Meet Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc Director & Engineer Rachel Pallett

Meet Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc Director & Engineer Rachel Pallett

 December 01, 2020

“I love factories and manufacturing,” remarks Rachel Pallett who has an impressive engineering background and was recently appointed Director of Steam Business Development at Spirax-Sarco Engineering.

“I've always been curious about how things are made. What’s inside this? Who designed it? Where was it made? Why was it made this way? Thankfully throughout my career, I've had the privilege of satisfying my curiosity and working with brilliant people to solve manufacturing problems and help make products perform better, safer, at lower cost. The collective effort to imagine, design, build and sell at a profit is what has always driven me. I can get completely absorbed,” she explains.

“I'm not an inventor, nor your cutting-edge design engineer,” explains Rachel. “I intentionally kept my university education as broad as possible and selected modules in my degree that ranged from power generation to neural network mathematics. I undertook a portfolio of engineering subjects that would ensure I could learn about and draw upon all sorts of things. But it is real world problem-solving that really connects with me. What I don't think comes across well enough to young people today is the importance and excitement in blending and applying the elements of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) together with commercial problem-solving. There are so many opportunities for great careers in the world of industry and manufacturing.”

Embracing a world of experience

Rachel is very enthusiastic, optimistic and driven in her pursuits. Her blue-chip engineering and commercial background is impressive. She has worked around the world, connecting with countless companies ranging from household names to behind-the-scenes B2B giants - and everything in between. Her 30 years of experience spans a wide range of sectors: helping the Seattle aerospace industry make wing spars for planes more accurately; dynamic performance tuning of machine tools in Italian supercar workshops; enabling automation specialists in South Korea develop production technology for flat screen TVs; collaborating with European bio-tech to enable production of personalised cancer therapies; commercialising fluid technology solutions to reduce energy, water and chemical usage in mining and water treatment, to call out a few highlights.

Rachel says her current role is a very strategic one. “The opportunity we have as a company to help our customers move towards zero carbon steam generation and help them achieve sustainability targets in areas like energy and process efficiency, sterilisation, water and chemical savings, is significant. I have always worked with engineers, but right now I’m working in collaboration with a team of brilliant engineers, research scientists and a wide range of technical, business development and marketing professionals to drive the innovation and commercialisation that will underpin sustainable growth for our customers and for our business. This is exciting and inspiring on so many levels.”

Combining engineering with commercial acumen

In her various roles, Rachel has also been responsible for internal controls, risk management and good governance. “Knowing and understanding finance, legal issues and the internal workings of a business is really important. I've learned a lot over the years and put a great deal of my attention there so I can navigate with confidence in the corporate world. However, my ultimate mission is to ensure that we are always thinking about what we are doing for our customers and how can we best support them over the long term. This is where my blending of my experience in engineering and sales comes in especially useful.”

Rachel comments on the importance of Spirax-Sarco Engineering Plc's direct sales model that connects the whole business with the customer. “At Spirax-Sarco Engineering, you can get involved with the whole spectrum of business activity. When you are directly connected to your customers, you can work on helping solve their problems because you see and understand their challenges with your own eyes. Fundamentally, engineers are problem solvers who connect the thinking and the doing. An engineering background provides great access to commercial experience, which not a lot of people may know in their early careers. Engineering can be a route into the commercial world and learning about people, strategy, business, negotiation, margins and selling. This is not necessarily apparent in school. One of the most valuable things I've got under my belt is being able to sell and to be able to add value through business growth," explains Rachel.

Congruently aligned with company values

Spirax Sarco Engineering values

The company's core values really resonate with Rachel. "Our values at Spirax-Sarco Engineering are not just for corporate window-dressing," says Rachel.

"Our core values are embedded across the whole business and I constantly refer back to ensure everything I do is aligned. Spirax-Sarco Engineering is a company that puts time, energy and investment into communicating and embedding its values into our behaviours. As one of the company's many leaders across the globe, I continually challenge myself to ensure I walk the talk. I could not work for a company that didn't believe in and live its values."

Enjoy a rewarding career with Spirax Sarco Engineering

Inspired by Rachel Pallet as one of Spirax Sarco Engineering's many impressive female leaders?

Join over 7,800 employees in over 60 countries worldwide and Help create an efficient, safe, and sustainable world.

Research the wide range of exciting careers on offer at the company and forge an important path problem-solving the needs of customers to support their real-world success.


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