Sarah Tancock

Mechanical Engineering Specialist

"ExxonMobil has given me a career full of exciting and varied challenges."

Role:  Mechanical Engineering Specialist

Degree: Mechanical Engineering at Sussex and Heriot Watt Universities

Since graduating in 1997 I have worked in the ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Division and have been specifically in ExxonMobil Engineering Europe (EMEEL) since 2000. During this time I have undertaken many different roles and projects based in our U.S. head office, our regional engineering office and also at several refineries.

My current job as a Mechanical Engineering Specialist in EMEEL is extremely varied as I support four refineries in France, Italy and Holland. I may be overseeing the mechanical design of a reactor in Italy one week then assisting a French refinery to conduct a successful unit maintenance activity the next.

In 2006 I was part of a team that designed and implemented a new section of a Fluid Catalyst Cracking unit at our Antwerp refinery. My role was to provide the technical input to the project from the drawing board all the way through to site. This involved designing the equipment whilst working in our head office in Washington DC, working with the project team and manufacturers in Belgium and Germany, and then finally working in the Antwerp refinery during the installation of the kit. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing your work take shape - especially when it weighs 50 tons!

I have also assisted in several refinery maintenance activities playing a key role in defining repair solutions for different types of equipment. The technical advice our group provides facilitates the safe and reliable operation of our refineries whilst assisting in getting the unit up and running on time. With downtime sometimes costing hundreds of thousands of dollars a day, being able to provide effective technical solutions to the refinery management can have a direct link to bottom line performance and thus in this role I am able to make a real difference to the business in which I work.

ExxonMobil has given me a career full of exciting and varied challenges. I have had the opportunity to use and build on my technical engineering skills from day one whilst working with a wonderful group of friendly professional people across the globe. If you are up for a challenge, then be prepared to be part of a team that will make a big difference in one of the biggest industries in the world.

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