Tales of Women: Tuomi, Design Engineer and Team Leader

Testimony of Tuomi, ALTEN Design Engineer for Maillefer and Team Leader at ALTEN Finland

Finding technological solutions to live better tomorrow: an ambition that Tuomi was keen to place at the heart of her professional goals and that has driven her career in design engineering. District heating network, technology for the production of wires, cables, pipes and tubes, sustainable solutions and services for the metal-refining, energy production, liquid and chemical processing industries – areas in which Tuomi has been able to develop in her career. We look back on her career, split between a search for innovation, site work and the sharing of best practice!

Design engineering for tomorrow’s solutions

While studying at a University of Applied Sciences in Finland and majoring in energy technology, Tuomi started her career in a design-engineering company as a Design Trainee. She continued after her graduation in the same company but as a Design Engineer. While there, she learned about and created 3D models of the factories where she designed pipelines and placed process equipment. Namely, industrial systems designed to transport for example fluid materials such as oil over great distances and in large quantities. Layout and site designs, piping and instrumentation (PI) diagrams drawing, supervision of installations, risk assessments and commissioning projects (of a district heating plant, for example) also punctuated the start of her working life.

She continued along this path by subsequently joining the ALTEN Finland team as a Design Engineer.

Quickly, she started working as a Consultant for Maillefer, the world leader in wire, cable, pipe, and tube production technologies, from single components to complete plants. “I am working with different piping scopes by creating networks of pipelines to the 3D models of the various factories. The factories make all kinds of cables for different applications around the world (automotive, building, medical, telecoms, fiber optics, heating, plumbing, etc.). These networks of pipelines also have the particularity of constituting a cooling system for the production process of the cables made by the factories in question, a system which nothing would be made without”, explains Tuomi.

The design of the pipelines must comply with many different and important standards and laws, taking into consideration environment. “In my everyday actions, I always take ecology and environment seriously. The technologies I work on in this industry are very innovative, so it feels amazing to be participating in major projects which are creating better solutions for tomorrow”, says Tuomi.

Her interest in her work is also reflected in her everyday life: “I feel so much involved in this industry that in my daily life, when I see industrial systems for example the pipelines, from my car on the road or when I am going in a shopping centre, for example, my eyes are always searching for them and I can’t stop myself from thinking about what kind of pipes they are and whether they are compliant with the standards. These pipelines can also inspire me for my own designs.”

Collective intelligence: the driver of engineering

As well as working as an engineer, Tuomi is a Team Leader at the ALTEN office in Kotka, Finland. “For me, engineering consists of site work and sharing best practice. It is for this reason that I wanted to split my time between developing my expertise in engineering, in the site with the client, and managing ALTEN team as a Team Leader, to support them with the day-to-day aspects of their work”, she explains. A real prop for her teams, Tuomi considers the sharing and pooling of skills as levers of collective intelligence and productivity: “An extrovert by nature, I learn a lot from being in contact with my peers and this aspect is inseparable from my job as an engineer.”

Friendly advice from Tuomi

“Think twice before taking action but trust your intuition! Engineers are very often rational, but they must also know how to listen to their inner voice to be effective, of course following calculations and formulas strictly. It’s the same every day, faced with any situation: we move forward step by step, calmly and logically, but also with confidence in our ability to find the resources necessary to achieve great things! My first work life mentor and superior was a woman, who was as a great example for me. Her skills, way of working and leadership inspired me a lot. This role model constantly motivates me to grow and s쳮d in my career.”

Rapid fire question: Computer Aided Design (CAD) or Pictionary?

“CAD! I spend part of my day designing pipelines on the computer, producing 3D models. When I go to a client’s site and take some measures for designing, I have to draw sketches, ideas and plans on paper, but I really enjoy working in 3D world with the computer.”


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