People

“Hello, my name is Tilak”

Meet Tilak Bhattari, an expert on hydropower and has worked on a wide spectrum of such projects across Asia

For Mr Tilak Bhattarai, SMEC’s Manager, Hydropower & Dams – Philippines & Pacific, SMEC’s Hydropower and Dams Division has been a rewarding place to grow professionally, thanks to the variety of challenges that keep him on his toes. 

“I have worked a spectrum of projects,” he said, “from a very small 200kW micro hydro project in Vanuatu to a mega-sized 800 MW hydropower project in Nepal.  I have worked on a very high-level study of solar/pumped storage hybrid project (6 MW) in Indonesia, and down to a detailed feasibility/reference design of over 550 MW pumped storage project in the Philippines.”

As hydropower projects are multi-disciplinary, each requiring working with experts in hydrology, geology/geotechnical, hydraulics, dams, tunnel, power station, civil/structural, roads, electrical, mechanical, transmission, social/environment, meeting project deadlines and delivering quality products are always a challenge, he said. 

With a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from Nepal’s Tribhuvan University (1996) and a Master’s degree in Hydraulic Schemes from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (2003), Mr Bhattari is an accredited CPEng in Australia and MIEAust.

As Construction Engineer for the Kaligandaki A Hydroelectric project (144 MW) in Nepal, and oversaw its construction between 1997 and 2001 before joining SMEC in 2007. Since then, he has designed and project managed several hydropower and pumped-storage projects in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Over the past 13 years, he has made significant contributions in conducting concept studies, pre-feasibility, feasibility and detailed design of hydro projects in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia. He has also managed technical and financial due diligence studies including lenders’ engineer services for project financiers. His current role: Expand and profitably manage SMEC’s hydropower and dams business in the Philippines and in the Pacific region.

What gives Mr Bhattari the most satisfaction in his line of work is “seeing the smiles on people’s faces” when he completes an assignment. “When my many years of works add renewable energy in the national grid or in rural mini grids, I can clearly see the impact that they bring to people’s livelihoods and to the local social standards, and even on the country’s economic indicators.”

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