Employee Highlight – Niel D’Souza

Niel D’Souza

Junior Project Engineer

Give us a brief overview of your role.

I joined the GSI team three years ago as a Junior Project Engineer. My primary responsibility is designing solar projects, which involves detailed PVSyst analysis, reviewing site layouts, and sizing electrical components. I also manage interconnection applications for different states and work closely with various utilities. In my early years, I was part of the O&M team and played a role in overseeing the ongoing operations of our storage and solar projects.

What is the most memorable moment you have had working for GSI?

The company arranged an in-person team-building event, marking the first time that most of the team gathered in the same location since the beginning of the pandemic. Prior to this, we had only interacted through Teams video calls. Many colleagues were surprised by my height since they had only seen my portrait on Teams call and were amazed to discover how tall I am. I’m not sure if I appear shorter on Teams call.

What led you to a career in engineering, and more specifically in the renewables sector?

Becoming an engineer was always my dream, so I pursued a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. After graduating, I landed my first job in the petrochemical industry in Saudi Arabia, where I worked for over two years. During this time, I discovered my passion for making a positive impact on the environment and decided to shift my focus. To pursue this interest, I moved to Canada and started my studies in renewable energy.

Fortunately, my college professor, David Windley, who also served as Director of Engineering, played a crucial role in my career. I was offered a 6-month contract position, which later evolved into a full-time role.

Tell us one interesting fact about yourself that your colleagues might not know.

One interesting fact about me that my colleagues might not know is that I am multilingual. I can speak five languages, namely English, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, and Tulu. What makes it unique is that out of these five, three have distinct scripts, allowing me not only to speak but also to read and write in these languages. I have plans to expand my linguistic skills by learning two more languages in the coming years.

How do you spend your time outside of work?

Outside of work, I really enjoy hanging out with friends and family. Watching TV series and movies is one of my favorite ways to relax. When the weather is nice, I also like to spend time in the garden and explore trails during the summer.

What is one thing you’d like to cross off your bucket list?

I’m eager to try Bungee Jumping in Whistler, BC. This fall, my wife and I had our first canoeing adventure at Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park. The weather was lovely when we began, but within 10 minutes, it took a dramatic turn. Despite our efforts to paddle to shore, the wind kept pushing us back. After 15 minutes of panic and fear, we finally reached the shore. I don’t think I’ll be going canoeing again.

Rapid Fire Favorites

  • Movie: The Lord of the Rings
  • Musician: Queen
  • Restaurant: Mandi Afandi (Mississauga)
  • Food: Pork Bafat (traditional)
  • City: Mangalore, India