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Q&A: Talking with Jacobs Global Market Director, Energy Transition, David Stader

We connected with Jacobs’ new Global Market Director, Energy Transition, David Stader to talk about climate action, the race to zero emissions, and what he’s most looking forward to achieving through our partnership with World Climate Foundation.

The power industry is undergoing unprecedented disruption as countries around the world look to reduce their reliance on fossil fuel-based energy systems and shift towards cleaner, renewable energy sources. This energy transition will require innovations and solutions to transition to a more energy efficient and decarbonized tomorrow. 

To lead and coordinate Jacobs’ response to this rapid transformation, David Stader has been appointed as Global Market Director, Energy Transition within our People & Places Solutions (P&PS) and Critical Mission Solutions (CMS) lines of business. David is a civil engineer and has been with Jacobs for 17 years. During this time, he’s lived and held leadership positions across the US, Middle East, and Asia Pacific. Most recently, David has led the Jacobs Solutions and Technology, and Strategy and Growth teams in the Asia Pacific region, based from Singapore.

To find out more about him and his new role, we connected with David to talk about climate action, the race to zero emissions, and what he’s most looking forward to achieving through our partnership with World Climate Foundation.Read more in this Jacobs.com interview.

Congratulations on your recent appointment as Global Market Director Energy Transition. Can you tell us a bit about this new role, and why it was created?

The role was created because of the significant opportunity that we see globally and our ability to leverage our capability and capacity to provide clients with services and solutions. The role will focus on the energy transition and decarbonization services to try to centralize some capability to leverage our global experiences across geographies and sectors. Jacobs is thinking about taking on investments in terms of how we see ourselves and solutions and considering technology and partnerships to support decarbonization and green energy sources that will be important for solutions to decarbonize and get to net zero.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing global decarbonization efforts?

The biggest challenge is the requirement to commit huge amounts of investment and innovate in a way that can achieve our goals. This requires collaboration and synergy at a scale we haven’t seen before. This is truly the challenge of our generation. Another challenge is to address these issues at both a developing and developed world level. Finally, maintaining momentum to reach our objectives of getting to carbon zero by 2050 is going to require a monumental global effort. What is exciting about this role is that Jacobs has been working in this space for some time now, focusing efforts to support clients across the globe and this is an exciting opportunity to be part of.

Where do you think the greatest opportunity lies in relation to the energy transition?

I think the fact of the matter is that after the initial expenditure in clean energy, what we’re actually developing is power and energy that is lower cost over the full life cycle of the asset. So, the cost of maintaining wind turbines for example, after installing that infrastructure will be lower for future generations. This is a significant opportunity for our children and grandchildren to benefit from the investment that the current generation is making. By doing things as cost effectively as possible, we have a huge pot of potential and obligation to leave a better place than we have inherited for future generations, and this is an opportunity that we shouldn’t take lightly and one that is worthy of our investment and focus.

In support of the global drive to net zero and action on climate change, Jacobs has become a Global Strategic Partner for the World Climate Foundation. What are you looking to achieve out of this partnership?

As a Global Strategic Partner for the World Climate Foundation, we’ll draw on our experience from across the world to enhance cross-sector dialogue between key stakeholders. Jacobs’ biggest opportunity to affect climate change comes from the solutions we provide our clients. Through our involvement with WCF, we’re aiming to bring this world-class experience to advise on resilient solutions, innovative partnerships and sustainable policy and investment frameworks.

What’s something you learned in the last week?

I learned that we’re doing a pretty exciting program to redevelop the National Western Center, which hosts the annual National Western Stock Show. Jacobs is the program manager to redevelop the site and has supported our client with their net zero energy goal, resulting in a new district energy system that will heat and cool buildings with recycled thermal energy from a nearby pipeline. When complete, it will be the largest sewer-heat-recovery system in North America. I was really excited by the idea of us working on a project at a programmatic level to achieve net zero and thought that this was a great opportunity to extrapolate lessons learnt and apply these to other areas and clients around the world.

What sparked your interest in a career in engineering?

I studied civil engineering and I loved that you could see and feel and be creative with solutions that you could generate in that sector. And I could show my family and girlfriend at the time the projects I was working on and it was relatable. My first job out of university was as a junior engineer working at a 20-person consultancy in Washington D.C. in the Aviation sector. As a junior I got the chance to be involved in a number of different areas doing things from CAD to project management and learned a lot.

Engineering is a sector that is by its very nature supporting communities and cities. I love the fact that I chose that as a career and would encourage others to consider getting into this field too.

Proudest career moment?

I spent three years in India on a major program to redevelop and modernize Mumbai International Airport. I was part of the team delivering a program that the client described as the most difficult program to deliver due to the politics and commercial and delivery challenges we were facing. But spending a few years on that job, forming a team, and delivering solutions that were groundbreaking at that time, makes me very proud.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love spending time with my two children and wife walking around our beautiful city of Singapore. And I also enjoy getting together with a few guys and running around on the basketball court to work off some stress. Those are probably the two things I would be doing with some free time at hand.

What do you enjoy most about being part of Jacobs?

I love the passion and diversity and collaborative spirit of the people I work with. I’ve had the opportunity to work across multiple geographies and teams and all have their own differences and unique way of doing things. But what I find is the pride and general perspective people have towards their work is consistent and inspiring no matter where I find myself. So, when I feel a bit low, I know I can pick it back up with just a few phone calls to any of my Jacobs family.

What drives you drives us as we work to build a better world – together. At Jacobs, every day is an opportunity to make the world better, more connected, more sustainable. We’re powered by more than 55,000 people across the globe who deliver innovative scientific, technical, professional and program-management solutions for public and private clients around the world.

We’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team. Bring your passion, your ingenuity and your vision. Let’s see the impact we can create, together.

 

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