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Stuart Watson's summer placement with E.ON

Hi, I’m Stuart Watson and I am currently in my third year of studying a masters in electrical and electronic engineering at the University of Manchester. When I received an email from my university’s careers department about applying to Undergraduate of the Year I dismissed it thinking that I wouldn’t have a shot. Then, when I read that it was E.ON sponsoring the award, I thought I would throw my hat in the ring anyway. The energy sector is one that I have always been interested in and E.ON is the most innovative of the energy companies, having seen the way the market is going and transitioned from an energy provider to an energy solutions provider.

After applying I thought that would be it, but I got invited to the assessment centre. As soon as I found out I frantically started preparing for the day. There are days where everything just lines up correctly: the interview questions were perfect and the case study was a nice one. Unfortunately, I did not win the Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award, but as runner-up I was offered a placement as well.

When I arrived and joined the engineering governance team, I immediately hit the ground running as there was a pre-planned project in place with an abundance of resources at my disposal. My placement almost replicated a university project:

1) I was given a task: “Assist in Developing a Set of Product and Process Safety KPIs for E.ON RUUK (Regional Unit UK)”
2) I was given access to various resources about process safety and KPIs. Using these resources I had to become knowledgeable enough in process safety KPIs to be able to hold a conversation. (In my opinion if you can hold a conversation with someone who is knowledgeable in the area you know it quite well).
3) I was given access to a fantastic team who had a wide field of experience so I could run any ideas past them and get their feedback.
4) I then had to draft a proposal report for the proposed KPIs and KPI methodology that would be implemented.
5) At the end of my placement I was given the opportunity to present the report at E.ON RUUK’s Process and Product Safety Forum.

On top of the project I had the opportunity to experience different sectors of the business: I was able to sit in on engineering governance when they carried out a BowTie session and I was able to attend a Business Heat and Power Solutions safety day at a gas turbine facility.
Upon reflection it was a good summer, I really enjoyed the work and the team I was with were amazing. I would highly recommend for anyone interested in working in the energy sector to apply to E.ON UK.