This past year has been quite exciting and full of learning experiences. In this blog post I will share some of the experiences I’ve had working on my Master’s Thesis for Stora Enso Ingerois Mill, and from my summer job as Shift Supervisor at the Anjala Mill fiber department.
I started working on my Master’s Thesis at Stora Enso last January. I’ve been stationed at the pressurized plant as the thesis is about fiber production. The topic of the thesis is Pressurized groundwood (PGW) pulp quality control in folding boxboard manufacturing (FBB), which as a topic was particularly interesting because the process was in the beginning quite new to me as my background is in chemical engineering. That just made it even more interesting as I knew there would be so many new things to learn. The R&D side of paper and board industry was back then a bit of a mystery to me, but nevertheless I tackled the challenge with great enthusiasm. Working on this development project has given me so much. I’ve become familiar with the PGW process, studied the theory behind the process, searched for possible quality control methods, found them and tested them in practice. And what would a thesis be without laboratory work? I got to do all the lab work for my pulp samples myself, which was again all new to me, and so much fun!
Thesis projects at mills are very practical and interesting. The topics are often process related and the work is much appreciated as the results will be used in some way or another to develop the processes further. This thesis has resulted in new ways to operate the FBB PGW pulp production line. The working atmosphere at the mill has been nothing short of inspiring!
This summer I also had the opportunity to work as a Shift Supervisor at the Anjala Mill fiber department. The department consists of the Slashing and Debarking Plant, the Pressurized Groundwood Plant, the Chemical and Water treatment Plant and the Refiner Groundwood Plant. The daily tasks included pulp quality control, managing process settings and organizing process maintenance. The Shift Foreman for the fiber department is responsible for the mechanical pulp production for two paper machines and one board machine. This was the first time I’ve ever worked as a supervisor, so naturally I learned a lot about process management, HR tasks and leading a team in the challenging field of pulp production. The team spirit at the mill is great and everyone works for the same goal - Ensuring high quality pulp production. For technology students it is absolutely crucial to get these experiences. Working in the mill environment as an operator or as a supervisor will teach you how processes work in real life, and the experiences are invaluable especially if you will be working with development or process design tasks later on.
Inkeroinen (Ingerois) is a really small place, but there are lots of things to do on your spare time. I’ve been going to the company gym and playing ice hockey. During the winter, Stora Enso has its own shift at the local rink. From the time I started working here, I’ve even lost some weight. Feeling good and energized helps you to carry out you daily tasks!
After the summer job, I’ve continued fine tuning my Master’s Thesis and recently I returned the first version to my professor. I will be presenting my thesis and the results of the work at a final seminar in the end of September. I will graduate in late October as Master of Science in Technology.
So what’s next? Well, I am heading to Heinola Fluting Mill, where I’ve been given the chance to work as a Process Engineer. I’m absolutely excited about the task and looking forward to upcoming challenges. I’m expecting great responsibilities, development opportunities and a chance to make my own contribution to the process and the team. I am enjoying my journey so far and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me!