What made you become a chemical engineer? (Day 11)

What made you become a chemical engineer? (Day 11)

7th June 2014

I was born in Stoke-on-Trent in the 1940s where my father worked for Podmore and Sons, which made and processed raw materials like clays and glazes for the pottery industry.

My father’s connection to Podmore and Sons opened a door to some summer vacation work and it became my first exposure to both industrial chemistry and engineering. The rest is history.

Today, many people are undoubtedly attracted by the excellent pay, travel and simple job satisfaction from working in some of the fascinating and important industries which form the building blocks of the modern world.

Hani Baluch

But everyone has their own story to tell. Just before I became president I received a note from Hani Baluch - a petroleum engineer with BP. She is very much a chemical engineer which represents the modern face of our profession.

Hani said: "My interest in the chemical engineering field was sparked by my experience of the modern day Gulf War and its implications on society.

"It instigated my fascination with how oil is involved in many different aspects of our lives and led me to pursue a degree that not only allowed me to do further research within this field but also guided me to a rewarding career in the petroleum industry.

"I'm currently living the American dream - I spent the past year working on the largest onshore gas field in the USA and was based in Amarillo, Texas. I had the opportunity to work on an array of projects to address my development needs and stretch my technical capabilities.

"The highlight of my time in Amarillo was the unparalleled support and mentoring I received by my colleagues to mature as a competent petroleum engineer, and successfully complete the BP graduate programme. My colleagues created a wonderful supportive and open working atmosphere that was welcoming, fulfilling and truly enjoyable.

"I hope that I continue to have the freedom to succeed in my career – making value adding changes in whatever role I am in. It is very satisfying for me to see the direct results of my work manifest on overall stability and production figures. I enjoy being close to front-line operations and working directly in the field and see my career progressing in this area."

It's clear to see the enjoyment Hani gets from her job and career. It's a great profession and many of us feel the same.

So what's your story? It would be great to hear from you.