She's got the power - Centrica engineer starts first graduate exchange to Siemens
The world of power stations and energy is often seen as being dominated by men but one young female graduate is already making great strides in the industry.
In a first for Centrica and Siemens, turbine engineer Anna Southall, 28, has just started a secondment with the team at Siemens in Lincoln, as a pilot for the firms’ newly developed exchange programme.
The programme has been set up to give graduate and newly-qualified engineers the opportunity to expand their engineering knowledge, by going on secondment to each other’s companies. For Anna that means exposure to the work that goes into designing and developing gas turbines for use in the oil and gas industry, and industrial power generation. She will spend three months with Siemens, a world-leading gas turbine manufacturing and service business, which operates in 89 countries.
She said: “Having spent the last few years working at Centrica’s South Humber Bank power station near Grimsby it’s so rewarding to know I’m playing my part in helping to keep people’s lights on at home.
“My interest in power stations started back in school when I took part in an engineering education scheme at the former Drakelow Power Station, which was designed to get kids interested in engineering.
“I guess it must have done the trick – 10 years later and I’ve made it through Centrica’s graduate engineering programme, secured a permanent role in the business, and now with this exchange, I’m just a few months away from applying to register as a professional engineer through the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.”
Both companies are pioneers of skills and training, and have long-established and prestigious graduate schemes. These schemes are highly sought after and gaining a place can be the opportunity of a lifetime for a graduate engineer. Moving forward, Centrica and Siemens plan to establish a regular exchange of engineers to support the growth of their talent base.
John Weir, Technical Training Manager at Centrica, said: “When it comes to high calibre graduates like Anna, we’re quite literally talking about Centrica’s engineers of the future so it’s essential that we give them the opportunities to grow as professionals. I’m sure this will be a hugely valuable experience for her and other engineers as we look to develop the programme further.”
Siemens in Lincoln is a global manufacturing and service business, which operates in 89 countries.
Paul Birt, human resources director at Siemens in Lincoln said: “We are delighted to be pioneering this graduate exchange programme with Centrica. We believe that this will hugely enrich the experience of our graduates enabling them to expand their knowledge of engineering, as well as experiencing other business cultures and working with different teams. We see this as a good model for future talent management.”