PPD: Learning to apply theory

Chemical Masters have a lot of theoretical knowledge. But putting theory into practice to solve real industrial problems is a different matter. Most Chemical Masters find this very difficult. It’s true that translating knowledge into practical, operational tools is no easy task. It takes time, training and experience. The multidisciplinary PPD programme focuses specifically on these three aspects in training you as a creative technological designer. After this two-year programme, you’ll be able to make a ‘flying start’, whether in a manufacturing company or with a contractor. At least, that’s what most of our graduates do.

PPD trainees follow a dedicated curriculum during their first year comprised of courses and interactive workshops presented by industry specialists. The curriculum maintains a strong emphasis on group and individual assignments to prepare trainees for practical problem solving during their second year. Course content relevant to process design maintains a balance between traditional chemical engineering skills such as process modelling, synthesis and refinery design as well as relevant technologies for the energy transition such as electrochemistry and biorefining. Trainees also participate in courses to develop their professional skills such as communication, technical writing and self-leadership. In addition to these courses, trainees may choose elective courses that are not constrained to the faculty of chemistry and chemical engineering. These may include the multi-disciplinary PDEng design challenge, data science, entrepreneurship and so forth.

In the second year, the trainees are assigned to industry partners for a twelve month assignment. University experts act as supervisors, providing state-of-the-art technology, advising on the structure and execution of the project and monitoring that the goals of the project are achieved. During the design project, the trainees demonstrate their skills in being able to turn knowledge into innovative, value-adding technical solutions for the high-tech industry.

Fast track to a higher level

During the PPD programme you will be exposed to, and actively involved in applying, technologies to an extent that would never be possible if you were only working in industry. To gain the same experience would take, if possible at all, many more years in industry. The PPD programme is unique: dedicated courses, industrial assignments, industrial lecturers and management team members who themselves are active in the process industry.