Nico Kruger

Position: Regional director, Poyry Energy Middle East

Biography: Nico Kruger joined Finnish consultancy and engineering firm Poyry Energy as managing director of its Philippines operations in 2001. He moved to the Middle East in 2008 and is currently the firm’s regional director. Kruger is a mechanical engineer with more than 30 years of experience. He has spent most of his career in the power generation industry in various positions, including maintenance, operations, testing, engineering, consulting and construction. Prior to joining Poyry, Kruger worked as a consulting engineer for South African utility Eskom, working at the Arnot power plant between 1988 and 1992; the Tutuka power plant between 1992 and 1996; and Eskom’s head office between 1998 and 2002. In 1996-97, he worked for Switzerland’s ABB in the US. Kruger has an engineering and management degree from the University of South Africa.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 606 9500

Matthias Schnurrer

Position: Director of Gulf area, Fichtner

Biography: Matthias Schnurrer joined German engineering consultancy Fichtner in 2000. He worked as a project manager on several power and water projects across the world before being appointed regional director for Africa in 2003. He took up his current role in 2007. Schnurrer has worked on four independent water and power projects (IWPPs) in Saudi Arabia; a desalination facility in Australia; a combined-cycle power plant in Chile, a power facility in Rudeshur in Iran, the first IWPP in Fujairah in the UAE and the Bandar Asaluyeh project in Iran. Between 1998 and 2000, he worked for Germany’s Siemens Power Generation Group as commissioning engineer for combined-cycle power plants in South America. Schnurrer has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Siegen in Germany.

Contact Tel: (+971) 2 445 3066

Ashutosh Sharma

Position: Principal consultant, Kema Middle East 

Biography: Ashutosh Sharma is principal consultant and project manager at Kema Middle East in Dubai. He has more than 27 years’ experience working in India and the GCC. Sharma joined Netherlands-headquartered Kema in 2007. He has worked on power projects for clients including Bahrain’s Electricity & Water Authority, Qatar’s Public Works Authority and Oman’s Dhofar Power Company, Rural Area Electricity Company and Oman Electricity and Transmission Company. Sharma has experience in technical audit, condition assessment, risk analysis, asset management and benchmarking. Between 1998 and 2007, he worked for Aluminium Bahrain. From 1985 to 1998, he was maintenance manager for India’s power utility NTPC. Sharma graduated from the University of Jodhpur in India with a degree in electrical engineering and management. 

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 299 3070

Gary Townsend

Position: Vice-president, Black & Veatch Middle East, India, Europe and Africa

Biography: Gary Townsend joined the US’ Black & Veatch in 1973 as an associate mechanical engineer at the Victor Brauning power plant in Texas. He is currently vice-president, technical adviser and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) execution projects director for the Middle East, India, Europe and Africa region. Townsend has worked on-site at power projects in the US, India, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, Colombia and Indonesia as a mechanical engineer, site/construction manager, project engineer, project manager and programme manager. Townsend relocated to Kansas in 1998 and worked as vice-president/director of proposals. He is currently based in Dubai. Townsend has served on the risk management review board of the firm since 1998 and played a key role in formulating risk management processes currently in place at Black & Veatch.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 429 6800

Jeff Larkin

Position: Power and water director, Parsons Brinckerhoff

Biography: As power and water director at Parsons Brinckerhoff, Jeff Larkin is responsible for growing the US consultancy’s energy and utilities business across the Middle East and North Africa region. He was appointed to the position in April 2011 and is based in Abu Dhabi. Previously, he was Parsons Brinckerhoff’s country manager for Iraq and spent seven years overseeing the creation of a power masterplan for the war-torn country, commissioned by the Electricity Ministry. Larkin joined Parsons Brinckerhoff in 1989 as a substation engineer. He moved into business development in 1998 and in 2002 was promoted to sales and marketing director for the power networks business in the UK. Larkin is a chartered electrical engineer and has a master’s of business administration from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK.

Contact Tel: (+971) 2 652 9222

Chris Ball

Position: Managing director, Atkins (nuclear)

Biography: Chris Ball joined UK-based engineering, design and consulting company Atkins in 2000. He was appointed managing director of the company’s nuclear business in 2007. He has 20 years’ experience in the UK and European nuclear markets, including many years working on licensed sites. Ball has a degree in nuclear engineering from Manchester University in the UK. He is also a chartered engineer and member of the UK’s Nuclear Institute. He is a board member of ACKtiv Nuclear, a joint venture of Atkins, the UK’s Carillion and the US’ Jacobs Engineering formed to clean-up the Sellafield Legacy ponds in the UK. Ball is also a member of the ‘n.triple.a board’, a joint venture between Atkins and Assystem which is targeting the worldwide nuclear new build market. Atkins is acting on behalf of the lenders on the UAE’s first nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi. The project will have a capacity of 5.6GW.

Contact Tel: (+971) 2 627 1500