Who am I?
Here’s a bit about me: I’m 23 years old and from Sandviken, but I’ve now moved here to Iggesund with my partner. In my spare time, I like outdoor pursuits and I’m interested in sustainability. In January I completed my engineering degree, specialising in chemical engineering, and including environmental courses. After graduating, I worked as a lab technician before beginning here as a trainee in September. In the Pulp department, I’m involved in a project to do with the timber yard. My main project relates to a machine on the chip conveyor that reads the moisture content of the chips, among other things.
Information on the trainee programme and the Pulp department
There are four of us trainees who will be working in different departments at Holmen Iggesund over the course of 11 months. After that, we will continue working at the company as engineers. The trainee programme comprises three project periods, during which we take part in projects in different departments. We also attend training and meet people from all over the company to gain a better overview and make new contacts.
Picture from when we were ‘customer for a day’. In the background you can see the pulp digesters.
I belong to the Pulp department and will return here when the trainee programme ends. The other trainees are in other departments (Paperboard, Development and the Technology team). As trainees we’ll change departments twice more in the New Year, trying out new positions before we return to our regular departments in August. We’re quite free to choose what we want to try doing on the trainee programme, according to our own interests.
The Pulp department, or ‘pulp mill’ as it could be called, covers the entire process of pulp production – from debarking the trees and turning them into chips (in the timber yard) to the chips being boiled, washed and bleached. Chemical and energy recovery is a major element of the processes, with the recovery boiler playing a key role. I belong to the Process & Environment team, which also includes two environmental engineers, two process engineers and one energy engineer.
What does a working day look like?
A normal day begins by going through the intranet for news and to check how production is proceeding. Then I work on various things, from projects to attending training or meeting people from different departments to get an insight into their work. Generally, over the weeks, I learn about the processes at the pulp mill and shadow my colleagues to understand how it all works.
Here we were a group that went along to the top of a pulp digester
The view from when I shadowed work at a pulp tower.
When I’m working on my main project, this might involve collecting chips to conduct tests in the lab, being present at the startup/shutdown of the machine during maintenance work, checking the water flow from the machine and so on. Basically, trying to understand the machine and the readings that it gives. The aim is to get the machine operating at its peak in the process and to verify its readings.
Outside the machine, with the chip conveyor in the background.
The chips on the conveyor that have passed through the machine can be used for taking samples.
I also conduct dryness tests on the bark and other residual materials used as fuel in the biofuel boiler to generate energy. This is done to check how the weather affects the material and give us useful statistics.
I collect material from three different sources that have to be weighed and dried.
I also spend quite a lot of time on Excel, because I’m currently helping to put together a file of our chemical cisterns to create a convenient way of monitoring stock levels.
My desk in the open-plan office.
I’d heard good things about Holmen as an employer even before I applied here. I was interested in the trainee programme, as I think it’s a good way to start your working life, and I was also keen to work in this industry, since wood is a renewable material and the industry holds great development potential for the future. During the application period for the trainee programme, I gained a good impression of the company and was made to feel very welcome. I’ve been well received by my colleagues, who are really nice – the work is flexible, allowing me to often manage my working day myself, which I appreciate. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved and make a difference, and also to develop yourself and your knowledge.
Thanks for spending time with me this week! The weeks always vary quite a lot and it has been fun showing you a little bit of what I do. I hope it has been an interesting experience. If you have any questions, get in touch!
I’m ending with a picture from a lovely day in January on my home turf in Sandviken.
That’s all from me!