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Third Time Lucky!

Tom Carroll

Back in the summer of 2017, Tom Carroll joined Chem Resist for a 6-week summer internship as part of his degree in Chemical Engineering. He returned for another 6 weeks in 2018 and now he’s back for a third time, joining the team on a permanent basis and looking forward to solving customers’ problems.

Tom explains, “Back in 2017, my first project with Chem Resist focussed on completing desk research around utilising thermoplastic heat exchangers for acid dilution. I worked with Stephan (Menzer, Technical Manager) to come up with a recirculation method for a shell and tube construction. I then returned in the summer of 2018, to see this solution actually being built in the workshop which was great to see, what was previously an idea on paper coming to life.

“So, in 2018 I also got a different perspective of the business and spent time working in the Fluid Transfer division, building up, stripping down and testing pumps. At University learning is theory based, so I had no idea what a Centrifugal Pump actually was! I’d obviously heard of one and used calculations for one, but I’d never seen one, inside of one, never seen how one works. It was the same with a Ball Valve, I’d used calculations based on one, never physically seen or used one. So that second placement I got some real practical experience, but in a very different way from the first year.

“I returned to Newcastle and finished my degree and decided to complete an Integrated Masters in Chemical Engineering, which is basically lots of maths. I achieved a first which was great, but graduating in July 2020 was right in the middle of COVID. Not many companies were taking on new employees, but I managed to find a job with Baker Hughes.

“I spent the first 6 months of my new role working remotely to the Newcastle office and dealing with colleagues all around the world but never actually meeting anyone in person. Prior to this, I’d never had a customer-facing job where I had to deal with customers let alone disgruntled customers, so it was great for me being able to develop better people skills.

“That role was a fixed term for 12 months, so I knew I’d need to find a replacement. I updated my LinkedIn profile and the very next day Gary (Smith, Sales Director) contacted me about a potential role at Chem Resist. After a few conversations, I joined to provide two functions; as part of the Commercial Team, specifying, designing and developing proposals for all aspects of our Process Plant Division and also over the longer term providing technical support alongside Stephen.

Tom re-rejoined Chem Resist on the 6th September 2021 and adds, “Even though I did 2 internships, I am still learning so much about our actual products. Being here now for the third time, I’ve got a better appreciation of what we do and actually how difficult it is. It’s not just tanks either, it’s heat exchangers, fume scrubbers and pumps; that’s another thing that’s changed since 2018, we’re better at showing customers the full offering.

“I’m looking forward to helping to build something, seeing it in action and also using the knowledge I’ve gained to solve customers’ real-life, actual problems. I’m expecting a few challenges along the way, I feel I’m quite good with the technical aspects and that’s always something you can turn to a book to learn, but a lot of what Gary, Stephen and Dan do is dealing with people. I’m looking forward to developing those relationships and meeting our customers.

Gary comments, “When Tom joined us in 2017 it was clear to see that he was a natural in Chemical Engineering and had great potential for the future.  Having him with us for another placement the following year helped to cement our initial thoughts.  An opportunity arose within the business and it became apparent that Tom would be finishing a 12-month contract, the rest is history!

“At Chem Resist we offer much more than just single products, we offer what can be complex, bespoke systems.  This requires detailed Chemical Engineering from talented individuals.  Tom’s affinity to learn, coupled with his Masters level education, made him a stand out for this role.  We see great things ahead and look forward to strengthening our abilities further now Tom is on board.”

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