Daniel finds space to innovate at Scania
9 OCTOBER 2018
The space industry was not innovative enough for Daniel Peña, so he set his sights on the Scania Engineer Program instead. Now he loves coming to work every day.
Daniel Peña who comes from Luleå, studied space technology and had his sights set on the space industry. But by the time he’d completed his degree project, something just didn’t feel right.
“It wasn’t as innovative as I had hoped,” he says.
It was at that point that he received a flyer about the Scania Engineer Program (SEP).
SEP is an induction scheme for fresh engineering graduates which provides a comprehensive introduction to Scania’s business and corporate culture. The focus is on practical work and participants gain permanent employment at Scania.
“I started reading up on this and heard lots of good things about Scania’s corporate culture – especially its staffing policy,” says Daniel who then decided to apply and gained a place on the programme.
Those enrolled in SEP are based in a specific department but have the opportunity to try working in different parts of the company. Daniel was placed in the engine development division.
“It didn’t really turn out to be anything like I’d imagined. But as an engineer, you are always curious, so the idea of working with engines seemed like a fun challenge. I learnt an awful lot and stayed there for two years.”
Daniel believes that it was his SEP experience that would eventually make him a specialist.
“My training was very general. I became good at a great number of things, but wasn’t the best at any particular thing. I was keen on embarking on a programme that would provide me with just the opportunities that would enable me to discover what I wanted to do.”
Besides becoming a better engineer and gaining permanent employment with Scania, Daniel also benefited from SEP by making friends for life.
“I made friends with 17 people as part of the bargain. Scania is good at recruiting people who share the company’s values such as respect and openness. We became very good friends straightaway, and still meet up and hang out together a lot in our free time.”
If your focus is System Development on SEP your are given the opportunity to obtain a truck driver’s licence, which is something that Daniel really appreciated.
“That was a big plus. Something I like about Scania is the way we become so close to the actual product. That really is a prerequisite to doing a good job as a development engineer.”
Once he had completed the programme, Daniel carried on working in engine development for a while. But then he started contemplating what he really wanted to do.
“I wanted to work with environmental technology and autonomous vehicles, so I began to look for a position internally at Scania. I found out that there was a job going in the autonomous vehicles division and applied for it. That’s when I discovered just how easy it was to switch roles within the company, and that having completed the SEP scheme was a big plus. It made the new bosses realise that they could count on me.”
Daniel now works as a Research Engineer in the autonomous vehicles division: an innovative environment in which he thrives.
“In just one week, we can turn an idea into a prototype that is ready to be tested in a truck. The conditions here are ideal for getting our ideas put into effect. That’s why I enjoy coming to work every day.”
Another thing he appreciates about working at Scania is exercising some influence over the transition to a sustainable society.
“I think most people today think about the environment. All of us do little things that make a difference like sorting our rubbish or cycling to work. So knowing that what I accomplish at work is actually contributing positively to a more sustainable society really is a great incentive. The small changes that I can drive here at work can be more beneficial to the environment that anything I can do as a private individual during my whole lifetime.”