The real strength of Wärtsilä
Edwin van Waas is helping to lead our societies towards a 100% renewable energy future. See why he believes that strong relationships are the bedrock on which Wärtsilä will be able to contribute to that goal.
Ask Edwin van Waas to describe a memorable challenge he has solved during his career at Wärtsilä, and he gives the perfect response.
“I can’t come up with one particular case,” he says. “Solving challenges is part of my daily job.”
That answer is almost par for the course for Edwin, who started with Wärtsilä as a Field Service Coordinator in his home country of The Netherlands in July 2005. And while his career at Wärtsilä has developed by leaps and bounds, he considers his most memorable moment to be when he got a chance to move to Australia.
“It was in 2007 that I started working for Wärtsilä Australia as a Coordinator. I was thrilled about the move and even more since I could move there with my family under a skilled work visa,” he recalls.
“I have now spent 11 years in Australia doing various roles. During the last four years, I’ve had the privilege of being part of a great team which has achieved various successes in various parts of the world and Indonesia in particular. In 2018, we even won the Wärtsilä internal Customer Care Award as a team,” he adds triumphantly.
On the road to a 100% renewable energy future
Currently the General Manager for Energy Business Services Agreements & Projects in the Middle East and Africa, Edwin has been leading the development towards renewable energy in the region. A transformation that he feels is one of Wärtsilä’s most important goals.
“Being part of the Wärtsilä Energy Business, I see Wärtsilä transforming into a complete lifecycle solution provider, right from new build power plants to the end of life of an asset,” he explains. “At the same time, Wärtsilä will be more successful in aligning the new build with services and optimisation, leading to new synergies in Energy Business.”
Edwin says these synergies are becoming more important in helping Wärtsilä meets its vision of a renewable energy future. As renewables become the new baseload for energy grids across the world, utilities will require flexibility and reliability in ensuring that the transition happens effortlessly.
Wärtsilä’s role as an energy systems integrator can help secure this future as the company helps design, build and serve optimal power systems for future generations, Edwin feels.
Building relationships and strengthening connections
While the renewable energy transition sweeping the energy sector has Edwin transfixed, he is also happy that he is able to see the change first hand while working at a company like Wärtsilä.
“Our core business is engines, yet we are leading the industry with our increasing focus on renewable energy offerings,” he says. “This is only possible thanks to the culture of failing fast and always learning that is encouraged here. I treasure the people and relationships that I have built with my colleagues over time, and the opportunities that I have been given to develop myself.”
Edwin says that his experience moving jobs and countries with Wärtsilä has helped to cement his loyalty to the company. Good relationships and strong connections between colleagues, he says, are the keys to successful corporate transformations.
“People, in general, are very loyal to Wärtsilä and most people I deal with have been working for ten and more years with the company,” he says. “So yes, while people may change to adapt with the strategy of the company, the relationships remain. In my view that is the real strength of Wärtsilä.”
Relationships are extremely important to Edwin off work as well. In his free time, he likes to enjoy the sights and sounds of Australia and you are likely to find him swimming, windsurfing or camping in the outback with his family.