University of Manchester
MEng Chemical Enginering with Business Management 2:1
Wood, BakerHicks, M&I Materials
Process Engineer at Wood
I work for Wood who are part of a design alliance with other companies. Together we deliver design work for Sellafield.
I'm a process engineer who enjoys working in teams and seeing my work benefit others
I live in Manchester with my housemate (who works in HR) and 3 chickens! They are a recent addition, as I wanted to bring some of the country life to Manchester and eat food that is produced in my own back yard! I love trying different foods – my favourite cuisine is thai and I love trying different gins also. I recently produced my own cinnamon gin! When I’m not in the office working on the design for a new analytical laboratory, you can find me salsa dancing or running. I love dancing (even more so after a gin!) and my party trick is being able to rap the whole of slim shady!
I design gas pipelines for a laboratory. The laboratory looks for 'dangerous' elements in samples that need special environments to help detect the different elements.
I currently work for an engineering consultancy who are employed wide across the energy sector. The energy sector isn’t what it seems – it’s not just power plants! I work in nuclear decommissioning for Sellafield which is a site that reprocesses fuel and will soon focus on decommissioning the plants that enabled this. Sellafield also has legacy reactor material that needs appropriately disposing. Breaking down this statement, I am working on the analytical labs which replace the super old labs which use a lot of dilution (not good practice). These analytical labs tell chemists and operators what the material contains – for example chlorides which are corrosive. This helps sentence the material for appropriate disposal; thus contributing to Sellafield’s mission of creating a safer environment. Breaking my work down further; I am a process engineer so we typically look at fluid movement. I am concerned with delivering gases to gloveboxes which are used to analyse special nuclear material (plutonium) and some of these gases are dangerous in themselves. I must consider safety, cost and best practice when completing my design.
My Typical Day: My days vary depending on the stage of the project. Currently I write reports and produce high level calculations and drawings to show the gas and reagent requirements for the analytical lab and more specifically the gloveboxes and fumehoods. I consider the instruments in the laboratories and their pressure and temperature requirements and use my chemical engineering knowledge to produce a design which mechanical and electrical engineers then take to specify pipes and controls. Some days I have design reviews where we work in teams to produce the best design or workshops to brainstorm.
My days vary depending on the stage of the project. The project I currently work on is called the Replacement Analytical Project and is a critical path multi-million pound project for Sellafield. I sit in the process engineering team of about 14 (there are about 120 people in total on the project). The project is broken down into work areas and these days I work on the ‘Special Nuclear Material’ stream. I produce ‘Basis of Design’ and ‘Process Description’ reports, process flow diagrams and calculations for supplying gases such as Argon and Nitrogen to instruments within the gloveboxes where the special nuclear material is analysed.
If the design is particularly onerous or hazardous; we have ‘optioneering’ workshops which involve multiple stakeholders (e.g. architects) to produce the best design. Some work packages are also taken to design reviews where typically an engineer not on the project tests the design.
Sometimes I do also go onto site to collect data since we are building the labs into an existing building (there isn’t tons of space in England!). This could include understanding pump capacities, line sizes and availability of current gas bottles.
What I'd do with the money
I would purchase some virtual reality equipment which could simulate some of the high active plants at Sellafield!
I would like to purchase a virtual reality headset and use the software at work to make a visual representation of the new laboratory for students and others interested to understand.
Recently my company developed the software for an oil platform such that the design engieners could see the construction process. It was really helpful for the engineers to comment on and see the fruits of their labour!
The headset also has software used for training for example a safety video showing hazards around labs and material testing workshops. To be able to develop similar software would be useful for new starters and provide a more interactive and new way to give inductions.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Loud, bubbly, inquisitive
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Produced all the routes for the analytical samples for the new multi-million pound Sellafield lab facility
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My uncle who worked in the oil industry
What was your favourite subject at school?
Maths and PE
What did you want to be after you left school?
A rollercoaster designer
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes! For talking and sliding down the bannisters!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
A bungy jump in New Zealand!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To be able to do a flip on my snowboard, to be able to fly, to be able to go into Space!!
Tell us a joke.
I asked my colleague today if he would attend my water meeting. He said he didn't give a dam!