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Insights Imagine decarbonizing at sector scale? Here's why we don't have to...

David Haboubi has worked in the nuclear and energy sector with Atkins, a member of the AtkinsRéalis Group, for over 21 years. As Director of our Nuclear & Net Zero Energy practice across the Middle East and Africa, he and his teams are facing the climate change challenge head-on.

"Most of my professional career has been in nuclear, and since relocating to the Middle East, my role has expanded to a broader energy role. Energy is one of the biggest contributors to delivering net zero societies, and the whole alternative energy side has always appealed to me."

Photo of David talking on a panal

David, what excites you about Engineering Net Zero?

Firstly, Engineering Net Zero is our plan to engineer a better future. As one of the world's leading engineering consultants, our cross-sector experience and long global heritage puts us in a unique position to help achieve net zero. Working across the entire Middle East and Africa, we carry out some of the most transformational clean energy projects. I'm fortunate to have an overview of everything we do in this sector across the Middle East region, and more often than not, I roll my sleeves up and get involved in the work.

What is your team working on at the moment?

There is too much to mention, and nothing we do is boring. Our projects vary greatly in size, scope and scale, so what you do with us will depend on your interests. The team is at the cutting edge, designing some of the region's largest green hydrogen plants and advising governments, investors and developers across a range of technologies, including waste-to-energy facilities. We're the trusted local engineering partner to the Arab world's first nuclear power plant, and we're even helping another GCC country with the development of their first nuclear plant.

Photo of David working in full PPE

How does your team inspire you?

We're known for our diversity of thought, expertise and knowledge, and the team is always discovering new innovations to provide broader benefits to a country outside the immediate problem. I am so proud of the graduates and interns that we have locally, giving them responsibility early and seeing them tackle any problem that’s thrown at them. It's also fantastic to see the women in our team leading in client relationships and delivering complex projects. No matter who you are, if you want to build a career out of being the best you can be, you'll do well here.

What does your passion for ENZ look like?

Those who know me will tell you I'm a bit of an extrovert. I take any opportunity… whether internally, with a new client, or at external events, to ensure people are aware of some of our fantastic work as a company. I get a real buzz from connecting clients to our experts.

What is your biggest concern about the future?

This might sound strange, but 'green-washing.' Poor communications and perceptions from global leaders and influencers, that certain technologies will save the planet, when they don't understand the entire lifecycle of carbon intensities and the associated indirect costs. Wrong decisions made will have an impact on the cost of getting to a global net zero system.

How do I know I can make a tangible difference in the climate crisis if I join AtkinsRéalis ?

You'll be able to bring your skills and enthusiasm to the table and get a real sense of enjoyment, knowing we're all pulling together. Working in so many interrelated sectors means we never have a siloed view when solving a problem. Our energy teams are constantly working with our transportation, infrastructure and master planning teams, meaning a holistic approach is built into our DNA. I actually don't know any other company that does this.

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