Sam Noble joined Lucite International (LI) in 2012 on a ‘Year in Industry’ during his degree study. Having made great progress since re-joining the Company in 2014, this summer saw him make the exciting move from our Cassel, UK site to LI’s polymers business based in Rozenburg, The Netherlands.

Sam spoke to us about this experience.

Pictured: Sam Noble at LI’s Rozenburg, Netherlands site.

Describe your progress since joining LI

I first joined LI in 2012 at the Cassel, UK site for a ‘Year in Industry’, as part of my Chemical Engineering degree. The experience that year gave me a strong and varied foundation in process engineering. I returned to University with experience that allowed me to really get the most out of my final year of study.

Since re-joining LI as a Graduate Process Engineer in 2014, I have held two positions at Cassel. These broad roles were in project and operations-based process engineering covering various technologies involved in the monomer production process. I would describe the core aspects as a combination of plant design, development, troubleshooting and SHE.

Alongside the core aspects, I have been working through LI’s Graduate Development Scheme which looks to develop both technical and non-technical skills. A particular highlight of the scheme was achieving an ILM qualification in Leadership & Management through the Skills Development Programme. Subsequently, I completed what felt like a full circle, through line managing a Year in Industry student during their own time at Cassel Works.

In July this year, I made an exciting move to join LI’s downstream Polymers business based in Rozenburg, The Netherlands, as a Project Engineer.

How did you feel about making the move to the Netherlands? What made you decide it was your next step?

My first thoughts were that it’s a great opportunity and I was enthusiastic about the possibilities! Naturally, I had a lot of questions to begin with, but I had a lot of support and encouragement from family, friends and colleagues (both UK & NL) that helped me make the move. It enables me to work in a different area of the business and be part of another dedicated LI team looking to deliver an impressive project.

When making the decision, I knew there would be many different skills I needed to learn but fundamentally the role suited my previous experience and interests. I also felt that I could help make a positive impact whilst expanding my experience in other areas.

Ultimately, it sounded like good fun…and living in The Netherlands is great too!

Describe a typical day in your current role

The role is developing day-by-day as we (quickly!) move through project stages. Currently, a typical day includes process design, planning and working with various teams to ensure construction meets design. Soon, the focus will shift to commissioning of equipment.

Have there been any challenges in adapting to this new environment?

To get up to speed as swiftly as possible on a dynamic project with different technology has been challenging, but an invaluable experience.

A personal challenge is to learn Dutch…even if it’s one “woord van de dag” (word of the day) at a time!

What do you enjoy most about your work?

From the outset, I’ve enjoyed the daily combination of activities included in the role of an engineer at LI. The last 12 months have been a prime example of this. From supporting Cassel’s major site overhaul earlier in the year, to recently overseeing the delivery of a product drying system at Rozenburg.

As a whole, it has been fast-paced and challenging but I have always been given opportunities to develop personally and professionally, often outside of what would be expected in the job title.