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Student saves chemical giant thousands of pounds on industrial placement

2010年10月8日

A Chemical Engineering student at the University of Bath has saved a Northwest chemicals firm £325,000 on its annual utility bills whilst on placement.

Cigdem Kemal, 22, developed a number of cost saving projects while on placement at the plant of Basell Polyolefins UK Ltd in Carrington, Manchester, a company belonging to the multi-national chemicals manufacturer LyondellBasell.

Her efforts were rewarded with a place in the final of the North West Year In Industry (YINI) student of the year awards this month.

Following this, Cigdem also won the national Award for Environmental Awareness, sponsored by Centrica.

Cigdem is originally from Cyprus and is studying for a Masters in Chemical Engineering at the University. As part of her studies she undertook an industrial placement working as a Process Engineer at LyondellBasell.

During her placement she designed modifications to fuel gas, steam, water and nitrogen systems across the plant. After reviewing the current water and steam consumption she proposed a number of maintanence and process changes throughout the site.

Cigdem’s work resulted significant financial savings for the company: every year, £45,000 will be saved through the improved water system, £100,000 from a new fuel gas heater, £150,000 via the steam system and £30,000 from her flare system design. In total, her savings equal £325,000 per year, with an average payback period of only four months.

Significantly for the judges, Cigdem’s work also identified ways in which carbon waste from the processes could be reduced leading to a virtuous circle of lower costs and lower environmental impact.

Cigdem said: “The work I have been doing has really opened my eyes to future career possibilities. I was given responsibility to take my projects forward and to use my skills to bring them to a conclusion.

“It is really satisfying to see my ideas being taking into practice and, of course, like all students I welcome the fact that during the year I have also been paid by the company.

“As a really effective way to use a gap year The Year in Industry has been brilliant. My placement was a fantastic learning experience which enabled me to apply and strengthen my academic knowledge, enhance my skills in analysis, process design and understanding project management.”

The company were impressed with Cigdem’s contribution: David Royle, Site Process Engineer, Basell Polyolefins UK Ltd said: “Due to the technical knowledge and drive which Cigdem has shown during her placement, the amount and type of work assigned to her has far exceeded that which students normally achieve.”

Dr Gordon Mizner, Chief Executive of EDT, the educational charity that runs ‘The Year in Industry’ said: “Cigdem has undertaken an exceptional project for LyondellBasell.

“Over 500 students take part in ‘The Year in Industry’, all working for high quality companies on unique projects. To be selected for a top award out of all these options is a considerable achievement.”

“‘The Year in Industry’ enables companies to access some very able minds at student salary costs and LyondellBasell has found out in Cigdem what a good investment that can be.

“We would encourage other companies in the chemical industry to use students on ‘The Year in Industry’. Every year we have many more talented students applying to the scheme than we have available placements.

“The experience that LyondellBasell has had with Cigdem has shown how mutually beneficial placing a ‘Year in Industry’ student in a company can be.

“All students who have undertaken ‘The Year in Industry’ are equipping themselves to be highly attractive to future employers. Those like Cigdem who have been identified as undertaking excellent projects for their companies are marking themselves out for a top flight future career.”

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