Studying chemistry gave me a deeper understanding of chemical theory and experimental design.
'I graduated in 2010 with honours degrees in both chemical engineering and chemistry from The University of Melbourne. Studying chemistry gave me a deeper understanding of chemical theory and experimental design, which really complimented my engineering degree.
After a short break, I joined Rio Tinto’s graduate program as a mineral processing engineer. Based in Melbourne, I worked with the different commodity groups to identify and develop new opportunities, for both existing plants and new mines. My hours in the laboratory during university paid off, as I jumped between benchtop tests and pilot plants across the country. I read journals, ran simulations and wrote reports. There were even times I dragged out my notes to find that one slide…
In 2014 I relocated to Newcastle to join Tomago Aluminium. The Tomago smelter uses over 10% of NSW’s electricity to reduce alumina into aluminium metal. The majority of the metal is shipped to Asia, where it is transformed into aluminium foil, engine parts and construction materials. I started in a Continuous Improvement role before moving into the electrolysis department. Even though I ran electrolysis experiments at university, it is a completely different challenge to now optimise 840 reduction cells at once. I am in a great team, and we are achieving record performance results."
This article originally appeared in Engage on the Faculty of Science School of Chemistry website.
Pei sees architecture as the best way for her to have a long-lasting impact on her country. “What you do has a lot of influence on the environment and people who use it.”
"As both as mother and an architect, it is unsurprising that my biggest inspirations are women in the built environment."
We want to inspire a new generation of design practitioner who understands alternatives to commercial careers and is conscious of social justice in their practice.
"I am a director of CNPR, which I co-founded in 2013. This is an angel investing network comprising mainly women and we invest in women-led start-ups."