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Advancing your process engineering career

  • 1.  Advancing your process engineering career

    Posted 04-28-2020 09:17
    In your opinion, what is the most challenging thing when it comes to advancing one's career as process engineer?

    Md Abdul Quader
    PhD student
    Herston QLD

  • 2.  RE: Advancing your process engineering career

    Posted 04-28-2020 10:31
    Process Engineer is supposed to address all problems associated to the plant. Few are listed below:

    1. Familiar with Equipment design
    2. Familiar with PFD & P&ID's
    3. SOP corrections
    4. MOC's evaluation and recommendations
    5. P&ID corrections based on MOC's
    6. Equipment efficiency monitoring & highlighting the issues
    6. Internal and external reports making pertaining to Process section
    7. Catalysts efficiency monitoring and highlighting the issues, Replacement plan
    8. Addressing PSMS issues wherever applicable.
    9. Equipment reliability checking and highlighting the issues.
    10. Checking reasons for process trips and highlighting corrective actions
    11. Monitoring specific consumption of utilities and chemicals
    12. Monitoring effluent parameters ..etc



  • 3.  RE: Advancing your process engineering career

    Posted 04-30-2020 07:53



    In addition to the suggestion by Mr. Kotti kumar,   I recommend any chemical engineer  to understand, acquire and apply the latest tools like  Process intensification,  AI, big data analysis, and advanced modelling skills  in process engineering.  These will equip the process engineer with more skills that enable him to be more efficient, advanced and more apt  and add more value to the companies.

    Jagan Mohan Rallapalli Profession
    Lead Scientist

  • 4.  RE: Advancing your process engineering career

    Posted 04-30-2020 19:19
    Dear Jagan,

    Your recommendation is valid and appreciated. I believe most of the institute are offering courses  in undergrad and postgrad progam to expose the students of chemical engg to learn those said aspects. Industry should have well defined projects/problems to engage those candidates to solve such problems. 
    The jt. Industry-Institute interaction effort will make such thing to happen reflectively.   Thanks/Tushar Poddar 

  • 5.  RE: Advancing your process engineering career

    Posted 04-29-2020 01:36
    Process Engineer is responsible for set of documents/deliverable  required to be prepared within own discipline independently and/or taking multi-discipline input followed by verification, besides plant and equipment, commissioning, operation and troubleshooting. 

    The first document the process group developed is  Process Design Criteria and process Simulation Report/HAMB with PFD.for a specific Plan 
    The last/end document, they prepare, is process operation and control procedure as a part of Operating Manual.       
    In between there are large number of process deliverable, as majority are mentioned by Mr Kotti Kumar in his posting, are developed during FEED/EPC phase of the Physical Plant development. The  number of deliverables are normally depend on the type of plants and the complexity of the plant.  
    These deliverables  are part and parcel of the physical plant's definition - to build, operate, maintain, modify and decomm.  

    Process Engineers find exciting and challenging career to lead all other disciplines for successful delivery of the product(s) from the plant built.    
    Tushar Poddar

  • 6.  RE: Advancing your process engineering career

    Posted 04-30-2020 00:02
    Edited by Adrian Cordova Melendez 04-30-2020 00:02
    Dear Abdul,

    To me, the most challenging things were related to all the documents which involve knowledge not related to the major, like electrical manuals, or PLC / RTU manuals. I had to review many TDS for being more involved.


    Adrian Cordova Melendez PE
    Process & Project Engineer
    USA / Qatar

  • 7.  RE: Advancing your process engineering career

    Posted 04-30-2020 00:57
    As far as process safety for the industries are concerned, all subjects are vital. 

    Process reports generation can have secondary importance when compared, subject to possibility of corrections.

    In order to get proper help at your end, please specify the following:

    What is the purpose of asking? 

    Which alternatives you are having?



  • 8.  RE: Advancing your process engineering career

    Posted 04-30-2020 15:17
    Dear Rama,

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    My intention to ask this question is:

    Due to AI, Big Data and Process Data Analytics how conventional process engineering and process engineers will be effected. Hence, what are the important tools/skills will be required to adopt for career development.

    Thank you.

    Kind regards

    Md Abdul Quader
    PhD student

    Herston QLD

  • 9.  RE: Advancing your process engineering career

    Posted 05-01-2020 02:01
    Dear Mr.Abdul,

    Now a days, AI is picking up very fast. Process Industries are also actively looking for implementation of AI. But in my opinion, AI is at nascent stage and process engineer guidance is required for necessary integration. While integrating AI, process engineer shall be able to articulate the bottlenecks or teething problems in the process plants. These problems may be usually recurring type or long pending. The following are few examples (but not limited to):

    1. Steam Turbine failures : AI picks up the real time data (vibrations, temperatures, parameters like pressure, temp etc) from the machines and will be able to alert before such failure. Normal vibration monitoring system may not be able analyse the problems (Actually this is MI, which is sub-part of AI)

    2. Distillation column upsets like flooding etc: Before flooding of column, few parameters may give symptoms. While picking up real time data, all the related parameters shall be linked and connected properly. This job AI can not do. Process Engineer should able to define the problem and link it properly, since AI team also may not have any knowledge or skills from process manufacturing point of view.

    Due to the reasons stated above, the important tools/skills required are Process Industry Experience and  equipment design concepts/ experience in process packages like PRO/II, Apsen plus etc., if you choose AI.   Process data analytics is very useful in process industries, for which also same set of skills are required. The need will always be there for process data analytics in process industries. I do not have much idea about Big Data application in process industry from career point of view.

    Based on your passion, you may choose between AI and Process data analytics.

    Wish you all the best.



    KOTTI KUMAR Commission,Revampof
    Ex. Head Plant Operations

  • 10.  RE: Advancing your process engineering career

    Posted 04-30-2020 20:32

    Learn to 'work with people' and 'deal with data' are two potential answers to your question that were discussed at the April 2020 AIChE VLS meeting.  The meeting was to provide input from rank-and-file engineers to the NASEM study on Chemical Engineering in the 21st Century.

    In preparation for the VLS meeting, we had engineers respond to a wide-ranging questionnaire which included the question

    What areas do you wish you had been better prepared for in your current job?  List up to three areas where you feel you received insufficient training or education, etc.

    We received quite a variety of answers to that question.  The most popular answers were related to soft skills or non-engineering skills.  In the meeting, we polled the attendees (over 100 people between our two meetings) and they identified "dealing with data" and "working with people" as the two highest priority areas from a list of 10 potential topics.  Both engineering and non-engineering areas were among the 10 topics based on the questionnaire results, yet the attendees chose "dealing with data" and "working with people" as their priorities.  The attendees generated ideas on areas for improvement and training ideas for those two areas.

    We will be posting on Discussion Central how people can access the meeting materials and output from the April VLS meeting.  The meeting was not just focused on areas where chemical engineers felt unprepared in their current job.  A large part of the meeting was focused on "megatrends" where chemical engineers will make an impact in the next 30 years, such as changes in resources, clean manufacturing, and medical advances.

    I have to share one more thought on your question.  I hope that when you ask about "advancing one's career," you are referring to how engineers can grow in how they produce and deliver and enjoy their work and not just how they get promoted.  Far too many people focus on promotion as their metric for "advancement," when in fact I find that it is more important to enjoy your work and keep learning and growing in how you deliver your work.

    Aaron Sarafinas
    Sarafinas Process & Mixing Consulting LLC
    Warminster PA