Pentair Technical Support and Application Engineer, Ewelina Grabowska talks about her day.
Pentair Europe isn’t just about the hardware of valves, tanks or filtration products. Below the surface is an ocean of knowledge about the world of water, embodied in its Technical Support Team.
Based across Europe, this band of highly-qualified application engineers spend their days advising, troubleshooting and coaching on water treatment across the continent.
We caught up with the team’s newest member, Ewelina Grabowska, for an insight into her typical day.
When did you join Pentair?
I joined Pentair in May 2020 just after COVID-19 started taking a grip. At first, I thought I would feel isolated, not being able to meet clients and colleagues face-to-face, but it was never an issue. There is nothing we cannot achieve these days with video calls.
I support Pentair customers in Poland, Russia and across the Commonwealth of Independent States. I quickly realised how lucky I was to be joining such a knowledgeable and friendly team with colleagues covering every corner of Europe and all speaking a multitude of languages.
Is there a routine to your day?
In reality there is no ‘typical’ day as every customer call is different. But every day starts early in my home office, as it has for all the team since the pandemic took effect.
How do you plan your day?
Broadly my day is planned around inbound questions on water systems design, product specifications, installations and maintenance.
For example, a customer may be at the advanced stage of specifying a new water plant and needs our help to double check calculations on flow rate or pressure drop. Or we could be approached at a much earlier stage, when we can often provide some alternative thinking using newer or emerging technologies.
Designing a complete system, such as a new water treatment plant, can be a massive undertaking – there is a lot to consider. Design is of course a ‘process’ and the earlier we are invited to get involved, the more opportunity there is to help.
It is also where my technical training comes into its own. I hold a Masters in Environmental Engineering from Warsaw University. Together we can bring the benefit of years of pooled experience to a client’s challenge. So, system design consultation takes a large part of my day. It can be involved but it is very rewarding.
What else fills your working day?
It is quite common to have to pause system design work to respond to troubleshooting questions which, depending on their urgency, usually take priority. That could be anything from an installation problem to a valve issue and often, time is of the essence – especially if the water is not flowing. Delivering clean, drinking water is essential and that simply won’t wait!
Are you involved in running Pentair Training courses?
Yes, while Pentair installation manuals and data sheets are excellent, sometimes there is no substitute for live training and this is something offered by the Technical Support Team. Through the wonders of Webex, we can still run these as normal. With a couple of cameras, we can turn our remote offices into a training workshop. It’s not only a great way to get clients up-to-speed on new products but a good way for us to get feedback from the field for the product design team.
How do you manage to stay up to date in an ever-changing industry?
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To be honest, keeping abreast of change in the water treatment industry can be a full -time job in itself. There are literally hundreds of regulations and certifications for drinking water and those can vary across countries and regions. We also have a wide and innovative portfolio of products to keep on top of. It would be a challenge for our customers, but we have the benefit of pooled knowledge within the Support Team. In addition to our scheduled weekly meetings, every day we are in touch, comparing and sharing technical issues. If we don’t know an answer, we always know someone who does.
Our job is to fast-track the right information to our customers, to make it easy for them to be well-informed without having to dig around online.
Are you seeing changes in the industry?
Yes, I have seen a definite change in priorities during my time in this industry. When I started in 2014 it was very price driven. While cost is still important, everyone is more aware of environmental impact. Today we are asked much more about products that minimise water consumption, reduce energy costs and ultimately reduce carbon emissions. And that plays neatly to Pentair’s strength as a responsible manufacturer. We have softeners that use less salt, filters that recover more water, energy-efficient pumps… it’s a long list. So yes, I am seeing more concern for the environment which is something to celebrate.
Has it been a good first year with Pentair?
Greatly so. Many of the Support Team have been with Pentair for 10–20 years and I can see why. Like them, I am building such a great rapport with my customers and it feels good to have their trust. For them, to receive free, impartial advice and guidance in their own local language means a lot and I feel we are valued. It’s our point of difference and why many in our industry choose, and continue to choose, Pentair.
So how does the day finish?
I once heard Pentair described as always seeing the glass as ‘full-full’. And that fits with me. I finish the day, often exhausted but always satisfied that I have played my own part in keeping the water flowing. You can’t ask for more than that. And, if I can get out for a little horse riding at the end of the day – that’s an added bonus!
Pentair customers can contact their technical support representative by phone Monday-Friday from 9:00 to 17:00, or at their email address.
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