Bryony Robinson

Bryony Robinson

Name: Bryony Robinson

Job title: Engineer I, Chocolate Global Category Team RD&Q - Process Solutions

Company: Mondelēz International

Country: UK
A-levels: Maths, Physics and Chemistry
University: University of Manchester, UK

At school I enjoyed most subjects, but excelled in maths and science. After studying maths, physics and chemistry at A-level, I wanted to study a degree that encompassed all three subjects.

It was my chemistry teacher who first suggested that I should look into studying chemical engineering as she knew it covered all the aspects of academia that interest me as well as providing great career prospects.

I decided that chemical engineering was the subject for me due to the wide range of material covered by the course, its challenging reputation and the variety of industries that I could venture into following graduation.

Getting stuck in

When I first began studying chemical engineering at the University of Manchester, I was a little apprehensive about my ability to complete the course material to a high standard, mainly because I had never done anything like chemical engineering before. After speaking to my personal tutor, I realised that this is the nature of the course and decided to get stuck in, which is the best choice I could have made.

At university, I particularly enjoyed the mathematical side of the course, as well as the modules that involved delving into the really fundamental aspects of processes, such as ‘Adsorption’ and ‘Solid Fluid Systems’. I also really enjoyed doing the practical side of the course, which involved conducting various experiments in the laboratories. The design project that I conducted with my group in final year was a great learning experience and allowed me to develop some invaluable skills that are now aiding me in greatly in the work place.

A productive year

I was lucky enough to complete a placement year with Mondelēz International in the 3rd year of my 4 year MEng course. I learnt a massive amount and really enjoyed the experience – I cannot stress enough how valuable spending a year in industry really was. The placement also ended with an offer of employment from the company which was a massive bonus for me!

I graduated from university three months ago and am currently working for Mondelēz International in the Chocolate Research and Development facility. My title is Engineer I and I am in the Process Solutions team. I am thoroughly enjoying my role within R&D so far – I’m working on several exciting new projects with a significant amount of responsibility given to me.

Every day is different working in R&D with varied challenges emerging all the time, which I feel is a great way to develop a whole range of skills early in my career. My time is typically spent between the office and the pilot plant, and it’s this balance of practical and desk work that I enjoy.

Do your research

Research into the subject area to get an idea of the opportunities presented to graduate chemical engineers, because the options are vast and varied. Doing a degree in chemical engineering guarantees great job prospects, so if you enjoy maths and science it’s a great way to combine them. Remember that no-one will have studied the subject before university, so don’t let the fact that you are unfamiliar with the content put you off!

Finally, if you do decide to pursue a degree in chemical engineering, I would recommend doing a course that encompasses industrial experience as it really gives you a step up when you enter the working world following graduation.