Anne Omphalius LP Engineer

Name: Anne Omphalius

Job title: LP Engineer

University/college attended: Ecole Nationale des industries Chimiques de Nancy (France)

Degree qualification and year of graduation (e.g. BEng electrical engineering 2009): Ingénieur des Industries Chimiques (Chemical Industry Engineer – equivalent to a Master degree – September 2014)


How did you find out about the INEOS grad scheme/your job, and what attracted you to apply?

During my last year at engineering school I did a 6-month internship at the Lavéra Technology Centre with INEOS. I worked with passionate people and definitely wanted to stay there. At the end of my internship I applied for a LP Engineer job at Lavéra refinery, which was a real opportunity to gain both technical and commercial knowledge quickly. I would never expect to have such an opportunity straight after graduating in any other company.

How did you find the application/interview process?

I felt very supported. INEOS is not only interested in your capability of doing a job but also on your future evolution in the company.

What does your role involve? What are some typical activities/key responsibilities?

As a LP Engineer I am in charge of the modelling of the refinery. My role is to improve, update and keep the refinery model as accurate as possible. The refinery model has to represent the plant units as accurately as possible since it is an economic decision making tool enabling the trading team in London to decide which crudes to buy and what kind of final product exports we may do. It is also used by the planning team in Lavéra to optimize the refinery. The refinery model is an economic decision making tool and keeping it accurate is really important.

I also am the technical support to the different model users- the Asset Economist (based in London and part of the trading team), the Optimiser (based in Lavéra and running the model for the current month to optimise the production) and the Performance Analyst (based in Lavéra and running the model afterwards to measure the commercial performance of the refinery).

What other roles have you held since joining INEOS?

This role is my first position as a graduate at INEOS, though I did a 6-month internship at INEOS Lavéra Technology Centre. The purpose of my internship was to improve the simulation of the polyethylene gas phase process used by the polyethylene licensing team.

What training have you received?

I was able to attend a two-day intensive course on our refining scheme at the Lavera refinery, while my predecessor also trained me over a three month handover period. In order to master our modelling software I also had the chance to attend to 2 weeks training with AspenTech, the company which provides our software. I will attend further training in the coming months to continue improving my skills with other software that I use.

What do you hope/expect for your next couple of years at INEOS?

I hope to join the scheduling team in a few years to take on a more operational position- then perhaps my experience in  LP modelling and logistics will enable me to join either the trading team in London as Asset Economist or the production side of the refinery as a Process Engineer. One huge strength of INEOS is the range of different careers opportunities it offers.

What do you most enjoy about your job?

I enjoy my job because it is really challenging and varied. The refinery units are always improved due to catalyst changes and investment projects and thus the model has to be improved constantly. It’s great to have the sense that what you do every day really matters- improving the refinery modelling has tangible economic consequences, so the more fine-tuned your modelling, the better the decisions my colleagues can make.

What are the highlights of your time at INEOS so far?

Each time I implement new upgrades in the model (especially substantial upgrades) to improve it, I have the sense that I’m making my own contribution to the company.

What challenges have you faced in your role so far, and how have you overcome them? What support has been provided?

A few times I have faced unexpected changes of unit efficiency after turnarounds- making the refinery model suddenly unrepresentative of what’s happening on site. Studies have to be done quickly to update the model to ensure we are still taking the best economic decisions. In such situations it is a real team effort to bring everything back together- between process engineers and the lab to perform tests on units to collect data, the LP engineer to update the model, and the scheduling team to check the results and the behaviour of the new model in different cases.

Why do you particularly like about working at INEOS, and would you recommend it to future graduates?

I really enjoy working with INEOS because you work with experienced and passionate people who always want to go further. INEOS gives you real responsibilities from day one and gives you opportunities as graduates that you couldn’t expect in any other company.