Spotlight: Mark Anderson
Our reputation is built on over 30 years of delivering successful and diverse projects and we are extremely proud of our engineers and consultants that work hard to achieve this every day. In our team spotlight series, we will be introducing the people behind the projects, from varying disciplines and throughout all areas of the business, our team will provide an insight into their careers, interests, and inspiration.
In our first instalment, we spoke to Mark Anderson, a Senior Consultant based in our Belfast office. Mark joined us in 2020 with an impressive background in the development, improvement and operation of energy facilities and since, has played a key role in our growth in Ireland.
Q: What inspired your career path into engineering?
Coming from an agricultural family, I have always been interested in the environment and how things work, from a practical point of view. However, I very much fell into being an engineer because while at school I had no idea what I wanted as a career. Very luckily, I was pushed by a careers teacher to consider engineering and found a Degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of Ulster. In all honesty, it was a picture of a wind farm in that university prospectus, which made me read the course content and finally inspired me to apply.
Q: Tell us about what your role involves and the sectors/technologies you focus on?
I am a Senior Consultant based out of the Fichtner Belfast office. I have had the opportunity to work on many different projects since joining Fichtner, including energy from waste, heat from biomass, wind, due diligence of new pyrolysis technologies and more conventional power stations. My main area of interest is project development and operational improvement of power plants. Fichtner are growing in Ireland which allows me to base the majority of my work locally, and therefore, I see the benefits every day, which is very satisfying.
Q: How does your work contribute to a sustainable future for the UK & Ireland
The island of Ireland is in a rapid transition phase, with the goal of swiftly moving to a decarbonised economy. The challenge being this future green economy is also in rapid expansion. This has resulted in a crunch in the energy system with tightening of capacity. The focus of the energy system is now how the Island can make best use of its significant wind resources as efficiently and effectively as possible. This is currently being made possible through the construction of energy storage assets and grid stabilisation assets such as synchronous condensers or gas turbines. The technical work we do at Fichtner allows these projects to go from concept to reality. I am very lucky to be able to work to make this happen day in, day out at Fichtner.
Q: Can you tell us about a particular project highlight during your time at Fichtner?
One of my highlights at Fichtner has been to help a local power station go from poor availability to high availability, after Fichtner were asked to assist them as technical advisor, following the end of the relationship with a contractor. This project involved significant time on site, understanding the process and systems and working with the plant operations teams to improve design, control and install new equipment. It has been very rewarding to help a team of dedicated operators and engineers reach new hights in the operation of their plant.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone looking to kickstart their career in engineering?
I think it is really important to have passion in what you do, you need to be genuinely interested in your subject and dedicated to learning new things every day. Anyone who takes this attitude into an engineering career will go far.
Our team spotlight series will provide an insight into the talented individuals that make up the Fichtner team. Look out for our next Q&A instalment in the coming weeks.
Explore other topics and Fichtner UK and Ireland news here.