Meet Brodie Campbell McRae: since graduating from Heriot Watt University in 2018, he has worked as a Process Engineer for Celtic Renewables. Below he discusses how this experience has been for him and the transition from university student to full-time employee
You are a self-professed huge distillation techniques ‘nerd’, can you tell us a bit about how this became a passion of yours?
BCM: It all began during my time at university, where I studied Chemical Engineering. I had the opportunity to learn all about distillation and fermentation processes. Lots of different things happen at the same time during these processes, which sparked my interest immediately. It also didn’t hurt that these happened to be the modules I got the best grades in!
How did you get involved with working at Celtic Renewables?
BCM: I was at university revising for my final exams when John Stevenson and Jim Purves walked in, looking for a graduate to join the team and help with planning the construction of our new Grangemouth facility. So, I applied, and the rest is history. I went from graduating University on the Tuesday to working for Celtic Renewables on the Thursday!
What led you to want to work at Celtic Renewables?
BCM: Being part of the plant construction process as a young engineer was an incredible opportunity. As it was a small team at the time, I had vast responsibilities and had chances that I would have not gotten elsewhere.
Furthermore, the message behind Celtic Renewables is so important: this is the future.
What is your favourite part about working at Celtic Renewables?
BCM: Due to the speed in which I changed from student to employee, I was thrown into the deep end. Although intimidating at the start, this has meant that I’ve had endless opportunities to learn so much. I was also given room to make mistakes, which was key to my growth as a professional and individual.
Truly the best part of working at Celtic though is the team, everyone works together so well and are so passionate about what we are doing.
What would you say is the most rewarding part about being a Process Engineer?
BCM: Easily the most rewarding part is seeing the design come to life: from sketches to technical drawings, watching it being installed and now soon to commission. Usually, engineers are only part of one step of the process, not the whole journey. So, this has been a pleasure to watch and have the opportunity to contribute at every stage of it.
What are you looking forward to witnessing in the future of the industry?
BCM: It is amazing to be a part of an industry that is right at the beginning. What we do now will be the heart of chemical manufacturing in 50 years, so being here from the start is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Although, the thing I am most looking forward to is seeing the positive impact this will have on the environment. My career goal is to improve our relationship with our planet, so seeing our industry take off and do just that is what I am looking forward to most of all.
What is one thing you do in your day-to-day life to be more sustainable?
BCM: My answer is simple, I build BioRefineries for a living!