Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rekindled Feelings for a One time love?

I recently met one of my MTech classmates who continues to work in the core-technical areas of the power system; i.e. design, simulations of power system devices. We got talking as friends do after a long time, and got down to discussing our respective lines of work. It was surprising how the adage - grass is greener on the other side holds true everywhere. My friend was of the opinion that commercial is the way to go whereas I told him that technical excellence is the harbinger of greatness.

The major point that got me thinking was when he said that Indian power systems still use Static VAR Compensators (SVCs) for reactive power compensation. What the hell has happened in the power sector in the last 7 years since I graduated? There was so much noise about the various devices like STATCOMs , DSTATCOMs, DVRs, SSSCs etc. revolutionizing the power sector. In fact research used to focus on churning out papers showing different simulations of these exotic devices.

Predictably stupid thoughts started to flow - was I ahead of time in 2006? (I was quickly brought to ground when another friend said that it was not about immediate utility application, but the race to patent an idea that drove such research) Why didn't the final set of unified simulations work? Why did I let folks push me around during the time when I was finding system modeling a little tough? Why did I allow all this to kill my interest in research?

These were some of the reasons for not joining a core-technical company.

But, as the proverb goes "Aadadella Olithe Aayithu" (everything happens for the good) - I discovered the field of management consulting in the power sector which has slowly but steadily led me onto energy policy. Herein is a world where I thought I would be a total misfit - but I've lasted for 7 years and going strong :-)

So much so, that I am contemplating taking up research in this area - is this an old flame fluttering her eyelashes at me? :)

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