INWED 2022: Stella Matthews, Hydrogen Development Manager, Northern Gas Networks

16/06/2022 11:21
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Stella Matthews has worked in the gas industry for five years, having started her career in gas as a Document Controller before undertaking Project Coordinator and Assistant Project Manager Roles. Three of her five years in the industry have been spent working on the H21 project. Stella is now Northern Gas Networks’ Hydrogen Development Manager and is part of the team that won the Project of the Year Award at the Gas Industry Awards 2022, organised by IGEM and EUA. Ahead of International Women in Engineering Day 2022, we chatted with her about her role and experiences as a woman working in the gas industry. 

The theme for INWED this year is ‘Inventors and Innovators’, so what better time to talk about the innovative project Stella works on: Hydrogen Homes? “As Hydrogen Development Manager, I speak to a number of stakeholders from across the hydrogen supply chain, research institutions and government departments both nationally and internationally. My role is to share knowledge and look for opportunities for NGN to collaborate on hydrogen/decarbonisation projects. I was heavily involved in the development, delivery and implementation of the Hydrogen Homes, ensuring that they were up and running, and the visitor experience, communications, engagement and events experience was developed and ready for delivery. Working within future energy is hugely exciting and rewarding – no two days are the same in what is a very fast paced part of the sector and being involved at the forefront of actively developing a net zero solution is something that I am incredibly proud of,” she said.

On her experiences in the industry, Stella said: “I’ve had a mixed experience as a woman in the industry – there are still some old school views, and I have had the unfortunate experience of attending meetings and being expected to undertake meeting minutes as I’m the only woman  there. However, I do believe that things are changing with more women being recognised and applauded for their hard work. 

“I would definitely recommend women and girls pursue a career in the gas industry – it’s a very welcoming industry and right now is a very exciting time to be involved as we move towards net zero. The more women that enter the gas industry and the more visible women are within the industry, the more this will become a natural and normal career choice for women.”

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