Why Pharmaceutical Engineering?
In high school, I always had an interest in the biology and chemistry and at the same time enjoyed solving problems and looking at the bigger picture. I wasn't the type to spend hours in the lab, so a full science degree didn't seem like an option, so when I heard about the new Pharmaceutical Engineering degree at the University of Adelaide I was quite excited.
What am I learning?
The first year of the Pharmaceutical Engineering degree provided a good foundation for the upcoming years. For example, maths provided the basic knowledge for engineering calculations in first, second and now third year. Chemistry and biology also assisted in making other subjects easier to grasp.
The second year included subjects that looked at the introduction to fluids, their flow properties, thermodynamic properties as well as mass balances and heat transfer. This knowledge plays an essential role for the third year subjects.
Currently in third year, we have a strong focus on typical unit operations in the pharmaceutical industry and group process plant design projects. This allows us to apply our knowledge and to develop leadership and team work skills which are fundamental requirements as future engineers.
What have I gained?
At the end of my second year (2009), I was lucky enough to obtain work placement at a biopharmaceutical company, BTG Australasia. I thoroughly enjoyed my time and learnt a great deal about the role of Pharmaceutical Engineers.
Over a period of 12 weeks, I was involved with a variety of tasks that included a major project, validation, process development and routine maintenance.
The major project I was assigned required sound communication skills, creative problem solving and time efficiency. I conducted my own research into several patents and companies followed by consultation with various personnel around Australia via phone and email to discuss my ideas.
I also performed and assisted in validation exercises on various pieces of equipment. This involved preparing the IQ/OQ documentation to carry out the appropriate tests to ensure that the equipment is able to function as specified by the manufacturer and consistently meet the requirements for the process at BTG.
Work placement at BTG allowed me to apply the knowledge I have gained at university and broadened my view of the role of Pharmaceutical Engineers in industry.
- Level III Pharmaceutical Engineering Student