Interview with Linette Casey, Siemens Energy | Scaling Green Hydrogen, Allyship & Work Life Balance

Interview with Linette Casey, Siemens Energy | Scaling Green Hydrogen, Allyship & Work Life Balance

From starting out in gas turbine logistics to now leading sales for decarbonization initiatives in the Americas, Linette Casey has seen it all in her 23 years at Siemens Energy. And it all started with a Girl Scout trip. In this Green Light episode, Catherine spoke with Linette about her transition to renewables as well as the company’s green hydrogen partnership with Air Liquide. Linette also shared about how she overcame significant challenges in her career, such as having to prioritize family & remote work during a crisis, which she successfully navigated with the support of her male allies & colleagues.

Beyond her achievements in clean energy, Linette has been incredibly dedicated to mentoring less experienced women in our industry. Through her work with the Boston Chapter of the Women’s Energy Network, Linette was able to help implement a brand new scholarship program for young women who plan to pursue a career in clean energy. She has also worked closely with Erin Twamley & the YMCA to help educate young women about the types of clean energy jobs available to them.


Catherine: Hi, I’m Catherine McLean, Founder and CEO of Dylan Green. And today I have with me Linette Casey. Thanks for joining me Lynette all the way from Maine I think our first Maine guest.

Linette: Yeah, happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Catherine: Lynette is head America Sales, Electrification, Automation and Digitalization at Siemens Energy. So thanks for joining us. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your current role at Siemens Energy.

Linette: Thanks. So my current role at Siemens Energy so like you said, I head up the sales organization for all of the Americas from Canada to Argentina. So it’s a pretty interesting role with lots of different economic considerations and political considerations and regulatory environments across that footprint. And we basically help customers in industry decarbonize through the various pathways of electrification, automation, or digitalization. And so it’s a variety of different solutions that we provide. So we really work with all of these industrial customers to figure out what they’re trying to do to decarbonize and really provide bespoke solutions for their specific operational requirements to help them decarbonize.

Catherine: You originally became interested in STEM through the Girl Scouts through a Girl Scout trip to visit the Maritime Academy? Can you share more about this and how you eventually came to work in energy specifically?

Linette: So actually, I was in fourth grade when my Girl Scout troop went to Maine Maritime Academy for sailaway at MMA was what it was called, and we got to sleep on the ship and learn about vessel operations and do a whole bunch of STEM activities. And really in that impressionable moment as a young girl, I decided that was where I wanted to go to college. So believe it or not, that’s where I ended up going to school. And so I ended up graduating from there as the first female graduate of their international business and logistics program. And I went on to work with the Navy SEALs doing logistics right out of college, and I really was headed down a logistics career path. And my husband at the time, was also in the Navy. He had graduated from Maine maritime and was a systems engineer and was very interested in gas turbans, and so he was recruited out of the Navy by Siemens Energy and so we moved. We moved from Panama City Beach, Florida, to Orlando, Florida, where Siemens Energy is headquartered here in the US, and at that time, it was the gas turbine boom. Around 2001 is when I joined the company, and I joined the logistics department are there about 5000 people in the Orlando campus, so he was off doing gas turbine engineering, and I was in the logistics department, and I really came into the energy industry from a logistics standpoint, and it really wasn’t, I could have been doing logistics for anything. I could have been working for a lumber company for all it mattered, right?
But once I got into the company, then I became really interested in the technology that I was worried about moving around the country and filling factories with and what is this thing called energy so it wasn’t really something the energy industry itself was not something that I planned. I certainly was really good at STEM. You know, what I think we’ll talk about later on about the allyship and the men around me in a male dominated field. You know, in high school I was put into an experimental all girls math class, and this was the 90s when they thought that would be a good idea. And I remember my mom and I having to go to the superintendent and lobby to be put in the girls math class because for me, and it’s different for everybody. But for me, I really am energized and challenged by the competition and the camaraderie and the just the challenge of being surrounded by the smartest, most capable people, it doesn’t really matter their gender right but how smart and capable they are in their field. And so I fought to not be in just the old girls math class and be segregated that way. So I think that that helped me as I went through my education in a basically an all male military school and now into a very male dominated industry.

Catherine: I think that has to take the cake for like what are the most interesting stories of how you got into the industry. I really love that journey. It looks crazy. So then how do you wind it back in Maine, so you’re in Florida and then Maine?

Linette: So we ended up having a family and we were very far away from home and my daughter had a really intense special needs. And so in 2007, after spending a little while in our Orlando office, I then came up to our Boston office and took a sales position. So when I was in Orlando, I did inventory management and procurement and order management, filling the factories all of those kinds of logistics type roles and then when I came out to the field, in a field office that I was working directly with customers, primarily in our gas turbine, with our gas turbine customers with operational fleets and making sure that they had the parts and pieces and people and everything for preventative maintenance for their units. And so I moved up here to Boston and spent a while, probably the last 17 years or so, up here and my roles have just kind of expanded from local New England. I had 50 customers and five states and expanded from an operational gas turbine fleet into the utility space with transmission and distribution. Of course, Boston is kind of a hub for renewable developers. So I had a lot of success with partnering with renewable developers, and they led me to new technologies that I would not have otherwise seen if I had only stuck with the traditional, for our company, gas turbine space. And then of course, Boston has also got a really great venture community. So throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to partner with Siemens Energy Partners with Breakthrough Energy ventures, which has a Boston office and I’ve been able to, to mentor some of the venture organizations that they sponsor and that we co sponsor. So yeah, so then my role has just expanded and I kind of have been fortunate enough to be able to stay based out of the New England area as I travel and meet with customers all over the Americas now at this point in my role.

Catherine: Siemens Energy has been involved in developing a highly efficient electrolyzer to reduce green hydrogen costs and green hydrogen is obviously a real hot topic at the moment. Can you share more about this and like what context Siemens Energy is working with green hydrogen.

Linette: So you’re right Siemens Energy has an electrolyzer that is pretty large, I would say in comparison to some of those in the industry. So our smallest electrolyzer is 17 and a half megawatts. So it really puts it into utility, industrial scale. And so we have a gigawatt factory in Berlin, that is ramping up to multiple gigawatts over the next series of years. And we have a lot of traction throughout the world. So we’ve partnered with Porsche and others. In Chile, we have a site called ha Romani, where we’re making e fuels for Porsche. That was probably one of our first sites in 2021. And now from there in Europe, we have some really cool other much larger things. So we’ve partnered with Air Lockheed, and there’s a site in France, which is a 200 megawatt site, which I believe is the largest site right now, which will take, I think, 200,000 tons per year of CO2 emissions off of our world in our environment. You know, Orsted we’ve got liquid wind and that’s a 50 megawatt site doing converting for E methanol. So E fuels, so there’s a lot of stuff going on. At company wide and worldwide. Here in the US. We’re excited as everyone else is to see how the hydrogen economy evolves. I think we’ve all been watching and as 45 V came out over the holidays, right? People have been looking at that interpretation of the tax ruling and the tax credits for that and who that applies to and trying to figure out the concepts of additionality and time matching and geography matching and how that plays into or doesn’t play into their plans for hydrogen hubs. And my group was involved with about 20 of the hydrogen hub applications that went into the DoD in some form, or fashion either as an intended technology provider with our electrolyzer or letters of support or feed studies or some form for those applications. So we’re certainly very involved in all-of-the-things-hydrogen hub and trying to really be part of that excitement for where that goes and next steps here in the US as well, but much more advanced in other parts of the world. I would say specifically Europe.

Catherine: You touched on earlier about males like being working with a lot of males throughout your life. I’m going to talk about male allies. You’ve spoken about how important it is to have male colleagues and allies both in your work and your personal life. For example, they supported your choice to work remotely. One of my favorite topics to talk about lately. While you care for your family during a particularly stressful time in your life before remote work actually became commonplace. Could you share a little bit more about this?

Linette: I think we have to remember in this conversation that men are dads, men are husbands, men are brothers right and so as much as we identify as women are typically as moms and wives and sisters, right? They also have those roles. And especially I think men, as I’ve gotten a little bit older in my career in the last 25 years, I’ve seen how those roles have changed. For example, my husband is incredibly supportive. I travel a ton and he’s the one who is at home doing all of you know the homeless stuff and the kids stuff and whatever and so in some ways things have flip flopped and have blended together. And so I think allyship is so important of us as people, right? It’s not a male, male female conversation necessarily, but just being an ally for other people, no matter your dimension of diversity.
I think men throughout my career, the men closest to me in my career, so my boss and my co workers have certainly been incredibly supportive throughout my career. And there’s been a series of them right. When I hired on to the company I was 32 weeks pregnant with my daughter, so he was a German expat here in the US. And so when he was confronted with what our maternity policies were in the US 22 years ago versus what he was accustomed to, he had young children of his own in Germany when he found out that six weeks later, I needed to be back at work. He was just mortified. In Germany, you get six months off right or three years that they have to hold your position. So he was incredibly supportive of me taking time off and easing back into the workplace. Even though I was a brand new employee, for example. I mentioned that my daughter has really intense special needs. So when I needed to move back to New England back to where I had grown up and be closer to family and had to really take a step down the ladder, the career ladder. People were really patient. My new boss was really patient with me that I was overqualified for that job. They knew it but I had to do that for you. I had to make that decision to be a mom to deal with hospitalizations and it was a decade long of hospitalizations and residential treatment out of state and really a traumatic time for our family. You mentioned the remote work so way before COVID I mean, this was 2007-2008 when I was literally having to you know take my computer and work in a parking lot before I went into me with doctors at a hospital and spend an hour in the car, doing a bunch of emails go into the hospital, do what I needed to do there get back home work at night and people were really really very supportive as I juggled all of that. And so I just think it’s the human factor. It’s not necessarily male allyship specifically its people allyship, if that makes sense, right. It’s just been that I’m in a male dominated fields. So most of the people who have been allies of mine have just happened to be men because statistically, frequently been the only woman in the room, right, but their dads and they get it.

Catherine: Yeah. And as a result, how many years have you been at Siemen?

Linette: Let’s say 2001 to 2024. This is my 23rd year.

Catherine: Right, so you know, the issue I think a lot of companies are having is jumpiness right. So candidates employees jumping around from job to job, and I wonder if that’s a case by case basis, but I wonder how much of it is Siemens Energy now supporting you being a partner to you that you as a result, have been loyal and stayed with them throughout the years. So I think it is very much a two way street.

Linette: Absolutely. Yeah, there’s no doubt about it, and I have gotten opportunities over the years, multiple times to leave the company right and at a certain point in your career and visibility it offers from recruiters all the time, right? And it’s, it’s sometimes hard not to take the opportunity, but also I’ve been fortunate enough to be treated like family and, and have had these fortunate, good experiences that I’ve been supported in my career and my development that I have felt loyal to the company right and even when my daughter’s issues and things became much more stable, and I could get back on the career track, right and say, Okay, now I’m ready to climb the ladder again. Then they were like, alright, game on what’s, what’s your next step in your development? What else can you do next? And, I took those 10 years because I had to, and I chose to write, but when it was time, they literally said game on let’s do it again. We’ve got this position for you, we believe in you and welcome back kind of thing. So I’ve always felt like you said, it’s a two way street and there’s some loyalty there and they treated me right. And so I tried to treat them right and treat the other people around me right and allyship and then understand that people are not just numbers

Catherine: So, diving into that, going from allyship into mentorship if you like, you’re very involved with mentoring other women both at Siemens Energy and outside of the company. Can you share more about why you’re so passionate about mentorship?

Linette: Yeah, so I think we have a little bit of a responsibility as we’re trying to cultivate a pipeline of young people. I specifically have an affinity towards women because I feel like some of the opportunities that may be more available to men in our male dominated field and sometimes the women are statistically there are far fewer women. So sometimes when we have like these developmental rotational programs, if they bring in six students out of college maybe one of them will be a woman and so they don’t necessarily have the mentorship opportunities. So I try to reach out to those women that are one of six coming through a rotational program and make sure that they feel supported by another woman in the industry. I do a lot of mentorship actually in a lot of different circles. Maine Maritime Academy, I still stay close to that as an alumni. And I frequently get paired up with pending graduates of my my undergrad major and have mentored several high potentials coming out of that school and as they go into their careers, do a lot of group mentorship to we have an IND council that is amazing at Siemens Energy and they do group mentorship actually later this afternoon, myself and another executive are paired up with four or five mentees. So it’s a group mentorship. And so we meet monthly and it’s people from all over the organization. So you get to meet new people and it’s a really great networking opportunity.
And then I really enjoy reverse mentorship too. So I especially like the college students stuff, so I speak frequently. There’s a north at Northeastern University. There’s an energy economics course that I’m friends with the professor and so I go in. I speak to that course at least once a semester on whatever’s top of my mind and energy economics that semester. And I usually try to mentor folks from that class as well. So there’s a number of mentorship stuff that I do. But for the college students, I really enjoy reverse mentorship just because they have a whole new perspective. So I like learning from them as well, because there’s just a whole new light to understand what they’re learning in school and how it applies to my world and how I can update my understanding of my view of the world through their view 25 years later, right?

Catherine: Yeah, it’s really interesting because I think also they’re probably getting or adjusting their information. I was just talking about this this morning like a 21 year old today is not what we were when we were 21, the way they process information where they get information is so incredibly different. So I think it would be kind of interesting to see you know what their thoughts are on the IRA or green hydrogen. I bet it’s completely different to what you and I think of it because we’re looking at it from a different lens.

Linette: Absolutely, and I’m in sales, right? So I also have to understand what my customers are learning, what they’re coming into their organizations and their frame of reference so I like to stay current and reverse mentorship as a huge way.

Catherine: Yeah, so I’ve never heard of it called that before.

Linette: Yeah, a nice symbiotic relationship. And then a lot of these opportunities I’ve been able to do through the Women’s Energy Network, which have been really involved in.

Catherine: Yeah, that was my next question. So you have been heavily involved in the Boston chapter of the Women’s Energy Network. Can you tell us more about this network? I’m also interested in learning more about how they’ve partnered with Abe and Out and Energy? I’m somewhat familiar with WEN in DC because they throw the best happy hours. I’m a simple girl, you know? Where’s the good food and cocktails?

Linette: Yeah. So WEN, as an organization, the Women’s Energy Network, I think its 30th anniversary this year. They started in Houston and the Houston chapter is massive. I mean, 1000 women, because it’s been around 30 years. The Boston chapter we founded in 2017, I believe, with just a handful of women. It has grown, and I’ve stepped away after taking my most current role about 18 months ago and became 75 employees and six countries became a full time a big job. So I had to step away but I was president of the Boston Chapter the year before last and so we had grown to about, at that time, about 300 members in the Boston area, about 35 individual energy companies in the Boston area. When you think of that network, it’s pretty impressive to think there’s that many I mean, it’s not shocking, but just to sit in and think about 35 energy companies in the Boston area and what that network could mean, I think we talked about your network is your net worth. And so if you were out of a job tomorrow, for example, man to have that network of 35 companies that you could just look to resumes or have an interview and know someone at one of those companies still within your industry within your you know, your city or your state is a pretty amazing network. to tap into.
So the Boston chapter started, again, from a handful up to 300. And we basically would hold and they still hold monthly, if not more frequently than that, events and they kind of look at different pillars. So there’s an education pillar, there’s a community pillar giving back to the community specifically to women’s shelters or different women’s organizations in the community. And then expertise series and so they’ll bring in experts on battery storage or hydrogen or whatever the topic is in the energy space to help folks keep up with their energy expertise. And through that organization, we also in my presidential year, one thing I’m really super excited about and proud of, and again, maybe speaking to ally ship and some mentorship kind of pulling it all together, was we started a college outreach committee where there’s so many amazing universities in the Boston area, MIT, Harvard, Wentworth, Western, Polytechnic. I mean, there’s a TON TON of really great universities and so we started a scholarship for women going into the energy industry either in their junior or senior year of undergrad or graduate. So really an intended as evidenced by coursework or internships or capstone projects that are really energy related. So really, a demonstrated interest in energy not just not just generally STEM, but energy.
And so Siemens Energy was a huge ally in that and helped give money to start up that scholarship program. Many other companies also gave money but again, speaking to allyship and my company being supportive of something that I’m so passionate about. And so we started a scholarship fund. We gave the first scholarship to a Harvard student the first year, it’s only been one year, but along with that scholarship was a targeted year. Long mentorship. So it was a pretty intense essay and interview application process for the scholarship to really understand what that woman is interested in specifically in energy. So then we could connect her with someone from our membership or our board membership, to have a year long mentorship with to really get her off and running into the energy industry and really welcomed her into this pipeline of talent of young female talent coming into our industry to make sure that she had a really great running start. And so that’s, I’m really, really proud of and looking forward to seeing all the future years

Catherine: And what is that scholarship called again?

Linette: I think it’s just the Women’s Energy Network Boston scholarship, but I could share the link to it.

Catherine: That’s really, really cool. One of the other things is this Out In Energy. I was not familiar with that at all. So I’m familiar with the Atlantic Council. I do some work with them on the veteran veterans issues, advanced veteran energy network, but I was not familiar with Out In Energy.

Linette: So I’m glad you circled back to Out In Energy because I missed that part of your question. So yeah, one of the other things that we did with WEN we installed DEI director, actually co director, we really doubled the size of our board, because this is a volunteer organization and all the things we do as full time employees and women and all the commitments we have. We wanted to make sure that we kind of shared our director roles. And so in my presidential year we put in a DEI co director role so there are actually two of them on the Boston board. So we really looked at this diversity conversation as more than just women as I said earlier, and so how could we make this more well rounded. If we’re going to talk about women’s issues in the energy space, we would be remiss not to talk about other issues that other dimensions of diversity tackle. So we started and that really the credit all goes to the DEI co directors, they started a series of table talks. And so we partnered with Abe and Out In Energy to host a series of table talks and it really led to a beautiful well rounded conversation where we could come at it from a women’s issue perspective and LGBTQIA perspective, and a race perspective. And so we at least had more dimensions of diversity. Not all of them. It’s not totally inclusive. I’m sure there are more groups we didn’t have in there, right. At least made it a more well rounded conversation. So when we talked about some of the topics, then we had multiple perspectives. And it really helped especially to volunteer organizations as all three of them are to draw their membership and to share resources. So if we were hosting it, right if there were catering expenses or you know location expenses, rentals of a room or whatever, then we were able to share those and still have content for all of our population of our membership. And so it is really a beautiful partnership for all three organizations, I think.

Catherine: So my final question is I want to talk about Erin Trombley, who someone we both know. She has a series of books called around superheroes. I think energy superheroes. Were women in our industry. And you’ve been featured as a trailblazer in energy in one of Erin Trombley’s books. I am a supporter of these books, and to those that aren’t familiar. Can you talk a little bit about the book it’s in specifically about how you help to spread the word about them around including the YMCA, that piece from the YMCA.

Linette: So Erin is doing a whole series. It’s not just energy, but it’s women in STEM right with her first book. Right? It really takes the alphabet and breaks it down and every letter has kind of a different thing. So it was her first book. The second one is focused on women in energy and then I’m sure she has a whole bunch that I mean the women in health care. endless right. It’s so exciting. And really I love that Erin is also a lifetime Girl Scout and she’s involved with the worldwide Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts as I am and so it was a natural connection for her and I but anyway so I was featured, as you mentioned, as a trailblazer. I love the book because although it sounds like, you know, letters of the alphabet, it sounds very elementary. It’s not, it’s for like grades four through six. And it is a really nice educational book and, I would say, more in depth book for that age group. If they’re really interested in energy careers, it’s really cool because Erin and Josh did a really great job working with their Illustrator to have characters and the women represented as characters in the book, and then you get to read about them, right. So if they’re a hydroelectric dam engineer and then there’s a full page what that job is and what that woman does. And so it’s not just it’s not just the bedtime story of hydroelectric dam, and that’s what H is. It really dives into that career. So it’s a very educational book and I’m so super excited that the girls who will read it will actually get a context for energy and for multiple dimensions. I think there’s 34 People highlighted in the book. And they did a really great job again, the dimensions of diversity. I think that I forget the numbers but more than a third of the women that are in there are from other dimensions of diversity are women of color. So I think they were very intentional about making sure that every girl who reads that book will be able to see herself on one of those pages and aspire to it.

Catherine: One of the things I really liked about it was that it was real women. Like it wasn’t just like a doctor, like a pretend doctor or like Barbies or something. It was like actually like, here’s the person that does this job.

Linette: And then what that did was really allow us real women that are in the book to do some really cool stuff. So you mentioned the YMCA. So there are again it all ties back into WEN. So there are four women from the WEN Boston chapter who are in the book, and there are WEN women throughout other other chapters that are in the book, and so we did a series of book signings throughout the country. And so what we did in Boston was the four of us went to the Chinatown YMCA in Boston and met with the after school kids there and did a whole science project day with wind turbine in the gym area, while we also did a book signing and reading of the book, and we got to read our own page to the kids in the room and answer their questions about our jobs. And the kids were so excited that they actually got to take one of these books home and we signed the page and like just so much excitement and this area of Boston is primarily a very immigrant community. Primarily blue collar community. And so the kids really lit up like, Oh, I get to take a book home with me today? They were so excited. Also I’m from Northern Maine, right. And so I took several copies of the book to my hometown library, and the girl at the library was like, Oh my gosh, will you sign it? I didn’t know I went to high school where a celebrity went to school. Hang on we’re not actually celebrities in this book. So you’re right like us being actual real people in the book has led to a lot of really cool actual like interpersonal engagements to to amplify and bring in that further pipeline of women coming into the energy space.

Catherine: Well, thank you so much for talking with us today and all that you’re doing in our industry.

Linette: Thank you for having me. This is a lot of fun.