Bringing chemistry to life

STEM - 22 December 2022

As part of our Sustainability goal to deliver a positive impact in the local community, we recently invited a group of A-Level students in their final year of school at Wood Green School in Witney to our Head Office at Milton Hill, to show them how chemistry can help solve real-life problems.

The school’s fully packed schedule started with a tour of our plant by our Facility Operator Keith Davies, who talked through the process of scaling up from lab sample to final product delivery to our customers.

Students then had a taste of laboratory work, learning how scientists run experiments, creating products for our customers’ needs. At the Fuels laboratory, Fuels Technical Sales Chemists Katherine Goodwin and Mackenzie Cobbin showed the students how additives can reduce residues in fuel, helping engines run more smoothly and produce less waste.

Next, as part of the Blend Centre of Excellence tour, Lab Group Leader Michael Pitchers explained the importance of following safety procedures rigorously to make sure nobody gets hurt. He pointed out that all tasks in a lab are fundamental to delivering high-quality products, from cleaning the glasses to checking equipment and blending materials.

Finally, after lunch, students met colleagues at different stages of their careers, from student placement to senior roles, who offered careers advice, and showed them presentations about their own career paths within STEM. The team willingly answered questions about university choices and job opportunities within their field of specialisation.

Infineum Site Manager, Bobby Patel who welcomed the students for their tour, said:

“It was refreshing to see a group of young people so interested in what we do. It makes us hopeful that in the future, there will be a generation of talent who will take Infineum’s innovative and sustainable chemistry to the next level.”

Although the Wood Green School group had already chosen to study chemistry and physics at university, they really valued the experience. Many said that it was an opportunity to see how chemistry and engineering work in real life and its commercial value in solving actual customers’ problems. They also said that they were very impressed by our safety culture, which helped them understand the key role safety plays to deliver sustainable and innovative products.

Will Heppell, a Chemistry teacher at the Wood Green School who came along with the students, said: “We can never thank Infineum enough for the tour they offered. It’s been a unique opportunity for my students to see the practical application of what they study at school. Also, because of Covid, the work experience they should have received over the past two years has not taken place so, the visit to Infineum was the first time they stepped into a real workplace. It’s been such a valuable experience, especially being able to receive career advice from Infineum’s scientists.”

Start to create a sustainable future through innovative chemistry