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News > Alumnae Interviews > Jenni Kemp (Class of 2005) - Chemical Engineering

Jenni Kemp (Class of 2005) - Chemical Engineering

Offshore Life as a Chemical Engineer on the North Sea Oil Platforms

Jenni left SWPS in 2005 having taken A Levels in Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Further Maths, Latin, Critical thinking AS level AND Physics Advanced Extension Award. She got a Surrey SATRO Scholarship and an IMechE undergraduate scholarship and went to Cambridge (New Hall, now Murray Edwards) to study Engineering. As part of her SATRO scholarship she got a summer placement with Air Products in Hersham and decided she wanted to specialise in Chemical rather than Mechanical Engineering.

Jenni graduated in 2010 with a Masters in Chemical Engineering, and joined the BP graduate scheme. She spent her first year in Sunbury, then moved to Aberdeen to get some site and operational experience. Jenni spent that year working in the Operations team for one of the North Sea oil platforms, split between office and offshore.

Jenni comments:

"Frontline operations became my thing and from there I moved up to Shetland to work at the Sullom Voe Oil terminal. I moved back to Aberdeen and into the Ops team for another offshore oil platform - this time one that had been shutdown for major construction works. Initially office based I then went back offshore full time and did construction, commissioning, and early operations support. It was fairly normal for me to be the only woman on the platform. I stayed in the team for 5 years split between on and offshore roles, in that time I spent a period of time running the offshore operations team. I also got married. I’d met my now husband on Shetland and we’d been juggling two site based shift working jobs since our first date."

"This time last year an opportunity came up to join the Oil & Gas Authority, who are the UK regulator for Oil & Gas activities. It felt time for a change and moving from operator to regulator seemed like a good way to use my skills and experience while also learning something new. I started my new job 2 weeks before lockdown, so it’s been an interesting experience! I now work from home full time on a 9-5 type arrangement."

"Engineering has been brilliant for me, I'm now in a role with great work life balance, meaning I can support industry and our country through the energy transition."

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