Experienced professional with a hands-on approach, well-versed in the utility, software development, and sensor assembly & integration industries.
I was born in 1987 in Kharkiv, Soviet Union. A couple of years after the dissolvement of the Soviet Union, my parents decided to immigrate from then independent Ukraine to the Netherlands. During the process of naturalization I lived in Bergum, in the province of Friesland. This is where I learned the Dutch language and was able to catch up with the normal curriculum and finish the last year of elementary school. As I was still struggling with the Dutch language I started the secondary education at the middle-level (VMBO), but based on my grades I was moved in to the higher education (HAVO) after six months. My parents moved from Bergum to Gouda where I finished the first year of the secondary education. Due to my interest in computers, mathematics and science I chose the nature and technology (N&T) profile and decided to study Electrical Engineering.Experiences that shaped me
I started the bachelor degree programme for Electrical Engineering at the technical university of Rijswijk, because it was rated as the best small scale institute for technical studies and had a partnership with the Delft University of Technology (in my final year, the university was combined with the The Hague University of Applied Sciences). As extracurricular activity I was a member of the student council and taught Chinese students the Dutch language. In the third year of the study I had the opportunity to do an international internship in Cape Town, South Africa. To make sure that I did not have any student debt after my study I had several jobs ranging from cheese production, cleaning burned down houses and promotional work to pay my expenses.Experiences that shaped me
After graduating I had an option to continue studying electrical engineering at Delft University of Technology but as I wanted to gain more work experience and broader knowledge in a different field I decided to apply for a traineeship at the company where I did my bachelor thesis. Offering a complex technical environment and possibility to specialize in different non-technical directions like project management it was a perfect match for me. Thanks to numerous courses and feedback sessions I have learned to be more confident, acknowledge my weaknesses and develop my strengths. Most important skill I am still very thankful for is the ability to present to big groups, something I hated intensely during my study.
My first project was at an operational department responsible for realizing infrastructural projects in the region of Zwolle. The department struggled with errors in the financial administration and asset related data capturing. My project focused on improving these processes by the way of documentation, small process improvements, feedback sessions and data driven control. Due to the nature of the traineeship I was also allowed to attend management team meetings. When the quality started to improve I was asked by the regional manager to do the same project at another location.
Second project I did was at the Asset Management department that was responsible for all asset related asset registrations and data utilization. I helped with the final steps of the project that was finalizing the analog to digital migration of location based registration of assets like pipes and cables and the introduction of a GIS viewer with advanced capabilities like tracing and fault analysis.Experiences that shaped me
After the traineeship I joined the department of Asset Information Center. I was responsible for the asset registration policy, implementing changes and controlling quality of data entry. Leading numerous small projects like introduction of new equipment, system enhancements and implementation of analysis software I was given the responsibility of the project to improve data quality and fill rate of build dates and material types of all main assets (=being the main predictors of failures of underground assets). It was a high stake project because it was initiated based on a report from the governmental quality auditor. The progress and quality was formally monitored, failure would mean a fine for non-compliancy. Applying mix of physical inspections, statistical, spatial and topological analysis the project was completed successfully.
My other significant project was a digitalization project of 4.2M service connections from analog sketches to digital representation in the GIS software. It was a huge operation comprising around 300 people with a combination of off-shore, near-shore and on-site teams. I have learned many professional and personal lessons during this period and even gained a lot of weight due to the stress and pressure. Nevertheless it was successfully completed and I gained a lot of acknowledgement for it. This was also my first time to experience a void after a project. It took me a couple of months to shake off the feeling of not doing enough and not feeling the pressure any more.
In this period I also started the pre-master programme for Advanced Studies in Management (MSc), but I did not start the actual master after completion because I was offered the possibility to join the internal leadership programme.Experiences that shaped me
While looking for a new challenge I was asked by the director of Asset Management to manage the programme focusing on improving satisfaction level of the 162 municipalities concerning public lighting services provided by the seven regional offices of Enexis. As most of the municipalities are also shareholder of the company I reported directly to the team of directors from asset management, operations and customer care.
The programme was devided in to multiple projects targeting core processes that influenced the satisfaction level. The projects with biggest impact optimized administrative and physical operational processes (asset placement, outage management and invoicing), introduced data driven decision making, improved asset and process data quality, enhanced the customer portal, introduced interactive stakeholder meetings and implemented hardware for better energy and light schedule management. Less impactful projects explored innovations like introduction of direct current distribution networks and using public light connection for electric vehicle charging.
The overall satisfaction level was raised from a score of 4.3 to 7.1 (on a scale of 10) and the programme was essential in the development and start of the roll-out of the distribution automation for low voltage distribution stations.
Subsequently to the programme closure Enexis started a reorganization and I was offered to join the management team of Asset Management. In my opinion the position did not suit me as I would lose the possibility to be as hand-on and involved as I wanted to be. After an amazing period of 8 years I decided it was time to move on. I looked for a position that would offer me the possibility to work within a small organization and gain international exposure.Experiences that shaped me
Initially I started as a partner manager at Spatial Eye. The company was founded by Dutch software engineers who worked in the core development team of the Smallworld company which was later acquired by General Electric. The inhouse developed spatial analysis platform is used to support companies that are using the Smallworld GIS suite. My primary objective was to enhance indirect international sales via partners. After a while I also became responsible for the direct sales in the Netherlands and Belgium and marketing activities. Being a start-up size company there were many occasions where I also implemented the proposed solutions after completing a sale. After a reorganization I additionally became responsible for the services team comprising 5 people.
It was exciting to support international utility companies with what I learned to be universal data driven asset management challenges. I am especially proud of the projects that delivered business process focused applications using standard and custom components that were implemented in diverse environments.Experiences that shaped me
Although I was very happy with my job, when I got a call from a friend about the possibility to take over the company he was working for, it felt as an once in a lifetime opportunity I could not refuse. Together with the owners, who were preparing for their retirement, we decided that I should join the company as the general manager for the first year to familiarize myself with the business and prepare the takeover via a management buyout. The company focused on design and production of thermal conductivity sensors that were used in material research (chip calorimetry) and gas measurement (gas chromatography, oxygen and hydrogen measurement).
While searching for ways to fund the buyout I made sure that the established production continued, the financial administration was modernized and new business was crated for the newly developed hydrogen sensor (resulting in a 200% yearly growth). When the covid-19 pandemic hit, the company needed to stay open as it produced oxygen sensors for the medical industry. It was a surreal period and a major accomplishment for the internal team and all of the suppliers to keep the production going. With the all-time high production and corresponding revenue, we unfortunately could no longer come to terms with the owners about an acceptable price point for the buyout. We mutually decided that it will be better to choose a different path. While preparing for the next challenge, I aided the owners in organizing last buy orders for the biggest customers and spinning off the hydrogen sensor business.Experiences that shaped me
Not sure about what I should do next I reached out to my previous employer to explore the option of coming back. People that replaced my commercial role were not a good fit and as they were in the process of leaving the company their position became available. Additionally, one of the founders was able to buy the majority of shares of the company and was looking to expand the operations and grow the company. As I believed in the vision behind the envisioned growth, I was happy to come back and help with the execution. Together with my appointment an experienced investor and interim CEO was hired to support this.
Based on my experience I could hit the ground running and I was able to quickly make sure that all of the pending invoice issues were solved and the sales pipeline was filled again with regular and new business opportunities. As the operation department was struggling with project delivery, I took over a couple of projects as managing consultant while training new hires to safeguard capacity for future delivery.
Unfortunately, the hired CEO and I did not agree about the strategy and operational execution. I felt that the implementation of the strategy would hurt the company in the long run and that it already had negative effect on the current operations. In a weak personal moment, not feeling supported by the owner, I decided to leave the company as I did not want to be part of this direction. In retrospect I took the decision too quickly as the owner eventually sided with me, fired the CEO and choose another direction. For me it was too late as I accepted a new position at Joulz and did not want to come back on my decisions. I could leave the company with my head held high as I knew that the sales pipeline was full and that the strategic direction was corrected.Experiences that shaped me
Joulz, formerly a division of Stedin, a regulated distribution system operator headquartered in the Netherlands, was acquired by 3i Group plc in 2019. The sale of Joulz and its subsequent strategic repositioning caught my attention, and I was intrigued by the opportunity to join an organization undergoing such a transformation. Joulz is divided into four distinct business units, each focusing on specific area of the energy infrastructure. These units specialize in metering, infrastructure, solar energy and electric vehicle charging.
Currently, my main focus revolves around the development of the Joulz data platform, supporting decision making trough implementation of business intelligence solutions and case-based design and implementation of adjustments in the Dynamics 365 platform, which serves as the ERP system.
In addition to my job, I am actively pursuing a master's degree in Advanced Studies in Management at the Open Universiteit.Experiences that shaped me