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Meet our Team: An Interview with our Applications Engineer Chris Edwards

10/03/2020

What is my role at Rochem? 

My official role here at Rochem is Applications engineer.

What does it entail?

I was originally brought onto the team to meet the basic technical needs of the company and address the growing interest of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) in our market. But since starting my role, it has evolved to include many other aspects such as project management, product development and offering technical support to both, the in-house team and to clients.

How the design process works?

Our design process starts with advising the client of our best practices and capturing any specific requirements; such as nozzle locations or available pressures. 

Following this we usually request more information including drawings and isometrics before continuing with our design process, this ensures we have the complete picture of the issue. 

We can then proceed to the design stage of the process during which we perform any necessary calculation; this often includes vortex shedding. 

The final stage of the design process involves modelling the nozzle arrangement in the CFD software Ansys Fluent which essentially allows us to trail the system in a virtual environment. Upon completion we can then submit the design to our client for review; if accepted the manufacturing process can begin.

Can you tell us a little about your background, and why you chose a career in engineering? 

Growing up I always enjoyed working with my hands and staying active so, eager to enter the workforce after collage; I started work in the medical manufacturing industry. 

This composed mainly of assembly line work which quickly became very repetitive. It was during this time I took an interest in engineering and started attending part time courses with the Open University. 

As my interest grew, I decided to leave my job and pursue education on a full-time basis. Luckily, I managed to secure a place at Portsmouth university studying mechanical engineering and eventually completing a master’s degree.

What does a typical day at Rochem look like for you?

With ranging responsibilities my day-to-day often varies considerably, which is something I like about working at Rochem. That said much of my day is spent modelling and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) software with a scattering of design, report writing and answering technical questions.

What manufacturing technology trends are important for people to keep an eye on? 

Slightly biased but I’d say CFD is a trend to watch, with increasing industry focus on reducing costs and increasing performance this is; and will continue to be invaluable. We are not only seeing this from a larger number of companies developing CFD packages, but also from clients’ increasing demand for these services. 

What makes Rochem a great company to work for?

Having a varied day-to-day defiantly helps but the best thing about Rochem is the people and our can-do attitude!

Why is the design service necessary and how does it benefit the client? 

As in any manufacturing process the impact and cost saving of any changes is often the driving factor. The clients often want both validation that damage will not occur in operation and the wash system is going to be effective once installed; thus, increasing both machine efficiency and through-put.

What's your favourite part of the job?

We have an amazing team at Rochem HQ and I love the way we all come together to get the job done. Then again, working opposite a brewery helps too!

What are some of your passions outside of work?

I like to keep active outside of work whether its fencing, running or going the gym.


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