I may have missed British industry’s glory days but I will never tire of seeing our back-of-a-fag-packet ideas ramped up to keep the country ticking over

As I walk from the main plant area to the jetty, the view before me is spectacular. The sun is bursting through the clouds and illuminating a hive of activity, and the contrast between the man-made and the natural is striking. A family of grey seals is lounging by the shore; and alongside, an Indonesian tanker is docked and ready to receive a shipment of product, which our team is pumping through a network of decaying steel pipes built in the 1970s. The Indonesian crew members share jokes with the British workers despite the obvious language barrier. There is a mutual respect and a shared understanding that will always exist between workers sharing a trade and a way of life.

Despite the importance of the reliance on technology and cold logic in the industrial world, it is these daily interactions with people of all different backgrounds and the positive energy that comes from successful collaboration that I like most about my job as an engineer. There is nothing quite like the feeling of reaching the end of a project that you have been grafting over for months and finally seeing the system that you first sketched out with your peers on the back of a fag packet being bolted into position and ramped up for the first time.

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Source: Guardian Environment