Develop a heat transfer model for each of the sites 15 vessels. This will include heat up rate and cooling rate when the process is heated by steam or cooled by cooling water or chilled water (water/glycol mix). These vessels are mainly glass lined with a mild steel jacket around them.
The model can then be tested on plant and the student can plan the experiments they want to carryout in order to test and improve the model. There are different agitators on each vessel which will affect the heat transfer.
Currently the operators vent each vessel when the heating or cooling medium is changed. Part of the work will be to test if this venting significantly affects the heating/cooling ability of the vessels. This work will directly enable the site to optimise the batch performance across the various vessels leading to improved right first time, consistent batch cycle times and further down the line batch cycle time reduction.
The sites vessels all have bursting discs on the vessels to protect them against over pressure. These bursting discs are then piped to dump tanks to contain any liquid that is ejected from the vessels. The work on this project is to lead a verification that the bursting discs, pipe work and dump tanks are suitable.
This will involve collection data on each bursting disc, reviewing existing calculations on the bursting disc, working on the scenarios that could lead to an over pressurising event (pool fire, run away reaction, steam evolution in the vessel due to water ingress into a vessel that
is operating above the boiling point of water etc) and then working with a third party supplier on recalculating the required bursting discs. This work will also involve measuring the existing pipe work on site as the flow path is crucial for bursting discs.
This work will significantly help the site gain compliance on this crucial safety issue.
Beyond these two projects there will be some time spent interacting with the plant operators and also functioning within the small engineering team on site to gain an understanding of what working as a site process engineer involves.