Stem Job of The Month - Alex Bell - Diageo

August 31, 2018

1. Name and Position Title 


Alex Bell / Bioenergy Operations Manager


2. How would you explain your job to people not from your industry? And how does it fit within Diageo's bigger picture?


I am responsible for ensuring the performance of the Bioenergy Plants and providing support to the various other bioenergy plants around Scotland associated with our operations. The bioenergy sites associated with our business primarily operate by treating effluent waste from our processes and converting them into green energy. Bioenergy performance is therefore a vital part of ensuring that Diageo goals in terms of environmental sustainability are achieved and maintained.


3. What makes it exciting working in your industry overall?


The problem-solving aspect of the job and bioenergy as a whole is what keeps it exciting. With bioenergy processes, the source of an issue can be difficult to identify sometimes – particularly when you consider the detail of the biological systems involved. It therefore takes a significant amount of practical and 'out of the box’ thinking to find a solution.


4. What do you enjoy most about your role? 


My role is incredibly diverse. Not only is there huge variety in terms of the projects I am able to work on day-to-day but I am also given the ability to deal with a range of bioenergy processes and the unique issues that come along with them.


5. How do you think other people see your strengths and your contribution at work overall? What qualities might you be known for?


I would say my ability to practically problem solve and offer solutions in difficult scenarios is what I’m most known for. Some of the plants I deal with are relatively new, and specific in terms of their operations; so the majority of the emergency process scenarios I deal with requires practical thinking on the spot to resolve issues. While this can be challenging at times, it is also what makes my role exciting.


6. What's a big challenge for you right now, or perhaps one for your industry?


As Diageo’s environmental goals evolve over time, the emphasis on the performance of our bioenergy plants is constantly growing in order to help reduce our environmental impact. As a company, we are constantly seeking to minimise our impacts and positively contribute to the environmental performance of the drinks sector; so optimising every step of our bioenergy process (as well as seeking to lead the way in terms of innovative future solutions) is now at the forefront of what both myself and the business are trying to achieve. 


7. What outside interests might you have? 


I have been doing taekwondo from a young age (although my small physique wouldn’t suggest it!) so I try to find the time to go to a class or two when I can. I also have a wider interest in current affairs, particularly with regards to gender and equality issues, and regularly listen to podcasts and other media associated with this. My job involves frequently travel so having something interesting to listen to on the road definitely helps!


8. How would you describe yourself in three words?


Practical, resourceful and persistent.

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