I graduated with a degree in chemical and process engineering in UCC in June of 2007 and shortly after I went on the search to find a job that would suit these qualifications. I took the usual routes of visiting recruitment agencies, using the internet and also the engineering department in UCC were always willing to help.
It was through an e-mail from the chemical engineering department in UCC that I discovered about the job opportunity available at Medite and after a bit of research on the company I had no hesitation on applying. Medite were quick to arrange an interview and as I lived only about 20 miles from the plant I was delighted with the opportunity. Over the course of the next few weeks I was called for a second interview and was then offered the job.
Describe a typical day?
My working day begins at 8a.m. where I meet my colleagues and discuss what has to be done for the day. On any given day I have a certain amount of routine tasks to be done, for example ensuring both the effluent treatment and the energy plant are operating efficiently. I also lead up several projects in process optimisation and control. There are a lot of opportunities in Medite to see a broad range of the engineering world and you are not tied down to the same work everyday.
During the graduate programme in Medite I will have an opportunity to work in research, maintanance, production and projects so my daily work varies with the same underlying aspects. Production in Medite runs 24/7 but my hours are from 8 to 4:30 daily so problems that might occur during the night or at weekends have to be handled as well as everything else. Lucky for me the production processes in Medite are very reliable so I get a bigger opportunity to look at possible process improvements rather than looking at problems.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
I suppose your main objective is to get your assigned work done for example project work on the continuous press or the refiners and make sure everything is running smoothly but also in Medite the people are always open to new ideas to drive the business forward.
You get a big opportunity to get involved in everything from replacing valves and pumps, process optimisation on the line, to learning how to improve the effluent treatment system. You might not get this opportunity or experience in other companies in my opinion.
What are the main challenges?
The main challenge is to try keep up with the people employed in Medite many of whom have 25years experience as their depth of knowledge in MDF production will not be picked up over night. But in saying that everyone here is willing to help and explain what is going on.
One of the main challenges is time keeping for project work. It is very important to make deadlines because time is money and it is your responsibility to make sure you have the necessary resources to make your deadline. Every minute of downtime is money lost.
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
Having a degree in process and chemical engineering from UCC has provided me with a lot of experience in process design, process control and optimisation, safety and environmental and a lot more so all these combined would stand to you in the MDF industry. This degree does not just apply to the pharmaceutical or chemical industries, the skills you obtain can translate across a number of sectors.
The process in Medite contains several key unit operations and the technology utilised is state of the art so already I have learned a vast amount in process control and optimisation and this will be a big advantage to me in my future carreer.
I think the working atmosphere in Medite-Europe is very healthy and the level of communication between all departments is very impressive. It can be daunting being the new guy in any job but it was very easy to settle in Medite because everyone is so helpful.
The thing I like most about the graduate programme in Medite-Europe is the amount of varity you experience on a day to day basis and you are not stuck behind a desk all day. One of the main reasons I choose a career in engineering is because it gives you that variety of office work and hands on applications.
What's not so cool?
If you are not willing to get your hands dirty from time to time Medite may not be the place for you. Medite could be categorised under the heavy goods industry so it is important to be a hands on engineer and not hiding behind your desk all day.