An MChem with a Year in Industry Student

Andy Straiton, Year 4

I chose to do a year in industry to gain valuable work experience within the chemical business. I’d learnt a lot of chemistry and wanted to see how the knowledge I’d gained in lectures was applied within a commercial setting. My year at Infineum has certainly delivered this!

Infineum is an international fuel and lubricant additive company based in Oxfordshire. Before my placement, I’d never heard them but they have a huge effect on our lives. Their products are in 1 in 3 vehicles globally. I chose them as they do a wide range of chemistry, but specifically the inorganic chemistry that I greatly enjoy.

Andy_S Y4

My tribology research project included elements of chemistry, materials science and even engineering. I’ve been able to use a range of the spectroscopy and surface analysis techniques that I’ve been taught at York and applied them to inorganic chemistry. This has involved learning new material, especially engineering elements, but I’ve been able to draw upon a lot of the chemistry I learnt in lectures.

All the work here involves working collaboratively in large teams, so the group exercises I did as a student were good experience for this.

As well as the chemistry, I’ve built on many other skills we use at York. The presentations and report writing I did in the first three years in York were invaluable in preparing me for presenting in team meetings and producing internal technical reports.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working at Infineum this year and would recommend both the company and the placement scheme to anyone.

I’ve learnt a lot about the organisation and the automotive lubricants industry during my placement. It’s shown me that the student projects are commercially important and could have a real impact on the business.

After I finish my year here, I’ll be continuing to work with Infineum as I’ve been offered the chance to do a PhD, funded by Infineum, at a UK University.

I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Infineum whilst doing further study and the role my year in industry has played in my future is clear!