In the second part of our mini series focusing on women in engineering, we’d like to introduce you to Lis Gammelgaard, who works as one of our Regional Sales Managers, primarily for Europe.
Lis was raised with the mindset that girls have the same technical ability as men. So when choosing an education path, the choice was easy. Export engineering combined all her interests: technology (mechanical), economics, marketing, cultural understanding, and language. In 1992, she became an Export Engineer/Global Business Engineer from DTU, Technical University of Denmark.
Since then, she’s held several job titles and developed different skill levels in four foreign languages. Lis has worked with diesel engines for more than 15 years but is now a fresh player in the hydrogen industry, having joined Nel in August 2020.
To Lis, the most interesting part of the job is the interaction with clients, both technically and commercially. To start a project from inquiry – to discussing the possible solution – to landing the order – to seeing a satisfied customer at the end; that’s the best kick Lis can get.
When asked about exciting projects she’s been part of in Nel, Lis was quick to point out that it’s actually working with a particular country that has been most exciting for her lately: The Netherlands. This is because the Netherlands is one of the countries that focuses a lot on green energy and hydrogen. Over the last several years, Nel has installed five hydrogen stations for both 700 bar and 350 bar vehicles, with more to come. What Lis likes most is how thoroughly we work together with our customers; from the initial idea, to discussing and making suggestions or solutions together, to supporting our customers in having the layout and the documentation ready for the permit, and finally, to installation, commissioning, and service for the H2station™.
As to being a woman in engineering, Lis says she hasn’t faced too many issues. In fact, so far, at least, she feels her gender hasn’t proved to be an obstacle, but rather a strength. The most important lesson she has learned is to respect people as they are and to be openminded. She thinks that it is a matter of your own attitude. If you see yourself as equal to men, then your surroundings are likely to follow. She has also experienced that her male colleagues appreciate having a woman joining a meeting, as it can result in a better atmosphere and improved focus on the tasks. To those thinking of a career path in engineering, Lis’ best advice is:
“Consider the career which you fancy. If it is engineering, just go for it. Limitation, if any, is there to be challenged!”
Lis has no doubt about that alternative energy resources must be found – and hydrogen is one of the most promising alternatives. When looking at it from a user’s point of view, she will prefer to get to a station, fuel her car within minutes, and continue her travel. With her expertise, we at Nel are sure that we can make that a reality.