What’s it like to Work in the Energy Sector?
We meet Dan Jackson…
Name: Daniel Jackson
Job Title: Process & Sustainability Consultant
Highest Level Qualification: MEng Chemical Engineering
How did you end up in this job?
I studied Chemical Engineering at Manchester University. During my time there I gained sponsorship from Procter & Gamble and started working at their manufacturing sites during my summer holidays. This lead to a graduate process engineering position in 2011 where I was responsible for improving the performance of production lines.
I then progressed to managing the line team which combined engineering with managerial responsibility. I then moved into supply chain which I did not find interesting and found my current role with Carbon Architecture two years ago and I haven’t looked back since!
What is your favourite thing about working in this industry?
In my role I get to see a large variety of sites and each of these has its own unique energy systems.
I enjoy understanding a client’s problem, assessing their setup and helping them solve the issue to reduce their energy use & cost.
Working with a wide variety of clients from NHS hospitals to breweries allows me to cross apply best practice from different industries.
What is the worst thing about working in this industry?
Hot boiler houses and plant rooms! One client had little ventilation and a major lack of insulation, the room was 40 deg+, not fun working conditions!
What is the most interesting thing you have learnt doing your job?
I have learnt a lot about CHP (combined heat and power) and optimisation of CHP heating systems. I find these systems interesting as you need to analyse multiple aspects of the system to determine its performance. I find that by analysing performance data from different sources I can uncover savings for my clients . Often these savings can run into hundreds of thousands a year for the client. This can be very motivating especially when working for the NHS.
What do you predict lies ahead for your job’s role in the sector?
I think a lot depends on energy prices and government carbon taxes or incentives. The majority of our clients looks to save money through reducing energy rather than carbon. Higher energy prices or improved incentives from the government would encourage more companies to invest in energy reducing technology.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to work in the energy sector?
From an engineering perspective, I think working in a production environment makes you develop great time management and analytical skills. It also allows you to understand the impacts of energy systems on the end user.
Do you think the government could do anything more to encourage people to work in the sector and WHY?
Have a clearer and more consistent policy on carbon taxes or incentives. This will allow business to make investments knowing the benefits. Additionally investment in new infrastructure such as Hinckley C should help.
What skills have you gained working in this sector?
- Problem solving
- Data Analysis
- Client management
- Technical understanding