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"I’m very excited to continue my graduate development over the next year and progress within this company."
Graduate Programme 2016 – Present
I graduated from Heriot-Watt with a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering back in 2016. I decided to study ChemEng because of the wide range of opportunities and industries it could lead to after graduation. It's overarching understanding of processes lean towards project and operations management, which both interest me. Heriot-Watt offered a specialism in my final years in Oil & Gas, which enabled me to learn more about the industry I had always wanted to work in. Oil & Gas is a challenging sector, ever evolving and competing with modern technologies and views on energy and fossil fuels.
During my degree I had the option of completing a Diploma in Industrial Studies i.e. a placement year. I completed this year at Perenco UK, based in the Projects Team. I provided Process Engineering support for a wide range of projects including an offshore well tie-back to a minimum facilities platform in the Southern North Sea, and an onshore slugcatcher replacement at Bacton Gas Terminal. During my year I gained project management experience, and a significant amount of offshore experience on a jack-up barge, manned, and unmanned installations.
I returned to university with a wealth of “real-world” experience which made my final year my best year at Heriot-Watt. I also returned with the knowledge that I had already secured a graduate job with Perenco UK, which I was very excited about. I decided to accept the offer as Perenco had given me a lot of responsibility and opportunity to excel during my placement. They also have good progression opportunities for Chemical (Process) Engineers and good graduate cohort. Both important aspects for me.
As a graduate, I was again placed in the Projects team and due to my previous experience I was able to “hit the ground running” and provide a key level of Process Assurance and Commissioning support for a major SNS project.
I then completed a rotation in the Integrity team, which provided me with knowledge of a side of the company I hadn’t considered before - corrosion and materials. It gave me the opportunity to engineer and implement my own project which involved 5 different offshore platforms, including one owned and operated by a third party. I was given a lot of responsibility and ownership, which meant I felt a lot of pride when that project was commissioned and closed out on time.
My current placement is within the Process Safety Team, supporting HAZOP studies for multiple offshore and onshore assets and closing out risk assessment recommendations. This placement has given me an increased appreciation of the Major Accident Hazards we face in this industry, and how I can apply the lessons learnt into our everyday operation. Each recommendation can be a mini project to implement, and gives me experience working with different disciplines and going offshore.
My placements so far have given me the skills to take forwards into my IChemE Chartership application. My next rotation could be anywhere within Perenco UK (for example onsite at Bacton Gas Terminal or Wytch Farm in Dorset), and I’m very excited to continue my graduate development over the next year and progress within this company.