Speaker Interview – Duraid AlJailawi

Duraid AlJailawiIn the second speaker interview of the series, Dr Duraid AlJailawi, Accredited Tier Designer, Manager of Critical Environments at CBRE, tells us what industry news most stood out to in the past year and the key challenges he identifies for the industry, such as the impact of the shortage of skilled labour. 

Dr. Duraid is the Senior Program Manager, Critical Environments at CBRE, Ontario Canada. Duraid is Professional Engineer (Power Electronics) and holds an Accredited Tier Designer certificate from Uptime Institute. In 2015, he had been granted a Doctorate in Mission Critical Operations. Duraid has more than 25 years of experience in engineering, operation, and project management of critical power systems related to data centers.

Please tell us about your role at CBRE. What are your key focus areas and responsibilities?

As a manager of critical environments, I focus on the three key areas:

Driving consistency: develop effective strategies and best practice to drive consistency for the management team to ensure compliance with all internal policies and external regulations governing the operations and maintenance of facilities in the broad public sector including adherence to the university risk management framework.

quoteOperational excellence: managing risk to critical operations and ensure uptime. Reliable infrastructure is a key component of successful critical environment operations. We always ensure that we do our due diligence to support our clients’ needs and reduce downtime.

Avoid complacency: critical power equipment and critical infrastructure is an essential part of any critical environments. Unfortunately, familiarity leads to complacency, and it is easy to assume that just because something has always worked as expected it would continue to do so. Continuous improvement, training, and mock drills will ensure that engineering team will be ready to response to critical emergency when they occur.


What would you say are the key challenges and opportunities you face at present?

It is a challenge to train and hire people for the areas of critical environments in general, but specifically with critical power equipment such as UPSs, generators, and emergency systems.  Another challenge is retaining these skilled and experienced professionals. The shortage of skilled staff has become a nightmare for everybody.  Lack of available education programs, and the expected retirement of baby boomers who have this skill and experience are major contributing factors to these challenges.

Growth in cloud computing is a great opportunity for the critical and data centre industry. This growth has been extraordinarily quick in the last couple of years. The increasing number of industries using cloud applications such as manufacturing, medical, retail, game, and automotive provide a large opening for growth in the data centre industry in general, and in critical power systems, specifically. Demand is expected to reach unprecedented levels. Studies estimate that the trillion-dollar market threshold could be reached by the Year 2020.  Data centres are still needed, but the geographic limitations imposed on the data centre location is being reduced because of cloud applications. 


In terms of industry news, what development, announcement, or otherwise has stood out most to you in 2016?

Three trends stand out to me. First, in renewable energy, India’s announcement of the completion of ‘the world’s largest solar power plant’ with a capacity of 648 MW was a huge milestone. We need such a mind-shift to deal with issues such as global warming, and shortage of energy in developing countries.

Secondly, during 2016 in the data centre industry I noticed multiple announcements regarding new data centres in Japan. Tokyo is the hub for Japan's manufacturing, transportation, publishing, broadcasting and service industries and is recognized alongside New York City and London as a key global financial centre. Close to 35 million people live in the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area, making it the most populous metropolitan area in the world. Until recently, major IT and data centers players were not targeting Tokyo in their expansion plan. However, that is now changing: in 2016 Google announced a new data center in Tokyo (one of 12 new globally) to support its Cloud Platform. At the same time, Equinix has announced that the will continues to expand their Japanese presence with the launch of TY5. Colt has announced a new data centre. Digital Realty Trust, a San Francisco-based data centre, has officially launched its first data centre in Japan.

quoteFinally, Tokyo Corporation has launched Japan’s massive data centre, which is one of the world’s largest. The building houses more than 1.4 million square feet of space, most of it dedicated to colocation racks, caged suites, and dedicated data centre real suites. High density data centers are going to become the norm in the near future and the industry has been pushing itself to the edge of growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers. This project proves that it is possible to achieve high density computing and yet maintain an improved energy efficiency in mega data centers.

A recent announcement of Eaton-Cummins has caught my attention: Eaton-Cummins JV Announcement. On Monday April 10, 2017, the power management company Eaton and global power leader Cummins Inc. announced an agreement to form a joint venture for automated transmissions for heavy-duty and medium-duty commercial vehicles. This an interesting development because it is a game changer for the automotive industry. I am eager to see what Eaton, as an innovative company, will bring to the table. The combination of Eaton technology and Cummins performance will create something new for the industry.

Based on your industry experience what has been your biggest personal achievement in your career?

My biggest personal achievement is avoiding capital spending of up to $1.2 million CAD for one of our clients by re-defining design concepts, looking at their business needs, and removing multilayer of not required redundancy. I worked closely with our client representatives, design engineers, and project managers to ensure that we as a team worked together to provide the best, most efficient, cost effective solutions to meet our client’s expectations. The current economy has put a lot of pressure on engineers, project management staff, and facility management professionals to think outside of the box, to become innovative, and to come up with un-traditional solutions.


You are presenting a talk on UPS and generator incompatibility. In your opinion, what are the key challenges in component synchronisation?

The key challenge is integrating various components such as generators, UPSs, transfer switches, BAS in critical facilities, which allows communication. They must operate as one system. Data centre operations depend on the reliable and uninterruptible power supplied by utilities, emergency generators, and UPSs. UPSs, generators and transfer switches are essential parts of any critical operations. Losing any of these has an impact on all critical operations. However, losing the integration between these three has an even higher impact on the operation. Ensuring that these three components are fully integrated is a key aspect for success.

Integration challenges can be addressed in many ways. One way is for the design engineers to engage maintenance and facility management staff early in the project. These folks live and breathe critical operation every day. Their input on the project is invaluable.
A second way is having both generator and UPS manufacturers at the same table with design engineers and end users. This will ensure that issues that are discovered in the field are being addressed in the next equipment generation.

Moreover, of course, a forum such as this, the Buyers Forum @ Critical Power Expo, is a great opportunity for us to exchange knowledge, gain experience, and be a part of this evolving environment. 


We are looking forward to seeing you at the Buyers Forum @ Critical Power Expo, can you tell us what you are most looking forward to at the show?

I am looking forward to getting in touch and networking with suppliers, buyers, and mission critical professionals. There are many great learning and networking opportunities here.

Don't miss Duraid AlJailawi's presentation on 'Analyzing Lessons Learned from UPS and Generator Incompatibility for Component Synchronisation' at the Buyers Forum @ Critical Power Expo on Wednesday September 13 at 2:00pm

View the full agenda here
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