Summer Internship 2015

On the 27th August, 2015 at the Qatalum Training & Development Center the Summer Interns were presented with completion certificates bringing a close to yet another successful round of internships.

On the 27th August, 2015 at the Qatalum Training & Development Center the Summer Interns were presented with completion certificates bringing a close to yet another successful round of internships.

Qatalum’s Summer Internship 2015 is aligned with the continued effort of Qatalum to create a workplace of competent Nationals. This year’s programme was organised by the Qatalum Training & Development team comprising of John Gaspar, Tanveer Ahmed, Mamertus Eledi and Froilan Arevalo.

Training and Development Supervisor at Qatalum, Magdi Hamed reinforced the importance for the programme stating, “Whatever the timing, students embarking on structured program such as this summer internship, the expectation is that all interns learn new and valuable skills to prepare them for their future career.”

Prior to the beginning of the five week internship, a merit based recruitment process was conducted, with those chosen to undergo medicals, contract signing and inductions. Of the 85 students who applied only 19 participated in the internship. Students selected were from Qatar University, Texas A & M University and Carnegie Mellon University. The 2015 Summer Internship marks the fourth successful internship since 2012.

Olaf Wigstoel , Qatalum’s COO believes that, “Summer internships are an excellent opportunity for students to experience the practical side of what they are studying, as well as understanding that results in a process industry do not only come as a result of good technical processes and good equipment. They will experience that the people side of the business are equally important. I hope this experience will create a desire for working in the aluminium industry.”

Students were deployed into various departments during the internship period (26th July 2015 to 27th August 2015) to undertake projects that aid Qatalum in identifying bottlenecks and providing practical solutions to
optimise Qatalum processes. A total of 19 students, in various disciplines such as Industrial and System Engineering (8), Chemical Engineering (7), Environmental Science (3) and Computer Science (1) were selected based on the established selection criteria.

Projects in the departments included the alumina campaign in Reduction - Green House Gases (GHG) effect on alumina particle size (Hydro project) - 7 students. This is a Hydro and QSTP alumina campaign project undertaken in Reduction with the students. Students working on the alumina campaign project worked on weekends due to the nature of the project schedule.

Mariam Oualha (Reduction Intern) said about her opportunity, “Through the tasks assigned to me during this internship, I have learned that, if you want more or extra information you should search for it and ask the experts for guidance or else you will leave this internship without much new knowledge. As the duration of the internship is limited, time should be spent more wisely to pursue this knowledge. Even if the work given is achieved, there are so much more to learn and explore in a huge company like Qatalum.”

Mariam’s sentiments were reflected by her peer in Reduction, Bader Abdulmajeed, who said, “My internship at Qatalum has provided me the opportunity to explore a variety of roles, which allowed me to develop valuable skills and implement many educational principles. I have nothing but the utmost praise for all my colleagues and mentors who helped create a very special work environment and made the experience not only educational but also enjoyable.”

Another Reduction intern Yousef Gholam Gholami expressed gratitude for the opportunity and said, “In my opinion, Qatalum is really one of the best companies that provides an internship program for university students. Overall, it was a very enjoyable and fruitful experience for me. Thank you Qatalum.”

Other projects were stabilization of bath materials flow in Carbon Plant – 2 students. Wassen Mohammad said about his participation, "I enjoyed this internship, it was interesting and challenging as well. Although, I didn't feel like the time was enough with regards to our topic, hopefully someone else will pick up where we left off and reach a solid conclusion."

internal logistics between Bath Cleaning Plant and Reduction, in Carbon – 2 students; Identifying bottlenecks in the Casthouse Logistics operations – 2 students; Casthouse Optimized Production / aluminium alloys in the Casthouse – 3 students; Chiller pump casing crack root cause analysis, preventive maintenance and emergency response in Infrastructure – 2 students and Overview of Qatalum network infrastructure, IS/IT – 1 student.

Students, during the internship worked with process owners (managers, engineers, technicians and operators, etc.) to understand and work towards improvement of the processes. On the final day ceremony, students delivered presentations of the projects they undertook in the departments and also highlighted the improvement ideas they suggested to Qatalum.

“In a sophisticated business environment like today, the survival of businesses mainly depends on a competent workforce. Qatalum wants to sustain its operations by creating opportunities for nationals through internship programs to boost their interest in the primary aluminium industry.” Said AbdulHalim Al-Bader, Qatarization and Development Manager, HR & Administration.

Mamertus Eledi, Training and Development Supervisor summarised the internship’s value by saying, “Internships give students the opportunity and confidence they require to join the world of work after graduation. As a member of the Qatalum Training and Development Team, we give our full support and guidance and take great pride in knowing that student’s experiences at Qatalum can never be forgotten.”

Qatalum and the primary aluminium business in Qatar is a growing concern, hence, the students are also seen as brand ambassadors to promote aluminium knowledge value creation in Qatar and beyond. It is also an opportunity for the students to promote the made in Qatar brand based on their experience with Qatalum.

Carbon Plant Internal Logistics
Alumina Campaign (Meriam)Chiller Pump Casing Failure  (Chandni)
Chronological sequence of topics25%19%24%30%
Speaker confidence5%5%5%3%
Time management20%20%19%20%
Presentation skills20%18%18%14%

Evaluation chart and the top 3 presentations from the Summer Interns 2015

Students' presentations were evaluated through various criteria and the winning presentation by Chandni was a case study within the Infrastructure department. The technical team were further impressed by the recommendations made by the students and are considering taking them on board.