Gilles works as a Market Engineer at Elia

Day and night, Elia guarantees a stable and reliable electricity network in Belgium. To this end, electricity supply and demand must be as closely aligned as possible. Elia relies on people like Market Engineer Gilles to achieve this.


Strategic function within NCC

“After my Master’s degree in electromechanical engineering at Group T, I completed an educational Master of Science and Technology at KU Leuven in 2021. That additional degree (with a focus on teaching physics and engineering & technology) means that I could work as a teacher in technical secondary education. I certainly haven’t abandoned that ambition, but at the moment I feel right at home at a top employer like Elia. Two years ago, in October 2021, I began working as a Marketing Engineer at the National Control Centre. In that role, I am part of the Energy Scheduling & Balancing Department, one of the NCC’s five departments.”

Aligning electricity demand and supply

“As a Market Engineer, I work with six colleagues to take the necessary preventive and guiding actions 24/7 and in real-time to optimally align daily supply and demand for electricity in Belgium. This is about striking the right balance between electricity generation and consumption, while monitoring the necessary reserves, assessing the national and international financial impact and keeping a close eye on the risks to the grid.

“Alongside my colleagues, I monitor security of supply in Belgium and activate the strategic reserve when necessary. At the same time, we follow emergency procedures if Belgium’s electricity grid comes under pressure.”

Flexible work schedules

“As these tasks require continuous monitoring, our team works in shifts. By being on duty day and night, we ensure that any potential risk or emergency is addressed immediately. At the same time, we work with teams from other departments, which requires constant coordination. On the night shift, I work from 9.30 p.m. to 6.30 a.m. for one week. Morning and afternoon shifts are always split into a few days per week. This schedule is quite intense but does ensure that we are always on standby. And of course, it comes with an attractive additional financial bonus.”

Demanding job with major responsibility

“To be a Market Engineer, you must cope well with stress, have a deep sense of responsibility and be able to prioritise. A strong analytical mindset, combined with the ability to quickly solve problems, is also more than welcome. My colleagues and I often have to make a whole range of decisions at short notice, sometimes in the face of a cascade of incidents. Some of our actions could have major implications for Belgium’s electricity supply. So keeping a cool head, whatever happens in our command post, is essential!”

Keeping track of new regulations

“Of course, Market Engineers must possess excellent technical knowledge. Solid knowledge of the Belgian and European electricity grid and the energy sector (including current challenges in the energy world) is also crucial. Elia offers me plenty of opportunities to attend the necessary training courses to keep that knowledge up to date. We hold biannual large-scale drills in Germany with our colleagues from Western European operators, simulating a major incident. I also attend NCC refresher training courses five times a year, with each course being dedicated to a specific topic. This training means that I can continue to do my job competently.”

Interested in a job as a Market Engineer? Then check out our vacancy.