A Students Life at Lucite International: Lucy Talbot

Lucite International – 4.18.18

Lucy Talbot is a Chemical Engineering Placement Student at our Cassel site in Billingham, UK. Her placement with Lucite International (LI) started in July 2017 and is integrated into her Chemical Engineering degree at the University of Manchester. For 12 months Lucy will be spending time with a number of our employees on our site in order to gain practical industrial experience and skills at the beginning of her career as a Chemical Engineer. We speak to Lucy to see what she has learnt so far and what her plans for the future are.

What are your main responsibilities?
I support the cyanides virtual team – helping with project work and working towards aims for the area. My main responsibility at the moment is to produce the overhaul report for the area which details all the process inspections and actions that were taken so that the work carried out can be referenced in the future.

Can you describe a typical day?
Everyday usually starts with attending the cyanides production team meeting where plant issues from the previous day, SHE (Safety, Health and Environmental) events, and work planned for the next day are discussed. This is where I am able to take on plant problems and work with the development managers to help provide solutions that keep it running efficiently. This is mostly followed by a walk around the plant looking at work that has been completed, or equipment that is relevant to the projects I’m working on at the time. The rest of the time is spent learning competencies using tools such as site hazard studies, and project work relating to investigations I’m working on.

What are the top three things you’ve learnt so far from working at LI?
Creativity is important to be a successful engineer!

Things don’t always go to plan, or end up taking the route you expect, and that is perfectly ok because you can often learn a lot more when you don’t find the right solution the first time.

Engineering is more than just equations. Applying equations and understanding the context of a problem are the skills needed to successful tackle engineering problems.

What are you hoping to get out of your time with the Company?
I’d like to gain practical process engineering experience, and have the opportunity to apply the principles learnt at university to a real job in industry.

Choose three words to describe working at LI?
Varied, challenging, interesting.

Are you working towards completing a qualification at LI?
LI has strongly supported the university requirements for my participation in the Year in Industry scheme.

What is special about the way in which LI is helping you to achieve your goals?
Everyone at LI is exceptionally supportive, and has been welcoming from my very first day. LI has offered me a lot of opportunities that are beyond the scope of a typical placement helping to shape my skills into being a well-rounded and experienced engineer in the future.

What are your plans for the future?
After university, I aim to work as an engineer while working towards chartered engineering status and hope to achieve this within five years of graduation. I envisage this be in a role similar to that of the engineers at LI working in an industrial environment rather than a research-based role, because I’ve enjoyed the varied and dynamic environment of a production facility.

Is there anything you’d like to add about your experience of working with LI?
I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done here, and felt it has stretched, challenged and developed my skills more than I could have envisaged. Working at LI has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience with every person being friendly and welcoming. Being part of the Cassel team has been a fantastic opportunity to develop the skills required for a successful career in process engineering post-graduation.