Senior Process Engineer in the Pharmaceuticals Industry
I am a senior process engineer and chartered member of the Institute of Chemical Engineers working in Scotland.
I have been working in industry for almost 30 years, covering areas from food ingredients, biotech, agrochemicals, dyes and pharma. I also have experience of working both in the UK and the US.
I work for a company that manufactures the ingreients that make painkillers work (along with some anaesthetics and Bitrex, which is the bitterest substanfe known to man)
I support the operations team at a site that manufactures the active part of medicines. We sell these to various customers who make the tablet or injection that you would get to reduce pain.
My role involves carrying out safety/risk assessments, project work (improving output, safety or improving quality), and investigations into things that might go wrong.
My Typical Day: A mixture of office based work (assessments, reviews etc,) and manufacturing plant based work (data recovery, testing, commissioning)
I spend a lot of time carrying out safety reviews, either for existing processes or for potential new processes. This requires me to look at the normal operation of equipment, but also the consequences of making mistakes, in order to ensure plant and equipment can be run safely. I also look for opportunities to make processes run better, so for example, increasing the amount of finished product we can make for the same amount of raw materials.
Sometimes I am involved in using special procedures in order to identify, say, why a process has not run properly or a piece of equipment has failed.
My work requires me to manage teams of people to find answers, solutions or opportunities.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
tenacious, enthusiastic, approachable
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
13 month support role in the USA
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
no-one really. I happened upon it when my initial career aspirations failed
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, but in a small way
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Mac and Cheese with crispy bacon
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Bungee Jump in New Zealand