Cooling towers and wastewater

Clean is the keyword at Ecolab/Nalco Water. The company delivers products and services for water and hygiene. The hand soap dispenser in your favorite restaurant for example. But also innovative solutions for water treatment. Helping beer producers save on water. Preventing corrosion at the inside of a cooling tower. Providing chemistry that separates waste from water to make the water reusable. Yajing Wang and Curtis Duinkerk know everything about the importance of testing and experimenting. They both graduated from the Process & Food Technology programme and now they are colleagues.

Yajing detects problems and provides solutions

2019 was a lucky year for Yajing. Within three months after graduation, she found a job as an application engineer at Ecolab. It’s up to her to ensure the performance of energy-related systems in chemical production, such as cooling towers, furnaces, and boilers. Yajing: “I take samples from the production process and analyze them in the lab. Based on the result, I will write a technical report regarding the properties of the sample, potential problems, and precautions. In a word, my work focuses on detecting the problems in the production process and providing related solutions.”

Industry is like magic

She found out her interest in working in the industry when she did her first internship in year 3. “I feel industry is like magic. The factory itself is gigantic. It creates value every second but only with limited manpower. You can really evaluate the effort you put into it. Every time I go into the plant to see the production, I realize how great it is to apply what I learned in school in reality. Generally, PFT designs the courses closely related to the real industry. That’s why I was well prepared.” Most time she needs to collaborate with her colleagues, but sometimes she performs her work independently.

Curtis works in the water laboratory

Curtis started working for Ecolab earlier, in 2011. As a lab technician at the R&D department, he is responsible for a variety of operations in the water laboratory, both routine and non-routine. “My duties vary from experiments, reexamination of borderline results, evaluating old and developing new processes. ” He writes reports and protocols. The variety of laboratory equipment urges him to improvise often. Recently, he managed to install a UV lamp from scratch using old equipment. 

Small scale cooling towers for testing

The technicians in the lab are the ones who test and do experiments on the chemistry and technology developed by colleagues. Curtis: “We have our own wastewater bench to do different tests with our products meant to separate waste from water. At this moment we are running experiments for an automobile company. The spray paint that is used to paint the cars goes into the drain together with the water. We also have small scale cooling towers where we can test our products to treat calcium build-up or rust.”

Enjoy working in Ecolab

Both Yajing and Curtis love working in Ecolab. Curtis: “To be honest I never thought I would ever work in a water laboratory. My final internship was at an oil refinery and I decided that was the route I wanted to take. But once I started here, I enjoyed it.” Yajing likes the fact that the company is value driven, hungry to succeed and passionate to achieve. “Our team is willing to embrace the unknown, fearlessly taking risks, confident in our ability to deliver results. I am enjoying so much working in Ecolab.”

Ready for a brilliant career

The company offers plenty of opportunities to keep learning and developing other skills. Yajing: “I believe I can have a brilliant career in Ecolab as an advanced technical engineer or a great sales representative.” Curtis also noticed that Ecolab offers many career possibilities. He would like to climb the ladder and become a researcher once. If he would like to, he could also switch to the marketing/sales department or even to working on site, close to the customers. “In other words, you can make a career change that suits you.”

Want to find out more about the Process and Food Technology programme at The Hague University of Applied Sciences?