It begins with you

Opportunity Spotter


It begins with you

Opportunity Spotter

Opportunity begins with you because, at ABB, you can shape the future of technology.

For the last four years, I’ve been working on the ECO GIS (gas-insulated switchgear) project to develop an alternative to SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride) gas, which is the standard insulation medium in high-voltage switchgears. The gas is very powerful, but when it goes into the atmosphere it contributes to global warming. Obviously this is an important technical challenge, and I enjoy trying to solve this riddle with the team.

We’re getting closer, and the pilot installation of the first SF6-alternative 170-kilovolt substation proves it. But what will really make our work a breakthrough is when it provides a clear benefit for customers as well as the environment. I’ve learned that if you put yourself in the customer’s mind, you ask different questions than you do in the lab. You realize that the real opportunity for change will come when we prove how a technology that is better for the planet is also better for business.

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We have a real chance to do something for the planet and our customers.

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Research & Development
Zurich, Switzerland

Team leader in the ECO GIS project team    

Denis joined the ABB Trainee Program in 2008 after earning his master’s degree in mechanical engineering in Switzerland. His first stop was China, where he had previously studied out of personal interest. Denis later moved from R&D to project management for a fresh perspective on the business. Today, he leads an R&D project team for the ECO GIS – with colleagues in Switzerland and Germany – and continues to move between the research and business worlds every day.