North West (UK)

Changing Careers Networking Event

Changing Careers Networking Event
  • Date From 25th February 2020
  • Date To 25th February 2020
  • Price Free
  • Location Room C63/64, The Mill, The University of Manchester, M1 3AL

This event is targeted at engineers at various levels of career looking for a change.

Three different speakers from academia and industry will highlight their experience of how they changed careers and what advice they would give to those who wish to do the same. The talks will be followed by a networking opportunity.


Martin Hyde, Engineering Manager, Ecolab

I graduated in Chemical Engineering from UMIST in 2002 and immediately joined a small engineering design consultancy in Frodsham called Livingston Gunn Projects Ltd. I was the fifth engineer in what was a very small firm at the time. Work came from a number of sectors including Water, Wastewater, Chemical, and FMCG. The company grew, taking on more people and I began to help manage the work of other engineers (chemical, mechanical, electrical, civil). Chartership came in 2007 following a period of time on-site. As the company grew so the projects we delivered grew into multi-million, multi-year projects and I began to become more involved in business and resource management rather than direct engineering. Following another period on-site (£15M refurbishment of a chemical factory) I moved to another office to create a new P,M&E team from scratch. This eventually grew to 15 people, plus additional project support as required and I became an Associate Director of the firm.

Around two years ago I left this firm to take up Contracting and, finally, settled down to a permanent post as Engineering Manager of a top-tier COMAH Ecolab chemical facility in Northwich, Cheshire. I am now responsible for the Maintenance and Capital teams on-site (c.10), contractors, and a budget of c.£3M. This operational position is fundamentally different to my previous roles and has led to some challenges and personal growth opportunities.

David Hobson, Engineering Lead, Axion Recycling 

After graduating with a MEng in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London in 2013 I joined a division of Koch Industries called Eta Process Plant. Eta specialises in providing mass transfer solutions for the oil industry. My role encompassed both detailed process engineering and commissioning before ending up in the sales team. After successfully winning two large projects within our core offshore oil sector, I began leading efforts to diversify Eta’s business away from just oil.

Three years ago I decided to begin a fresh challenge and joined Axion Recycling’s Consulting team as a Project Engineer working on and managing a wide variety of projects centred around recycling and the circular economy. I have been responsible for the technical delivery of Axion’s involvement in a world leading collaborative metals recycling project with the automotive sector. This project has led directly into a new role within the projects team for our parent company S Norton, while still maintaining strong links to the Consulting team where I have been made the Engineering Lead.

Professor Anton Kiss, Department of Chemical Engineering & Analytical Science, University of Manchester

Tony Kiss is a professor and chair in chemical engineering at The University of Manchester, and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder. He holds a Chemical Engineer degree from Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca and a PhD title from University of Amsterdam (UvA).

He was also Post Doctoral research fellow at TU Delft and University of Amsterdam. Tony is chartered Fellow of IChemE, Senior Member of AIChE, and research fellow of The Royal Society, with 20+ years of academic and industrial experience. Previously, he worked for over a decade as Senior Project Manager and RD&I Specialist at AkzoNobel Chemicals (now rebranded as Nouryon). Besides his senior industrial role, he was also appointed as part-time professor of separation technology at University of Twente.

During the past decades, he carried out many research and industrial projects, supervised graduation projects, published over 15 textbooks & book chapters, and over 100 scientific articles in highly-ranked journals. His research focus is on Process Systems Engineering, Process Intensification,and Separation Technology. Tony is also member of scientific committees (e.g. ESCAPE, D&A and IPIC conferences), advisory and editorial boards (e.g. J. Chem. Tech. Biot. and Chem. Eng. Res. Design).

For the pioneering research work, he received the Hoogewerff Jongerenprijs (a prestigious award recognizing the most promising young scientist in The Netherlands), the AkzoNobel Innovation Excellence Award (for the most successful industrial innovation), the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (Manchester, UK), the Pirkey Distinguished Lecturer in Chemical Engineering (University of Texas at Austin, USA), and CHEMCON Distinguished Speaker Award for Innovators and Science Leaders (IIChE, New Delhi). More information is available at:




Registrations will close on 21 February 2020.

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