Life as a Developing Engineer
Arkema's Developing Engineers are expected to function in various roles, including Production Engineer, Process Engineer, Technology Engineer, Project Engineer, Pilot Plant Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Mechanical Integrity Engineer, Safety Engineer, Environmental Engineer, and many more. Developing Engineers are typically located in the United States, although overseas assignments have been provided in the past.
Developing Engineers will apply the theoretical knowledge learned in college to practical applications in the chemical manufacturing world. Typical activities include:
- Analyzing process data and troubleshooting process units
- Evaluating unit performance and compiling production reports
- Developing conceptual flow sheets for chemical processes
- Preparing heat, material, and energy balances
- Developing logistics to implement solutions, install equipment, and complete projects
- Performing calculations to size new equipment
- Analyzing and troubleshooting equipment
- Participating in Process Hazard Reviews and other process safety activities
- Contributing to turnaround, start-up, and commissioning activities
Evaluating mechanical integrity of equipment
- Leading and executing small capital projects
Do you have what it takes to work in a chemical plant?
Developing Engineers are immediately involved in the chemical manufacturing world as process engineers working at a full-sized chemical plant. Being able to handle great responsibility is a must for Developing Engineers.
Different issues will arise every day, and a Developing Engineer will be helping to solve them quickly and effectively. Being a flexible problem solver and a critical thinker will be vital to success as a Developing Engineer.
Becoming a process engineer requires the ability to work well in teams consisting of people of diverse backgrounds. Developing Engineers will work with engineers, operators, health and safety representatives, mechanics, environmental leaders, electricians, managers, business representatives, and many others. Regardless of role, coworkers are crucial to success as a Developing Engineer.
Developing Engineers will gradually be introduced to increasing levels of responsibility, eventually making key decisions on production units. Writing reports on unit operations, completing data analysis to solve complex problems, developing logistics to resolve issues, and communicating all findings are just some responsibilities of Developing Engineers.
Besides the traits listed above, there are many other qualities that Arkema looks for in Developing Engineers:
- Enthusiastic leadership
- Excellent analytical skills
- A heightened sense of professionalism
- Strong communication skills
- And many more!
"As part of the Bristol team, I’ve had the opportunity to work on improvements in all areas of the PMMA process, from latex modifier production to finishing and compounding resins. Right away I was involved in projects to improve safety and reliability, and over time I have picked up additional responsibilities in production. It’s been incredibly rewarding to solve processing issues with operators, supervisors, and other engineers. Currently, I’m involved in a multi-departmental effort to control powder handling issues across the plant."
Katherine Gascon - Developing Engineer - Bristol, Pennsylvania (2019 - present)
Co-op Engineer - Geneseo, New York - (2017 - 2019)
"I work on solving daily issues at the site, including DCS and processing issues, as well as new product scale-ups. I also have been working on improving cycle time on a wide variety of products, and am currently reporting the OAU for the site.
One of my favorite experiences that the DE program has offered is networking with a plethora of individuals throughout the company. The DE program exposes us, as young engineers, to all employees at many different levels of the organization.
This program has really allowed me to understand the company’s goals and how they are cascaded to each of the sites and then each of the employees individually. I also enjoy the ability to work on a wide variety of projects at the site. I was brought on to work in production and find optimization opportunities, for example, cycle time reduction. However, I have been able to work on much more than that, including OAU, new product scale-ups, on-call support, processing, and DCS troubleshooting, analyzing quality data, capital projects, and much more. I enjoy networking with the other DE’s in the program, they have all been an excellent resource in many different ways, including day-to-day support or just bouncing ideas off of each other. I feel as though I have made some great friends as well as co-workers through this program."
Julia Verone - Developing Engineer (2019 - Present)
"If you like to continually learn new things, the DE program is for you. I look forward to coming to work every day because there are always new problems to break down and solve. You are constantly being challenged to develop solutions, which in turn helps you understand the process, equipment, and systems in place to run and maintain. Your site leadership, engineers, operations, and support roles all want you to succeed, and look forward to sharing their experiences with you.
I have had the opportunity to schedule and input production, install control valves, implement safety procedures, save variable cost with surfactant optimization, develop user-friendly data acquisition spreadsheets, work in multiple business units, size flow meters, and lead quite a large capital project to replace storage tanks all within the first year of the program!
The DE program also allows you to participate in annual conferences with the other engineers in your class who are at other sites, so spending time with them at trainings and team-building events helps you share knowledge and experiences. The training you attend is very impactful from a safety and process knowledge perspective. These fundamental engineering trainings, combined with human resources trainings and events, helps you really develop as a professional in the industry."
Tyler Roberts - Developing Engineer - Mobile, Alabama (2019 - Present)
Intern Engineer - West Chester, Pennsylvania (2015 - 2019)
"I really enjoyed my time as a DE. I worked at a batch plant making acrylic monomer and in the beginning, they focused me on learning the process and understanding/troubleshooting batches. On day three I was assigned to assist with the new tank farm installation that the plant was just starting to scope. The project was really interesting and I got to work with vendors, process and project engineers, and an outside engineering firm. I never got to see it installed because I moved to the next role but they sent me pictures of it a year or so later so I could see it all come together. In addition to this and other projects, I got to explore different aspects of being a chemical engineer in a chemical plant like assisting operators with problems, statistical approaches to batch yields/quality, environmental reporting, etc. The two years gave me enough time to experience these different areas and an idea of what I want to do with my career.
The program itself is great because there are regular conference calls with the other new engineers and an annual face-to-face meeting where you get to meet everyone. In each of them, they have training that teaches you valuable skills but also helps develop ideas for you to work on in your plant. There is also a mentorship program that includes a recently graduated DE and a more experienced engineer with a similar career path or interests. I still keep in touch with people from my class and my mentor to talk about ideas, plants, etc. I would recommend the DE program to any young engineer."
Willie Harold - Process Engineer - Memphis, Tennessee (2016 - Present)
Developing Engineer - West Chester, Pennsylvania (2014 - 2016)