Julia with a model of a heat exchanger.

“The range of the company is amazing, the fact that we do hydrogen fuel for cars of the future, oxygen for healthcare, nitrogen for freezing - our products are used to make glass, computer chips, flat screen TVs, fuel tyres, food, and more - we must have one of the most varied customer lists.”

Julia Hicks
Principal Project Engineer

The story so far
I joined as a graduate and have had around eight different roles in the past ten years which have all been centred around the commercial aspects of Engineering – it’s all around selling technology. My career has been planned to some extent but I also took advantage of opportunities as they arose.

Career inspiration
More than anything, my mentors have really helped me to realise the range of opportunities that are available to me. One particular mentor also raised my aspirations early in my career and told me that I could be doing a certain job in ten years and helped me to push myself further. Some other managers had faith in me and challenged me with responsibilities that other people might have thought I wasn’t senior enough for.

The people
The people around me are so collaborative. There’s always someone at someone else’s desk, helping each other and challenging in a very constructive way. It makes me proud how well we work together, given the diversity.

Why Air Products
Air Products does so many different things; I can either stay in Engineering, go to Operations or back to a commercial role. Even within a single area there are different technologies, large plants, small plants, etc. You wouldn’t get that in many companies. And Air Products is very open to people moving around.

Most memorable moment
The time I was working in India; I was in my early 20s in rural India where a lot of the people had never even seen someone with blonde hair! That month was probably the hardest month of my life but also I got so much out of it, I learned about myself, what I can do professionally and I got a lot of respect for what I achieved.

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