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Meet the 100: Alexandra Golubovic, Lead Field Robotic Engineer – Diakont

The E+E 100 are the VPs, directors, managers and engineers who are making significant strides in driving our industry. See the complete list here or download the report for more detailed information about these leaders. And stay tuned for the Call for Submissions coming in the fall, when you can nominate your favorite sustainability or energy management professional!

Now, meet Alexandra Golubovic, lead field robotic engineer with Diakont.

Diakont is a pipeline and aboveground storage tank floor inspection service provider that uses robotics to access hard-to-reach areas within assets. Golubovic successfully led the first inspection of an online jet fuel storage tank using the world’s only Class 1 Division 1 Hazardous Location certified inspection robot, the Diakont Stingray. She also develops procedures for crews to be able to use the robot safely.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in the last year or two?

Our robot is certified to be safe, but just because the robot is not going to cause a spark doesn’t mean that the person using it isn’t going to cause a spark from static electricity by dragging their feet or something. So we had to do a lot of learning ahead of time to discover what safety features we needed. I want to make sure everyone is safe and that everyone makes it home afterwards.

How have you addressed that challenge?

We created a safety kit for the personnel that are in the field. It includes safety elements like things for their shoes so they’re not causing static electricity, harnesses for their hard hat so it doesn’t fall in. If there’s anything left in the kit, you know you’re not safe.

We also use step-by-step communications, making sure, verbally, that everyone knows what they’re doing — saying what they’re doing out loud, then doing it.

Knowledge is power, so I give the crews as much info as I can, but I’m also open to criticism: what can we do better, what could be done so the next time it’s easier?

What advice would you give other professionals as they try to accomplish their sustainability or energy management goals?

The only time you fail at something is if you give up. Keep trying to go toward those goals. Maybe involve other people who weren’t involved the first time. Use your coworkers, use their knowledge. You have multiple iterations. You say, “This might work, this might not,” then you try it and see.

And when it comes to safety, when you see something that is unsafe, you stop immediately.

Download the E+E 100 Report here.

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