Work and Person

Process Engineer

Embracing different cultures and passing on my skills. Days packed full of excitement working in a global environment.
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Wanting the sense of satisfaction from completing a team project on a global stage.

For my final project at university, I was part of a project team of 5 who worked to design a plant. I got a real sense of achievement from accomplishing the project together, as a team. That was the experience that set my mind on joining an engineering company and building a career as an engineer. At the same time, I wanted to work in the world of international business. Most students in Canada, where I am from, go to the U.S. if they decide to work overseas. I, however, thought that the best thing for my own development was to gain experience in an entirely different culture. When I thought it over, Japan appealed because of its safety, everyday convenience, and especially because of the high technical levels of its engineering companies. For these reasons, JGC Corporation was the perfect choice for me. In fact, JGC Corporation's culture, in which "The experienced pass on skill and knowledge to the inexperienced", is seldom found in other countries, and I feel I have discovered a wonderful set of values here.
Foreign students may feel uneasy about working for Japanese companies because of the language barrier. Most people at JGC Corporation, however, speak English and many of our clients are overseas companies. Japanese is not required to succeed in JGC. In addition, although it is generally perceived that Japanese companies provide fewer holidays compared to their European and American counterparts, Japan has many national holidays, and from my personal experience, a decent vacation can be taken during Golden Week in May* and over the New Year holidays every year. I am thoroughly enjoying life both in and outside work.

* Golden Week: Spring break from the end of April to the beginning of May.

Establishing the direction of the plant's design and creating the plant together with the client.

I belong to the Process Engineering Department. I was stationed to the gas processing plant in Qatar for 13 months soon after joining the company. After returning to Japan from Qatar, I was involved with the EPC of the LNG plant in Mozambique and with feasibility studies for a number of oil refineries. Currently, I am engaged in the process design for upgrades to the oil refinery in Iran to improve its financial performance and reduce its environmental impact.
As is the case with any project, process design is the fundamental design aspect of plant design. First, the process engineer draws up a process flow diagram that satisfies the client's request. Questions about what and how many devices are to be used, and about what process technologies are to be adopted in the plant are decided at this stage, so the process engineering department is one that has a huge influence on capital expenditure and operating costs. This step is left to the discretion of the process engineer, so it's the part I find most stimulating. In particular, I model the overall heat balance and material balance, and use this data to design devices and calculate sizing. Then, I send this information on to engineers in other fields for further detailed design and cost estimation. Upon discussions with these engineers and receiving their results, I use the estimated values of capital expenditure and operating costs to carry out an economic analysis of the project and report to the client. A decision is made as to whether the project can proceed to the next phase.

My dream is to become an engineering consultant to solve clients' problems and materialize new projects.

For a start, I have significantly developed my technical skills through my experience at JGC Corporation. Although the technical concepts I learned at university provide a firm base upon which to work as an engineer, I have obtained 90% of the expertise actually required in projects from JGC Corporation. For example, I studied the concept of heat conduction at university, but it is at JGC Corporation that I have learned how to optimize the exhaust heat recovery system, how it affects capital expenditure and operating costs and how to apply it to pinch analysis. I also acquired leadership skills during the days I spent at construction sites. This was very valuable experience. The knowledge I gained in areas such as progress management, operational planning, the alignment of multiple stakeholders, and client negotiation is very useful in my present projects. Thanks to the technology and knowledge that I have been handed from experienced colleagues, I have been able to turn theoretical knowledge into practical engineering skills.
Although I wanted to be a project manager in some EPC project when I joined the company, as time has passed, my interest has shifted from EPC toward feasibility studies in the form of a process manager or a project manager. In the future, I want to gain project management skills working in the Project Department, and develop the skills to carry out more detailed economic analysis through working at the Cost Engineering Department, so that I can become an engineering consultant. This role has the significant impact to a project since 70-80% of the cost and the economic performance of a project can be decided at this stage. Working together with clients to meet their needs and making a real impact on the success of a project would be really challenging and fulfilling, and so this career path is so attractive for me.

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Career Path

Career Path
2013
Process Engineering Department
Assisted in process engineering work for the Sulfur Recovery Unit and Tail Gas Treating Unit for a refinery EPC project (Vietnam).
2013
Stationed at a gas treatment processing plant construction site (as a trainee) (Qatar).
2014
Re-stationed at a gas treatment processing plant construction site (as a Commissioning Engineer) (Qatar).
2014
Process Engineering Department
Assisted in process engineering work for NGL Recovery and Fractionation units for a LNG EPC proposal (Mozambique).
2015
Process Engineering Department
Responsible for design and economic evaluation of a bitumen upgrading process utilizing JGC's SCWC technology (Feasibility Study) (Canada).
2016
Process Engineering Department
Assisted in designing a refinery process utilizing JGC's JUST Condensate technology (Feasibility Study) (Iran).
2016
Process Engineering Department
Responsible for design and economic evaluation of a bottom upgrading process for an existing refinery (Feasibility Study) (Iran).