The call from headhunters offering him the job of engineering director at the newly formed London Climate Change Agency (LCCA) took Paul Yiannouzis completely by surprise. But he jumped at the chance.
The veteran of major water and energy projects across the world has been brought into the LCCA to spearhead delivery of low-carbon developments.
'I'm working in an area I love and I look forward to leaving my mark on London in a good, positive way, ' he says.
At the moment Yiannouzis is working on projects to power the LCCA's headquarters. The newly opened Palestra House in London will generate 200kW through wind turbines and an on-site combined heat and power plant - enough to power two oors of the building.
He is also working on design, development and finance of projects with LCCA, working as a joint venture 'low energy utility' with EDF Energy. Schemes planned include the Gallion's Park zero carbon development, due to start on site in 2008.
He sees great potential in harnessing the millions of tonnes of waste generated in London for power generation.
Yiannouzis graduated as an electrical engineer from Manchester University in 1976 and has spent much of his working life at what is now Black & Veatch. In 1999 he was given responsibility to develop energy services and took the group from scratch to a 25-strong team.
So far his background in project management and delivery of major infrastructure projects is proving invaluable. On top of this he is honing his diplomatic skills and commercial awareness to make viable projects that are still difcult to do cost-effectively.
But the challenges are leavened by the enthusiasm shown by his team. 'People are so enthused about what is happening here. It's an opportunity to make a difference and it's quite a buzz' For engineering students with aspirations to help the ailing planet, Yiannouzis hopes to be working with you at some point in the future.
Paul Yiannouzis Career highlight: Working in developing countries from Botswana to Russia to India.
Career lowlight: Civil engineering pay and missing out on seeing my family grow up because of frequent absences from home.
If you could save one thing from your house in a fire: My wife.
Unusual fact: I'm from Greece originally but I'm a big supporter of Sunderland Football Club.