Tom Cracknell, who works for RWE npower, owners of Didcot B Power Station. Tom is Environment & Regulation Co-ordinator at the site and, in a recent interview, explains his role.
What are your main responsibilities Tom?
I ensure the power station is operated safely without exceeding environmental compliance limits. The chemistry of the power plant has to be managed carefully to protect the boilers and turbines from corrosion and fouling.
So what is a typical day for you?
Checking the operating conditions of the plant and processes, making sure that they are operating within normal limits and where things are wrong taking action to put things right.
What science, technology, engineering and or maths do you use in your role?
I use chemistry and physics knowledge routinely especially aspects of thermodynamics and corrosion chemistry. I use IT skills and processes to monitor and trend plant conditions and I act upon the conclusions given to optimise and protect the power plant.
How did you get into this career?
Luck! Quite literally, being stood outside a job centre in Nottingham as a card advertising a Laboratory Assistant role at Ratcliffe-Upon-Soar Power Station was placed in the window. That was over thirty years ago and that role was the basis of my career now.
What do you enjoy the most in your role?
The diversity of the work and the people I work with, the fact that most days there are challenges or situations that you have not encountered before.
What do you do when not working at Didcot B?
I am married with two children who are now about to leave home and make their own way. To date my hobby has been helping them grow and learn and develop into the folk they are. Through my family I have come to love the theatre and particularly performing arts and in the past have worked with the Musical Youth Company of Oxford, something that I enjoyed immensely.
Photos below are of Tom showing Linda Benton's visit to meet with Tom at Didcot B Power Station earlier this year.