#PeopleStories: Plant Operations Engineer
What do you do?
My daily tasks involve ensuring the smooth operation of a water treatment plant – to make sure the plant is able to treat sewage to potable water. This goes down to ensuring the materials needed in the plant are sufficient for daily and weekly processes.
How did you get here?
I first heard about this course when browsing through different university pamphlets. I pursued chemical engineering as I was interested in studying chemistry. However, I soon realised that chemistry has very little to do with chemical engineering. Chemistry is merely the fundamental that will help you throughout your chemical engineering degree. That being said, I have never regretted my decision in pursuing this course.
Why do you do it?
Career advancement and progression. Being in a small company, I will have to get my hands on everything apart from my technical knowledge which I am able to contribute to my company. Being in the wastewater treatment industry, I meet with different people every day – discussing on upcoming projects and government bodies involved. I am given flexible working hours. As long as I get my things done, I can work from home or enter office any time.
Who should do it?
Everyone can do it! I have accountants and auditors leading an engineering project. They are able to lead and manage these projects with their management skills. There is no exact kind of person that is well-suited to this job. At the interview stage of looking for a job, remember that a young employee’s biggest advantage is being flexible and teachable. You should express interest in learning new things. Furthermore, you will need to be prepared with specific technical skills related to your field as well as soft skills. Communication skills and the ability to work in a team are very important in the working life.
Where can you work?
With a chemical engineering degree, you can work under manufacturing companies or companies in the oil and gas industry. It all comes down to the skillsets that you have obtained during your degree. What employees look for is that analytical skill and the ability to think critically as an engineer.