t: +44 (0) 0121 713 8255
e: hello@energyutilitiesjobs.co.uk

Suzanna

Other Stories

Suzanna's STORY

Advanced Commissioning Engineer
National Grid

Other Stories

Suzanna reveals how a previous job on super-yachts led to a career contributing to a cleaner energy future.

My role involves connecting new green energy sources to the network, such as solar farms, interconnectors and battery storage, in a safe and efficient way. I also manage existing equipment to ensure that it doesn’t have any adverse effects on the environment, such as leaking oil or SF6 gas. I’m mainly based at Sellindge in Kent, where the IFA1 2000MW DC Interconnector to France is converted to AC power.

Starting out on super-yachts

I used to work for a company that installed digital systems to reduce the amount of wiring and automate the electrical supplies on super-yachts. It involved a lot of travel around Europe. The detrimental impact of the flying on my carbon footprint, and the extravagant lifestyle that the yachts stood for, had a great impact on my environmental awareness and this encouraged me to look for a different career – one that was greener. I went on to join National Grid in 2010.

Growing eco awareness

As a teenager I felt responsible for my surroundings and my impact on them. I started cycling and walking to school, and recycling as much as I could. I’ve always been quite conscious of water and energy wastage too.I wanted a career in engineering after I learnt about the apprenticeship scheme my brother had joined. I saw that change was coming in the energy sector and wanted to be a part of that movement to help protect the earth’s climate. I studied Power System Engineering at Aston University and completed two engineering apprenticeships, the second with National Grid, which is now known as a Higher Apprenticeship.
Generally, the aspect of my work that makes me proudest is leading the way for other women to become engineers, helping to make the energy sector greener. I think I’d like my legacy to be the equipment and connections that I help commission and bring onto the network – green energy such as solar farms.

First woman ACE

The highlight of my job, apart from being the first woman to achieve the Advanced Commissioning Engineer (ACE) authorisation status, is that moment when the new equipment is first energised and becomes part of the network. There’s a great sense of achievement thinking about all the work that has been done to get to that point.

Technology is changing so quickly and new equipment is introduced all the time – I don’t think I will ever stop learning or finding interesting things to do in my role.

Generally, the aspect of my work that makes me proudest is leading the way for other women to become engineers, helping to make the energy sector greener. I think I’d like my legacy to be the equipment and connections that I help commission and bring onto the network – green energy such as solar farms.

Hopes for a better future

I hope that eventually we can move away from using equipment with SF6 gas as the insulator. It’s quite harmful for the environment but very good at what it’s used for. There are new solutions being trialled and hopefully they’ll soon be widely available.

I’d like to see more people around the world realise the impact of climate change and act accordingly. Even if we all just do a little bit, like recycling or cycling more, it adds up.

My eco hero is Chris Packham. His enthusiasm for British wildlife is inspiring. His passion for defending against the injustices towards wildlife in the UK and around the world is demonstrated by his being a director for Wild Justice.

Greener home life

I’ve become vegetarian with vegan ‘tendencies’. It was hard at first balancing nutrition and finding alternatives – like learning to cook all over again. I also cycle to work when I can and I have a new company EV for when I can’t cycle.

Now I own my own home, I’ve given over half my garden to wildlife, with bird feeders and a pond, rabbits, newts and a visiting weasel and kestrel.

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.

Other Stories

Mike's STORY

Mike

Read more

Mar's STORY

Mar

Read more

Aneta's STORY

Aneta

Read more

Andrea's STORY

Andrea

Read more

Jayne's STORY

Jayne

Read more

Mark's STORY

Mark

Read more

Ben's STORY

Ben

Read more

Mark's STORY

Mark

Read more

Myrtle's STORY

Myrtle

Read more

Hannah's STORY

Hannah

Read more

Keren's STORY

Keren

Read more

Tanisha's STORY

Tanisha

Read more

Sarah's STORY

Sarah

Read more

Sam's STORY

Sam

Read more

Mark's STORY

Mark

Read more

Jazz's STORY

Jazz

Read more

Jan's STORY

Jan

Read more

Jade's STORY

Jade

Read more

Iain's STORY

Iain

Read more

Curtis's STORY

Curtis

Read more

Svitlana's STORY

Svitlana

Read more

Josh's STORY

Josh

Read more

Alison's STORY

Alison

Read more

John's STORY

John

Read more

Nick's STORY

Nick

Read more

Susan's STORY

Susan

Read more

Jessica's STORY

Jessica

Read more

Aamer's STORY

Aamer

Read more

Angela's STORY

Angela

Read more

Mumtaz's STORY

Mumtaz

Read more

Emily's STORY

Emily

Read more

Tom's STORY

Tom

Read more

Alex's STORY

Alex

Read more

Stephie's STORY

Stephie

Read more

Sophie's STORY

Sophie

Read more

Shannon's STORY

Shannon

Read more

Ryan's STORY

Ryan

Read more

Lewis's STORY

Lewis

Read more

George's STORY

George

Read more

Ellie's STORY

Ellie

Read more

Conor's STORY

Conor

Read more

Andy's STORY

Andy

Read more

Alex's STORY

Alex

Read more

Josh's STORY

Josh

Read more

Noha's STORY

Noha

Read more

Pauline's STORY

Pauline

Read more

Keeley-Ann's STORY

Keeley-Ann

Read more

Willow's STORY

Willow

Read more

Omolara's STORY

Omolara

Read more

Dominic's STORY

Dominic

Read more

Naheeda's STORY

Naheeda

Read more

Tanya's STORY

Tanya

Read more

Eleanor's STORY

Eleanor

Read more

Laura's STORY

Laura

Read more

Sara's STORY

Sara

Read more

Liam's STORY

Liam

Read more

Jonathon's STORY

Jonathon

Read more

Zoe's STORY

Zoe

Read more

Safanah's STORY

Safanah

Read more

Ryeannie's STORY

Ryeannie

Read more

Matthew's STORY

Matthew

Read more

Emma's STORY

Emma

Read more

Conor's STORY

Conor

Read more

Becca's STORY

Becca

Read more

Nicole's STORY

Nicole

Read more

Alex's STORY

Alex

Read more

Kirsty's STORY

Kirsty

Read more

Deivydas's STORY

Deivydas

Read more

Jack's STORY

Jack

Read more

Brianika's STORY

Brianika

Read more

Molly's STORY

Molly

Read more

Lia's STORY

Lia

Read more

Matt's STORY

Matt

Read more

Annie's STORY

Annie

Read more

Cameron's STORY

Cameron

Read more

Archie's STORY

Archie

Read more

Anne's STORY

Anne

Read more

Hilary's STORY

Hilary

Read more

Paris's STORY

Paris

Read more

Tom's STORY

Tom

Read more

Jonathan's STORY

Jonathan

Read more

Joe's STORY

Joe

Read more

Niall's STORY

Niall

Read more

Jade's STORY

Jade

Read more

James's STORY

James

Read more