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Ingrid and Janine, both chemical laboratory technicians, explain how their age difference contributed to their collaboration

The "old hand" and the "youngster" - two buddies in interview

The "old hand" and the "youngster" - two buddies in interview

Ingrid and Janine are both trained chemical laboratory technicians. In terms of age, however, they are separated by about 22 years. They jokingly call each other the "old hand" and the "youngster". team:news met the two buddies virtually in an interview.


Profiles

Ingrid is a trained chemical laboratory technician and has been working in the chemical and process engineering department at RWE Power AG's main laboratory in Frechen for five years. She completed her training some 35 years ago at the Hürth-Knapsack Chemical Park. Before joining RWE, she worked for eight years at Eurofins Umwelt West GmbH in Wesseling.
Janine completed her training as a chemical laboratory technician at the beginning of 2019 at the medium-sized company Sihl. She then worked in development for another two years until she joined RWE Power in January 2021. She is currently also employed in the main laboratory in Frechen.  

The interview

Janine, were you able to benefit from Ingrid's many years of experience during your first steps at RWE?

Janine: Yes, definitely. Ingrid is the oldest and most experienced colleague in our team. She approached me on my first day at work and offered me her support. We immediately got along well, could talk openly about everything and I felt comfortable asking lots of questions. Ingrid made my entry into the company very easy.

You seem to be a good buddy, Ingrid! Could you also learn something from Janine?

Ingrid: I could! Janine is still a youngster and has brought a breath of fresh air into our team. She is more familiar with many "modern" topics than I am. For example, she has completely reset our printer. When we print out our lab results, we now have a much clearer evaluation and save paper at the same time. I am very happy about Janine's active support.

What kind of evaluations do you do? What are your tasks in the main laboratory in Frechen?

Ingrid: In our day-to-day business we look at the different components of coal. Among other things, we receive coal samples from the surrounding power plants such as Weisweiler, Niederaußem, Wachtberg and Berrenrath. We work with several different analytical instruments. With them we determine the sulphur, nitrogen, carbon and hydrogen content and much more. We also check the calorific value and make a statement about the specific surface area of the samples. In summary, we determine the quality of the coal, the coke and other combustible materials.

Janine: Due to the phasing out of coal, however, we are dealing more and more with other samples, so-called secondary fuels, sewage sludge, damaged wood and paper sludge. Our task is to find out whether we can burn these materials in our kilns. This is because every kiln is set to a certain temperature. By determining the calorific value, we can find out whether we can burn the substances or whether the stoves might have to be changed.

You already know a lot after a short time, Janine. Can you imagine being a buddy for a newcomer in the future?

Janine: I would actually like to do that very much. I have always enjoyed passing on my knowledge and helping others. In my old company, I was the JAV (youth and trainee representatives) chairperson and looked after the trainees. I would also like to get a trainer's licence in the future. So the buddy job would be a great fit for me.

That sounds very ambitious. Is that typical for your buddy, Ingrid?

Ingrid: Absolutely! Janine is super hard-working and independent. When I was on holiday some time ago and another colleague was absent due to illness, she proved these qualities once again. On top of that, she is also an incredibly open and nice person.

And what is typical for Ingrid, Janine?

Janine: Ingrid takes care of many things, tries to do right by everyone and can pass on a lot of knowledge through her experience. In particular, she knows a lot about equipment maintenance and troubleshooting and about the processes in the company.

What was your best buddy moment?

Janine: We exchanged photo books of our holidays after a very short time. I like to take photos and Ingrid likes to design the books. So we inspired each other in the process.

Ingrid: And the fact that we exchanged something so personal after just a few weeks shows again that it works well between us.

Thank you very much for the interview.

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