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Saif Abualkaz, BEng Mgt '10

Mechanical Engineering & Management | Working on the Edge of Change

Imagining the future is only some of Saif Abualkaz’s job.  The harder part is bringing it to life.

As a Future Fuels Engineer employed with Shell in the Netherlands, Abualkaz works on bringing new road transport fuels to the market.

His current focus is on developing a European network of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) fueling stations for heavy road transport.

“I lead projects that aim to develop and implement innovations that enable LNG to become a realistic alternative to diesel,” he says. “LNG is cleaner when burned – creating fewer CO2 emissions – as well as cheaper for shipping goods, and engines that use it produce less noise and particulate matter than those using diesel, which is a major concern in dense cities.”

“One of the key reasons I enjoy this role is that I am witnessing and influencing the energy transition.”

Abualkaz, who earned his B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering and Management in 2010, was originally drawn to engineering by an interest in the automotive industry. But a co-op internship helped him discover his passion for environmental technology and sustainability.

He has since completed a Master’s in Environmental Engineering while working with Shell in a variety of environmental technology positions around the world.

He started his career working for several years in Fort McMurray, improving the environmental impact of Canada’s oil sands. He subsequently held several roles related to water treatment technology in the Netherlands and Qatar. The relocation to the Netherlands gave him the opportunity to meet his wife and work on designing an industrial wastewater treatment concept for the country’s liquid waste stream from its oil fields.

“The project had a lot of technical challenges but the societal and environmental challenges were the most difficult,” he says. “Ultimately it met its objectives and was a success. The highlight for me was to hear that the project was discussed in the Netherlands’ House of Representatives.

“I was also asked to present the project as a model case study to a class of Masters and PhD students in the environmental engineering program at Delft Technical University.”