Rachel Hart: Chemistry

For me, studying chemistry always had a good mix of hands on work and intellectual challenges.

"I completed my Bachelor of Science (Honours) majoring in chemistry in 2005. My focus was physical chemistry and I really enjoyed my Honours year which enabled me to collaborate with CSIRO and Dulux on polymer chemistry and paint applications. For me, studying chemistry always had a good mix of hands on work and intellectual challenges.

Prior to my honours year, I completed a three month vacation program at Qenos in its product development department. Qenos is the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of polyethylene resin in Australia and is an integral link in the local polymer and chemistry industry.

This opportunity led to Qenos offering me a position as a graduate chemist in the Qenos Technical Centre, the largest polyethylene testing laboratory in Australia. Since joining the company, I’ve been able to experience different roles in both a technical and commercial capacity including chemist; technical service specialist; account manager and now, as the Market Segment Manager for the dairy, blow moulding, distribution and export markets.

I am responsible for managing the dairy bottle and blow moulding markets that are supplied with High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). This involves setting and implementing the strategic direction for Qenos in this market segment, including pricing strategy, product development strategy, product management and promotional efforts. Whilst this is a very commercial role, having a strong technical background in chemistry is a key component of being successful in a business-to-business environment in the polymer industry. Additionally, strong analytical skills and conceptual thinking have been critical skills in all of my roles.

I’m working on some really exciting projects and collaborations at the moment. Working in the private sector is fast paced and always provides you with a new challenge to navigate. I also love that I work with a range of really talented engineers, chemists and materials specialists that share my appreciation for how materials impact our everyday life."

This article originally appeared in Engage on the Faculty of Science School of Chemistry website.

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