Home > Media > Introducing Carmina – Work Placement Student

Student Engineer, Carmina, joined Briar Chemicals this summer as part of a work placement programme for her Chemical Engineering degree.

Having studied three years at Loughborough University, Carmina will be spending a year in industry before returning to University for the final year to complete her Masters in Engineering (MEng) and a Diploma in Industrial Studies (DIS).

“I chose to do a year in industry so I can experience my theoretical studies applied in real life situations. At University you learn about reactors, agitators, valves and actuators but until you work on a plant you have no idea what one looks like.”

“Last week I saw an agitator in action on the plant during production and I was fascinated.“

Whilst at Briar Chemicals, Carmina will spend time supporting the Engineering department, working alongside Mechanical Engineers, Chemists and E&I Engineers. Carmina will learn how the different disciplines work together safely and efficiently to manage a chemical manufacturing plant.

“I’m currently working on a project, providing sizing calculations for pumps and heat exchanges and looking into distillation process. I have also learnt a lot during the shutdown period; inspecting the plant with the Engineers, producing isometric drawings and looking into the root cause analysis for corrosion.”

Chemical Engineering work place student at Briar Chemicals
Briar Chemicals hosts regular visits from students interested in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

With an aptitude for Mathematics and Physics, Carmina enrolled at Loughborough University, one of the UK’s leading centres for teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“I have always been intrigued as to how everything is made from raw material to useable objects and how chemistry is all around us in our everyday lives.”

Next year the campus will open a new STEMLab, providing a state-of-the-art learning facility containing Engineering, Physics, Chemistry and Bio Laboratories. The £17 million investment will act as a hub for Science and Engineering, benefiting the students studying Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.  

Chemical Engineering Work placement student at Briar Chemicals
Encouraging an interest in science at Norwich Science Festival

Carmina, who is keen to encourage more girls to study STEM, volunteered at the first ever Norwich Science Festival Chemistry Day, sponsored by Briar Chemicals. She also has helped coordinate a tour of the site from a local college. The students, who were interested in studying Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, took the opportunity to ask Carmina about her experience at University and work placement at Briar Chemicals.

“The chemical industry offers great opportunities for a diverse career, working in different locations across the globe. Before joining Briar Chemicals, I spent five months at a University in Italy within a Chemical Engineering Research department; a fantastic experience, which, along with my time at Briar Chemicals, will help me further my career.”

“I’m thoroughly enjoying my time at Briar Chemicals. It’s interesting to learn the different aspects of the job from the qualified Chemical Engineers and Chemists here.”

For more information about a student work placement at Briar Chemicals, please contact hr.recruit@briarchemicals.com.