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Exploring chemical engineering

Liam Giezen (CC2015) is currently studying a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Honours) at Monash University and recently moved to Geelong, where he has been accepted into the Viva Energy Australia Summer Internship Program at the oil refinery based in Corio (formerly owned by Shell). Below he shares some insights into his experiences.

“The refinery supplies 50% of Victoria’s fuel and 25% of all liquid fuels in Australia as well as being Australia’s only bitumen manufacturer. It’s an excellent place to work as a chemical engineer and I’m super passionate about working in this field. The plant itself is kilometres wide and we use bicycles to get around the plant to minimise the number of potential ignition sources on site.”

“In my time at the refinery, I’m expected to develop and implement a plant-wide electricity usage optimisation strategy to reduce the plant’s net electricity import at specific times when electricity prices spike. This usually occurs on hot days when demand is high and there is instability in the electrical grid.”

“At university, I’ve recently completed my final year design project, which was a conceptual design study for a sulfuric acid plant based in Western Australia. This included analysing the design to quantify – as much as possible – the social, economic and environmental impacts of the plant, and to evaluate the overall viability and sustainability of the plant design (sound familiar?).”

“I’m set to graduate by the end of semester one in 2020, after which I’ll have to wait and see where else my degree takes me.”

This story featured in the Summer 2019/2020 edition of The Difference

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