Meet Georg Engelmann of Diamond Infrastructure Development, Inc. in Willis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Georg Engelmann.

Georg , can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

I grew up around Chicago, Illinois, in the northeast part of the state, close to Lake Michigan. My father is actually from Germany and my mom was from Illinois. I have two sisters and a brother. My parents were divorced when I was pretty young. We moved to the Houston area in 1981. Houston has been more or less what I called home ever since, so that’s nearly 40 years. I’m happy here. Tejas in Spanish is a word that Texas was derived from; I think it means friendly, or friends. It’s quite an open and friendly place, relative to other places I’ve lived. My mom used to work for the government, and so we had moved from Chicago to Minnesota to Oklahoma to Wisconsin and back. We moved around a lot. I believe that between kindergarten and graduating from high school, I actually went to 13 different schools. It really gave me an opportunity to redefine myself over and over and over again.

I’ve always been in love with the sea. That’s where it started – water. In terms of the Zodiac, I’m a Pisces. I don’t remember myself, but my mom said, “Back when you first learned to talk, you would tell me that you wanted to be a scuba diver, and I had no idea what that was.” She also quoted me again as a child saying that “When I grow up, I want to farm the sea.” I read a lot when I was a kid. John Steinbeck wrote a book called, Cannery Row, which is iconic in American literature. It’s about a guy who was a marine biologist. I thought that was cool. What I realized through my high school experience in Marine Biology is that Texas A&M had a university branch campus in Galveston to offer Marine Biology and Oceanography, as well as Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture and these kinds of courses, programs, four-year programs. I said, “Well, I want to go to Texas A&M University in Galveston because it’s by the beach because I want to surf.” I actually ended up studying just about everything before I got out. I was an unusual case where I was paying for my own college. I worked my way through school, paid for all my courses, all of my dorm fees, food, everything. I was really under no pressure from anybody to hurry up and get out because nobody was paying my bills but me.

I had the opportunity to look at a variety of courses, which took me all through Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering and Ocean Engineering – wave theory and hydrodynamics, ship design and actual coastal engineering processes, like erosion, harbors, everything about the sea and all the engineering aspects of it. With that came a very diverse set of skills and knowledge, all focused on the sea. As it turned out, when I got close to graduation, I was recruited by an engineering company that was supporting the oil and gas business, and to be quite honest, I was very tired of being poor. As a self-supported, self-financed college student, it wasn’t like I had a whole lot to work with financially. I joined white-collar society as an engineer, working for an engineering company and doing subsea pipelines. I ended up getting a master’s degree in Ocean Engineering – offshore structures, wave structure interaction of coastal hydrodynamics, again at the University of Houston at night while working fulltime. Again, just continue to stay by the sea.

Meanwhile, I was traveling the world doing offshore projects, offshore construction. I put in one of the deepest facilities at the time in the South China Sea. It set a historical first on subsea remote and robotics technology implementation. One of my first projects was the longest, largest diameter subsea pipeline in the world. I was part of a team that installed the first deep water floating production system in Nigeria. I worked for – I spent the last part of my career working for Shell Oil Company in their Deepwater Projects Division, participating with teams that set records with every new project. I was designing future technology. I lived in Nigeria for almost 13 years. I very much embraced the culture. I became embedded in the society and the local environment. I was able to not only see the United States from outside of it, but I also lived firsthand like the other 90% of the planet actually lives.

I realized that a society driven by materialism, a society that defines itself as eligible or as justified based on the amount of possession, that doesn’t just work for everybody. In fact, it’s really not necessary. To get that vantage point on the way that the world works, it gave me a very clear view on what the world really needs. It’s not an iPhone 11. It’s clean drinking water. It’s something to eat more than two days in a row. It’s to be able to have light in your house when you need it, or electricity.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?

I think the biggest obstacle that I’ve seen as a recurring theme through my life has been about recognizing and accepting my own potential. I haven’t 100% cracked that code yet. At a certain point, a person has to take personal initiative to soul search and identify, “what do I want to do and what am I going to do about that?”

At the end of my time in Nigeria, I got a call from Shell. They said, “Sorry, you’ve been in Nigeria for so many years. You’ve got to go back.” The government is starting to have issues with your permit to work; along with the decline in the price of oil along with other issues, we have no choice, but they have to send you back to the states. Thank you for your service, we love you – but essentially, see you.” When I get back to Houston, they were in the process of laying off 30% of the staff and then 30% again and 30% again. I found myself without employment, but I looked at it like I’ve been given an opportunity for a clean start, a fresh start. I had to recover from the whole trauma of suddenly being jobless after 25 years. It could have been an insurmountable obstacle.

I think that recognizing what your core values and your core beliefs are is crucial. For me, that core belief was really about faith. It’s a belief that there is a God, and He’s giving you the power and self-determination to get yourself where you need to be and be as healthy, both physically and mentally and emotionally as you possibly can, which means you have to face a lot of very difficult truths about who you are. Too many people have the wrong definition of their self- worth and their own ability. All they have to do is simply believe that God put you here for a purpose. You have been called and because you’ve been called, you shall be equipped because all the potential is within you, it’s required to come from within you to perform, stand and deliver and do what you’re meant to do. Believe that, and by the power of the word, it shall happen. Some folks just never get there. This world is full of angry, hurting people that need to understand that there is a way out, but it starts with you.

Diamond Infrastructure Development, Inc. – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?

At Diamond Infrastructure Development, Inc., we’ve identified an approach to creation of energy and infrastructure that is actually sustainable. We recognize that at the very foundation of what people need to survive, it comes down to water and energy. When you’re utilizing systems that create energy, everything has a carbon footprint. The people that say that “we are carbon zero,” it’s a lie. There’s no such thing. Take a wind turbine for example. Considering the materials that are used in the manufacturing and installation process, then to operate and maintain it and go through the whole cycle of that system, the turbine will never create enough energy to justify itself. Let alone be a sufficient performer in terms of efficiency to ever display the demand for electrical power from the grid that it was meant to do or decompose in a sustainable way. The idea of giving everybody an electric vehicle and it’s going to be powered by wind turbine, you try to do the math on this, and it just doesn’t work. It’s the Green New Deal with a Cadillac that’s a gas-guzzler – the wind turbine is a hood ornament. The wind turbine is like this icon of what’s supposed to be green or renewable, sustainable – it’s not.

In our systems, we will have actually utilized more carbon out of the environment for purpose of energy creation, then we would have incurred in terms of carbon debt to create that system in the first place. Responsible uses are chosen materials that can be recycled or repurposed again and again. I’ve chosen systems that actually have sources of energy that are perpetual. The heat that the sun adds to manifest itself in wind, and in the water temperature of the sea, those two works together to create all kinds of phenomena. The one that is most durable that has the greatest amount of impact and consistency is actually the waves. Ocean waves are the optimal manifestation of the energy God gave us.

The mission around what we do is sustainable technology. Starting at the foundations of society, which lies in infrastructure. We have a portfolio of technologies that enable every aspect of all that, be it from the water that you drink, to when you flip on the light, to the very building that you’re habituating or the transportation system that you use to get there, or the aquaculture or the hydroponics or the agricultural systems that are actually creating your food. I have a system that can create freshwater from the sea. It can actually be energized to deliver that water to the place that you’re growing. There’s a comprehensive suite of what’s needed to define a complete socioeconomic lifestyle and value chain from top to bottom on what the planet needs. But all of this is done on a very environmentally conscious and sustainable basis and to reveal that every facet of society can benefit one way or another from what it is that we do. Today’s incarnation of the vision is the wave energy conversion system. My passion is solving these kinds of problems, problems that can only be revealed when you have the compassion to dig in and go after the source.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?

When I met Kenneth W. Welch Jr. at Global Oceanic Designs and heard him share about his suite of technologies and vision for global healing and sustainable energy, there was this “aha moment.” Suddenly it all lined up and I realized that every life experience that I had actually funneled into this very moment, where I realized that I was equipped mentally and emotionally to be able to perceive the opportunity, accept it, and then survey that entire landscape. It all suddenly aligned, and I realized that I could do all of this. But it took a lot of conversation. The back and forth exchange of ideas and thoughts and philosophies. I was able to quite easily see the horizon across the landscape of possibilities that existed for all of the different technologies that he had developed over his 40 years’ career of doing all this. To see how systemically it gave a fix for what the planet needs. That relationship between Ken and I was kind of evolved from a technical encounter to what could even be classes of – some level of spiritual bond in that regard.

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News Via: Vayage Houston

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