Ever since he was a child in Iran, Behzad N. has loved everything mechanical. “I was good at breaking things and building them back up,” he says. “I used LEGOs and small electric motors to create ships.” Now, his toy ships are 300-foot wind towers.
Behzad leveraged his passion for machines and gift in math to achieve a full scholarship to The University of Texas at Dallas, where he completed his master’s degree in mechanical engineering. “I chose UT Dallas because of my passion for wind. What will be growing for the next 10, 20 or 30 years will be wind energy.” he says. Texas is the nation’s leader, generating more wind capacity than any other state.
“I had a dream to come to the States, first to go to school and then to get a job and settle here. That was my dream, but it wasn’t easy leaving my family behind,” he says. Due to complex immigration regulations for Iranians, Behzad has not been able to return home or have his family visit since he arrived in 2016. Despite these challenges, Behzad says launching his career in wind has been worth it. “When you look at the end of the road, you get the motivation to put in whatever you need to reach your goals.”
After graduating, he and his fiancée moved to San Diego, where Behzad learned of a new role launching the drivetrain inspection division at Workrise.
What appealed to me was that this division wasn’t there yet. They wanted someone to build it from the ground up.Behzad N. — Specialist Field Manager
Drivetrain inspection is a special skill which involves sending a camera inside a wind turbine to inspect the gearbox, main shaft bearing, or the generator, which are typically difficult to access.
“We send a camera in to maneuver around and take a picture of any possible damage. I will then evaluate the severity of the damage and the possible cause of a specific failure mode,” he says.
It’s also possible to determine the general health of the wind turbine, and even how long it can continue operating. “Basically, our clients want to know if they can run the tower or not,” he says. “You don’t have many trained technicians to pull this off. It takes knowledge and patience to do the job up-tower.”
Behzad started out performing these inspections himself, but quickly advanced to the role of Specialist Field Manager as he began building out the division—creating instruction manuals, training curriculum, and promotional materials. “Because it was a new service, I needed to collaborate with our sales and marketing teams to showcase our new capabilities and technical skills to the clients,” he says.
Now, he’s responsible for hiring and training the technicians who perform the inspections, developing the training curriculum, analyzing data, writing the reports, and communicating with clients.
The division has inspected over 250 wind turbines across the United States in the last year.
“Every customer we went to were very pleased with the quality of our work and how we delivered,” he says.
Behzad says this success has a lot to do with the training, guidance, and support he’s received from the management team at Workrise.
Here I feel empowered and supported to share my ideas and try to simplify processes.Behzad N. — Specialist Field Manager
What he loves most about his job is the agency it gives him to make an impact in the wind industry. “Seeing that you can actually help your customer is really rewarding for me. I feel I’m helping the industry to grow,” he says.
When he’s not working, he and his fiancée take advantage of the natural environment in southern California. “We are outdoorsy people so San Diego is great. Every week we go hiking in a new spot. We go to national parks, to the beach—we enjoy being out there.”
In a way, his career in the wind industry brings his love of nature into balance with his first love—mechanical machines. “This is just the beginning of a very big movement that’s going to make the whole planet go green and use renewable energy in the next decade. I want to be part of that push to make that happen,” he says. “I’m one of those people who loves nature, earth and everything that lives in it. My purpose is to serve people and serve nature. That’s my higher purpose.”