From student to operations manager in four years
A genuine interest in technology and a passion for energy made Henrik Pagel's choice of studies easy. But ending up at the Karlshamn power plant was a bit of a coincidence. Just four years after arriving as a graduate engineer, he was given the role as operations manager at Karlshamnsverket, the largest peak and reserve power plant in the Nordic region.
Thesis paved the way
Henrik Pagels is originally from Blekinge, but as a young man he had no intention of staying there. Instead, his interest in technology led him to Lund University of Technology, where he chose to study mechanical engineering. The courses in energy and environment appealed to him.
"Making something that is just a product has never interested me. Instead, I'm fascinated by the bigger societal issues, such as the way we live affects the climate. That and how we can develop technology in a responsible and sustainable way."
During his studies, Henrik took a course in energy conversion, where you had to do some kind of field study. It all led to a thesis.
"One of the teachers suggested that the Karlshamn plant would be interesting to look at. The study would focus on how to use natural gas instead of oil and how efficiency could be improved".
Fast career at Karlshamnsverket
After graduating, Henrik was offered a project position in a modernization project at Karlshamnsverket. One thing led to another and he ended up as a process engineer in the operations department. After that, he was given the role as a Operating Shift Engineer .
"It was in autumn and winter where a lot of things happened, and I was in the thick of things straight away. It was a very cold winter and there was an urgent need for backup power. That, combined with problems in the nuclear industry at the time, meant that we had to go full steam ahead."
"We are a large and important power plant in Sweden's energy system. During the winter period, we are part of the power reserve, which means that we are constantly on standby."
Thanks to Henrik's experience, he can sometimes be involved in more operational issues at the plant.
"Since I worked in technology-heavy roles before I became operations manager, I have a lot of knowledge about the plant. This means that I sometimes get involved in purely operational issues. The Karlshamn power plant is an important lifeline for the Swedish electricity system, so when there is an emergency, everyone needs to work together so that we can deliver the electricity that is needed."
A workplace with entrepreneurial spirit
Working closely with technology, optimising operations and creating good business is one of the things Henrik enjoys most about his job.
“I like working with technology, people and I have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Above all, it is the mix of developing the technical capabilities of the plant, together with competent colleagues, and doing good business that drives me in my work”. Henrik has always felt great support from the company, and that there has always been an opportunity to grow into different roles. Above all, there is a belief that you can develop as an individual internally within the company.
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