Meet Process Engineer Taliya Mammadhasanzade

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Taliya on site at BP Azeri-Central-East (ACE) Platform, Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey (AGT) region
63/63   in the series Meet the Process Engineers
Welcome to the latest in a series of AIChE blog posts profiling process engineers, a diverse group of professionals spanning multiple industries and regions. In this series, we profile process engineers who work in a wide range of fields, including petrochemicals, pharma, bulk chemicals, food, and other process-intensive industries.

Are you a member and process engineer interested in being profiled? We’d love to hear from you via . Please also check out our specifically for process engineers. You can find out about these initiatives and join our efforts by visiting fontelearn.com/cpe.

This month, we introduce you to Taliya Mammadhasanzade, Process Engineer at BP, the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey (AGT) region. She discusses the path that led to her career in process engineering, overcoming challenges, and the importance of her work. 

Tell us a bit about your work as a process engineer.  

My name is Taliya Mammadhasanzade and I’m from Baku, Azerbaijan. I am a process engineer graduate and work in the Oil Plant Facility Support Squad at Sangachal Terminal. I am responsible for the oil and gas separation units, treatment, and etch. I embarked on my chemical engineering career studying at Baku Higher Oil School while engaging in many academic and extracurricular activities such as being a president (team leader) of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Baku Higher Oil School Chapter. During my academic career at university, I completed several internships in midstream and downstream, renewable energy engineering, and in the quality assurance departments at local and international companies. 

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Taliya at her internship at SOCAR.

My first experience in the petrochemical industry took place during my chemical engineering internship at the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) Methanol Plant, where I focused on furnace cleaning and optimization. My journey continued in the Azerikimya Production Union, where I had the chance to participate in a compressor start-up in the refined dry gas treatment unit, and work with experienced engineers from international companies. It was the first time I fell in love with how engineers support the start-up of process equipment. 
My biggest goal is to enhance my experience throughout my career and to never stop learning. There is always someone better than us, and there is always something new to learn. Using every opportunity to improve is the key to a successful career.
My next destination was the SOCAR Carbamide and Urea Complex, where I worked on the production of a carbamide unit. Based on my experience, I believe the petrochemical industry is more challenging than many other industries, and it also presents many opportunities to learn and develop your knowledge. For me, the experiences and challenges I faced in my internships provided the foundation for both the enthusiasm I have for my profession and the enjoyment I get from it today.  In 2022, I was selected for the BP AGT Process Engineering Internship. BP took notice of my project at the largest gas field in Azerbaijan, the Shah Deniz 2 Plant, as well as the technical projects I completed. I eventually received an offer for my current role as process engineer at BP. Currently, I work at the Sangachal Terminal Oil Plant in Azerbaijan, where I support the plant’s daily and long-term activities. My primary focus is to deliver oil and gas to the users through safe and reliable operations, on a day-to-day basis.

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Taliya attending the SPE Caspian Development Technical Conference.

Despite recently starting my process safety engineering journey, I have already been involved in HAZOP and LOPA studies, and worked consistently to enhance overall process safety of the Sangachal Terminal Oil plant. As a part of my job, my priority is to contribute to the risk mitigation strategies at the operational stage of the plant as well.  I believe every process engineer should be involved in the different project stages, starting from the FEED through  final production at the oil and gas facility. My biggest goal is to enhance my experience throughout my career and to never stop learning. There is always someone better than us, and there is always something new to learn. Using every opportunity to improve is the key to a successful career. 

Why did you become a process engineer?

Since childhood, I was keen on building things, and I was interested in electricity: where it comes from and how it’s distributed to our homes. At the very beginning of my journey, I wanted to be an oncologist. As I discovered more about myself, my tastes, and what I wanted to become, I realized that I would excel at engineering, given my personality and love for a dynamic work environment.  My enthusiasm for STEM helped me to stand out from my peers, network with the industry professionals, share my knowledge, and become a mentor to students. I believe process engineers have more advantages compared to other disciplines, as they can see the big picture easily. Being a process engineer developed my problem-solving skills, negotiation, and teamwork skills.

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Taliya on graduation day.

In July 2022, I opened an educational center called TamTech Academy. Its mission is to build a successful future and learning environment for the junior chemical engineering students around the world. I mentor students to help them discover career opportunities, and I teach many modules in chemical engineering. Additionally, I provide free content for them on different platforms such as YouTube and Udemy, which I think is one of the most important contributions I can make to the industry. I am planning to continue my career in technical roles and gain expertise in this field, ultimately contributing to a society that uses sustainable and cleaner energy technologies. 

What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your role as a process engineer?

As the world continues developing cutting-edge technologies and tools for operations, I want to see more handy optimization packages and simulation environments for interdisciplinary roles. This optimization software would simplify the process of combining coding and process technology, ultimately providing a great foundation for proposing energy-saving and cost-reduction solutions.

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Taliya on her first day as a process engineer at BP.

As we all know, everything starts with a simple idea in science and leads to many lab experiments. It can take several years before a new idea is confirmed for the industry. Process engineering could be a part of the science team to see the upcoming challenges in industry and the need for more growth in R&D. 

How is your work as a process engineer critical to your particular job assignment or industry?

I am responsible for safe and reliable plant operations as well as the delivery of oil and gas to Europe, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey. I’m also tasked with the treatment and preparation of oil and gas, and with solving the challenges and operational issues involved in processing. To be successful in this work, it’s critical that we meet the customer’s specifications. But in order to accomplish this, we must work with many toxic chemicals in the terminal and workplace, and foresee all operational and maintenance issues to ensure safe plant operations.

What do you think is most important about what you do as a process engineer?

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Taliya with students at the educational center she opened, TamTech Academy.

In my opinion, if you want to become an expert in your field, you need to experience the different challenges that come with your role and understand other roles and responsibilities within the field. Our roles are not only about technical skills but are also about effective communication and smooth teamwork with different groups. It’s equally crucial to adhere closely to regulations and stay updated on the latest industry advances. No matter where my process engineering career takes me, I will always be responsible for personnel safety, safe delivery, and steady plant operations with cost-saving and energy-optimizing techniques. As our planet faces the challenges of limited resources, chemical engineers must take action to find more sustainable ways to use energy in a smart manner.

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