Process engineer Mikko Seilo works in the leaching plant at Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta Oy. He is responsible for the planning and monitoring of processes. Safety issues and risk management are important focus areas in his work. Mikko sees diversity and challenges as the best aspects of his job.
Always more to learn in the process engineer job
Mikko is nearing the completion of his engineering studies and works as a process engineer at Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta Oy for the second year. Part of the Russian MMC Norilsk Nickel Group, Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta Oy is based in the Harjavalta Industrial Park (Suurteollisuuspuisto) and specialises in the production of nickel and nickel-based specialty chemicals.
Mikko's work consists of planning and monitoring related to the production of nickel sulphate solution at the leaching plant.
"In practice, my work involves general organisation, process monitoring, scheduling and materials and raw material management," he lists.
"Safety issues and risk management also play a big part in my tasks. We go through all possible problem situations beforehand and strive to be prepared for any eventuality. This seems to be working well, because our department just reached four years of accident-free work. This is a record in the sector."
Mikko works in a small team together with another process engineer and a production manager. He interacts often with other leaching plant personnel. Approximately 50 people work at the leaching plant.
Roughly half of Mikko's work time is spent in his office and the other half at the plant.
"I never spend the entire work day from 8am to 4pm at my computer, and I'm happy about that. I like working with people and organising things. It is nice to have a job this varied, and there are plenty of challenges and new things to learn," Mikko concludes.
Swapping electrical engineering for metals
For Mikko, engineering sciences and work in this industry felt like an obvious career choice. He had a good example at home, because both his father and brother have worked in the same industrial park area at Harjavalta. He started his studies at the Tampere University of Technology and first chose electrical engineering as his major. However, after summer work at the nickel plant, he got interested in metals and transferred to the materials engineering programme.
At the beginning of 2011, Mikko started at Norilsk as a thesis worker, and after six months of research work he was employed as a permanent process engineer.
"I am very pleased with my work. A big company can offer big company benefits. A personnel survey showed that our nickel plant is seen as a safe workplace even during the recession. I also believe that my current tasks will open other interesting doors for me in the future," plans Mikko who recently became a dad.