Bernardo Ruz, MEL '19, Clean Energy Engineering
"I get inspired by thinking about possible solutions and building different business models. It is interesting how the more you think about solving problems, the easier connecting the dots gets ..."
I recently finished my Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Clean Energy Engineering at UBC. For my Capstone Project, I was lucky to have worked with MK Anand and Balpreet Kukreja, two of the smartest people I know. Our project consisted of a real challenge: a UBC parkade is going to introduce a 1-MW solar canopy on the roof to a high-voltage electric vehicle charging infrastructure, a hydrogen production and fuelling station, and battery-based energy storage — how could we make it economically feasible?
Together we had to: research, brainstorm, talk to brilliant teachers, create different logics, input all the information into a self-built model, iterate and optimize every single component of the model… all this to successfully reach an economically feasible business model.
What has made your time at UBC the most memorable?
Definitely my fellow students. Having the opportunity to work with people from all over the world who are really smart, have different perspectives and work experience, but above everything, who have a passion and a vision to change the world has made my time at UBC memorable.
I like to think that I was really lucky to be outsmarted by all my fellow students; this way I was able to improve and learn a lot.
How are you applying the skills you learned through your studies at UBC?
As an entrepreneur, UBC has given me the necessary tools for success. My master’s degree gave me the leadership and technical tools that I am applying today on a daily basis in my new business.
Having been involved with entrepreneurship@UBC has helped me build the business in a lean manner and being always customer centered.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in the day-to-day problems. I get inspired by thinking about possible solutions and building different business models. It is interesting how the more you think about solving problems, the easier connecting the dots gets, and the better your business models become. I would highly recommend it.
What are your plans for the future?
Right after finishing my studies (a few months ago), I went to build my first company with a business model that I have been iterating during the last year. My plan for the near future is to grow this business until its maturity. For the long-term, I will create an NGO that will teach values to kids.
How will you go on to make a difference in our world?
Having a little bit of knowledge in logistics, we know that it is better to improve a system as a whole, rather than each of its components. Is no difference for the world; currently, most countries/companies/communities/people act towards their own self-interests (that is the reason for wars). Instead, if every person in this world was seeking to serve the others, we would live in a much better and peaceful world.
For this reason, as previously mentioned, I will create an NGO to teach kids in a practical way the importance of serving others, because “who does not live to serve, is useless for life” (Mother Theresa of Calcutta).
View more 2019 Student Stars at apsc.ubc.ca/students/stars/2019.