John Szatkowski, left, being interviewed in Iraqi.

John Szatkowski, left, being interviewed in Iraqi.

MIT alumni work in far flung places, but a deployment in Iraq to work on power infrastructure deserves note–especially since the alum is usually managing submarine overhaul. Yet U.S. Navy Commander John Szatkowski MNG ’00, SM ’00 headed to the desert seven months ago to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division as the project manager for the $176M Qudas Power Plant expansion, about 25 miles north of the capital.

On May 21, Szatkowski participated in an audio bloggers roundtable with one of his Iraqi engineers, describing the project basics from equipment to energy and water sources. Part of the experience, he said, was introducing Iraqi engineers and contractors to the U.S. style of project management, i.e. “get the job done.” You can also read his Pentagon Postcard for a update on the recently completed project.

“The good news is, I’m going to be going home with the Iraqi people having an additional 200 megawatts of generation capability¬† on their grid,” Szatkowski noted. He will return briefly to his Portsmouth Naval Yard base before a move to Washington D.C. where he’ll work with the Naval Sea Systems Command.

Roundtable Factoid: Iraqi homes now receive about eight hours of electricity a day.