There’s a fresh face to get to know at LCL: Mahmoud Hammad has joined the Critical Infrastructure Team. After working in Lebanon and Equatorial Guinea as a mechanical engineer, we welcomed Mahmoud to LCL as our new Critical Infrastructure Engineer. Find out how Mahmoud is experiencing his move to, and his first job, in Belgium, and how he hopes to put his knowledge of cooling systems to good use.

A fresh start

Mahmoud moved to Belgium with his wife in October 2022. As if moving to a new country isn’t life-changing enough already, Mahmoud’s family soon grew with the birth of their first son. New home, new baby, so the next step was a new job, which Mahmoud was very happy to find at LCL. "I was very excited and grateful for my first day at LCL, but also a bit nervous as it’s my first job in Belgium," Mahmoud shares. His initial jitters soon disappeared, thanks to the warm reception from his new colleagues. "Honestly, they vanished after the first ten minutes. I felt so welcomed, almost like an old friend, and that helped me relax immediately."

Mahmoud was stepping into unfamiliar territory. "The data center sector is new to me. Back in Lebanon and Equatorial Guinea, I worked on designing sites, maintenance, and engineering for different types of buildings, from hospitals to commercial centers, to residential houses. That included everything: cooling, plumbing, firefighting, draining, swimming pools, but cooling systems were always my speciality. I even worked on the house of the president of Equatorial Guinea, but a data center is a whole other ballgame.”

The stakes are higher at LCL, where precision in cooling technology plays a vital role in the reliability of services provided to customers. "It's a whole other level, the cooling systems here are much larger and more advanced than anything I've worked with before."

Mahmoud Hammad

Committed to LCL

So, how did Mahmoud end up at LCL? “I saw a post online and felt I had to apply. Cooling systems were already my expertise, and they’re an important part of data center infrastructure, so that’s why.” But even so, how Mahmoud imagined a data center worked is very different from what he sees now. “Since it’s very hot in Africa, cooling systems are of course very widespread. The cooling systems here are much larger and more technologically advanced than anything I've worked with before. Especially the ones in the new buildings, at LCL Brussels-West for example, are fascinating.” Mahmoud also sees LCL’s constant focus on energy efficiency as a big plus.

Mahmoud's role at LCL is multifaceted. Beyond monitoring cooling systems, he is responsible for regular equipment check-ups, ensuring operational reliability, energy efficiency, and scheduling preventative maintenance. "I hope to use my experience to ensure good uptime for our customers and offer the right solutions if necessary. I want to keep them happy, along with my amazing new team," he states, showing his commitment to his role and team. And I want to expand my knowledge as well. As an engineer, every day is a learning opportunity since there are new innovations every day.”

Exploring Belgium

The decision to move to Belgium was driven by the desire for a better future for his family. "In Equatorial Guinea, despite living in the capital, the lack of technology made it difficult to find work and to live there. Even hospitals don’t have the right equipment," Mahmoud recounts. With his Palestinian background, returning to Lebanon also didn’t offer much security. This prompted him and his wife to seek a safer, more stable environment in Belgium. "It’s a good country, with a strong education system and healthcare," he adds.

Mahmoud plans to stay here. “It was hard at first, but every day it gets easier. The language is the biggest challenge. Sadly, in every place I’ve lived, they speak a different language,” Mahmoud laughs. “I will keep taking lessons, but I also need to practice more with my colleagues.” At LCL, Mahmoud really feels at home: “Thanks to LCL, I feel like I have a family in Belgium. I really like getting to know everyone and enjoying the occasional after-work get-together.”

Outside the data center, Mahmoud enjoys exploring Belgium: “I love discovering new cities and new places, almost every weekend we try to visit somewhere new. I spend a lot of time doing research on Google and Instagram to figure out where to go.” He likes being in nature best, but he’s ticking off many cities as well. “I would really recommend Dinant, since it has bit of everything: mountains, the river, beautiful buildings…”  You can ask Mahmoud for all the best staycation tips, and there’s more on his list: “Since I now live in Boom, maybe next year I need to discover Tomorrowland?”

Share on: