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Process engineering is one of the most competitive and progressive career paths there is in the engineering, manufacturing and production sectors. Process engineers are responsible for the design, manufacture, development, operation, control and optimisation of chemical, physical and biological processes which are employed to turn raw materials into usable and valuable products and substances.
Most industries rely on raw materials, whether for the construction of office buildings or for the North Sea oil drilling platforms that turn crude oil into usable fuel. Process engineers work on how the processes of converting these materials will function in the most efficient, safe and cost effective manner.
There are four key areas to to the process:
Process engineers will work closely with materials from the moment they are sourced, through the laboratory to undergo change until they are sold on. Designs of equipment and systems are constantly being improved and process engineers work at the forefront of this.
As the demand for raw materials grows and their shortages become more apparent, the role of the process engineer will only become more important.
The profession is strictly regulated by health, safety and environmental bodies and all process engineers need to be aware of these.