Claire Spencer

“It has been great to see so many students overcome their fears and stand up and present their ideas to the group; it showed how much enthusiasm that they had for what they had developed, but it also showed that they were willing to give things a go and step out of their comfort zone. I really enjoyed working with the students and developing their ideas further in the mentoring sessions. I’m really looking forward to seeing what exciting and creative ideas the students come up with this year.”

What do I do: My team look at the pipes, equipment and kit that supply gas to the homes of our customers and look to estimate when they will need replacing before they fail. This is an important role because if they fail, customers could either lose gas to their home (which would mean they wouldn’t be able to cook or have a bath or shower) or there could be a gas explosion and buildings could be damaged or in the worst case people could get hurt. We calculate how much the replacement of the pipes and equipment will cost and we make sure that we are not spending too much money, so that this keeps the cost of gas bills low. We also look at how we can put new pipes in the ground to supply gas to homes that don’t currently have it, this is important as it’s more expensive to heat your home using electricity rather than gas. We also look at what we need to do in the future to make sure that we are doing the best for the environment. This involves looking into whether we could use greener gas sources such as hydrogen to meet our country’s carbon targets.

The thing I love about my job is that no day is the same. There is a lot of variety and a new problem to solve. Not only do we have to think about how we spend our money on the pipes and kit, but we also have to think about computer equipment, our vans and our people. There is a lot of new challenges impacting the gas companies such as new environmental targets, and how we meet these is an exciting challenge with lots of opportunities to learn new things.

A bit about me: In my spare time I love to go running, cycling or do HIIT (high intensity training) workouts. I also love dogs and if I want to relax, I go for long walks in the countryside with my west highland terrier.

When I’m not being active, I like to read or watch films. My favourite book is To Kill a Mockingbird and I try to read at least 10 books a year.

Region: North England