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Interview with Laura Latorre Valverde (Chemical Engineering Student)

This week we got a wonderful chance to have a talk with Laura Latorre Velverde. She is currently pursuing her BSc.Eng in Chemical Engineering from Polytechnic University of Valencia. While pursuing her degree, she is also working as a Project Engineer Intern within the environmental industry, where she is designing a waste to energy plant.

Undoubtedly, she is a hard-working individual with robust knowledge in the field of both chemical and environmental engineering. She has not limited herself to only theoretical knowledge, but instead has gotten a chance to apply her engineering knowledge into a real world project as a project engineer. As mentioned, she is working as a project engineer on designing a waste to energy plant, with impressive results and progress.

During her BSc.Eng studies, she has chosen to specialise in Environmental Engineering, because she wishes to use her engineering knowledge for the betterment of the world and society. Hence, she wishes to pursue a difficult but a noble career for the betterment of everyone. For her future plans, she wishes to pursue a Master in Chemical Engineering.

Engineering School

Laura is currently a BSc.Eng Student, and therefore we took this opportunity to ask her questions regarding her engineering school and university.

How was the workload of your degree? What do you spend most time on? Is there a lot of chemistry in your curriculum?

Chemistry engineering has a moderate workload, just as any other engineering. I spend the most of my study time analysing complex procedures to solve engineering problems. Regarding chemistry, during the degree I just had two purely chemistry subjects: chemistry and organic chemistry.

What topics did you find the most difficult during your degree?

Mechanics and machinery physics were the most complex topics for me.

What line did you choose to focus during your degree? Why?

I've always been moved into specialising in Environmental Engineering. Being capable of doing something good for the planet is the best part of an engineering degree. Chemistry engineering is a very versatile engineering with a wide range in environmental applications. In a future I would like to optimise industrial processes so they can attain more restrictive pollution emissions, work in a wastewater treatment plant or in the waste management field or even in bioprocess engineering or in the development of biodegradable materials that are more environment friendly.

Did you have student jobs during or between your education? How did you get them? Where did you work? How did it help your education or future career?

Currently I'm doing an internship in the project engineering field. I found the offer in the Integrated Employment Service of my university. Working as a project engineer made me realise how capable are we engineers to apply our knowledge to actually do real projects. Right now I'm involved designing a waste to energy plant, and it's something that I find really fascinating.

Work Experience

She is currently working as an intern besides her degree. She is interning as a project engineer from November until May 2021. Therefore, we asked her a little more about her current internship.

What is your daily work routine like? What do you do at your job?

I mostly work in the detailed engineering part of the project, which means that I calculate yields, compositions and design the different equipments needed in a concrete project.

What are the typical tasks which you have to deal with?

Since I work in the detailed engineering part of the project, dealing with calculations is the typical task of a common day as well as recaping many formulas studied during the degree. I would say, the most challenging part in project engineering is doing things in the deadline set for the project.

What hard and soft skills are the most important for your job? Which topics from your degree do you use the most on the workplace?

I would say the most important hard skills are engineering knowledge and troubleshooting. As for soft skills I would say communication and teamwork. I use mechanics and thermodynamic calculations the most.

Your job sounds really great, but what is the best thing about your job, in your opinion?

I think the best thing about my job is being capable of doing real projects with my engineering knowledge.

What are you future plans for your career?

I plan to do the master degree in chemical engineering.

Any suggestions for future graduates? Something they should be doing while they are still in university getting their degree. As a final year student, my advice would be to do not get discouraged when the results are not the expected. Engineering can be challenging sometimes but it's worth the effort.
Remember: Perseverance, Effort and Dedication


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