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"A career in design"

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Elena Gonzalez.

Talk is free but advance registration is required on http://www.ceb.cam.ac.uk/alumni/events/talks

Harry will tell about his own experience as Tech Development Manager at JM Davy Technologies and will be giving examples and sharing anecdotes to try to give a sense of what a career in process design can be like and the challenges involved, both technical and personal:

Technology Development – applying chemical engineering principles in development work – the tools used

Proposals – optimising designs, selling the benefits and agreeing technical parts of the contract.

Basic engineering – the challenges of designing very large methanol plants with novel features

Commissioning Services – troubleshooting plant start-up, working in foreign countries.

Managing Technology – Managing risk, managing people, driving improvements

Managing New Technology Development – How to identify opportunities, collaborating with other partners

BIO : Harry Claxton matriculated in Downing College in 1992 and graduated with a MEng degree in 1996. He joined what was then called Davy Process Technologies, a licensor of petrochemical technologies, based in Paddington. In his early career he was involved in technology development, basic engineering, and plant commissioning, mostly in China, where he learnt some elementary mandarin before it became fashionable. He was lead process engineer for the basic engineering of two methanol plants, one in Iran and one in China. In 2008 he became Technology Manager for a portfolio of syngas related technologies including Steam Reforming, Methanol, Substitute Natural Gas and Fischer Tropsch diesel. He was responsible for the technical content of proposals and projects, initiating and managing technology developments, resolving commissioning issues, and managing a large group of process engineers. In particular the unprecedented growth in large scale methanol plants in China, used in the new coal to olefins projects, kept him busy managing proposal output and negotiating the technical parts of the contracts. After 5 years and numerous trips to China, he became a Technology Development Manager, identifying and analysing new opportunities and developing new process technologies. Along the way he has picked up an MBA by distance learning, and has interests in managing risk and fostering innovation. The company he joined has had several owners over the years, including a Russian oligarch, but is now owned by Johnson Matthey giving the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues in different parts of the organisation. He is still based in Paddington and lives in West London. Expect some example of process engineering issues on plant start-ups, and the odd travel anecdote.

This talk is part of the CEB Career Talks series.

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