Qatalum concludes its first Winter Internship

Another first for Qatalum, as Training and Development embarked on the ground breaking initiative

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The idea of a Winter Internship was conceived by Dr Anton Winkelmann from Hydro’s Primary Metal Technology organization last year after the Summer Internship came to a successful end. He discussed the novel idea with Elin Legland, Administration Manager at Hydro in QSTP. She presented the case to the DCO Khalid Mohamed Laram who approve the request.

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As the concept for a winter internship was new, it was decided on a 4 week internship to start January 2015. Once T&D managed all the approvals and MIC gate passes, even students entered the program and started on the 5th Feb 2015. Dr Anton Winkelmann arranged for research projects for the students.

Two Master’s students Nour Nabil Abou-Shaqrah and Ola Ibrahim Shamia continued their project from the Summer’s internship on relining logistics by including the equipment, people and work schedules from the pot line to relining in the project. They initiated a new project from Anton in the baking furnaces at Carbon.

725-DSC_1132 copy.jpgNour Nabil Abou Shaqrah said about his internship, “I'm lucky since I got the opportunity to train at Qatalum, where I have learned, observed, and dealt with real world situations.”

Gopaul Sukran, Logistics Superintendent said about the Nour and Ola, “They showed a good grasp of the aluminium smelter technology concepts and further applied their minds in logistics to challenge the current status quo. These young and energetic minds demonstrated the potential opportunities to improve and optimize Qatalum operations particularly in Reduction and Carbon.”

Abdullah Al Aftab and Mohammad Fezlw Rakib were given a project on the Bath Cleaning Plant (BCP) which required the characterization of the complex nature of bath flow inside this area. Mohammad Fazle Rakib said about his project, “Research opportunities in Qatalum are quite broad and I am looking forward to make the best use of the opportunity."

Abdulla Al Aftab said that, "Learning through experience is the only best way to acquire knowledge because it involves lots of practice and practical training which helps to develop new skills and apply theoretical principles that can only be attained from academic study in real life problems. This winter internship at Qatalum gave me an opportunity to develop my knowledge about the aluminium industry and the observation of the largest primary aluminium plant in operation is such an amazing experience."

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Noora Hamad Al-Qahtani and Maryam Mohammed M A Al Ejji, both MSC graduates took on a project on the material strength of bake furnace bricks and the effects of heat, manual attrition and chemical composition of new and used bricks.

Noora Al-Qahtani, at the end of the internship said, “It was a positive experience for both academic and industrial committees.” Her sentiment was reflected by Maryam Mohammed Al-Ejji who said, “It is a great pleasure to take the opportunity of a winter internship in Qatalum, it was interesting and very informative towards the industrial route.”
The students had 2 weeks to work on the projects due to one week induction before they could start with their projects. This did not deter them from giving their best. In the 2 weeks they managed to accumulate data, process it and submit excellent project presentations.

The winter Internship concluded on the 26th February 2015 with the students presenting their findings to Reduction Group Manager Hans Petter Lange, Gopaul Sukran Acting Manager of Operational Support, Yuvendran Padayachee Rodding shop Superintendent, Maha Soliman, Human Resources, Elin Legland and Anton Winkelmann (via video-com) and Edward Van Wyk, Training and Development Supervisor.

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The panel were impressed by the student’s excellent presentations, professionalism and knowledge accumulated on aluminium technology over a very short research period.

About the presentations, Yuvendran Padayachee, Superintendent BCP said, “All the presentations were very impressive. It is refreshing to see the amount of understanding that the students have acquired in the short period they spent on site. They have echoed some of our challenges quite clearly and we are hopeful to get sustainable solutions out of their research. I wish all the students the best of luck.”

Speaking at the conclusion of the internships, Elin Legland believed that, “The follow up from Qatalum has been extensive and professional. As always, it’s a pleasure to collaborate. Winter internship 2015 demonstrated the effect of a true learning environment that is coming into place in Qatalum. Fresh students were supported by in-house students experienced in Qatalum, and students that were in Qatalum for their Senior Project last year had established a contact network that helped them and were accessible during this project. All staff in Qatalum showed great support and patience with the students with the students actually asking to be allowed to extend their internship in Qatalum. The Training Supervisor Team and Edward Wyk have done a tremendous job for Qatalum and the students.”

Dr Anton Winkelmann, Hydro Aluminium Deutschland GmbH, Primary Metal Technology concluded, “Unfortunately I couldn’t be present during the entire period so Qatalum employees had taken over the care of the students after the introductions where given and the activities were started. I’m very much impressed by the intensity shown by my Qatalum colleagues in supporting the students.”

Edward Van Wyk echoed Winkelmann’s sentiment by concluding, “These students showed real commitment and enthusiasm which was reflected in the quality of their presentations.”