The cold of the North is compensated by the warmth of its people – Ocean Grazer engineer

Made it in the North chats with engineer Ir. Vineeth Maniyara from Dutch sustainable energy solutions company Ocean Grazer

4 Ocean Grazer Made It In The North (1)

The biting cold of the North of the Netherlands is compensated greatly by the warmth of the community of people living there, says Ocean Grazer engineer Vineeth Maniyara.

Speaking to Made it in the North, a series that spotlights internationals working in the region, Ir. Vineeth Maniyara described his smooth transition into Dutch working life.

“I’m from Kerala in the South-West of India. As part of an Erasmus Mundus programme I studied in Berlin and then in Delft. I joined a startup in Utrecht before doing my doctorate at the Universiteit Twente in Enschede. Then I joined Ocean Grazer in Groningen, so I did a roundtrip of the Netherlands,” Maniyara said.

Life at Ocean Grazer and in Groningen

Ocean Grazer is a Dutch company that develops hybrid solutions for the offshore renewable energy sector. Maniyara joined Ocean Grazer in July of 2022 as its Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) engineer. He combines his knowledge of mechanical engineering, physics, and computational sciences as he ensures other engineers are in line with the performance and safety requirements of the company. He’s also responsible for the hydrodynamic system behind the company’s revolutionary ocean battery, a system which can store excess energy from wind farms. 

Asked about what it was like to experience the Dutch working culture, Maniyara says it wasn’t very different from what he had experienced before.

“However, Groningen is special in a way. I feel that the mentality of people is one that’s focused more on the person rather than on the role you’re performing. I’m seen as Vineeth the engineer as well as Vineeth the person. I feel that the mentality of the North is to see you as a person and not just as a CV,” says the Vineeth.

He also found life in Groningen to be similar to that in the rest of the Netherlands, except for perhaps the traffic-light junctions that turn green for all cyclists at the same time he jokes. 

Although he’s currently learning Dutch, Vineeth didn’t have any issues with communication when he started working in a scientific field.

“If you want to connect and get to know people around you and integrate better with the culture and in conversations, then language is useful although not mandatory,” Vineeth adds. 

Advice for international engineers interested in the North of the Netherlands?

“Look for the role that you want to apply for. Everyone has skills to contribute and everything that we’re doing has tasks that need to be completed for human life to move forward. Find out what you want to go for, go after it, and have fun doing it,” recommends Vineeth.

He says there’s room for more engineers and people from different scientific backgrounds as well as project managers and administrators in Groningen.

Video by Julia Dumchenko and Daindra Utami.
Text by Christoph Schwaiger.

The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. This article is part of Make it in the North‘s individual spotlight series that highlights internationals working in the North.