We have been asking some of our EngTech members to describe the kind of work they do and how IGEM has supported them in their careers. Karl Shipp joined IGEM as an apprentice in 2010 and became an Engineering Technician in 2011. He currently works as a Network Specialist at Cadent
Karl’s career began in November 2007, when he began his apprenticeship scheme with National Grid. The successful completion of his apprenticeship, which he says provided him with excellent base skills that have proven to be invaluable in his career, enabled Karl to become a team leader within National Grid. This role involved a varied range of activities including finding and fixing gas escapes and the replacement of older mains with new ones.
Karl was a team leader for several years before moving to a different area of the business, the Pipeline Maintenance Centre (PMC). His role as Network Technician involved carrying out flow stops under pressure drillings across the gas distribution and transmission networks.
To name just a few, his responsibilities also included working closely with the PMC Operations Engineer to plan jobs and prepare all materials and equipment for transportation to the job, ensuring the necessary authorisations and appropriate controls were in place. It was also his job to make sure the team was put to work safely – ensuring all tools, equipment, and vehicles were safe, maintained, tested and calibrated where required – that all legislative requirements were complied with and to carry out equipment maintenance as and when requested.
When National Grid sold the distribution network, Karl moved back into the repair function of the business and became a supervisor. He is now a Network Specialist within Cadent.
“It is such a varied role supporting the whole emergency response and repair function, I can honestly say that no day is the same in the gas industry”, he said.
Reflecting on his career so far, Karl said he highly rates apprenticeships as an excellent starting point in the industry, adding: “The knowledge and experience I gained from mine has set my career path up and has allowed me to have a very varied career. There are so many different elements within Cadent that it still excites me and I know that my career will continue to be varied.”
As EngTech is a globally-recognised mark of competence, Karl says it gives him a sense of pride that he has managed to achieve this in the industry. “It demonstrates that I have gained the relevant experience in my field and gives me confidence when talking to other industries,” he said.
Karl is a long-standing member of IGEM and has attended many of the institution’s events. “IGEM has been excellent for me; not only are they a great route to learning about up and coming technology in the wider industry, they have also put me in touch with other engineers from other companies doing similar roles via the various networking events.”
To find out more about becoming an IGEM EngTech member and to apply, click here.