Placement Students (Chemical Engineering)

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Job Details

Sedgefield, England Wilton, England
Real Living Wage (2021 rate £18,500, 2022 rate TBC)
Full-time - Fixed term
Science and Engineering Students
03 Oct 2021 - 23:30
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About CPI

At CPI we work with our partners to translate inventions into products and processes that enhance health and well-being, protect and improve our environment and increase productivity across industries.

With a deep understanding of innovation processes and funding, outstanding technical expertise and industry relevant assets, we enable products and processes to be quickly and cost-effectively brought to market. This supports the development of next-generation manufacturing, highly-skilled jobs and economic growth for the UK.

Our partners operate across many diverse markets including pharmaceuticals, speciality chemicals, food and drink, electronics and transportation.

Why this role is important for CPI’s work

A number of CPI’s teams have exciting opportunities for students to join them and gain hands-on experience supporting individual business unit’s engineering functions. The placement opportunities will include giving both engineering and operational support to projects, whilst working alongside other disciplines. Students will use the fundamentals of chemical engineering and add value to the projects and technologies run by CPI.

We have opportunities for Chemical/​Process Engineering students to join the following teams (you may wish to make note in your cover letter which of the team(s) you would be interested in joining):

Process Safety and Engineering (Biotechnology Business Unit — Wilton)

As a process engineering student in CPI’s Process Safety and Engineering team in the Biotechnology business unit, you will be supporting the development of innovative processes which aim to solve some of the biggest challenges in our time. We work on many different types of projects, from lab scale to pilot scale, using industrial bioprocesses to make products which are more sustainable, environmentally responsible and responsive to the demands of society for a healthier world. We also use our modelling and simulation capabilities to support projects across CPI, specifically using Multiphysics modelling such as Computational Fluid Dynamics to answer questions that are difficult or impossible to address by experiments alone. 

You will have the opportunity to apply process engineering principles in a wide variety of areas, including development of engineering calculations, support of process design and development, scale-up, plant modification and safety studies. You will also apply modelling techniques to investigate the economic feasibility of processes and identify areas for further optimisation. You will gain first-hand experience of working in multidisciplinary teams to support commercial and internal projects, including the new Novel Foods Innovation Centre, a multi-million pound project to support the UK Food Strategy.

Asset Engineering (Wilton)

The Process Engineering student will gain first-hand experience of commissioning, handover and early operation of a novel food process plant being constructed at Wilton. This is an infrequent opportunity to see a new process plant in the final stages of build – an opportunity to see how a project becomes reality and to experience the technical engineering, safety engineering, commissioning and handover processes, together with the project management activities of a multi-million pound project. The work will involve supporting the Engineering Team Lead in the range of activities necessary to accept the plant for future operation, which could be Quality Assurance of systems, Site Acceptance Testing, witnessing commissioning of systems, assisting root-cause analysis of deviations, red-lining, checking and updating engineering drawings, reviewing safe systems of work, supervising contractors and similar. A relatively unique opportunity to experience a significant step in process plant project management on a genuinely unique process plant which will underpin the UK Food Strategy.

Complex Particles (Formulation Business Unit — Sedgefield)

The Complex Particles team works across laundry detergents to pharmaceuticals; with many other things in between. We exist because many formulated products go through a solid step in their manufacture even if the final formulation is a liquid. Powdered materials cause all sorts of processing problems though, so the Complex Particles team work with solid materials (such as powders and powder mixtures) to deliver novel manufacturing processes (and process learning for existing processes) in both intermediates and products. The lab has utility to a range of industrial applications across a wide variety of particle and material attributes, integrating computational models (such as CFD & DEM), integrated sensors and Quality by Design learning tools to create scalable product control strategies which will optimise formulation performance and production efficiency. In joining the team, a Chemical Engineering student will gain experience in several powder processing and analytical techniques through engagement in internal capability development projects and projects working with commercial clients. The student will develop their skills in project planning and management, as well as lab safety and risk assessments.

Process Technology (Formulation Business Unit – Sedgefield)

Chemical Engineering placement students who join the Process Technology team will gain first-hand experience of developing and optimising laboratory scale processes across all process industries and will use these results to help design full-scale commercial plants. You will have the opportunity to work with lab equipment and different analytical techniques. We work on commercial and collaborative research projects from £20K to £1m scale and you will become an important part of project delivery. Process Technology is a growing team of 22 Process Chemists and Process Engineers and we work closely together to develop viable novel technologies and processes. This means solving new and complex problems and constantly finding creative ways of working, thus giving you unique exposure to a wide range of process solutions. The team also leads on chemical and process safety within Formulation. 

You can meet some of the existing team here: https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​W​r​u​U​4​B​DMrrQ

Process Technology team placement students in the past have worked on projects which include:

  • Converting a lab scale batch process into a lab scale continuous process
  • Altering and optimising a lab-based pilot plant to demonstrate the viability of a new technology
  • Using lab results to inform the flow-sheeting and preliminary design of a large-scale chemical plant
  • Using client information to produce a pre-Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for a first-in-world recycling plant
  • Visiting a client site to trouble-shoot and improve their existing process 
  • Assessing the commercial viability of a new process

Each position is fixed term for 12 months from July 2022, working 37 hours per week (Monday — Friday).

The person we are seeking

Candidates should be currently undertaking education at Degree level (or equivalent) in a Chemical Engineering or related subject. The successful candidate should have a good understanding of chemical engineering fundamentals with some experience of application through university design projects or similar. Applicants should be enthusiastic, have effective interpersonal skills and be willing to learn to gain hands on/​practical experience. Applicants must be able to effectively use Microsoft packages such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The ideal candidates will be committed to, and actively seek opportunities to develop themselves within these new and exciting roles. 

These positions would suit students whose course includes a sandwich year in industry, or those able to take a placement opportunity in industry between academic years.

What does CPI offer you?

At CPI, we offer a wide range of benefits to our employees, this includes:

  • Up to 33 days holiday, including bank holidays – Plus a holiday purchasing scheme
  • Generous pension scheme
  • Life assurance and accident insurance schemes
  • Flexible working
  • Learning and Development Opportunities
  • Free parking

Find out more about our culture and benefits.

Additional information

The closing date is Sunday 3 October. Shortlisting will take place during October. 

Interviews are expected to be held w/​c 8 and/​or w/​c 15 November.

If you wish to apply for a position, please submit your Cover Letter and CV through this careers page, ensuring to make it clear which team you wish to apply for on your Cover Letter. 

CPI is an organisation based in the UK. Commencement of employment is conditional to demonstrating right to work in the UK, sponsorship may be available.

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