Meet the Employee: Adam Wray-Summerson – Sales Engineer
I graduated from Liverpool University in 2008 with a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering (MEng Hons) into a world that was at that time, slipping into financial crisis, where recruitment and job security were becoming more difficult to achieve. Through ‘The Work Bank’ recruitment agency my attention was brought to a Liverpool based, global company, Clarke Energy Limited. Following some initial research I discovered that Clarke Energy are a market leader in gas engine power generation and combined heat and power, with extensive experience and expertise in ‘green’ energy and energy efficiency. Clarke Energy is the authorised distributor and service provider for Jenbacher gas engine in the UK, as well as representing Jenbacher in ten territories around the world. Designed from the outset to operate on a wide range of gases. Jenbacher gas engines are available in the power range 250kWe to 9,500kWe on single engine platforms, suitable for operation on anything from a natural gas combined heat and power plant sustaining a hospital through to a 50MWe power station operating on coal mine methane or even a plant capable of producing the heat, power, cooling and CO2 for a drinks manufacturer’s bottling process. This sparked my interest – no pun intended! Following a positive initial interview, I was invited for a second – always a good sign! Soon after the second interview had started I realised that I hadn’t been asked any questions and in fact I was being given a detailed overview of what the Trainee Proposals Engineer role would entail. Following a couple of hours I was asked if I was still interested, which of course I was, and I was offered the job there and then! For the first three months I was classified ‘trainee’ though must admit that I am still learning three years later. The main role of the Proposals team is to prepare tenders and quotations for a wide range of enquiries for numerous potential customers, some are farmers, others are multi-national ‘blue-chip’ companies and each job has its own unique characteristics and requirements. On a daily basis the Proposals Engineer is in contact with all stakeholders – that is customers, suppliers, as well as other departments internally – Engineering, Project Management, Service, etc, developing a bid that meets the customer requirements while ensuring internal targets are met. After two years in the role of Proposals Engineer I was offered the role that I currently hold within the company – Sales Engineer. Building on the knowledge gained in my first two years of employment I now have responsibility for generating new enquiries, providing talks and presentations at related exhibitions and seminars, supplying articles for industry publications, all whilst dealing with the aforementioned stakeholders on an extended level. As Sales Engineer I may be expected to attend meetings around the world, starting with initial feasibility studies right the way through to contract negotiating and order placement. Day to day I need to not only have a firm understanding of the product and its capabilities but also need to know how it can interface with the customer’s plant in each application. I need to understand the market, the competition and the legislation – making for very busy days, but a very rewarding job! Clarke Energy though is so much more than a sales company, if anything we are not a sales company! Which means I also need to have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of what we do and the basis of our business, that is, to engineer; install; and maintain. This is what Clarke Energy are about: we design a project in-house using the latest 2 and 3D software; we install projects form engine supply through to civil and turnkey installations – to budget and on time; and we maintain, looking after a customer’s asset through the life of the equipment. Through continued personal development I hope to achieve chartered engineer status and all being well look forward to an exciting and ever changing career here at Clarke Energy.
Meet the Employee: Peter Fairclough
I began my career at Clarke Energy Ltd at 16 years old, straight from school after completing GCSE’s. I was one of six apprentices to be recruited for a four year training scheme to become a CHP service engineer. The apprenticeship was set out to build up our skills and knowledge of engineering from both academic studying and working in the workshop at the Knowsley head office, with opportunities to work on site when engines were due maintenance. Work on the shop floor included:- cylinder head refurbishment, con-rod refurbishment, stripping down and cleaning of the engine block, rebuilding the engine, setting the timing gear between crank and camshafts, pressure testing the water systems and spray painting it once fully built up. All of which contributed towards working evidence of my engineering training, which in turn would help to prove my competence as an engineer when the time came for me to be assessed as part of the apprenticeship scheme. The four years soon passed by and I had successfully completed my apprenticeship with an NVQ3, ONC & HNC in operations engineering and a lot of gained experience working with every type of Jenbacher engine when they are both operational and on downtime for maintenance. Regular maintenance is required on Jenbacher engines whilst they are stationed on site to ensure maximum running efficiency and performance, with general services carried out every 1000 running hours, top engine rebuild every 20000 running hours and finally at 60000 running hours the engine is brought back to the workshop at the Knowsley head office for a full rebuild. It is the job of the service engineer to carry out regular maintenance work whilst on site to minimise engine downtime and to correct any unforeseen engine breakdowns that may occur as quickly and efficiently as possible. Soon after I had qualified from my apprenticeship a place was offered to me to live and work in the midlands with an Area Manager and his team. I took the job and stayed in that area working on 3 & 4 series Jenbacher engines based on landfill sites for 12 months. A job opportunity then came up for me to return to Liverpool to work in the Knowsley head office as a trainee draughtsperson within the Engineering design department. Although the new role was a completely different working style to what I had been used to for the past 5 years, I could still utilise all my knowledge of Jenbacher engines and my familiarity of the sites they are based on when designing new projects. I started my new office life working within the electrical side of the design department where I assisted the electrical engineers in producing drawings and documents for new installation projects. Most electrical drawings produced are 2D and depict cable locations, routes and termination points. This was a good starting point to develop my skills on the design software that is used in the department – AutoCAD. After 6 months of working in the department I was no longer classed as a trainee and I could therefore start getting more deeply involved in new projects that were coming through and begin to take on a bigger workload. I have now been a member of the engineering design department for 2 ½ years. I am still assisting the electrical team to develop drawings on certain projects but I am focused on working within the mechanical team producing piping & instrumentation diagrams, 3D piping arrangements, 3D Equipment layouts and civil diagrams to send out to clients and sub-contractors. Very soon I am due to commence the first semester of a 3 ½ year part time bachelors (BEng) degree in Manufacturing Engineering, an opportunity I count myself very lucky to be given as Clarke Energy have agreed to support me as part of their encouragement of staff development. Anticipating that all goes well with studying for the degree I hope the knowledge gained will aid towards bettering my career within Clarke Energy.