What do engineering interns actually do?

An insight into the engineering summer placement

Hi! My name is Ruben and I've just finished my 3rd year at Imperial College London studying mechanical engineering and I am looking to complete my Masters next year. In this blog I hope to give you a brief insight as to what I have actually done during my time with Centrica.

As an engineering intern I am located in Peterborough, with my fellow interns scattered across the country. I work at a power station operating two OCGTs (Open Cycle Gas Turbines) in the STOR market. This means the station can start up really quickly and provide power to the National Grid while, for example, other larger stations are starting. Learning about different plants and how they contribute to overall grid power generation has been one of the most interesting aspects of my experience so far.

In general my placement so far has been hugely varied in what I do on a day to day basis. The first couple of weeks were mainly inductions and tours to help me get a good understanding of the station and the contributing roles of different staff members.

More recently I have been tasked with my own projects. The most interesting of these, so far, has been to research and write a report on energy saving, by proposing changes in the drive cycles of the turbines. During my investigation I carried out a full shutdown and start-up of both turbines during a night shift which was really exciting and quite scary! The operation gave me some great data that I am still analysing in order to support my proposal.

In addition, I have been given the opportunity to visit many other stations and attend meetings and courses all over the country. I love the travel and opportunities to try out completely new things.

Last week all interns were required to attend a development day in Windsor. This (while sounding a bit dull) was actually an amazing experience! In the morning we received some really useful training on Excel and the afternoon was packed with team building exercises that included rock climbing with a Yeti! It was a really interesting day that finished with a night out with a large number of interns; a really great way to find out more about other streams and get to know everyone better.

In summary; so far I have enjoyed a varied and fruitful placement, made some great friends and look forward to what the rest of the placement might bring! I’ll keep you posted during the rest of my time in Peterborough and any other interesting things I do!