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#1 Guest_ellajid_*

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 12:30 PM

So I live in this really third world country that barely has any sort of proper industry. I'm to due to graduate with a bachelor in chemical engineering next year. I predict there will be a kind off small industrial revolution in the coming years. There aren't many chemical engineers here, and the ones that are available aren't really that competent. So now I'm 'dreaming' of studying, getting some experience and then starting a chemical engineering consultancy company.
What do I need in order to realize this dream? What kind off degree should I pursue, and in what field? Where can I get more information on this matter? How much experience should I accumulate? What difficulties would I encounter?
I'd pretty much appreciate nearly any tips/advice on the topic.
Thanks.
Ellajid
'

#2 ankur2061

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 01:19 PM

Ideally 8-10 years as a production/operations engineer in a fairly large operating company &`then another 8-10 years as a design engineer in a decent engineering consultancy before you could be really able to start a consulting company with certain credentials. Additional qualification such as a registered professional or chartered engineer should be of help.

But above all, the spirit of entrepreneurship and the ability to take risks & persevere are the biggest assets for any new enterprise that anyone desires to embark upon. Remember that some of the biggest names in business and industry today are the ones whose story is of "rags to riches".

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Ankur.

#3 Zauberberg

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 02:20 PM

Ideally 8-10 years as a production/operations engineer in a fairly large operating company &`then another 8-10 years as a design engineer in a decent engineering consultancy


After 16-20 years in this business one can think only of retirement or passing away :blink: - sorry to interrupt your thoughts Ankur, but somehow that looked way too long for me although you are probably right.

Based on my moderate experience (8 years), I would say that - for a fairly ambitious person who is interested in his job - 3 years in Production/Operations environment, plus up to 2 years in an EPC/E&C company should be sufficient for developing such mindset and background capable of providing clients with quality process solutions. I am also accounting for other fellow colleagues in that particular consultancy since one man - no matter how experienced he is - simply cannot know everything that is required for successful job completion.

I see very often that number of years in business is one of the first things (if not the very first) that companies ask and look for when searching for candidates suitable for job being advertised. This is badly wrong in my opinion - years of experience tell you absolutely nothing. I have seen people with more than 20 years in process engineering business and still not capable of applying basic, common sense in their work (not to speak about advanced process tools) while, on the other hand, I also had an opportunity to work with young engineers who have impressed me with their way of thinking, ambition, and approach in engineering design or troubleshooting process operations. Just to make a point here - I think there are no universal rules: someone can make himself ready for consultancy after 5 years, others will not be capable of doing so even if they live 200 years on this planet.

Ellajid, everything is up to you.

#4 Guest_ellajid_*

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 03:12 PM

Many thanks Zauberberg and ankur,
I know that this is going to be hard, but it's a long term goal I'm planning to fulfill. As I've told you I live in a third world country, so the evolution of industry will take some time and will be gradual. So the company doesn't have to start with the highest of standards. Being internationally credible will be hard, I know, but I'm guessing being credible here will be a much easier task. Certainly I'll be the only local option, unless someone tries to get the job done using international companies. So I'm guessing as long as the company can get the job done, then it will be a success.
I'm only 20 years old, so if it takes me 15 years to accomplish all of this, that would be great. Should I pursue a higher degree? That would take a couple of years.
Would it be possible to get fully qualified ChE from abroad to come and work for the company? What should I expect their demands to be like if they agree?
How many engineers would I need to start the company (an optimal minimum amount)?
What fields should they encompass?
Cheers,
Ellajid

#5 Qalander (Chem)

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 12:29 AM

Many thanks Zauberberg and ankur,
I know that this is going to be hard, but it's a long term goal I'm planning to fulfill. As I've told you I live in a third world country, so the evolution of industry will take some time and will be gradual. So the company doesn't have to start with the highest of standards. Being internationally credible will be hard, I know, but I'm guessing being credible here will be a much easier task. Certainly I'll be the only local option, unless someone tries to get the job done using international companies. So I'm guessing as long as the company can get the job done, then it will be a success.
I'm only 20 years old, so if it takes me 15 years to accomplish all of this, that would be great. Should I pursue a higher degree? That would take a couple of years.
Would it be possible to get fully qualified ChE from abroad to come and work for the company? What should I expect their demands to be like if they agree?
How many engineers would I need to start the company (an optimal minimum amount)?
What fields should they encompass?
Cheers,
Ellajid


Dear Ellajid, My Vote is for You;1)Take it up,2)Keep it up,3) Never give-up as advised by beloved friends here above.
Best of Luck.

#6 kkala

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:22 PM

I have seen people with more than 20 years in process engineering business and still not capable of applying basic, common sense in their work (not to speak about advanced process tools) while, on the other hand, I also had an opportunity to work with young engineers who have impressed me with their way of thinking, ambition, and approach in engineering design or troubleshooting process operations. Just to make a point here - I think there are no universal rules: someone can make himself ready for consultancy after 5 years, others will not be capable of doing so even if they live 200 years on this planet.

I generally agree to above point; a funny / tragic case occurs when these empty yet "experienced" engineers manage "less experienced" yet able to do engineers. That is why management is not always famous, at least here (and not only).

Moreover a young engineer should be patient enough to acquire experience on what we can call human factor (human relations and manners according to real self). For instance he may see his well founded opinion rejected, without real explanation. Or meet an arrogant manager on his way to a deal. In a lot of cases he has to have a clear stand and act accordingly, which is not easy.
An employee usually faces these "challenges" later and to a limited extend. A consultant is more exposed. And in some cases he will face prejudice. Norman Lieberman books (a life consultant in plant operations) could give a taste.
As with technical things, some people get this ability on human factor faster than others, but it would be superficial to be in a hurry. It is rather a matter of experience than study, needing careful steps.
Apart from this, a consultant has to be excellent in his field, so I would try abroad; not only for further studies, but also to see a more advanced situation. There is also a prejudice against young consultants, so try to have some useful knowledge as counterweight! It is not bad to work with other consultants too.
Life may show a different result after years, but even so the try can be useful. You gain experience and capability of doing something, worthy if you like it.


(Do not tie a ship to a single anchor, nor life to a single hope - old poet).

Edited by kkala, 09 April 2010 - 04:28 PM.


#7 Qalander (Chem)

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:09 AM


I have seen people with more than 20 years in process engineering business and still not capable of applying basic, common sense in their work (not to speak about advanced process tools) while, on the other hand, I also had an opportunity to work with young engineers who have impressed me with their way of thinking, ambition, and approach in engineering design or troubleshooting process operations. Just to make a point here - I think there are no universal rules: someone can make himself ready for consultancy after 5 years, others will not be capable of doing so even if they live 200 years on this planet.

I generally agree to above point; a funny / tragic case occurs when these empty yet "experienced" engineers manage "less experienced" yet able to do engineers. That is why management is not always famous, at least here (and not only).

Moreover a young engineer should be patient enough to acquire experience on what we can call human factor (human relations and manners according to real self). For instance he may see his well founded opinion rejected, without real explanation. Or meet an arrogant manager on his way to a deal. In a lot of cases he has to have a clear stand and act accordingly, which is not easy.
An employee usually faces these "challenges" later and to a limited extend. A consultant is more exposed. And in some cases he will face prejudice. Norman Lieberman books (a life consultant in plant operations) could give a taste.
As with technical things, some people get this ability on human factor faster than others, but it would be superficial to be in a hurry. It is rather a matter of experience than study, needing careful steps.
Apart from this, a consultant has to be excellent in his field, so I would try abroad; not only for further studies, but also to see a more advanced situation. There is also a prejudice against young consultants, so try to have some useful knowledge as counterweight! It is not bad to work with other consultants too.
Life may show a different result after years, but even so the try can be useful. You gain experience and capability of doing something, worthy if you like it.


(Do not tie a ship to a single anchor, nor life to a single hope - old poet).


Dear

The practical Guidance from my friend "Kostas" is in-valuable& great to note and practice in real world situations involving humans.


Best of Luck.

Edited by Qalander (Chem), 10 April 2010 - 12:10 AM.


#8 Zauberberg

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:46 AM

I agree with you, Kostas. Having an educated and professionally skilled manager but without human qualities is as bad as having an engineering idiot to run the department/agency. And maybe even worse than that - if someone is weak in the field of process technology but he knows how to approach people, there are very good chances that people/employees will always be keen to help him and make his job easy as much as they can. On the other hand, if he is high-skilled person regarding process engineering but with arrogant and aggressive attitude, it is very likely that working in such company would be a complete failure. This is simply the human's nature.

I prefer - as most of us do - a gentleman running the show. I don't care so much about his professional qualities: that's what we are for. I realized during my career that having an arrogant boss always makes me wish to get away from such environment.

I remember one true gentleman during my previous contract in Equatorial Guinea LNG, the Operations Manager. He was such a nice person (and technically very skilled by the way) and he made a really big, positive impression on me. For such people, I wouldn't mind working even for free.

#9 Qalander (Chem)

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:11 AM

I agree with you, Kostas. Having an educated and professionally skilled manager but without human qualities is as bad as having an engineering idiot to run the department/agency. And maybe even worse than that - if someone is weak in the field of process technology but he knows how to approach people, there are very good chances that people/employees will always be keen to help him and make his job easy as much as they can. On the other hand, if he is high-skilled person regarding process engineering but with arrogant and aggressive attitude, it is very likely that working in such company would be a complete failure. This is simply the human's nature.

I prefer - as most of us do - a gentleman running the show. I don't care so much about his professional qualities: that's what we are for. I realized during my career that having an arrogant boss always makes me wish to get away from such environment.

I remember one true gentleman during my previous contract in Equatorial Guinea LNG, the Operations Manager. He was such a nice person (and technically very skilled by the way) and he made a really big, positive impression on me. For such people, I wouldn't mind working even for free.


Dear Zuberberg I Whole heartedly second you and Kostas;and never prefer,like working for arrogant people.However one is compelled to compromise;thereby productivity and career growth may suffer at time and finally the hit-back may yield on to arrogant bosses as well.

#10 sheiko

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 08:12 AM

Dear friend,

I am probably one of the least experienced engineer in this forum (almost 3 years in process design) but please let me share my views.

I believe you would need at least the following skills to succeed as a consultant:

- Problem solving skills
- Creativity
- Goal setting (define specific goals, do not accept vague ideas of what you want to acheive)
- Decision making (decisions are made on measurable criteria)
- "System" thinking (technical dimension, financial dimension, people dimension)
- Process Design (master the key concepts of chemical engineering)
- Process Improvement
- Process Troubleshooting (field experience is key)
- Environnement, Waste minimization, Safety (consult http://webbook.nist.gov/)
- Communication (if the message isn't communicated, it's the speaker's or writer's fault, include transitions, always give a summary)
- Listening (unstrained listeners understand and retain between 25-50% of a conversation)
- Commitment (build trust by keeping commitments to yourself and others)
- Team and Group skills (show personnal integrity, honesty and loyalty to others, apologize promptly and sincerely when you know you are wrong)
- Leadership (a leader has internal motivation, is authentic and promotes trust, brings out the best in people, seeks and learns from feedback, is curious ans is a good listener)
- Entrepreneurship (need technology, creativity, courage, business know how and business plan)
- Self-management (complete jobs as if you were a consultant, do them well the first time and on time, keep good personal files, learn the company's economics, be patient with yourself and with others)

In a nutshell, i believe you need a strong reputation before stating up a consulting company.

Edited by sheiko, 11 April 2010 - 08:57 AM.


#11 kkala

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 04:08 PM

It is very interesting to read about behavior in the job, principles of which should have been taught in Universities (even though most of it is got by experience). I have lost a skillful friend having passed into arrogants' camp. Yet the big surprise for me has been some managers, at once arrogant and ignorant! They create a funny or tragic situation, depending on what view one looks at it.
As time passes, you understand that compromise is necessary, as Qalander pointed out. The question is to what extent. I have known engineers able to "produce" six times more, if they had been working in a different working environment.
Indeed, lucky is the young engineer that happens to meet men of integrity and modesty in his/her first job, especially supervisors. This is also true for consultants, who should get able to "assess" collaborators and clients.

Edited by kkala, 11 April 2010 - 04:14 PM.


#12 fatimah

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 10:22 PM

Hi there

you'll be graduated next year, use time (now!) to find the right company.

i dont plan my job good before. ya, of course, after been graduated, most of ppl desperately want to find jobs without thinking twice. i already waste my time almost 2 years in edible oil company, it does not really add points to my engineering knowledge. i can put 5% to it.

now i'm in O&G company. i'm directly exposed to theories and practical. Money does not become the 1st point i'm here. being here is what im looking for.

after this? i will stay here, until i can put 100% rating on it, then i'll move.

#13 kkala

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 01:56 PM

Chance of changing job (as falimah did) is good, but very limited now in Greece due to unemployment among Chemical Engineers. I consider myself lucky not to have abandoned ChE activities for some other occupation. Industry is ailing here, making situation much worse.
Hellajid should not consider local industrial development as certain, especially for Chemical Industry. A country can follow another way of development; most probably some industries will be developed, and you have to foresee. Something prepared at the proper time (not too early, not late) will have a reward. But preparation can be hard for a result that is hoped for (not certain). One should have intuition, a talent for commerce, and enthusiasm for this activity to increase possibility of success. The question is what success means. It may not mean much money (been a matter of luck) but rather liking this way of life. You may gain or loose money in the process of time.
I have observed that most engineers are too conservative for commerce, probably due to their education (or the reverse is valid?). However the few engineers (known to me) having dealt with general commerce (in sectors not relevant to Chemical Engineering) went on well. Not impressive results, but generally better than those achieved by employees. Education is finally good as a background, I have heard people praising the methodical mind of Engineer.
A young Engineer has the advantage of optimism and ability of hard work, why not succeed in a sector promising in the local region? It will not be an easy task, but life activities need courage and enthusiasm. As long as you like it, Good luck!

PS: I happened to read short biographies of great Japanese "enterpreneurs" of past generation, and of Greek ones having established the local industry (1870-1960). They seemed to be motivated by principles beyond making money .

Edited by kkala, 18 April 2010 - 02:03 PM.


#14 Zauberberg

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 01:28 AM

Here is one point of view - almost like a quick pocket guide B)

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