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First-hand experiences at the production plant: Falk's master's thesis at Evonik

Falk is a chemical engineering student and is currently writing his master's thesis at Evonik. In the students@Evonik blog, he talks about his experiences.

Hello, my name is Falk and I am studying chemical engineering at the Technical University of Dortmund. You are just about to write your master's thesis and consider writing it in cooperation with a company? Here are my experiences:   

I am currently writing my master's thesis at Evonik Technology & Infrastructure in Marl. In the Technical Center of Process Engineering for Fluid Processing, I'm conducting experiments on dispersion in liquid-liquid systems at a plant: I use a special probe to take pictures of flows in pipelines to record the distribution of two liquids. The resulting statistical parameters play a major role in the design of equipment for liquid-liquid extraction or phase separation, for example. In the following, I will tell you more about the process of how to a master's thesis at Evonik.

It is rather unusual for students of biochemical and chemical engineering at the TU Dortmund University to write a master's thesis in a company, since the faculty's chairs are also innovative, and research is conducted in many different areas. And because I'm doing it differently, I'm looking forward to gaining that much experience at a renowned company like Evonik even before I graduate in April. In addition to learning about the working methods and procedures at one of the largest chemical parks in Germany, I also get to know production plants and processes that are unique on this scale.

But more about the process: After applying for an open dissertation via the Evonik career portal, I met my supervisors in a first interview, who explained the topic of the master's thesis to me. The thesis offers the opportunity to work independently on a scientific topic or question in a specific area. I have a lot of freedom in carrying out my project, but if I have questions, I receive a lot of support. In addition to my supervisor in Marl, I even have a contact person in Hanau, another Evonik site, and therefore feel very well supported, even when faced with special challenges. 

Since I carry out practical tests on a plant for my work, I spent a lot of time in the pilot plant during the first three months. The idea of working on an independent project in a pilot plant of this size initially seemed a bit intimidating. But even though the Technikum employees have a lot to do due to the numerous projects that have to be supervised in parallel, I received a lot of help in getting started. During conversions and changes to "my plant", I learned a lot of new things, especially in the areas of safety and environmental protection, which will also be important in my future everyday work.

Half of my time is already over, and I am sure that the second half will be just as exciting and interesting as the first!

See you soon,
Falk


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