My Stantec Story – Building a career as a graduate process engineer with Ross Sullivan
December 18, 2023
December 18, 2023
Ross, a graduate process engineer in our High Wycombe office, shares his professional development since joining Stantec
In the My Stantec Story series, our designers, engineers, marketers, project managers, and leaders come together to share how their career journeys at Stantec have shaped their lives and moved them closer to their goals.
I joined Stantec as a graduate process engineer in September 2022 after completing my masters in chemical engineering from the University of Birmingham. My role mainly entails examining potable and wastewater treatment sites to try to improve and optimise operations or design additions such as new treatment stages.
A lot of the people that I met while studying chemical engineering ended up moving into the oil and gas industry, but I knew that with climate change and all the other environmental challenges the world faces, that was not for me. Instead, when I heard about Stantec and the interesting engineering projects the company tackles while still dedicating themselves to communities, sustainability, and the environment, I knew that it was a company I would happily work for.
The two things that I enjoy most about the role are the team that I work with and the variety of work and projects that I get to contribute to. So far, I’ve worked on wastewater, clean water, and odour projects, which each offer different challenges. These are always interesting and help me develop my skills to become a better engineer. The fact that I can work on these projects with a diverse team of talented people that I get on with so well makes it even better.
Since joining Stantec, I have been given a lot of opportunities for professional development, especially in terms of my communication skills and confidence. For example, I have had the opportunity to give presentations to clients and communicate directly with suppliers, as well as honing my engineering skills through the projects that I work on. I’m also on the graduate scheme, which offers both technical, communication, and professional training throughout the year and helps with my Chartership progress with the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).
Finally, I’ve really enjoyed getting involved with the Developing Professional Group (DPG). The DPG organises events which are great for connecting with leadership and networking with others across the Company.
The Developing Professional Group (DPG) organises events which are great for learning from senior people in the business and networking with others across Stantec.
My standout project at Stantec would be my work on Knapp Mill Water Treatment Works. This was an outline design project for a new water treatment works near Bournemouth that used a novel membrane technology as its main treatment stage. Since the membranes are not widely used in the UK, many of the design challenges were unique and required a lot of creative thinking and problem solving, which was great for me as a new engineer starting out. On top of new technical skills, I learned a lot about communicating with both clients and a multidisciplinary team, and best of all I really enjoyed the project throughout.
I am excited to work on a range of projects across as many areas as possible to expand my knowledge base and continue to improve myself. In the longer term, I would like to become chartered and develop more in the field.
Outside of work, I’m a big fan of climbing and try to get to the gym two or three times per week. While I don’t get to go on climbing trips as often as I’d like, I recently went to Fontainebleau in France for nine days and had a great time climbing and hiking in the forests. That said, next time I’ll make sure my coat is waterproof before I go!
If I face a challenge on a project, after a few Teams messages, I often find myself on a call with experienced in that subject matter who helps me learn and develop as an engineer. In the same way, there are always people to chat to and laugh with in the office. Stantec offers tons of ways to develop as a professional, and offers them alongside a strong feeling of community, making it a great place for anyone to work.
At Stantec, we put people first, and for Ross that means a range of opportunities to develop his career. If you want to start your career at Stantec, visit Graduates & Apprentices to find out more.