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Andrea

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Andrea's STORY

Assistant Mechanical Engineer
FCC Environment

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Andrea has worked at FCC Environment’s Allington energy from waste (EfW) plant as Assistant Mechanical Engineer for the past year and a half. Andrea has spent over four years working as an engineer in the waste and resources management sector, following the completion of her MSc in Chemical Engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

In her role at FCC Environment’s state-of-the art EfW facility at Allington, Andrea works in the maintenance department where she manages, coordinates and plans onsite projects designed to improve health and safety and increase the plant’s availability. While her role also includes planning for routine preventive maintenance work, it can also be very reactive – requiring Andrea to respond quickly to issues that may arise unexpectedly. Commenting on her current role, Andrea said: “As with every job, there are routine tasks that need to be completed each day, however, no two days are the same and there is always something new to learn. It may sound like a cliché, but it is very rewarding to work in an industry that is beneficial to the planet as this aligns with my personal values.”

During her final year at university, Andrea had the opportunity to study in Sweden for a year, where energy from waste is an established part of the waste hierarchy. While studying there, Andrea’s professor took them to visit an EfW plant, which she found fascinating and her interest in the sector only grew from there.

Before joining FCC Environment, I worked on the development of new biomass plants at ENCE Energia y Celulosa in Madrid, where I had the opportunity to learn all about the technical side of projects. I then spent 2 years and 2 months on FCC’s graduate management trainee programme, where I got to learn about the different aspects of the business and how it operates. I rotated through a range of roles including as a Performance Engineer, where I was responsible for monitoring and analysing the plant’s performance on a daily basis, and as a Process Support Technician which gave me hands-on experience in how the plant operated, supporting my technical knowledge.

Andrea believes that roles in engineering are not as popular among women due to preconceived opinions about the sector and that education can be the catalyst in changing opinions. She says: “If you are unaware or have not been educated about something, then it is impossible to be interested in it. So I am glad that we are inviting schools to visit Allington to give their pupils an idea about the career opportunities that are available to them, and help discover the engineers of the future.”

The advice I would give to engineers of the future: apply for the relevant qualifications and go for it! be willing to take risks and try to absorb all the knowledge you can. Don’t be afraid of asking questions and – most importantly – don’t be afraid of sharing your opinion.

Creating and developing a diverse and inclusive work environment is fundamental for the current and future success of our sector. Join the sector today and make a difference.

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