7 December 2023
Employee Spotlight: Roman Zickar
In our latest Employee Spotlight, we highlight Roman, Weidmann’s T&I Senior Mechanical Design Expert, who brings innovative approaches to transformer design and technology from our Dresden office.
Hello Roman, please tell us about your role at Weidmann.
I work as a T&I Senior Mechanical Design Expert (Transformer & Insulation) for Weidmann, based at the Dresden, Germany office. I provide technical services in power and special transformers for our customers and the Sales Department.
These services include:
- Providing expertise and studies for power and special transformer customers and internal sales and marketing support
- Preparing mechanical calculations and overseeing the technological development of Weidmann components for increased mechanical properties
- Designing Weidmann components for customers and standardizing documents and manuals
- Developing Weidmann’s knowledge of the mechanical properties of Transformerboard
- Internal (external) training in the use of Weidmann components.
To support my technical role in Weidmann, I am a member and contributor to a number of transformer and transformer insulation materials working groups and committees e.g. DKE, CIGRE.
Where are you based?
I was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and have been living in Germany since 2002. I studied at the University of Zagreb at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, where I gained a Master of Engineering Mechanical Engineering (Dipl.Ing) and a Master of Science (M.Sc.). I am now based at the Dresden office in Germany.
What did you do previously?
Prior to joining Weidmann, I worked for the leading suppliers of energy technology and transformer manufacturers.
My first role was as a Mechanical Design Engineer. In that role, I focused on the mechanical design of special and power transformers, as well as R&D work, reviewing production standardization processes and technical handling of design.
I was exposed to a range of transformers including Power Transformers from 20 – 500 MVA, Serial and Shunt Reactors, providing me with a solid foundation from which to build my engineering career.
In my next role, I was a Main Designer / Project Manager / Team Leader in Mechanical Design / Head of Design for a manufacturer of special and industrial transformers. I undertook the project management, organizational, and technical handling of designs and production processes for ongoing and special projects.
This role enabled me to work with transformers ranging from 10 – 300 MVA and special transformers for high-current industrial applications e.g. rectifier, converter, electric arc furnace, serial-, interphase- and shunt reactors.
My final role before joining Weidmann was as the Head of Center of Competences and Principal Key Expert for Industrial Transformers for a worldwide transformer manufacturer. I was specifically responsible for the mechanical design and R&D activities for special and industrial transformers. My role also included business development, commercial and technical support and technical consulting for design, technology, production and quality.
Why did you decide to join Weidmann?
The primary motivation for joining Weidmann was to return to my passion for learning, deepening my knowledge, and exchanging ideas on transformer and transformer components mechanical design, technology, production, quality, and project management. Being at Weidmann also enables me to gain new knowledge, particularly related to electrical and mechanical design, technology, production of insulating components and materials.
Weidmann’s long heritage and being part of a large global team of engineers also greatly influenced the decision to work at Weidmann. I enjoy being part of a team of experts supporting our customers and colleagues to provide unique transformer services for generation, power, distribution, converter, rectifier, electric (e.g., arc) furnace, traction, and drive transformers.
What is the most enjoyable part of your role?
I enjoy being part of a big team of younger and older engineers, where everyone contributes a unique value ranging from preserving tried and tested traditions and working practices, to implementing innovative processes and new ideas. This mix of skill and experience equips the team well to move forward, securing Weidmann’s position in supporting transformer components and insulation designs for the energy of the future.
My greatest satisfaction comes from providing the best service and technical support for our customers, working with my colleagues, and solving technical problems. I also get a great deal of personal rewards from maintaining my mantra, “Lifelong learning and knowledge transfer,” which I continue to fulfill and pass on to my colleagues.
I would like to share a proverb that continues to inspire me; “Knowledge in a drawer is not knowledge, but a frightened ego. Knowledge shared with others is life fulfillment, happiness, and prosperity.”
What does the future hold for innovation at Weidmann?
Our greatest challenge is in the renewable energy sector. Natural sources such as sunlight, wind, tides, and geothermal energy have the potential to generate far more energy than the world currently needs. However, this potential does not match what we can currently convert into energy.
One of the key challenges is to create sufficient capacity to capture energy, such as sunlight or wind energy, and convert it into a usable form, such as electricity. Another challenge is getting the energy to where it is needed or enabling its storage for later use.
The future energy system must be resilient and adaptable to the inevitable impacts of climate change, such as droughts, heat waves, and storms. As the share of wind and solar power increases, the system must also be flexible enough to function well when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining.
For all these new technical challenges, it is necessary to develop the current or future power grid. An integral part of the power grid is, of course, new transformers with the corresponding insulation system, which must be designed for these rapid changes.
At Weidmann, we work hard to incorporate our knowledge into the development of new transformers. Existing and new insulation components and insulation materials are designed, manufactured, and tested to withstand these unique and demanding loads, large variable loads, wide temperature variations, space issues, and power quality problems.
Isn’t it nice to be a member of a team that is changing the future, not just talking about it?
What do you do to relax?
Apart from spending time with my family, I enjoy reading books and comics and walking in the countryside. I also participate in health and wellness activities, including bodyweight training and box breathing.
Thanks for speaking with us today!