The Graduate Engineer in the chemical industry is a recent graduate with an honours degree in an engineering discipline (chemical, bio-processing, mechanical, electrical, control, or environmental engineering). The engineer provides technical advice and evaluation of operations with the objective of plant optimisation (product yield, cost control, quality control, waste minimisation). The graduate engineer may also collaborate with R&D on new products or processes.
The exact nature of the work will depend on the size of the employing organisation. However, it will almost certainly involve:
Advise operating department on optimisation of plant and utility equipment efficiency.
Assist operational staff in the solution of technical problems.
Assist training of plant operators.
Seek ways and means of modifying plant and equipment to improve efficiency.
Coordinate plant test runs and evaluate results.
Carry out technical/economic studies, relating to future plant operating programmes.
Collaborate with R&D on new products and processes.
One of the following:
Honours degree in an engineering discipline.
HND or Foundation Degree in an engineering subject plus appropriate further learning to degree level, and industry engineering experience.
Engaged in the Higher Apprenticeship in Chemical Science – Process Development Pathway (Level 5).
Incorporated Engineer (IEng) designation or engaged in CPD towards IEng.
Honours degree (BEng) in an Engineering discipline.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) towards Chartered Engineer (CEng) designation.
See also Cogent Gold Standard – Industry Professional Process Manufacturing.
Quantitative understanding of the operation and control of plant and equipment involved in the production of chemical products.
Ability to apply specialist discipline and broad understanding of other engineering disciplines.
Knowledge and understanding of all regulatory requirements with regard to the production of chemical products.
Understanding of risk assessment, risk control methods.
Knowledge of budgetary requirements including capital project and revenue project procurement procedures.
Knowledge and understanding of the impact of failure of key systems and processes including loss of containment and threat to the environment.
Knowledge of the company’s business environment.
Process control theory and PLC.
Able to read and understand piping and instrumentation drawings and other engineering documents including permits to work.
Conceptual thinking, problem solving and analytical skills.
Team worker and able to work independently.
Area Manager (Operations).
Pay and Conditions
Starting salaries are in the range £22,000-£32,000 per year. Graduate engineers work normal working hours but may also be required for shift work or for emergency call-out. They work in chemical plants, and probably outdoors: PPE is required in all hazardous areas.