FACES #14 with Nadia Svarna, Lead Energy Analytics Engineer at NET2GRID
Another month, another FACES feature! Today, we are lucky to have the chance to chat with Nadia Svarna, NET2GRID’s Lead Energy Analytics Engineer. Nadia is one of the company’s longest serving members, having joined NET2GRID Hellas when the office first opened in 2017. From being a leader in her department to gracefully striking the balance as a working mom, there’s a lot to admire about Nadia. Let’s get to know her better!
1. Thank you for joining us today, Nadia! You have a distinction that few others can claim: you were among the first employees of NET2GRID Hellas when the doors opened in 2017. What initially drew you to the job?
There were a number of things actually. First and foremost was the field in which NET2GRID was positioning itself: NILM, cutting-edge, extremely interesting…exactly in my area of expertise. Now, if you combine this with the excellent relationship I had with the other founding members alongside the management team and the fact that we would be starting a branch in Greece which would contribute to the effort to keep talent here, you can understand why I made the choice.
2. Since you began with NET2GRID five years ago, what would you say are the most significant ways in which the energy industry has changed over time? Do you feel uneasy about the future of energy, or are you optimistic?
To begin with, it's been more than 20 years since we‘ve started talking about renewable energy, however it’s been only a decade since we’ve started talking about energy saving, the main goal of NET2GRID. Energy saving is much easier and cost effective both for the industries and the final customers. So I’m more than optimistic that the field has a long way to go. Especially with the energy price crisis, it has become clear that energy companies need solid demand response scenarios and consumers need a better understanding of their energy consumption so that they find a way to alleviate the cost.
3. The analytics team is the largest at NET2GRID, with currently 15 members and growing. With a team of that size, do you find yourself collaborating with the colleagues within your team on a regular basis, or is your day-to-day work more solitary?
The analytics team was the first team that was created here in Thessaloniki and since the first day it is a very solid and united team. On my daily routine I’ll for sure have a chat with at least one member of the other sub-teams, for clarifications, help or support. All members have each other's back and are more than eager to help at any point. Especially in my team, the Energy Experts, we work as if we are one body. We are independent in our tasks but we believe in teamwork, we transfer our knowledge and we support each other at any time. And most importantly, we have a great time working together.
4. Can you please shed some light on what you do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis as NET2GRID’s Lead Energy Analytics Engineer?
Well first of all, with the support of my team, I help the other analytics teams by making the first steps of the design of new algorithms, as well as the last steps, when the new algorithms need thorough testing before their deployment. I try to collaborate with the R&D team and advise them on energy topics that are the core of their projects. And last, but definitely not least, I’m responsible for the Q&A of our provided services. I have to make sure that our product is of top quality, and together with the CS team we have to make sure that all our clients are super happy with our services.
5. Even though there are women in tech now more than ever, it is still somewhat of a “boy’s club.” Based on your experience, what advice would you give to a young woman who is trying to break into a traditionally male-dominated field?
Well, sure, progress has been made but all scientific fields are still male-dominated. Unfortunately, it’s not an unusual scenario for a woman to have to prove that she can cope with work and family and that she is not distracted by family issues. Hard work can compensate for that. Hard work and high quality results need no advocates.
6. When you’re not crunching numbers and analyzing data, where might we find you?
In my country house! In winter by the fireplace reading a crime novel, eating cheese and drinking wine, and all the other months by the sea, walking long walks or swimming when it’s not freezing.