Hannah Howard

Head of Asset Systems - Onshore Wind, Solar, and Battery

SSE Renewables

SSE Renewables is a leading developer and operator of renewable energy generation, headquartered in the UK and Ireland, with a growing presence internationally. I lead a team of engineers to investigate where the world's energy markets are headed and help to drive our site to be able to meet those demands.

I love working with a group of highly motivated and skilled individuals who are passionate about what they do. My best days happen when one of my team when my team tell me that my guidance has helped them.

I spend a lot of time on Zoom, having calls with people around Europe to make sure that I am aware of the context for decision making. Once I have this, I develop a strategy, using advice from my team, who have used computer simulations to work out what happens if we take action. Then I talk to the leaders for particular areas of the site to convince them that this is the strategy that they should follow. This means a lot of time working the numbers in Excel and then making PowerPoint presentations to make my case.

I did A levels in Maths, Chemistry, Economics and History, but had no idea what to do with that. I wanted to do something practical that would lead to a job. In a university prospectus, I saw that Chemical Engineering seemed to tick these boxes. I earned an undergraduate Master's degree in Chemical Engineering with Industrial Experience. I spent a year on industry working in research and development at Imerys Minerals Ltd. I went on a weekend course with ExxonMobil in my second year, then was asked to a summer placement. I did that, and at the end, was rewarded with a graduate position to return to after my final year. I've done a whole range of different roles in the organisation, from technical design and operational support to heading up the laboratory organisation.

I've never had a clear future plan and I'm definitely at a point in my life where I'm not sure where I'm headed. I use the knowledge and experiences that I've gained to help develop others and also to help the world move to a more sustainable future.

I love to run and cook, which is a great combination. My idea of a feast weekend day is going for a long trail run with some friends and then having them stay for homemade pizzas in the garden.

"We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action." - Dr. Henry Link