Spotlight: Jack Waddell, Electrical Engineer – Asset Support at Royal Dutch Shell
Tell us a fun fact about yourself
One of the most enjoyable things I like to do in Aberdeen is go surfing – especially over the winter!
Tell us about your career journey so far
After completing my Highers and advanced Highers in 2014, I went to the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow to study a joint degree in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. During the five years of study, I found myself most interested in energy: how we generate, transport and consume energy. I began to realise how essential energy is to human life on earth and became interested as to how we can sustain clean energy supplies. With that in mind, I joined Royal Dutch Shell as an electrical engineer in 2019!
What was your favourite subject in school and why?
I had two favourite subjects. I loved physics, as it began to explain why the world around us works the way it does. Simple things like why a rubber duck floats in the bath to why water comes up a straw when we suck it; physics explains how and why these things happen.
My other favourite subject was Religious Education. I loved the philosophy part of RE, where we would discuss the arguments for and against the existence of god. It again provided an opportunity to consider the world around us and why it works in the way it does – from all points of view!
What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?
As an electrical engineer, maths and physics are the two obvious subjects. These subjects, at there core, are about solving problems – which is exactly what all engineers do every day! They also sharpen your skills in thinking logically – in both subjects you have a set of unbreakable rules, and you need to use you brain power to apply them and solve the problem.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
The one thing that gives me the biggest kick of enjoyment is being able to help others in the team. This is often by fixing problems so they don’t have to worry or by supporting them with bits of work so they can get the best out of themselves.
What is a normal day in your role like?
As an electrical engineer in asset support, I am responsible for ensuring all the electrical equipment at our Gas Plants operates as required. This means ensuring it is maintained, operated correctly and safely. We need to make sure that all the complex machinery involved in a gas processing keeps running!
A normal day could include: meetings with various different people across Shell, writing computer software code, making decision on what work we execute, analysing data, designing new electrical installations, presenting to large groups… every day is different and brings different challenges!