Skills development

SPIE, a diversity of opportunities

Published on 27 December 2023
With its size and breadth, SPIE offers lots of opportunities within one company”
ULRIKE GÖRDES, Project Manager Lighting & Smart City, SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa

For ambitious young professionals, SPIE is a great employer.

Having been here for three years now, I know this from my own experience. After studying Electrical Engineering, my first job was working for the Dortmund utilities company, which has one of Germany’s biggest and most innovative public lighting contracts with SPIE. In the long run, though, I wanted to be working on more than just one contract. With its size and breadth, SPIE offers lots of opportunities within one company, and straight away, I started on a new municipal lighting contract, going through every stage from tendering to operations.

That was a really satisfying feeling – and it put me in a position to start handling negotiations on my own, which I’m very proud of. Today, I’m proud of my additional role in the Group committee City Networks, where I have been leading the Urban Safety and Security taskforce since October 2021. When I was asked to take it on, my first thought was: “Everyone else is way more senior…” But I decided to do it and haven’t looked back: we are now making a lot of progress in harnessing our Europe-wide scope, exchanging references and methodologies as part of One SPIE. Thus far, my boss has placed a lot of trust in me and helped me to develop. What is more, I’ve now been given a mentor to look at career progression. 

"I don’t quite know what my future looks like just yet, but I suspect SPIE will keep offering me exciting opportunities."

Interview of Ulrike GORDES, SPIE - 2022 IAR

Ulrike GÖRDES is a Project Manager Lighting & Smart City at SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa. She explains why she joined SPIE a few year ago. She thinks that SPIE is a great employer, for ambitious young professionals.

At SPIE everyone has really open ears.
We don’t just do public lighting — for example, we also do grid operations, we do building
maintenance, we do electromobility.
I really like it because you can look into all of those sectors.
As a project manager, I am responsible for management contracts for public lighting in the
whole of Germany.
So you have an infrastructure around your whole city and we are working on developing this
infrastructure for other applications.
For example, you can charge your car, charge your e-bike, install sockets, 5G antennas.
What makes sense in my job is that I started as a project manager, I’m still a project manager,
but I have developed a lot.
For the last two years I have been part of the task force for safety and security in Dortmund,
which is a task force within the Group Committee Smart City.
And for the last year I have been the leader of that task force.
I have a mentor, he is called Andreas Schmidt.
I guess that mentoring only for women is really special, I’ve never heard of that before in
another company.
I’m proud of being part of the solution, being part of our future, because SPIE is going to
build the future and I’m part of it.