Process Engineering Technologist Spotlight

Gas and oil, or oil sands (bitumen) doesn’t just come out of the ground ready to use. All of the natural resources need to go through several processes before they can be used for fuel and raw material manufacturing needs. Each of these important processes require Process Engineering Technologists to monitor, adjust and maintain processing units and equipment.

What a typical day looks like:

Process Engineering Technologists monitor and maintain the processing equipment on an oil sands site. Bitumen is very thick in its natural state, so it needs to be treated on site so that it can move through pipelines. In upgraders, bitumen is treated through various processes before it can be used in a refinery. Process Engineering Technologists keep a close eye on all the gauges, controls and systems involved in the processing units to make sure that everything is working as it should.

Their time is often split between control rooms, meetings, and working onsite to monitor and maintain systems. They have an office where they can complete statistical process control calculations, review data, write production logs, and oversee specific production databases. They are also comfortable in coveralls and steel-toed boots. They are the ones in the field who shut down, isolate and prepare process units or production equipment for maintenance. All with safety in mind.

These technicians typically work in teams and work closely with Process Engineers or Chemical Engineers within oil and gas companies.

The kinds of problems Process Engineering Technologists solve at work:

Safety is a top priority and Process Engineering Technologists understand the significance of the processes they control, operate and maintain. They monitor and inspect gauges, alarms, safety devices and meters to detect issues or malfunctions and to ensure that equipment is operating efficiently and safely. They also monitor trends and data to make sure that everything is going according to plan. They operate safely and keep everyone on site safe as well.

Skills used most on the job:

Process Engineering Technologists understand chemistry. This includes what is in a chemical, how it is used, interactions, potential hazards, production techniques and safe disposal methods. They also are mechanically savvy with a strong understanding of engineering, processing, production, and decision making. They work well with others and take safety and process very seriously.

If an oil and gas facility needs to process their resources to prepare them for transport or refining, Process Engineering Technologists can be thanked for keeping the systems and equipment running safely and consistently.

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