Lucite International Singapore Pte Ltd (LISPL) continues to support an internship program started in 2014, which gives two Chemical Engineering students from Singapore Polytechnic a 24-week taste of what life is like on a busy manufacturing plant. Ong Beng Lee, the Technical Manager at LISPL and line supervisor for the two students, introduced us to the internship scheme.
First Beng Lee explained why LISPL continues to make the scheme available to students. He said: “This is part of LISPL’s way of giving something back to society. By engaging the students through our internship program we hope to use word of mouth to increase awareness and visibility of Singapore’s petrochemical industry among the wider community. The students also benefit by seeing first-hand the day-to-day operations of a petrochemical plant.
It feels to us like we have created a win/win situation, and I’m happy to share some words from our most recent students, which suggest that they think so too!”
Commenting on her experience at LISPL, one of the students, June Lim Guek Hoon, said: “At first, I did not know anything about LISPL. Then my internship program liaison officer told me that I had been assigned to the company for my 24-week placement. I searched online for information about LISPL and found that it produces methyl methacrylate (MMA) using a new technology called Alpha.
During my internship, my LISPL supervisor treated me just like one of the existing process engineers working on the plant. I attended morning meetings to review operations and monitored process trends on a daily basis. Everyone at LISPL was very friendly and willing to share their experiences with us. Besides that, I was also able to experience new things that I would not have seen in my studies, for example, troubleshooting on process abnormalities. LISPL provides a platform for students to experience the real working environment of a petrochemical plant. After completing this internship, I am more determined to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering at the local university and then go on to work in the petrochemical industry.”
Charmaine Tan Hui Qi, who also completed her internship with the LISPL team, shared some similar sentiments. She said: “My experience here at LISPL really exceeded my expectations of what I thought my internship would be like. Not only did I get to experience what a process engineer’s job is like, I have also had the opportunity to interact with other departments and observe how everyone works together to keep the plant running well. I learnt a lot from other members of staff, who were always willing to take time to talk to us and answer our questions. Being able to regularly go out and look at a plant in full operation rather than look at it drawn neatly on paper has been very eye opening!
“The theory behind all the tasks that were given to us was generally nothing new, but being able to apply my knowledge to real problems that engineers have to tackle was something more than I would ever have been able to pick up in school. I’ve benefitted greatly from this experience, and would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who asked if it was a good idea.”