Having graduated with MEng in Chemical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, I have started in the big bad world of work.
This page details various jobs and positions I have held in recent years.
Petroineos Manufacturing Scotland LtdNovember 2011 – current: Grangemouth
I am currently an area specialist (operations engineer) at Petroineos, Grangemouth. As part of my role, I ensure the safe and efficient operation of designated refinery process units (catalytic reformer and cryogenic units). I also provide leadership, direction, and guidance to the shift operating teams through provision of operational engineering support.
British Sugar PLCSeptember 2009 – October 2011: Newark-on-Trent & Cantley, Norfolk
This was a factory-based position working on shift with the intent to gain hands on experience an learn the full production lifecycle before moving on to more high-profile positions.
For the first year on the scheme I worked at British Sugar’s Newark factory learning about the sugar manufacturing process and the factory operations. In my second year I took up a more managing role as an acting shift team leader.
In March 2011 I transferred to Cantley factory near Norwich. At Cantley, I was responsible for multiple mantanance streams, ensuring that the work was carried out safely, on time, and on budget.
In my final months at British Sugar, I moved into the role of an improvements engineer working with the DCS/Systems team to optimise control in different areas of the factory. I set up loop auditing software and trained others in how it could be used to spot and analyse poorly performing loops. I also investigated the effectiveness of using a moisture meter to provide feed forward control for an animal feed drier.
ExxonMobil Chemicals LtdJuly-August 2008: Fawley, Southampton
During summer 2008, I was one of nineteen chemical engineering students working for ExxonMobil at the Fawly refinery Southampton. This was an eight week course and we were split into groups of two or three to work on small projects around the plant.
My partner and I were based in the butyl polymers unit working closely with the process support group and the operators. Our project was to determine the suitability of an ultrasonic flow meter for the use in a process line and present my findings to the rest of the butyl polymers team.
With attention to safe working practices, this project involved daily site visits to set-up and configure the meter complying with the work permit system. We made contact with both the vendors and manufacturers of the flow meter with the hopes of getting better readings. However at the end of the placement, though the readings had improved significantly, the device was still considered unreliable under certain flow conditions.
Due to the unreliable nature of the ultrasonic flow meter, we examined alternative solutions and examined existing orifice plate flow meters already placed in line. These meters had been considered unreliable in the past however after contacting process engineers on a similar plant in Baytown, Texas we found that setting the orifice plates up under a different configuration gave reliable readings and were able to recommend more detailed testing using the new configuration.
This placement also gave me the chance to familiarise myself with the other units on the refinery including site visits to the main distillation sections and the cat cracker. I was also able to develop a greater understanding of the industry regarding economics, organisation and challenges.
iGem Team Member: University of EdinburghJune-November 2007: Edinburgh
As part of the 2007 Edinburgh University iGem team, I worked over the summer within a multidisciplinary team of students to develop a novel new biological device. This involved working closely with biologists and informatics students to design a piece of genetic code. We developed a device that will allow other devices to count cell divisions and were also working on the production of “self flavouring yoghurt”. We presented our work at the international conference held at MIT in November.