29 August 2012
New students visit chemistry giant
All research staff at the legendary Danish catalysis firm Haldor Topsøe A/S are referred to as “engineers”. But make no mistake; the firm is keen on hiring chemistry graduates from the University of Copenhagen. This was something that the 60 new chemistry students could be sure of after their visit to the company as part of the introduction to studies programme.
World leading and research heavy
Haldor Topsøe provides catalysis solutions for half of the world’s fertilizer production, to desulpherization plants and oil refineries, for the removal of particulates from flue emissions as well as providing catalysis solutions for hydrogen production facilities. In the near future, they also hope to venture into batteries and fuel cells. Consequently they are going to need for researchers – a lot of researchers. Currently, there are roughly 300 staff employed in research and development, but the firm expects that number to grow. And their hopes were reflected in their welcoming of the soon to be chemists. .
Hosted by heavy hitters
The new chemistry students had only been at their studies for three days. Despite this fact, Haldor Topsøe A/S had lined up a director of development , a director of further education, a director of production and a research staff member. In all, the firm presented the students with a four hour introduction to the company and to their core competency: Catalysis..
Ammonia exemplifies the importance of catalysis
As a case, Topsøe presented ammonia production – a complex process with great significance for the production of foodstuffs worldwide. The planet’s farmers, their outputs combined, would struggle to feed half of the world’s population, at most, without access to ammonia-based fertilizers..
Memory cards and stand up chemistry
All in all, ammonia production might sound dull. But, thanks to a humorous presentation by one of their staff, a veritable “stand-up-chemist”, as well as a game of memory cards that made use of catalysis concepts, the chemistry students were sucked into the strange and wonderful world of catalysis..