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Chemistry students were invited to Briar Chemicals to gain a valuable insight into the chemical manufacturing industry and the diverse range of careers opportunities available.

Pupils from Taverham High School, Notre Dame High School and Hellesdon High School joined a team of Chemists at Briar Chemicals for the afternoon, along with their teachers.

Briar’s ‘Insight into Industry’ visits offer a unique chance for chemistry students to see how the chemistry they learn at school and college is used in a manufacturing environment. Students were given a tour of working laboratories, production plants and the control rooms and were able to see how energy is produced by the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant and the solar panel installation on site.

Briar Chemicals insight into industry chemistry student visits
Generating renewable energy at Briar Chemicals solar farm

Dr Sean Thurston, Royal Society of Chemistry Education Coordinator said:

It really is fantastic to get students and teachers together on an active industrial site like Briar Chemicals. Seeing and hearing first-hand what it is like to work in chemical industry is invaluable when these students make their future career choices. It also allows their teachers to talk to future students more confidently about what local careers are available.

The ‘Insight into Industry’ events are aimed to inspire pupils to ask questions and learn more about the varied roles of the highly-skilled and qualified Chemists and Engineers working at Briar. It also offers an opportunity for teachers to learn different aspects of chemistry and how to demonstrate new and creative ways of learning. Briar actively encourages its staff to share their knowledge and skills by mentoring.

Tim Green, Site Manager at Briar Chemicals said:

We are passionate about hosting education visits for local students interested in STEM subjects. We have developed excellent relations with teachers and lecturers in the community who visit us year on year, praising our staff for their time.

Every year Briar Chemicals welcomes a number of work experience students and summer placements to the site and also offers a student industry placement from Loughborough University for those studying a degree in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.

A student placement in 2015 recently joined the company on completion of his Chemistry degree and is now part of the team working on an exciting new project for Briar.

Briar Chemicals insight into industry chemistry student visits
Insight into Industry placements provide foundation for future chemists and engineers

Briar Chemicals and the Royal Society of Chemistry have been working closely for many years; working together to host the annual Royal Society of Chemistry Top of the Bench Competition for the East region.

Briar is proud sponsors of the Norwich Science Festival Chemistry Day and is delighted to continue their support again this year. Working in partnership with Royal Society of Chemistry volunteers, Briar hosted a fun-filled day of experiments – the busiest day of the two week festival welcoming over 1,200 people. The festival welcomed over 75,000 people and looks to build on this success this year with the help of the festival sponsors.