Through the eyes of the Resourcers

Interview of Agnieszka Bator and Michał Dziennik - Poland

Reusing waste heat: a solution for the automotive industry and residents that benefits the environment

Veolia together with Volkswagen Poznań SA implemented heat recovery from air compressors located in the foundry of Volkswagen in Poznań. The recovered heat is transferred into the District Heating Network of Poznań, managed by Veolia. Thanks to this solution, waste heat was reused in people's homes and the emission of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere was reduced by approx. 1070 Mg/year.

Agnieszka Bator 

Development Engineer - Energy

Since 19 years at Veolia - Poland

"Those who don´t want to - find a reason, those who want to - find a solution." I try to listen and look for solutions

Michał Dziennik

Engineering Department and Distribution Economics Manager - Energy 

Since 28 years at Veolia - Poland

Quality is more important than quantity

How would you describe your team / your colleague?


The coolest thing about Michał is that he never gets discouraged.

Even if the solutions that he invented cannot be applied at any given moment, you can be sure that Michał will have a new proposal soon. And, at the same time, he is a good engineer with extensive technical knowledge, which he uses for the benefit of our projects.


Agnieszka is very reliable and accurate.

That's why I like to work with her, because I know that if anything slips my mind, I can be sure she will see everything. She can also build a good relationship with the client, which, as you know, is usually half the battle.

What positive influence did you have on the project?


It seems to me that I was a good liaison between the client and his expectations and our engineers who had to design and implement these solutions


I am glad that I can assign a co-authorship to the technical concept of this solution. And I am proud even more that it works well.

What obstacles did you have to overcome?


From my perspective, initially the biggest obstacle was to convince the client to look more broadly at the project, not only as a project to use waste heat in the amount that s/he could manage. The client had a ready-made own solution that would basically deprive us of selling heat to this factory. It was very difficult to prove to them the benefits of implementing our idea. In addition, we did not have references in a similar scope.


Looking back at it, probably the biggest hurdle to overcome was to gain the confidence of the engineers on the client's side. Such trust between their and our technicians that allowed us to work together and convince them to our competence and knowledge

What made you go through the project?


First of all, I was not alone when working on it.

We had a team that supported one another, and full conviction that together we can achieve a lot.


Trust in people with whom I worked, both at Veolia and on the client's side.

And the faith that we create indeed valuable for both parties as well as the willingness to implement an innovative solution.

What stopped you from giving up?


The belief that we create something new, beneficial for the environment - this heat has been wasted so far, and we have proved that it can be used.


Engineering curiosity and determination to apply such a solution for the first time  in Poznań.

What was the most important point of the project for you?


I am responsible for commercial development and I am accountable for the results, which is why the most important thing for me was convincing the client to our idea and signing the contract.  

Although, of course, I participated in the project all the time during the implementation phase and I saw what my colleagues responsible for technology and operation were struggling with at the implementation stage.


Probably the moment when we were already convinced internally about the concept we wanted to work on and we started to successfully convince our engineers to implement it.

A positive intellectual climate arose which resulted in our innovative solution.

What have you learned from each other?


Oh, we have known each other for quite a long time and there is not much left to discover. Although I have always been impressed by Michał's technical knowledge and ideas.


I admire Agnieszka's determination. Well, I learn from her approach to the client and skilful building relationships with the client.

How do you work as a team?


I am a member of a team who know that the final success depends on their work, so I squeeze out maximum commitment and reliability from myself.


I am an initiator of new things, I like to inspire people with whom I work and I greatly appreciate the support they give me.

Do you have a motto that leads you?


"Those who don’t want to - find a reason, those who want to - find a solution". I try to listen and look for solutions.


"Quality is more important than quantity"

Is the project being continued?


This project opened the door, which was closed for many years for us.

Thanks to the trust that we have developed, the client has accepted our offer for connecting new buildings to the system heat in its second factory in Poznań. And ahead of us another talks about further projects.


The technical solution that we have developed in this project can be duplicated elsewhere.

That is why we are now looking at our other industrial clients and their technological processes to see what potential of heat recovery we are able to gain from each of them.

What do you think the next step might be?


I am sure that this project will allow us to deepen our relationship with the client and develop further solutions that result in an increase in environmental protection.


We have managed to work out a truly innovative solution and it is great, still we are able to draw out the potential from us to develop the quality of system heat, which is so important for the city's inhabitants.

How do you see the future?


I am sure that the most interesting projects are yet to come.


It is already at our fingertips, and in the technical area we expect a real revolution, and I want to be its co-author.

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