineers (Pvt.) Ltd. was founded in 1976 by the present Chairman. After the company was founded Potential Engineers worked as Sub-Contractors for two Big National Construction Companies, for the Installation of 500kV Transmission Line, from Tarbela Power Station to Faisalabad. With more than 300 workers under its employment, Potential Engineers is now the most experienced engineering, construction and project management companies in Pakistan.

Over the Years the company has successfully installed a Number of 500 KV, 220 KV and 132 KV Transmission Lines and Sub-Stations for WAPDA and Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC).

During an exclusive interview with Engineering Post, Chief Executive and Chairman of the Company Engr. M. Saeed Shamsi was asked to share his views about the current economic situation of Pakistan. After some deliberation he gravely said “Whatever is happening was inevitable just like a surgery of a festering body part. Maybe we do not have the correct surgeons but this was definitely needed,” He further stated that he believed when all this was over Pakistan would benefit from a more solid foundation.

These are testing times that Pakistan is going through right now but the general direction in which we are heading is correct and that is what’s important. With the passage of time the country is bound to recover.

During the detailed discussion that followed Engr. M. Saeed Shamsi explained the current challenges of the country in power generation. “It is not the power generation gap that we are facing right now. As you may have seen there is ample power generation with little or no deficit. Our main problem is the transmission of generated electricity. Transmission is a technical and expensive process involving erection of high tech infrastructure which is a time taking process”

One of the solutions for this problem is the provision of remote solar units to the areas which are currently not connected to the national grid. But this is just a temporary fix, not a permanent solution. Villages in Balochistan and KPK are being electrified through solar units while work on transmission line is underway.

Engr. M. Saeed Shamsi further clarified that another concept being launched by companies now is the erection of composite power generation plants. These power plants combine wind, solar and thermal energy for power generation at the same place. The unutilized areas inside the compounds of power generation plants are installed with Solar panels and wind turbines. The clear advantage of this setup is that there is no need to create a separate power transmission infrastructure for the additional energy being generated through solar and wind energy.

This will massively reduce the production price of electricity providing a clear benefit to the consumers. The export industry is in so much trouble mainly because of the high cost of electricity being provided. With this intervention the electricity will be made available to everyone cheaply and release some pressure from the industrial units as well.

While talking about the future of engineering innovation in Pakistan he said that he saw extremely bright future prospects especially in Electro-Medical engineering. Sharing his unique insights Engr. M. Saeed Shamsi explained that a doctor, no matter how highly qualified, cannot design or fabricate a diagnostic machine working on the principal of electro mechanics. This is where the engineers need to step in and create innovative diagnostic tools through mutual collaboration.

“I believe the up and coming field is Electro medical science. From operating the machinery used in diagnostics and designing it, everything can be executed domestically” he said

He further suggested that the engineers start working on refurbishing the technical diagnostic machinery already being used in the Market. If a diagnostic machine is refurbished locally it can provide a steady stream of revenue for the engineers and save the health industry millions of rupees.  Plus the patients will get benefit directly.

The fresh engineers graduating from universities are filled with apprehension about their future. The engineering industry of Pakistan is in its infancy and need to be developed on priority basis. When asked about a word of advice for the upcoming generation of engineers; Engr. M. Saeed Shamsi said that the engineers need to take initiatives and work on innovative products and projects for their future. Living in a world of fantasy is not an option anymore. “I have only one advice for fresh Engineers. Always be honest with yourself. If your priorities are set right and you are honest with your own self only then you will succeed”. Citing the example of Cyber Knife system, which is a non-invasive treatment for cancerous and non-cancerous tumors and other conditions where radiation therapy is indicated, he said that this is purely an engineering product designed and produced by engineers but it is being used by doctors and hospitals for the treatment of tumors. These kind of collaboration are the future of the engineering industry.

It can not be denied that under the current scenario every company in Pakistan is basically just struggling for survival as there is not enough economic activity. This has caused a decrease in demand of fresh engineers in the market leading to unemployment. During these testing times the fresh engineers need to start thinking out of the box and create opportunities for themselves. It is the era of entrepreneurs and engineers need to start creating their own business models rather than rely on jobs. Engr. M. Saeed Shamsi while explaining this phenomenon said that “An engineer is an analytical person by nature. He can be a good administrator as well as a good supervisor because of his analytical approach towards a problem. Engineers need to start using these qualities to create a livelihood for themselves.”

During the exclusive interview with Engineering Post Engr. M. Saeed Shamsi talked about how important it is for us to work specifically on ‘Made in Pakistan Products’. Local production of any product is always beneficial for the country. It not only saves money for the national exchequer but also provides a boost to the local industry whether it is small or large. We need to stop relying on imported products and support the local vendors for a sustainable future. Furthering this point of view Engr. M. Saeed Shamsi said “Let’s be proud of being Pakistani and start utilizing domestically produced items which are of superior quality and generally inexpensive. This will not only support the local vendor but also help stabilize the country’s economy”