Engineering Leadership Programme
Find out what working here is really like- in the words of our current graduates. Alex graduated in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southampton before joining our Engineering Leadership scheme. Read more about his experience below.
What attracted you to join E.ON?
I wanted to get into the energy industry and what better way than to get a job with one of the world's leading energy companies. E.ON has such a diverse energy mix which made it very attractive as a company with plenty of possibilities available to learn and develop. As it is an International company the opportunities to travel also made me want to join.
Why did you choose our programme?
It gives you a chance to experience the different areas of E.ON and to go where you want to go. It supports my own development as well as my technological expertise, plus the chance of working abroad, something I'm very much looking forward to doing.
What have you been doing since you joined?
I have worked on a new Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) at Grain Combined Heat and Power station supporting the engineering team during commissioning and completing a critical study as part of the new maintenance strategy. At my present placement at Ratcliffe I have:
- Overseen the removal of the generator rotor, inspection and subsequent installation; validating the rotor for use for the next 8 years
- Supervised an installation of a low level cooling tank essential for the operation of the new generator stator
- Presented to all Engineering teams, Maintenance teams and to Wider Leadership Exec team on Solar panels installed at Ratcliffe; along with improving the data logging of the panels power output
As well as this I have taken part in The 8 Task Challenge, a mental and physical challenge, sponsored by E.ON. I've been to an FA Cup game (tickets nicely given by E.ON). I've received continuous personal development with courses on leadership, presentation skills, time management and Gas turbines.
Which of the projects you've worked on are you most proud of and why?
I've been proud of several jobs; supervising the generator rotor re-validation, it was a big job and I saw it through from start to finish. I oversaw safety, planning and initiation of the project, along with learning a considerable amount on Non Destructive Testing techniques. It was good to have ownership from the start. Also the solar presentations to the Engineering teams; I think it's important to discuss new technologies and how they can practically and realistically work. As well as the presentations I improved the performance tracking of the solar panels and hopefully raised people's awareness of them in the process.
What does your current role involve?
I'm in the electrical engineering team at a coal fired power station. As a mechanical engineer I have found this time in a different discipline invaluable, and the great thing about the graduate scheme is that it gives you the opportunity to explore and experience areas which you would never usually be able to appreciate. I have been supporting the team during one of the longest Outage periods during the Ratcliffe Environmental Upgrade, where we are fitting essential Selective Catalytic Reduction to lower our NOx emissions.
What do you enjoy most and least about your job?
I enjoy the variety and challenges available to you. Every day is different, and you never know what you will be doing next. The job gives you a lot of responsibilities and it's nice to know you are contributing to the team and changing energy in the process. You get to apply what you learnt at University to practical applications and see how the principles work in reality.
There is a lot of constant moving for the duration of the graduate scheme, it can be difficult to move every 4-6 months to a completely different part of the country and even the world, however there is an excellent graduate community so you are never to far away from someone else, and a new place means more things to explore.
What training and support have you received since you joined E.ON?
E.ON really is very good for personal and professional development. I don't think I have enough space to list all the training I have received so far. If there is an area that you feel needs to be developed then there are online and live courses available. If you want to go somewhere in E.ON, providing you benefit from it, there are plenty of resources and people available to help you make it happen.
What do you need to succeed as an E.ON graduate?
A lot of drive, potential and performance, it's a job where you get out what you put in.
Do you feel that now is an exciting time to join E.ON and why?
The Energy Industry is facing huge challenges with EU legislation closing many of the UK's power stations by 2015. We need new technologies and expertise to fill the energy gap and how we do this is one of the biggest challenges that the UK will face in the future. I think it's very exciting as a young engineer to be a part of this challenge and to have the chance to shape energy for the future.