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Topic: Advice for a chemical engineering student/graduate  (Read 8602 times)

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Offline Elenin

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Advice for a chemical engineering student/graduate
« on: October 09, 2013, 02:19:04 PM »
Hi
I would appreciate your advice regarding my situation. I graduated from the University of Manchester in 2012 with a BEng (Bachelor of Engineering) in Chemical engineering (you know the British system differs from the American system in that a Bachelor is 3 years). My final degree result was 56% so my degree class was a 2.2 (2:2, 2nd class division 2 in the British system). Most people in my year continued on the MEng 4 year programme (basically they don't graduate after 3rd year and just do an undergraduate Masters-British system) . Due to personal mistakes I did not get above 55% in third year so I had to graduate.   
Knowing that most employers want a minimum 2:1 (preferably a 1st) with some experience, plus I had no experience, no internships plus a 2:2 so my only option was to embark on the MSc (1 year) at Manchester University (Refinery design and operation). I am passionate about Chem eng. I got ABB in my A levels.  I enjoyed Mathematics and Physics so much :) I really enjoyed mechanics, calculus, heat transfer, fluid flow, mass transfer, in general anything which involves deriving equations or physical phenomena gets me excited. I enjoyed thermodynamics when it gets interesting not too repetitive. In third year one question in our mass transfer tutorial on Liquid-liquid extraction, I was the only one who managed to solve it, even though I still got 54%, I seriously dont know how, the lecturer was too harsh in marking.    I got 82% in 2nd year Mathematics, but 38% in the easiest subject Safety & reliability eng :( .  What let me down sometimes is the time management and rushing things in the last minute. So in my MSc year, I did well in 1st semester except in Computer aided process design, I failed.
So does anyone know a good method to study optimization techniques and modelling using MATLAB ? Do you use GAMS or Whats best? We learnt about Whats best? excel add in for optimisation. 
2nd Semester was terrible :(. We had so much to organise, proposal for dissertation, 3 subjects, plus a design project,plus coursework. So due to personal circumstances I had to apply for interruption of studies and repeat semester 2 only.  (we do dissertation in the summer 3 months). I am a hard working student, who just lacks the time management and some crucial skills. 
So I am starting in January in 2014. I have a lot of studying and improving my skills (Critical thinking, time management, no procrastination....) during this interruption period.

Would you recommend me to enter the job market nowadays? Even though I feel I will be disadvantaged, I got a 2:2, no chemical engineering internships, just simple Student ambassador jobs (boring...). I need to give myself some time to reorganise my thoughts and way of studying.   

« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 02:59:10 PM by Elenin »

Offline curiouscat

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Re: Advice for a chemical engineering student/graduate
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2013, 11:54:43 PM »
What exactly are your questions here? Can you summarize?

Offline curiouscat

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Re: Advice for a chemical engineering student/graduate
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2013, 11:59:28 PM »
BTW Refinery design and operation is a good choice for a specialization. If you are willing to relocate, job situation in this sector isn't horrible. Middle East, SE Asia, Scandinavia have quite a robust project portfolio right now.

Plenty of operators, EPC firms etc. look for this sort of skillset. The jobs would be fairly low level but they pay well. And they are not terribly picky about academic percentages; your demonstration of sensibleness on an interview counts a lot.

Offline curiouscat

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Re: Advice for a chemical engineering student/graduate
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2013, 12:01:10 AM »
Quote
So does anyone know a good method to study optimization techniques and modelling using MATLAB ? Do you use GAMS or Whats best? We learnt about Whats best? excel add in for optimisation. 

All of the above are good tools. Good method is to actually solve problems. Until you code yourself you won't get the hang of it.

Offline Elenin

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Re: Advice for a chemical engineering student/graduate
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2013, 08:31:48 AM »
Thanks for the advice.  I will probably relocate. Not many refineries in the UK, probably 5. I will practice lots of problems. I have a book about MATLAB and an ebook about Optimisation by Himmelblau and Edgar. 
One thing I don't understand is why did our lecturer teach us LU factorisation, there are much easier ways of solving a system of linear equations in MATLAB (we don't need to write an LU code do we?) All you do is use the left division operator x=A\B. Nowadays there are faster computers, using the left division operator/ inverse command (inv()) is just as fast (quicker) as using the LU code.
In MATLAB, the triu (for upper triangular matrix) and tril(lower triangular matrix) functions, can be used for extracting u and l  without pivoting. Is there an easy way to do it with pivioting?     


 
   


   

Offline curiouscat

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Re: Advice for a chemical engineering student/graduate
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2013, 09:15:04 AM »
Himmelblau and Edgar are good authors. I've liked their other book in the past.

Re. LU factorization etc.: I don't know. Sometimes there's utility to knowing what the code actually does in the back when you issue a left division command.

But yeah, I don't have a good answer if it's a needed skill and why. Sometimes it's the instructor's whim.


Offline Elenin

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Re: Advice for a chemical engineering student/graduate
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2013, 09:21:49 AM »
Thank you very much. I will move on to non-linear algebraic equations and ODEs in MATLAB.  Its the same lecturer who teaches us Reactor design in 2nd Semester. Reactor design and MATLAB go hand in hand.

Offline curiouscat

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Re: Advice for a chemical engineering student/graduate
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2013, 09:31:41 AM »
Reactor design and MATLAB go hand in hand.

Very useful that they do. IMO, reactor design was one of the most useful classes & if taught using MATLAB works out nicely. Try solving as many "real" examples as you can.

Offline Elenin

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Re: Advice for a chemical engineering student/graduate
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2015, 02:07:35 PM »
Hi

What is the best way to get an internship (unpaid or paid I am flexible) in the US? 

I was reading the interexchange website for international internship advice. 
https://www.interexchange.org/career-training-usa/internship-co-op-trainee-job/resumes-and-supporting-documents
They said something about the J-1 visa.

I am modifying my CV from British style to American style.



Offline Elenin

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Re: Advice for a chemical engineering student/graduate
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2015, 04:47:22 PM »
By the way how do you delete a post in this forum ? I want to delete my discussion. Its from a long time ago. 

Offline curiouscat

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Re: Advice for a chemical engineering student/graduate
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2015, 12:37:33 AM »
By the way how do you delete a post in this forum ?

You cannnot.

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