Wasantha Perera is often at his happiest when a DEUTZ customer approaches him with a technical challenge to solve.
“I’m working on a few projects at the moment – requests for special applications come in from time to time and those are always interesting,” says Wasantha.
“One of our dealers in Bundaberg received a request from a railway company for one of our generators, but the railway company needs it to suit a 24V DC system, rather than the existing 12V DC. It’s my job to work out how we can do that conversion, what needs to change in the design and the costs involved.
“Another project, also in Bundaberg, is for one of our generators with a manual operated load bank to be upgraded to an automated system. I like solving those kinds of technical puzzles.”
Wasantha joined DEUTZ in early 2021 but has spent his working life surrounded by technology. He’s worked as a service engineer, production engineer and production manager in the electrical, mechanical, gas and energy industries and spent the past nine years with Aquatec Maxcon/MPA Engineering, specialising in turbine technology. Wasantha has also worked in the gas fields for Origin Energy and in waste-to-energy plants.
This diversity has given him insight into technology and engineering in its many forms — insight he is now sharing with his DEUTZ colleagues and customers.
“I work across the company but most of my time goes to our generators, engines and new product development. It’s part of my role to look into new products and to look at what we can bring into Australia from Germany or the USA,” says Wasantha.
“I research and identify any gaps in the DEUTZ Australia product line and how we are going to develop new products to fill those gaps. I also look at market data for our engines to see where we are performing well and where we can offer more.”
For many DEUTZ customers and dealers, Wasantha is also the technical guru who helps them solve their potential headaches.
“We naturally get questions from our dealers about how they can do this or that with a product and I’m here to support them,” says Wasantha.
“But I am also learning all the time while I am here, too. I like the working environment at DEUTZ because people are happy to help each other. I also learn a lot about our products by liaising with our factories in Europe and our Head Office in Germany. When there are new products on the way I enjoy speaking to my colleagues overseas to learn about those, so when new products arrive, I’m able to help our dealers and customers with any questions they have.”
Wasantha is originally from Sri Lanka where he studied electrical engineering and continued to gain qualifications at RMIT University in Melbourne. He ended up in Australia in 1996, after spending a few years working in Saudi Arabia.
“I didn’t like the politics in Sri Lanka and I also felt there were more opportunities in Australia,” he says.
He has two children, aged 21 and 24, and says they have also enjoyed the opportunities that growing up in Australia has brought.
“Melbourne is a happy place for me – I have friends here and I like me life here,” he says.
But, when COVID-19 restrictions permit, Wasantha does like to get away from Melbourne sometimes. As well as enjoying time in the kitchen cooking Sri Lankan and Indian food, he is a keen traveller.
“I’ve been to the USA a few times and to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Fiji, China, Vietnam, PNG, India, UAE, Bahrain and the Philippines. I’d like to see more of New Zealand and also more of Australia,” he says.