世界最大級化学会社に勤務、先輩からのメッセージ Alumni “Message”: from a major chemical maker

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English follows Japanese

7年前に修士修了後、(世界的リーダー)某化学メーカーへ入社し、プロセスエンジニアリング部に配属を受けた。新製品のスケールアップ(短期プロジェクト)、生産技術のリサーチ/開発(中~長期プロジェクト)を担う部署であった。パイロット~実機、時にはダウンスケール試験を通じてスケールアップファクターを把握するわけである。

入社当初に担当したプロジェクトで混合プロセスのスケールアップに苦慮したケースでは、大スケールにおいて運動量供給量が不足している、さらには有効伝面不足ということが判明した。ここに着目して速やかにプロセス改善に努めることで、最終的にはスケールアップに成功した。基本的な部分ではあるが、化学工学の知見が最初に活きた場面であった。既存プロセスにおける増能力検討の場合では、既設装置の仕様から各種収支に基づいて可否を検討するケースが多い。

学生時代の反省は、化学工学概論や移動現象論など、化工の素養を身に着けることは勿論であるが、どのような現場・状況で活きる知識なのか、考慮しながら学ぶことをしなかった点が挙げられる。また、プロセスシミュレーション技術の進歩に併せて、学生時代にもっと触れる機会が多く有れば非常に有用だったと感じている。 (January 2022, Written by M)

After completing my master’s degree seven years ago, I joined a chemical company (world leader) and was assigned to the process engineering department. This department was responsible for scaling up new products (short-term projects) and research/development of production technologies (medium- to long-term projects). Scale-up factors are determined from pilot to actual equipment and sometimes through downscale testing.

In the case where the mixing process was difficult to scale up in the project that I worked on when I first joined the company, it was found that the quantity of momentum supply was insufficient in the large scale, and that the effective surface was insufficient. By focusing on this and making prompt efforts to improve the process, we succeeded in scaling it up. Although it was a basic part, it was the first time that knowledge of chemical engineering was utilized. In the case of examining the capacity increase in the existing process, there are many cases in which the propriety is examined based on various balance from the specifications of the existing equipment.

One of the things that I reflected on during my university days was that I did not study while taking into account the kind of knowledge that could be put to use in the field and in the situation, although it was needless to say that I had to acquire the knowledge of chemical engineering, such as an introduction to chemical engineering and a theory of transfer phenomena. In addition, along with the progress of process simulation technology, I feel that it would have been very useful if I had had more opportunities to experience it during my school days.

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