Job description:

What qualifications do you need for your job?

Armin Gassmann: I studied industrial engineering and majored in mechanical engineering. This really helped me understand how a large gas network is operated. But it is most certainly not a must. What you really need is an interest in technology and the special ability to think abstractly.

What are your typical main tasks?

Gassmann: Monitoring our 2,400-kilometer-long transport network is certainly one of a dispatcher's main jobs. In the process, I communicate with our operational staff on site, with the dispatching teams of neighboring pipeline network operators and with storage system operators, among others. I specifically check on the gas flow and the pressure at many entry and exit points. We also have to ensure that there is sufficient gas in the system. I have to plan for this in long-range terms in order to buy or sell control energy through our market area manager GASPOOL.
And I have to mention one other job: We spend a lot of time talking on the telephone. At dispatching, we are something like the company's brains. 

What are the particular advantages of your post?

Gassmann: Anybody interested in dispatching must be willing to work in shifts, at night and on weekends. There are three employees working in my shift. However, the specifics of the schedule can usually be easily worked out with colleagues.

How did the company help you get to know the ropes?

Gassmann: I started work in network requirements planning at GASCADE. I had a mentor during my first six months on the job. He showed me a lot of things and answered my questions. After transferring to dispatching, I had to learn all about the complex system of a huge pipeline network and its operation. My previous knowledge and my friendly colleagues helped me learn the ropes.

How can you gain further qualifications?

Gassmann: Sensible vocational training always supported. I really find it helpful to talk with the dispatchers of other network operators about specific questions and discuss our experiences.