In 2018 Ruby Heard transitioned out of her long term electrical engineering position with a large international firm to establish herself as an independent, freelance consultant. She launched Alinga Energy Consulting Pty Ltd in Melbourne, Australia to provide energy consulting services to where they are needed most desperately.
Currently an estimated 1.1 billion people in the world are without access to electricity and even more than that live with unreliable, barely affordable power. Ruby wants to bring power to the people who still need it, to improve their healthcare access, education opportunities and livelihoods and to decrease the current reliance on fossil fuels for generating power in remote areas. Such generation methods contribute substantially to green house gas emissions.
Ruby's mission is to provide affordable services and deliver inspired, optimized solutions which create synergy between client needs, our natural environment; and beneficiaries of the built environment or technologies. To her this means developing a deep understanding of the motivations and needs of all parties and striving for win-win solutions for all involved. She seeks to understand, collaborate and educate.
The name Alinga refers to the Sun Goddess acknowledged in some Aboriginal cultures. The sun is the origin of all energy on earth. The sun is the source of the photons that we directly harness and convert to solar electricity. It's heat is the cause of the pressure differentials which cause the wind that turn our turbines. The wind creates the waves and we capture the kinetic energy using wave energy conversion technologies. The sun grows the very energy we need for our own bodies and the decay of all things brought to life by the sun eventually leads to the concentrated energy we extract from the ground as oil.
This company honours the sun and supports the harnessing of energy in ways that serve people while conserving and protecting this planet.
Electrical Engineer and Energy Consultant
Ruby grew up in the area of Hanging Rock, 1 hour outside of Melbourne, Australia. Her family is a mix of 6th generation Australians and the Djrau people, indigenous Australians of the Southern Kimberley region of Western Australia. Ruby completed a bachelor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Victoria University in 2010.
After graduating Ruby took a position as graduate electrical engineer at Arup, a global multidisciplinary engineering firm. She worked in the Melbourne office for 4 years predominantly working as a building services engineer and lighting designer with some environmentally sustainable design (ESD) and precinct scale energy experience. In 2015 she transferred to Arup’s San Francisco office to focus on renewable energy, microgrids and private medium voltage distribution. She worked on projects for some of the largest technology companies in Silicon Valley including Google and Apple and for universities including Stanford and Berkeley.
Ruby found the most rewarding projects to be those that made the biggest difference to the ultimate beneficiary. In particular she values a project in which she helped a local charity expand their electrical service and upgrade their distribution system so that they could install heating and cooling in their office building. Wanting to make this kind of work her core focus, she left Arup in early 2018 to volunteer with Engineers Without Borders to support UNHCR with their energy program in Ethiopia. Here she acted as project and construction manager for solar and battery storage mini-grids and trained refugees in the installation of the systems, electrical fundamentals and system design.
Meanwhile Ruby established Alinga Energy Consulting so that she could bring her passion and knowledge of renewable energy, microgrids and remote energy solutions back to Australia. She would like to be a part of bringing reliable, affordable energy to indigenous and remote communities in Australia and the world and continue to use her specialist knowledge and experience to bring renewable energy and microgrids to the commercial sector.
Ruby has undertaken further studies in renewable energy including completing the GSES Certificate of Grid-Connected PV System Design and the EIT Vocational Certificate of Renewable Energy Technologies. She became chartered with Engineers Australia in 2015. Ruby received an award from the Design Futures Council as an Emerging Leader in Sustainable design which she accepted in Toronto in 2017.