• Job title Manager, Distributed Energy & Power
  • Organisation Centrica

On the future of energy and working with Cranfield

I’m Isaac Tavares and my background is in engineering and business management. For over a decade I’ve been delivering large-scale projects, mostly in energy related areas. At Centrica I work across almost the entire value chain of energy which exposes me to a lot of different aspects of it. If I described my role, I would say it’s working towards positioning us in the best possible place to address the challenges of today and of the future.

From a global perspective, I think there are two distinct areas of challenge for the energy industry. There are developing countries, which are still working towards reliably delivering energy to support their development. Then there are developed countries and the UK, where we are trying to tackle the energy trilemma of keeping the lights on, at an affordable cost, while dealing with climate change.

At Centrica we’re investing heavily in trying to secure energy supplies for UK homes. Some of our commitments in the next decade are to secure energy in terms of gas and power. We’re investing more than £49 billion to make sure this is available for our customers.

One of our major areas at the moment is the Offshore Wind Structural Lifecycle Industry Collaboration (SLIC) project, which is about delivering more efficient ways to produce energy. This is a project that Centrica is leading on behalf of 10 energy companies and Cranfield is the technical lead in the project. We’ve also supported Cranfield in creating a doctoral training centre which is the first of its kind in the UK, and there are a number of other areas in terms of energy that Cranfield is spearheading and we’re supporting. One of the things that I was really impressed with about Cranfield was their very, very long and established links with different industries which means we are able to work together, not just on very long horizons of application, but also to deliver solutions for short term requirements. 

Energy is a very complex area and it requires bringing together not only a number of different disciplines, but also an environment where the latest policies, management techniques and technologies are well understood and can be tested against changing requirements. I think at Cranfield we found a combination of all of these which enabled us to innovate, progress and provide our customers with the best solutions possible.

I’ve been working with Cranfield for almost four years and looking back, there is a tremendous list of achievements that we’ve managed to deliver. I think that’s a lot to do with the capabilities at Cranfield, but most of all the fantastic people and the teamwork that we’ve seen and been part of.