Carsten, Construction Site Manager
„At OGE you can help mould the energy transition with your own hands.“
My career aspirations were shaped by my grandfather who worked at Ruhrgas AG, and by my father who had his own welding shop. Both of them kindled my fascination for industry, so in 1993 I began my apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic at Ruhrgas. After a few years in the company, I joined the hot tapping and plugging crew.
Hot tapping and plugging is a method used worldwide to carry out repairs on pipelines without interrupting the flow. In most cases, the pipeline is tapped at full pressure and taken out of service between two sealing elements, while the flow is maintained via a bypass line.
This was my job for many years, during which I travelled to numerous large construction sites and gained lots of experience. I’ve always liked to think outside the box. While our company has changed its name several times – first in 2003, when it was renamed Ruhrgas Transport AG & Co. KG, and then E.ON Gastransport GmbH, and finally Open Grid Europe GmbH in 2010 – our team has stayed together for the most part. We have a great team spirit, which is really quite special.
Recommendation for senior role
In 2012, there were many major projects going on in parallel at OGE with increased staff requirements. At that time, I was given the opportunity by my superiors to switch to our technical projects and take over construction sites as a site manager together with experienced colleagues. Thanks to the support of my colleagues, I was able to swiftly familiarise myself with the daily work and my new area of responsibility and was able to grow bit by bit into the job assigned to me.
Full support from superiors and the team
If you do well in your job at OGE, you have the full support of your superiors and the team, and you are then entrusted with more responsibilities and get the opportunity to prove yourself. A supervisor once said to me: “If you do well in your day-to-day work, you will get the chance to show what you’re capable of.” With this support, I left North Rhine-Westphalia for a major project in Lower Bavaria.
I was put in charge as the supervisor for the construction of the 72-kilometre-long natural gas pipeline from Schandorf to Windberg. Since then, almost 500,000 cubic metres of natural gas per hour have been transported over this stretch of the Central European natural gas pipeline MEGAL alongside the existing pipeline.
Further training to become a construction manager
The role of construction manager requires special technical expertise and qualifications. I therefore attended the master craftsman school at the Construction Industry Training Centre in Kerpen. There are also OGE lecturers at this school, which is one of the few centres in Germany that specialise in high-pressure gas pipelines.
No day like another
My everyday life? In one word: varied! I’m currently managing a project in the Palatinate. As at every construction site, there are rented office buildings on site, or we use portacabins for the purpose. I am in charge of planning and coordination of the construction site, and there are regular meetings to share information. Besides the work in the office, being on site is an important part of my daily routine. The work carried out has to be inspected and checked, and experience has shown that direct, solution-oriented exchange is also helpful.
Always in the thick of it
As site manager on site, you are in constant contact with the different disciplines, suppliers, service providers and your colleagues. Technical skills and mathematical knowledge are important in this job.
Both organisational skills and structured work are required when it comes to monitoring progress on site and planning the next steps. Whilst it is important to have a well-thought-out plan, plans always have be adapted to the circumstances. Flexibility is important here, as is engaging with the team at every step of the way. Business administration knowhow will help with the planning process because the cost factor must also be included in the decision-making process.
If you enjoy dealing with many different people and can hold your own while ensuring a friendly atmosphere, you will enjoy the job of construction manager. Whilst we naturally also hire experienced construction managers and the career path usually begins with a civil engineering degree, my career path at OGE is still conceivable today: start as an apprentice and rise up the ranks.
Tip for career starters
If I were at the beginning of my professional life today, I would look for a job that is meaningful. And what could be more important for our society than the energy transition? Being part of it from the beginning, shaping the future with your own hands, contributing ideas, making the transition from fossil energy to green hydrogen – you can do all that at OGE.