Erno Haverinen started at Valmet Automotive as a summer trainee at the maintenance planning of the Uusikaupunki plant’s paint shop in 2021. This year, Erno will graduate from LUT University to become an engineer, and he also got a permanent position at Valmet Automotive as an Energy Engineer. We went to interview Erno and ask about his experiences and feelings about achieving his dream job. Read below how Erno ended up becoming an Energy Engineer and part of developing sustainable future at Valmet Automotive!
Erno is sitting in his office at the Uusikaupunki car plant. He has just taken a tour at the plant, which already feels like a second home for him. Erno has been working in the field for a long time while also studying: work experience has been gathered from the Loviisa nuclear power plant and at a cabin module factory. For Erno, who is from Turku, Valmet Automotive has always been an interesting employer. The company became familiar for him already in his childhood when he spent summers with his grandparents in Uusikaupunki. In the summer of 2021, when Erno started his career path at Valmet Automotive, he was instantly inspired by the ambitious and modern perspective on energy efficiency and sustainable development solutions:
“The first summer at the Uusikaupunki car plant went well. I learned lots of new things and became friends with many colleagues. Also the plant itself turned out to be extremely interesting and a large entity, it felt like a city inside the walls of it at first. After the summer, I was convinced that I wanted to work at the car plant in the future. Especially the interesting future projects and new electric cars coming into production caught my interest. As an engineer student, the ambitious energy and environmental goals also inspired me. After all, at that time the plant was aiming for a carbon-neutral production process and a brand new battery plant was being built next to it to offer solutions for the electrification of traffic”, Erno recalls.
Master’s thesis and second internship as a link between academic knowledge and practical experience
In the spring of 2022, Erno started his master’s thesis for Valmet Automotive and studied different possibilities for improving energy efficiency. During the same spring, Erno was contacted and told that the search for summer 2022 trainee positions had opened. Erno got a desirable trainee position in the Sustainable Development team, where he worked as an environmental specialist trainee during the summer. This experience offered Erno the opportunity to put his energy- and environmental engineering studies in use:
“I got to deepen my knowledge of environmental permits, BAT matters, chemical safety and much more. It was great to be involved in interesting projects and learn about VA’s sustainable development strategy and goals in practice.”
During the summer, the thesis project and the mapping of energy efficiency development opportunities at the Uusikaupunki plant also continued:
“Energy efficiency is developing all the time, but the production volumes of cars and their variability affect it. During the summer, I analyzed our level of readiness for the transition to a new energy management system. With the help of a gap analysis, I tried to find out which measures we should take in order to possibly implement an energy management system according to the ISO 50001 standard, which takes into account all forms of energy and strives for continuous improvement. Precisely the continuous improvement is currently the concrete thing we are aiming for”, Erno sums up.”
Uncertain future of the energy markets brings challenges and opportunities
Erno started a new chapter at Valmet Automotive when he became an Energy Engineer at the end of August. Permanent position in the core of his area of expertise was a long-term dream coming true for him, and he is full of enthusiasm when starting the new job:
“I am excited about the position of Energy Engineer, because I get to participate in the operations and development projects of a great and interesting industrial plant in the form of energy issues. I will definitely be able to use what I learned in my studies and develop as an expert in the energy sector.”
The global energy situation is currently exceptionally unstable, and the demand for more sustainable solutions is high. Erno looks forward to the future with interest and is ready for action:
“Many things are also undergoing major changes and we are living challenging times in energy matters. Conflicts, the energy crisis, uncertainty and environmental problems are common in our time, and tomorrow cannot be predicted. This brings challenges and threats, but also opportunities.”
One of Valmet Automotive’s goals is to act as a pioneer and key player in sustainable development, and mapping out environmentally friendly and energy-efficient solutions is an important part of the journey towards a zero-emissions society:
“It is extremely interesting to see what our situation will be, let’s say, in a year or two. Are there solar panels on our roofs and has the oil burning in the furnaces of the paint shop been replaced with renewable energy? Our common interest is sustainable development, which I can contribute to as an Energy Engineer. I look forward to contributing to the development of a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly industry.”
Erno is up for the challenge, and we wish him all the success in his new work!