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Chemical engineer’s Diary: How to Keep on Track

Working as chemical engineer in Project Management Company is sometimes difficult. The reason is, mostly, we, the chemical engineers, young one or old one, fresh one or expert one, have to handle more than one project. We called that system as matrix.

In my company, the newly come chemical engineer usually handle one project. Then, on the second or third month of working, they will start to handle at least two project simultaneously. Some people may not have difficulties to manage this. But, for me, it is very hard.

As already mentioned here, in recent days, I need to involve in five project. Although those projects does not executed by myself, at least I need to control and monitor people involved directly in those project and help them to reach our milestones. I’m not sure it is the responsibility of chemical engineer. Since we have limited manpower, I have to do this. So far, I feel happy.

In one day, I feel a lot of activities to do, some phone calls, documents, send email, and so on. Sometimes, I feel my day was such a mess. I feel, I did small things. I am not sure how many targets I have got. Then, I got a simple idea to make you on track while you are very busy.


I always define myself as chemical engineer and writer. Yes! The answer is write down what you need to do, write what you do… and of course write what you don’t do. What is in your mind right now? If you say make a check list, then you’re right.

I have started to use this simple method to measure the percentage of target I have obtained and how much targets I have not obtained. I have used checklist since April 2012, but it was not successful. The problem was I did not make quite detail check list.

In recent day, I started to make detail check list and I also made work priority. I found some activities can be done simultaneously (for example, printing documents while revising your P&ID). By the end, you have more than one target done.

If you are working as chemical engineer in Engineering, Procurement, and Construction company (or sometimes with Commissioning), you may hear about pre-commissioning checklist or  commissioning checklist. It is used to assure the systems and equipments are well. Sometimes, a chemical engineer needs to do detail commissioning check list  when high-level documentation is required. What can we conclude from here? A chemical engineer have to have ability to organize his mind to achieve a specific goal. 


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