Chemical and Process Engineering
Find Profile by Name
Check out another area
Ben Foote, Fonterra
|Earning:||$45,000 to $55,000|
|In a nutshell:||Solving technical problems in dairy factories.|
|Why?||“It’s hugely creative and I get to put my own spin on things. And there is always something interesting to learn about!”|
Pathway Whakatane High School, Year 13: Chemistry, Physics, English, Electronics, Hard Materials Technology
University of Canterbury: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), majoring in Chemical & Process Engineering
Massey University: Master of Dairy Science & Technology (in progress)
While his science and technology teachers encouraged him to consider a career in engineering, Ben Foote says that his father had the largest influence on his decision.
“He taught me that by being good with my hands and thinking outside the square I could help people and make a difference.”
Ben’s hobbies include motor racing, performance cars and “anything with wheels”, so it’s not surprising that one of his favourite things about working at Fonterra is the high tech equipment in the factories.
“I love the shiny stainless steel! Seriously, I get a kick out of following pipes around the plant and figuring out what everything does.”
He’s enjoying the opportunity to apply the knowledge he learnt at university while on the Fonterra graduate programme, and adapting to the challenge of moving from site to site, seeing new places and meeting new people.
“After the graduate programme, I’ll have the opportunity to move on to a management role, or perhaps specialise in the technical area that most interests me. I’m really looking forward to exploring different roles and how they add value to the company.”
He thinks that to be a successful process engineer you need to be logical and able to think laterally, and excellent interpersonal skills are also vital.
“The operations staff in our factories love graduates, as we are excitable and want to learn all about their jobs – or sometimes just find out where their secret fishing spots are!”
Ben is currently working on the project part of his Master of Dairy Science & Technology degree. He’s trialling three different methods for testing the composition of whey, using 400 samples from the Fonterra factory at Lichfield (near Tokoroa).
“This part of the project is hugely exciting for me, as from these results I will develop a new testing method to be used all over the country,” he says. “This will help make sure that we can continue to produce high quality whey products, which ultimately benefits New Zealand’s economy and reputation for producing the world’s best dairy products.”
Posted November 2011