Steam Business Development
“I love factories and manufacturing,” remarks Rachel Pallett who has an impressive engineering background and was recently appointed Director of Steam Business Development.
“I’ve always loved knowing how something was made. Where was it made? Who designed it? Why was it made this way? Thankfully throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of learning how things get made and problem-solving how I can help make items better, cheaper, safer. This is what has always driven me, and this is how I work with customers – I get completely absorbed,” she explains.
“I’m not an inventor. I’m not your cutting-edge engineer,” explains Rachel. “I intentionally kept my university education as broad as possible and selected modules in my degree that ranged from power generation to neural network mathematics. I undertook a portfolio of engineering subjects that would ensure I could draw upon all sorts of things. But it is the real world problem-solving that really connects me. What I don’t think comes across to young people enough today is the importance and excitement in blending and applying all elements of engineering, together with commercial problem-solving. There is so much opportunity for a great career.”
Embracing a world of experience
Rachel is a very enthusiastic and optimistic and driven in her pursuits. Her blue-chip engineering background is impressive. She has conducted work with many household-name companies: Boeing in Seattle on making wing spars for their planes more accurate; working in Ferrari’s workshop in Medina helping dynamically tune tools; working with motor manufacturers in South Korea helping production develop flatter television screens; working on machine tools in Brazil for customers; working on desalination plants in Dubai; through to helping nickel miners in Kazakhstan reduce chemicals.
Rachel says her current role is a very strategic one. “The opportunity we have as a company to help our customers move towards zero carbon steam generation and to help them with their sustainability targets regarding areas like energy, water and chemical saving, is significant. I have always worked with engineering professionals, but now working in collaboration with teams of brilliant engineers, research scientists and wider professionals reporting into me on exciting and critical developments is exactly the right career move.”
In her current role, Rachel also oversees internal risk controls and governance. “Knowing and understanding the internal workings of a business is really important. I put a great deal of my attention there. My mission is to ensure that all the time, we are always thinking about what we are doing for our customers and how can we best support them? This is where my blending of a career in engineering and manufacturing comes in especially useful.”
“Thankfully throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of learning how things get made and problem-solving how I can help make items better.”
Combining engineering with commercial acumen
Rachel comments on the importance of Spirax-Sarco Engineering’s direct sales model that connects the whole business with the customer.
“At Spirax-Sarco Engineering, you can get involved with the whole spectrum. When you are connected to your customers, you can work on helping solve their problems because you understand their problems. Fundamentally, engineers are problem solvers and connected thinkers. An engineering background provides great access to commercial experience, which not a lot of people may know in their early careers. Engineering can be a route into the commercial world and learning about negotiation, pricing, margins and selling.”
“One of the most valuable things I’ve got under my belt is being able to sell and to be able to add value through business growth,” explains Rachel.
Congruently aligned with company values
The company’s core values really resonate with Rachel. “Our values at Spirax-Sarco Engineering are not just on a poster at headquarters,” says Rachel.
“Our company values are constantly embedded across the whole business and this is what I constantly refer back to in ensuring everything I do is aligned. Spirax-Sacro Engineering is a company that puts a lot of time, energy, and investment into communicating and embedding its values into our behaviours. As one of the company’s many leaders across the globe, I continually challenge, ensure I walk the walk. I could not work for a company that didn’t really believe in and live its values.”