Working at ABB Marine & Ports has given Maren Hansen the opportunity to combine her two passions - engineering and care for the environment.
Maren was born and brought up in Vennesla, a quiet Norwegian town once known for its paper mills powered by hydropower. Since her early years in education, the unequal distribution of resources in the society was something that concerned her.
“Global warming affects everyone, including those who are not the main contributors to the climate change,” Maren says. This, she adds, has steered her towards working in the energy and environment sectors.
Maren’s interest toward science and mathematics encouraged her to take up engineering in college, where she graduated in electrical power engineering. She took part in exchange programs at universities in Italy and India, and says that traveling to these countries taught her respect and a deep sense of gratitude for having the chance to experience other cultures. These experiences exposed her to new environmental realities that reinforced her passion for applying her knowledge to build a safer and greener future.
Once back in Norway, Maren has applied for ABB’s Management Trainee program and got hired. It has been two years since she has joined ABB, with six months as part of ABB Marine & Ports team.
Maren says that ABB’s contribution to sustainable development was an inspiration to her when she has gotten the opportunity to work on projects related to energy storage systems. “Recently, together with my colleagues, I have worked on a study on how an energy storage system could help increase the overall power efficiency of icebreakers and improve the environmental footprint of a vessel,” Maren says. The findings showed this system can significantly reduce fuel consumption, with emissions cut as a result.
Maren was also part of a team that analyzed the requirements for operating ships with an advanced and tightly integrated system for power generation, which helps optimize engine loading and reduce running hours and fuel costs.
“I believe we are at the beginning of a huge transformation in moving towards zero-emission technologies in shipping,” Maren says. “We need to attract more experts working on sustainable solutions as the further development of these technologies requires specialists.”
“Based on my experience, I would encourage more young women to pursue engineering, which offers many opportunities in various sectors can lead to interesting, rewarding careers. If you are passionate about making the world a better place, then engineering will give you the opportunity to achieve your goals.”