Student and Graduate Publishing

From SNCF to Global Heat Transfer: The World of Internships!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 10:39

Julien Premel is a French engineering student studying at the CESI engineering school in Paris and working at the same time for the French national railway company (SNCF). Julien is currently on a 12 week placement with Global Heat Transfer, situated just outside Eccleshall in Staffordshire, looking to gain real-life hands-on experience of working in the heat transfer sector.

At the beginning of 2014 I received an email enquiry from Julien expressing an interest in gaining real-life experience of working with heat transfer fluids and in a sector that complimented the maintenance work he was involved with at SNCF. In his own words, Julien says that:

“I was interested by this company for many different reasons. Join this company was a good way for me to improve my English skills, to discover another culture, to discover another way of work (as Global Heat Transfer is a small-medium company) and to work in heat transfer fluids area. I’d like to do a career in this area, hence, this internship allowed me to win experience.”

Global Heat Transfer is a small engineering company that specialises in the supply of heat transfer fluids and engineering services, and is part of the wider Global Group. During his time at Global Group, Julien has made Stafford his home. Stafford is around 30 miles north of Birmingham. It’s a quiet big city where around 120,000 people live. Julien tells me that Stafford was founded in around 700 AD by a Mercian prince called Bertelin. Also, J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, spent a number of years during the Great War as a Signals Officer working on Army training camps on Cannock Chase and living in close by Great Haywood.

Julien felt that, because of its size, Global Heat Transfer was a perfect place to do an internship as it combined a good learning environment with the opportunity to meet new people. For Julien it was an opportunity he couldn’t resist and he is gaining experience not only in a technical function but also in marketing and sales. Indeed, Global Heat Transfer offers a number of services that includes the sampling and analysis of heat transfer fluids to monitor the rate of thermal degradation and extent of foreign contaminants such as water. Other services include heat transfer fluid maintenance; heat transfer system design; and, heat transfer system installation. Another reason for choosing the Global Group was that it supplies products and services across the globe with the business growing both at home and internationally.

Julien’s internship was broken down into three parts. To help grow the business in France, to research the management and control of light-ends (a thermal degradation by-product) in heat transfer fluids and to gain hands-on experience of sampling and analysing heat transfer fluids.

Initially, Julien had to phone a lot of French companies, where his language came into its own as we could make the right connections with people in those businesses, and registering Global Heat Transfer on company catalogue websites so that customers had visibility of the products being offered by Global Heat Transfer and to enable them to follow-up with the company directly. From this, Julien gained first-hand experience of online advertising and promoting business-to-business communications.

During his internship, Julien researched the Global Heat Transfer database to assess the optimal method for managing the build-up of light ends and has data that shows how effective the installation of a Light End Removal Kit (LERK) is in the long-term management of light-ends. Further information on LERKs has been published and is available elsewhere – please see Julien is currently writing a research article and the intention is to publish his findings in a peer-reviewed journal either in English language or may be even in French.

Julien has also managed to visit a number of client sites. He says that:

“It was a good thing to understand how a thermal fluid system was operating, and to see how a sample of oil was taken. Global Heat Transfer complies with all the safety and health requirements, so I had to wear personal protective equipment when I was on site.”

Finally, I asked Julien to list the top three things that he has learnt during his studentship at Global Heat Transfer. He simply said:
1. Understanding the English language.
2. Heat transfer fluids.
3. Now knowing what a LERK is.


Interested in Engineering? Read more of our engineering study abroad articles.