London, UK,

Being bold to make change happen

Elena Gil Aunon, Associate Director, Environmental & Infrastructure

I joined Amec Foster Wheeler nearly three years ago, and it was a massive change for me. I previously worked as a contractor at an engineering company, who specialised in water engineering and turnkey projects. I was managing the Industrial Water Division for many years and became very capable at my job. I got to know my clients and was recognised for being a capable leader. But there was something missing. I needed more. I felt as though I had run out of challenges, working with the same clients on the same projects. Contractor life became second nature to me and I had the need to be challenged again. I needed to step away from my comfort zone. I needed to be bold and look for change.

Amec Foster Wheeler was running a European recruitment programme in Barcelona, with consultant opportunities available across Europe, which was highly attractive to me. I had always wanted to challenge myself in a new country, to experience a new culture and test myself in that culture. I registered my interest and was invited to interview the next day. I was really attracted to the opportunities available not only in the water sector but across the Environment &Infrastructure division.

After two successful interview stages, I was offered a Consultant position with Amec Foster Wheeler in London. A new country and a new type of position. Change offers a rollercoaster of emotions and I went through them all – nerves, fear, curiosity, motivation and excitement. Deep down I knew I needed to change in order to test myself so I accepted the offer.

I changed the contractor life for the consultant life. As Contractor, I was very involved in the detail design, procurement of equipment and materials, construction and start up. Budget was essential and I had to get the best for the lower cost, which was a challenge! As a Consultant I define the basis of the projects, I help defining the environmental requirements, the performance specs and work in the early stages of the projects.

Since I moved to Amec Foster Wheeler, I’m constantly challenged and learn something new every day. I am always looking for new areas to discover.

Now, I am not only working in the water sector, I have expanded my knowledge to environmental permitting, air quality and waste sectors. Amec Foster Wheeler has allowed me to be exposed to a more complex reality.

If we dare to be bold challenges are there for us to take. My professional career has not been easy, but I have enjoyed every single minute of it.

Are you ready to accept challenges? Are you ready for the change? Take the risk, be bold.

Meet the blogger

Elena Gil Aunon is a Chartered Chemical Engineer with 16 years of experience working as EPC contractor for the industrial sector. Now, she leads the E&I multidisciplinary engineering team in the South of UK. She is also the Chair of the Women’s Network for Europe and UK for Amec Foster Wheeler. Elena is a STEM Ambassador, active member of the IChemE and the Women Engineering Society. Elena strongly believes in the power of the engineering as a driving force and thinks that women have an essential role in the modern society.